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Posted July 22, 2003 

Hillside School
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Thomas O’Dell – Director of Admissions

The Hillside School is a small junior boarding school for boys in grades 5-9. While some of the boys who attend Hillside are “traditional learners”, others have learning or attention issues, which have prevented them from reaching their academic potential. Hillside School enrolls 120 boys as boarders and day students from 12 states and three foreign countries. They offer a “strong, fundamental education within a nurturing family environment. Caring, qualified faculty aim to instill core values of honesty, respect for others, responsibility, self-discipline, and hard work with the goal of developing each boy’s academic strengths, civic and social awareness, and personal standards.”

The Hillside School is set in the middle of a 260 acre wooded campus, has it’s own spring-fed pond, a working farm, and 4 acres of athletic fields. The boys at Hillside reside in four faculty-supervised dormitories including a “farm dorm’ for selected students in grades 5-6 who choose to assist with the farm program. There are 45 faculty and administrators who teach, 21 women and 24 men. Faculty are chosen for their ability to motivate students through their teaching strategies and their commitment to helping young people reach their full potential. “Faculty are involved in all aspects of the educational program. In addition to teaching, they are coaches, dorm parents, study hall supervisors, and advisors to the various clubs and campus groups.” All students must take part in a sport or athletic activity in each trimester.

The Hillside School uses a “Recognition System” where students earn points in the areas of effort, organization, and respect for others. Points earned are averaged weekly and form the basis for establishing the student’s allowance and privileges for that week. Students who require extra academic support take part in the tutorial program, with small groups working under the supervision of a learning specialist. Ninth graders who maintain an A or B level status are exempted from the point system for as long as they exhibit good conduct and quality schoolwork. Each student meets with his faculty advisor on a weekly basis. The school counselor is also available as a resource to discuss social, emotional and academic issues.

Hillside offers boys of average to above-average intelligence the chance to benefit from their “supportive and structured environment.” Many applicants have not worked up to their potential, either academically or socially. The boys are admitted based on past school transcripts, standardized test results, psychological/educational evaluations, and three character recommendations.

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