Core Elements of Hillcrest as a Community School Academic Instruction Kindergarten Kinder Field Trips First Grade Second Grade Third Grade Fourth Grade Fifth Grade Support Services Enrichment LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER Literacy
Afterschool Programs Enrichment Hillcrest Project SF
Special Education Student Work Lunar New Year Celebration
Education Outside
Food Bank Family Support Network Parent Teacher Association
Wellness Behavior Coaching Wellness
DCYF Edgewood ExperienceCorps Family Support Network Instituto Reading Partners SCORES SF Ed Fund SF Food Bank SF-CESS

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Our Community School

Hillcrest is a safe, happy multilingual and multicultural school located at the crest of Silver Avenue between the Portola and Excelsior Districts in southeast San Francisco.

Our mission is to engage students to become enthusiastic, lifelong learners who will make positive contributions to their families and their communities.

We have one of the most beautiful elementary schools in San Francisco with a gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria, gorgeous library and a school garden. We have a fully developed arts program, as well as an excellent after school program with enrichment opportunities and plenty of academic support. We are full of supportive staff and families who are full of energy and share a vision of providing an academically challenging school experience while also ensuring a consistently caring school climate that validates each for who they are. Come visit us! 

A Message from the Principal

At Hillcrest we are deeply committed to improving the academic, social and emotional well-being of our students and their families. We have a wonderfully supportive staff and families who are full of energy and share a vision of providing an academically challenging school experience while also ensuring a consistently caring climate that validates each for who they are.

We have worked hard to make sure our families feel welcome and valued at Hillcrest and to a large extent we have succeeded in this. They trust us to provide their children with the best education and after school experience possible and we don't take this trust lightly.

As a staff we have explored our own personal stories as they relate to questions of equity and academic achievement. We have engaged in hard conversations about race and continually sharpen our focus on those students that have been historically underserved.

What is a community school?

A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities.  A Community School is not a program, but rather a collaborative approach to supporting student success.  It is not just a set of services, but rather, a different way of doing business, one in which all stakeholders are in authentic relationship and have a shared vision for success.  The nature of these partnerships is the key, not the number or type of services and supports provided.

Why a Community School?

A good education is the strongest predictor of success in life and yet many children are faced with daunting challenges that significantly diminish their ability to regularly attend and participate in school.  Unmet mental and physical health needs, hunger, unstable housing and pervasive violence in their neighborhoods are just some of the barriers students encounter.  For these children and their families, a Community School acts as the primary resource for a range of vital services to help them not only attend, but also engage and thrive in school.

What are some examples of services?

  • Adult education
  • Student enrichment
  • Recreation
  • After-school programs integrated and aligned with the school day.
  • Robust volunteerism & tutoring
  • Mental, physical & behavioral health services
  • Early childhood services
  • Direct family support services & information and referral
  • Case management

What are some ways that success is measured?

  • Improved student achievement
  • Increased parent involvement
  • Higher student and teacher attendance
  • Improved school climate
  • Stable school population
  • Improved mental and physical health
  • Decreased special education referrals

Critical Components for a Successful Community School

Parents/Family Members/Caretakers are the most important component to a successful Community School.  They should be fully engaged in determining the particular needs and solutions for their communities as well as being actively involved in the implementation and evaluation of the resulting programs. 

Community School Coordinators are the "community organizer" of the school and community.  They create, strengthen, and maintain the bridge between the school and community. Community school coordinators facilitate and provide leadership for the collaborative process and development of a continuum of services for children, families and community members within a school neighborhood.

Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) are integral to community schools.  These CBOs could be working in the areas of: health and human services; arts and cultural institutions; recreation; libraries; youth development groups; community development agencies; education; volunteerism and many more. 

School Staff from administrators, to classroom teachers, to support staff, to the janitor need to be brought in for the Community School model to truly succeed.  Lines of communication need to be clear and trust and strong relationships are vital.  In addition it is very helpful to have district staff and a Board of Education that are supportive of your vision.

Students (!) are why we do what we do, right?  Children of all ages can be involved in actively creating a positive school climate and older elementary through middle and high school students should be involved in some type of leadership capacity in your Community School effort.


Community School Resources and Websites


The Coalition for Community Schools brings together local, state and national organizations that represent individuals and groups engaged in creating and sustaining community schools. The Coalition offers numerous tools and publications, most of which can be accessed via the web, regarding the development, implementation and sustainability of community schools.


California Center for Community-School Partnerships (CCSP) at UC Davis is designed to provide training and technical services to local partnerships seeking to develop learning supports and services through community-school partnerships. The CCSP also houses the Healthy Start Field Office and accompanying Clearinghouse.


Partnership for Children and Youthhelps schools in low-income communities successfully access public funding for critical support programs for students and their families. The Partnership’s mission is to ensure all children equal access to the supports and opportunities they need to be successful in school and in life. They act as an information resource and can provide grant writing assistance, program implementation support and sustainability


John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities (JGC)has been a leader in developing programs and strategies that increase youth engagement, and youth leadership. Based on ten years of experience in the Redwood City School District JGC has developed resources that cater to the needs of teachers, after-school program directors, administrators and technical assistance providers that want to implement community school principles in their schools. 

Upcoming Events

Hillcrest Project SF: June 8, 2015 - July 17, 2015

*Friday, July 3rd, 2015: NO CAMP


*First day of school is Monday, August 17th.


April 14-15, 2015: Special thanks to the student volunteers from Lick Wilmerding for engaging in structured games with our students on the yard during lunch recess. The students of Hillcrest loved spending time with the volunteers and were thrilled to have new materials and equipment to play with!

Hillcrest Project SF 2015 - Community Meeting Performance

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