Our Program

Hillside School provides specialized instruction for students from first grade through high school in a supportive environment. We enable students with dyslexia and other learning differences to reach their academic potential and become capable and confident learners.

Key components of Hillside’s program

Half-Day Program

  • Students attend Hillside for either the morning or afternoon session
    • Morning: 8:00 – 11:00
    • Afternoon: 12:00 – 3:00
  • The other half of the day is spent at the student’s public, private or home school.
  • Hillside teachers communicate with teachers from the student’s other  school as much as possible to ensure consistency, and to work together on goal-setting and IEP or 504 coordination.

Small Group Setting

  •  4 students and 1 teacher per class.
  • Classes  are formed based on academic needs, grade level, and student personality.

Core Teaching Practices

  • Individualized instruction to capitalize on students’ strengths while targeting skills and concepts that need deeper development
  • Skills are explicitly taught and student’s level of mastery is tracked as the learning progresses. This helps eliminate the frustration of moving forward before fully learning important, prerequisite skills.
  • Repetition, frequent review and application of skills being learned is interwoven throughout the program
  • Immediate feedback is provided to reinforce correct responses
  • Multisensory teaching methods are used to facilitate deeper understanding of concepts and allow learning to happen in more than one modality
  • Strategies are incorporated to ensure mastery and independence with skills taught
  • Students are taught about how the brain learns, including:
    •  Input, storage, and retrieval of information
    • The importance of repetition and practice in creating mastery of a concept
    • Understanding and learning strategies to manage the stress response

   Academics at Hillside

Every group at Hillside receives remediation from a highly-trained, experienced, and certified teacher in the areas of reading, written language, and math, broken up into three fifty-minute sessions.

   Orton-Gillingham Based Instruction

Hillside provides daily skills practice in phonological awareness, decoding, spelling and fluency using strategies from a variety of evidence-based teaching methodologies, including Orton-Gillingham, to best meet the learning needs of each student.

   Reading Comprehension and Written Expression

The application of literacy skills is developed through structured vocabulary instruction, examining text structure, and oral and written language activities.  By explicitly linking reading comprehension and written composition in an ordered, consistent format, students deepen their understanding of written language.

   Math

Multisensory instruction aligns with the Common Core standards as appropriate for each student. An individualized plan is developed with primary goals of building foundational skills and ensuring mastery of concepts at an appropriate pace. Conceptual understanding of math foundations are developed through building models and drawing representations to support the rote application of algorithms.