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About Our School

Hillcrest Community School

Hillcrest is a joyful community of artful learners. Our mission is to inspire, challenge, and empower student learning through the arts. We are a community school, welcoming students from the entire Bloomington community. Students are selected from a lottery applicant pool. Free bus transportation is available for any Bloomington residents attending Hillcrest Community School.
Artful Learning

Hillcrest Community School embeds the arts into learning in every classroom by using the Artful Learning® instructional model from the late composer Leonard Bernstein’s organization. This nationally recognized and highly researched instructional model integrates fine art masterworks and arts-based learning strategies into daily curriculum. Students learn core academics through arts focused experiences, inquiry, creation, and reflection. Resident artists regularly visit our classes to work with students, and students take many field trips to performances and art spaces around the Twin Cities.

Hillcrest Community School holds students to high expectations and rigorous academic standards. We take pride in fully preparing every student for success in middle school both academically and as a citizen of our community. The Artful Learning curriculum supports the Bloomington Public Schools core curriculum. Students spend time daily on math, science, literacy (reading, writing, speaking, listening), and social studies in their grade level classrooms and have music, visual art, and physical education every three days. Content is integrated among/between subjects whenever possible.

Mission Statement:  Hillcrest Community School is more than a school. We are a joyful community of learners. Together through the arts, we inspire, challenge and empower.

Grade Levels: Kindergarten through 5th grade

Principal: Don Gramenz

Points of Pride

  • Artful Learning® Legacy School status in 2015

  • Ordway Center for Performing Arts Sally Award Winner - Arts Education in 2012

  • No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School in 2007

  • 5-star ratings on Math and Reading scores, by the Minnesota Department of Education, under No Child Left Behind legislation.

  • Arts Integrated Focus: Hillcrest provides an arts integrated focus in the schools' curriculum, which features the visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, and media arts.

Additional Features

  • Before and after school program that offers extended care for families. Kids’ SAFARI also offers many clubs for students, such as Spanish, chess, cooking, skateboarding, skiing, being in a play, adventure clubs (visiting areas around Twin Cities) and much more.

  • Character Education, emphasizing Respect and Consideration, is emphasized through our International Peace Site.

  • Boulé groups build community as students and siblings remain in the same group during their Hillcrest years. The Boulé curriculum builds self-esteem and fosters community service and care for the environment. Boulés support the expectation that students and adults will act with Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Citizenship, Honesty, and Teamwork.

  • Everyone is a part of our student's education. Parents are engaged in educational activities and school governance. Hillcrest has a vigorous PTSA supports educational programs.

Thank you for your interest in Hillcrest! We are thrilled that you are interested in learning more about our school and the possibility of registering your child(ren) to attend Hillcrest!
We encourage you to come and visit Hillcrest to determine if the school is a good fit for your child(ren). You don’t truly know a school until you’ve visited it, and besides, we love to show our Artful Learning program off. 

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