Award Year: 2013

Forest Hills Elementary School

155 Mount View Avenue
Danville, VA, 24541-0000

(434) 799-6430

Catherine Lassiter, Principal at time of Nomination

Danville Public Schools

School Website


To develop independent learners who respect themselves and others as unique individuals while striving to reach their fullest academic potential in core subjects and the arts.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 37%
  • White: 51%
  • Hispanic: 9%
  • Asian: 1%
  • Two or more races: 2%
  • ELL: 76%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %

Forest Hills resides in a community that has suffered severe economic losses in the past ten years. This has resulted in the community having the second highest unemployment rate in the state and the highest percentage of children living in poverty in the state. Loss of employment opportunities has caused a decline in population and the closing of four elementary schools.

Forest Hills' chief challenge has been to adapt to a constantly changing culture while maintaining a high level of student achievement required by state testing. In addition, we have worked to maintain a strong offering of Spanish and the arts as well as high standards of citizenship.

Forest Hills is strongly supported by our families. We have open lines of communication between home and school. In addition to teachers being in contact with our parents, we send home grades and school information weekly, team letters and calendars monthly, and the principal does a phone call-out every Sunday to all students' homes. Our PTO board meets weekly at the school and involves the administration and faculty in developing programs to support the academics and special programs. We are currently developing a recycling program with the students and the larger community.

This wonderful school has been able to meet expectations of excellence because of the determination of the faculty, the students, and the community. There are no magic bullets here, no amazing curriculum that is the secret to our success. However, there is a tried and true philosophy at work on The Hill. Every teacher "owns" their students, using data to teach and remediate each individual and establishing a personal relationship with every student.