Award Year: 2021

Hillside Elementary School

340 Homans Avenue
Closter, NJ, 07624-2907

(201) 768-3860

Ms. Dianne Smith, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Closter Public School District

School Website

School Twitter


The Hillside Elementary School mission is to show a concern for each child and be committed to excellence.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 45%
  • Hispanic: 9%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 2%
  • Asian: 41%
  • Two or more races: 3%
Korean Fan Dance at Lunar New Year Celebration

Korean Fan Dance at Lunar New Year Celebration

Hillside Elementary School in Closter, New Jersey is a school community that strives for excellence with supportive programs. The school is led by competent, caring administrators and features the talents of highly-skilled faculty and staff. The commitment of the Closter families is evident in their daily support and through an active Parent Teacher Organization.

Students thrive in an environment that fosters creativity, problem solving, global thinking, and an unparalleled commitment to caring in everything they do. With the locally developed, social emotional curriculum known as ICARE, students find deeper meaning in being kind and brave. Whether it is during classroom discussions, respecting individuals, showing social awareness, promoting positive attitudes, empathizing with others, or internalizing integrity, the students of Hillside grow as learners and as people.

Additionally, the science and STEM programs are models for hands-on learning and design thinking. Students get to explore and take risks as they learn about the environment and present innovative solutions to world problems. Anyone observing students would be inspired by the students' excitement and collaboration.

Finally, Hillside School celebrates its diversity in special ways that enhance the student experience. Many languages are spoken in Closter and cultural celebrations, such as those for Lunar New Year, are well established within the school community.