History of Hillside
Hillside Elementary was built in 1955 to support a booming post -World War II community of married GI’s and their children. Taking its name from the nearby Fixley Hillside Farm, Hillside became the fourth elementary school in the Westside Community School District. The Hillside neighborhood continued to grow drastically in the years following its conception, and by 1958, Hillside school had an enrollment of over 1,000 students.
The Westside Community Schools expanded the schools in 1957 with a building addition and the purchase of seven cottages or small houses on 72nd Street to accommodate the influx of students. The kindergartens through third grade classrooms were housed in these cottages. In 1968, Hillside’s cottages were discontinued as classrooms, but were used for an early childhood education program for children four years of age.
In another attempt to assist with high enrollment, sixth-grade students from Hillside began attending Westbrook Junior High School in 1983. At the end of the 1986-87 school year, Westbrook Junior High closed its doors and the sixth-graders returned to Hillside.
During the summer of 2004 Hillside began its latest renovation process since 1975. The renovation was completed in three phases that consisted of cosmetic changes, building expansion and reconfiguring the parking lots.
Today, the Hillside Elementary neighborhood continues to pull new families to the Westside Community Schools due in part to affordable housing. In the last five years, Hillside has averaged around 450 students, making it one of the largest elementary schools in the district.
In 2004, Hillside received the Inviting Schools Award from the International Alliance for Invitational Education. Hillside continues to make strides in invitational education by inviting parents to take an active role in working with students in school. It is Hillside’s goal to continue to be inviting to all past, present, and future members of its community.