Building a Strong Foundation

The best way to learn about the program at Hill is to talk to us and visit. If you would like to learn more we hope you will contact us, either through email or by calling the school to set up an appointment. We are proud of our program and eager to discuss it with you.

English and Grammar

Throughout the year, the literature study coordinates with 8th grade American history. In the fall students read early American poetry and Across Five Aprils. In the winter they read poems about warfare and All Quiet on the Western Front. In the spring they read To Kill a Mockingbird.

Students write, both creative compositions and analytic essays. Students create and edit multiple drafts for most assignments.

Students build vocabulary through Membean, an online vocabulary program.

Students read a personally selected book for at least 2 hours over the weekend.


While we believe that developing a solid set of procedural math skills is vital for all students, we also encourage students to engage in productive struggle, to listen to and to learn from each other, and to defend their ideas. We help students understand themselves as mathematicians. Students study Algebra I or Introduction to Algebra I with pre-algebraic review. Emphasis is placed on the multiple representations of functions. Students also will discuss and practice strategies appropriate for multiple choice and standardized tests.


This course introduces students to American History and related world topics from the beginning of the Civil War to the present. Topics include the Civil War, Reconstruction, Reform Movements, Native Americans, Industrialization, Immigration and Urbanization (1876-1900), Progressivism, Depression, World Wars I & II (1910-1946), the Cold War Era, and western Political/Economic Systems. Students utilize a textbook written by Mr. Woodruff, the 8th grade History teacher. Students prepare essays, monograph reports,  oral presentations, and special research projects (immigration, presidential biographies, American heroes, Americans of African descent).


The year begins with an exploration of cells, heredity, and classification. The eighth grade conducts water quality field studies in conjunction with the Save Our Streams organization in the fall and in the spring. In the winter, they learn about chemical building blocks and chemical interactions.  In March, students work on a project related to the Cultural Study program. In the spring, they explore micro-organisms, fungi, and plant processes. Throughout the year, students will read current events articles in science related to the topics covered. They end the year with learning about forces and motion while creating inventions.

Science textbooks are from the Holt Science and Technology Short Course series. Special emphasis is placed this year on writing formal lab reports.

Latin and Spanish

The Latin course completes the second half of the traditional high school Latin I course begun in the seventh grade. The emphasis is on grammar, translation, comprehension, and vocabulary (including English derivatives), with special topics in history, geography, Roman culture, and mythology from 509 BC to the Early Empire. This year the 8th grade will also be participating in the ACE (Ancient Coins for Education) Program, through which each student will identify and research an actual ancient Roman coin. Homework: 30 minutes nightly; one weekly vocabulary quiz, one weekly grammar quiz.

The 8th grade Spanish course will cover many topics designed to complete a Spanish I course. This will include reinforcing lessons covered in previous coursework, as well as new topics of vocabulary such as vacations and travel, daily routines, and clothes. Grammar topics will include common and irregular verb conjugation, past tenses, and using linking words to promote oral and written fluidity. The course will also have a cultural component with lessons on elements of Spanish culture and regular projects relating to the Spanish-speaking world. Students will be assessed on class participation, conversations, regular quizzes and homework which will consist of writing, reading, and review assignments.


The art program teaches students to interpret and understand the world from the artist’s point of view. Students learn to recognize and use the concepts of design and composition which are the building blocks of art. We strongly encourage experimentation. Art is integrated into many aspects of school life, supporting the Science, English, and History programs with interdisciplinary projects. Student work is always on display around the school and in the art building. The art department presents an art show each spring in which every student is represented. Our goal is to let students create work which expresses their individuality by providing them with the necessary technical skills and with the opportunities to experiment and invent.

Music and Theater

All instruction in music and drama culminate this fall in the eighth grade’s full musical production. Rehearsing begins in September and students will practice three to four days a week until the performance in November.  At the same time the class is learning choral music for the Holiday program. In the spring, vocal solos, duets, and trios are encouraged as part of the final 7th and 8th Grade Concert. The class also performs in the Holiday Concert, the Spring Sing Concert, and at Graduation.


The athletic department helps children develop positive habits of lifelong fitness and the desire to achieve their personal best in all endeavors. To achieve this, every child participates and competes in a variety of team and individual activities that promote sportsmanship, confidence, and competence in a physically and emotionally safe environment.  Basic skills, teamwork, and conditioning are emphasized. Students participate in soccer, cross country running, basketball, gymnastics, track & field, lacrosse, and other games. Additionally, students participate in interscholastic competition and intramural green-white games.

Upper School Academic Support

The Academic Support program strives to promote students’ understanding of their individual learning styles and empower them to become self-advocates. This class is designed for students to work on improving literacy skills, organization, time management, and study and test taking strategies. Students are supported in their work for core academic classes through individualized accommodations, and this class meets four times a week in place of Latin or Spanish. All students are involved in creating personal learning profiles, and emphasis is placed on the transition to high school. A small structured study hall is available after school.

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After School