About Our School » About Our School

About Our School

Hillside Avenue School (K-8)
125 Hillside Avenue Cranford NJ 07016
Phone: 908-709-6229    Fax: 908-709-6257
Kevin Deacon, Principal
Phone: 908-709-6229
Nicole Vaccaro, Assistant Principal
Phone: 908-709-6239

Hillside Avenue School is a student-centered, multicultural environment reflecting an active partnership between students, parents, staff and the community. In addition to the regular instructional program, other school-wide initiatives help to build a strong learning community. At Hillside Avenue School, the six pillars of good character are modeled and learned: fairness, respect, responsibility, truthfulness, caring and citizenship. We have initiatives to help eliminate bullying behavior and we strive to create an environment where all children can and do learn. Students learn conflict resolution skills and student mediators assist in this process. Hillside Avenue School accepts and respects each student as an individual of worth and dignity, celebrates differences, and encourages creativity and freedom of expression.

Hillside Avenue School houses students from kindergarten through eighth grade and utilizes the team concept for the middle school program. The concept of teaming is an essential component of our school program and allows us to maximize student achievement. Every student in our school has a network of supportive, caring educational professionals dedicated to helping him or her succeed. Grade-level teams of teachers collaborate to meet the needs of our students in a number of areas within and beyond the scope of academics. Our teachers meet regularly for a variety of purposes, which include coordination of instruction, identification of student concerns and the development of assistive interventions. Team meetings also provide a venue through which parents and teachers share insights that may contribute to student success. Special Education, Gifted and Talented, English as a Second Language and Basic Skills services are available to our students in Kindergarten through eighth grade.

Teachers are committed to the academic and social development of students. Our tirelessly dedicated staff strives to foster in students, a life long interest in learning, nuanced critical thinking, and a feeling of self confidence. Staff members continually seek professional development opportunities in order to hone their skills in the art of teaching. The “Teaching for Understanding” model of curriculum design has been one of the cornerstones of our teachers’ instructional practices. This framework coupled with our focused professional development on Learning Styles, Multiple Intelligences, and Differentiated Instruction, has certainly enhanced not only the instructional process, but also student understanding and learning.

To further the development of a student-centered curriculum, our fifth and sixth grade teachers are implementing strategic steps to personalize learning. Fifth grade students complete Kaleidoscope Profiles to identify in on student interests and strengths. This year, our sixth grade team will engage in professional development opportunities to aid in the early stages of personalized learning plans for each sixth grade student.

We are also proud to be part of Cranford’s Professional Development Schools, which partners Hillside Avenue School with Seton Hall University to help train future teachers, and to provide our own teachers with ongoing support and skill enhancement.

An active parent/teacher organization at Hillside Avenue School helps to strengthen the bond between home and school. Parents play an active role in the school community by volunteering for many classroom and school-wide activities. Indeed, parents have joined with teachers and administrators to form a school-based planning committee that shares in the decision-making affecting our children.

Hillside Avenue School’s mission is to create a learning environment that encourages individual as well as interpersonal growth, a love of learning, and a commitment to improving and caring for the community. Our annual school-wide theme unites us to work together toward achieving our common goal: “Making today’s learners tomorrow’s leaders.”