Hilldale School

Hilldale School provides a challenging, comprehensive, accelerated K-8 curriculum especially appropriate for bright, motivated, children.
Spanish, Music, Art, P.E., and Computer are a part of our balanced curriculum beginning in Kindergarten.
We emphasize international knowledge and understanding, environmental awareness and responsibility, positive ethical and social values, and critical thinking.
Teacher-student ratio of 1:18 or under allows a high level of personal attention.
Optional free AM and PM extended care with specialty workshops and swimming. Great family-oriented parent community!.

Quick Stats (2024)

Top Rankings

Hilldale School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in California for:

School History

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades Kindergarten-8
Year Founded

Student Body

Total Students
156 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 51%
Students by Grade
Hilldale School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
14 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
15 students
List of Courses Offered
Classroom Dress Code
Navy pants, polo shirt, and sweater for boys.

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
This tuition includes before and after school care, 7:30 - 6:00, homework supervision, and most workshops (except for Pre-K--$925 per month 8:40 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. plus additional charge for morning and afternoon care).
% on Financial Aid
Average Financial Aid Grant
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions Director
Erik Boice
Admissions Associate
Sasha Clayton


Total Sports Offered
1 sport


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
28 extracurriculars
and Sounds, Animal Care, Art Club, Basketball, Bricks4Kidz, Chess Club, Circus Arts, Cooking, Drama Club, Drumming/ Cuban Percussian, Enrichment Fridays, Gardening, Gymnastics, Hiking, Hip Hop Dance, Improv, Jr. Science Engineers, Music, Musical Theatre Ensemble, Photography, Robotics, Running, Russian, Soccer, Song, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Swimming, Yearbook Club

School Notes

  • Hilldale's Pre-Kindergarten emphasizes childhood literacy skills, math, science, social studies, art, music, and movement in order to prepare students for success in their educational life and beyond. Perfect for bright and gifted children who are ready to learn and have fun in a group setting! Our affiliated preschool, Early Learning Academy in Daly City, provides an excellent academic and social start for children ages 2-5.
Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Hilldale School cost?
Hilldale School's tuition is approximately $17,550 for private students.
What is the acceptance rate of Hilldale School?
The acceptance rate of Hilldale School is 60%, which is lower than the national average of 84%. Hilldale School's acceptance rate is ranked among the top private schools in California with low acceptance rates.
What sports does Hilldale School offer?
Hilldale School offers 1 interscholastic sports: Swimming.
What is Hilldale School's ranking?
Hilldale School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in California for: Lowest average acceptance rates, Most extracurriculars offered and Oldest founding date.
When is the application deadline for Hilldale School?
The application deadline for Hilldale School is rolling (applications are reviewed as they are received year-round).
In what neighborhood is Hilldale School located?
Hilldale School is located in the Hillside neighborhood of Daly City, CA. There are 1 other private schools located in Hillside.

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (3 reviews)
A few things we liked about Hilldale after speaking with the principal, reading the website, and speaking with a couple of parents:- the values of the school leadership, including an emphasis on behavioral norms, high expectations, etc.- they teach all subjects one grade level ahead- high emphasis on social-emotional learning at an age-appropriate level- they're serious about differentiation within the class (e.g. for math and English)- when differentiation isn't enough, they consider subject acceleration (e.g. 3rd grader in 5th-grade math)- price- extended care up to 6 pm at no extra charge;- they place kids after a half-day assessment, instead of by age. Any San Francisco school (either public or private) would have forced our son to do kindergarten because he was born 2 weeks after the cut-off, even though he had already mastered all of the academic content for that grade. Our expectations have been met. In addition:- an amazing parent community- an amazing principal who treats each child as an individual.
- Posted by
My three kids (ages 7, 9, 11) have been attending Hilldale School in Daly City since they were in Pre-K. When COVID hit, they transitioned seamlessly to all-virtual, without skipping a beat. My kids still covered all the intended curriculum for the year, and had fun doing it! They were in school from 8:30-3:30 pm on zoom, with regular breaks to avoid zoom fatigue - even my little kindergartener. And they covered all the intended curriculum for the year. Hilldale is an independent private school that is academically accelerated (sometimes 1-2 grades ahead of the public school system), with incredible teachers, a very strong community of parents and families (who are, for the most part, working parents), a rich program in the arts (music and art), world language and citizenship, and character education. Their mission is to meet the needs of accelerated and above-average students, which is often lacking in the public school system (no STEM programs, etc). The class sizes are small (12-18 students), allowing ample opportunity for differentiated learning (both within the class and intra-classes - some students may excel at math, and go up one grade for math, and then back to their home class because they might not be emotionally or socially ready to skip an entire grade). That differentiation is very fluid - it could change depending on the subject, the topic being discussed. This flexibility allows for our kids to get an education that is tailored to their individual learning needs. The school day goes from 8:30-3:30 pm, with no extra cost for extended care till 6 pm (all included in the tuition). The school year is longer than the traditional year (195 days), but that means more learning (and fewer summer camps you have to book)! They emphasize hands-on, project-based learning with fieldtrips that reinforce the content from class. For example, when my kids were learning about China, India, and Japan, we took fieldtrips to Chinatown, had a tour from a local grandma who had grown up there, and we explored her neighborhood. We went to the Japanese tea garden and had a tea tasting experience. When they studied ancient civilizations in 4th grade, we went to the amazing San Jose Egyptian museum to see the huge collection of Egyptian artifacts. They make learning fun and exciting!After-school enrichment programs are available for those (with a minimal additional cost), like cooking class, piano or guitar lessons, chess, lego class, and other fun sessions! There's a homework club that everyone automatically participates in if they're after school, with a dedicated teacher for that grade so that YOU don't have to hassle them to finish their homework when you get home. Ms. Sasha Clayton, the principal, is an incredible rock star! She is incredibly responsive, warm, and loving. She knows EVERY single child - their quirks, their likes and dislikes, and personalities. She is so responsive, communicative, and willing to incorporate parental feedback and will make changes swiftly if needed. When we had a teacher that was not a good fit last year, she addressed it head-on, observing the teacher in the classroom, watching recordings of her teaching sessions, had one-on-one feedback with the teacher, held parent meetings with us, where we voiced our concerns, and within a week, the teacher was gone and replaced with one that everyone loved. Her leadership through COVID has been tremendous. She is highly informed and thoughtful, had a steering committee of parents to help craft the policies and procedures, based on the most up-to-date science and public health guidelines. I'm an emergency physician and can attest that the school's policies and procedures have made all of us feel very safe. I guarantee that you will not find a better principal - she sets the tone for the school and sets her expectations high for the students and teachers. She's had a legacy of recruiting exceptional teachers. In short, we absolutely LOVE Hilldale. It's a hidden gem that is reasonably priced (when compared to other private schools in the SF Bay Area), and my kids have truly thrived because they are surrounded by kids who are bright, inquisitive, and love to learn. Hilldale is a place where it's "cool" to be smart and gifted. It's a place that is not only focused on academics but on the whole student - developing an ethical, responsible, civic-minded, compassionate, and kind human being. I wish I had been able to go to a school like Hilldale when I was a child. You will not find a better school for the price.
- Posted by
We currently send both of our boys to Hilldale and we love the school. Academically, the school is fantastic! The students learn a grade ahead (1st grade Hilldale students actually learn material taught in 2nd grade in public schools, etc). The school also has the ability to move students around to differentiate learning for students who benefit from moving up or down a level. The focus on social and emotional learning is a fantastic compliment to the academic rigor. The students have a friendship assembly every Wednesday where teachers and administration teach the children how to be better people through stories, skits, and exercises. There is also a virtue of the week as well as a kindness challenge each week that allows the students to focus on a specific element of citizenship for that week. I have been able to spend a lot of time around the students through volunteer activities and the older students genuinely treat each other with kindness and respect. They're not "normal" kids who bully or tease each other. It is very refreshing to know our boys could grow up to be kind like them. The school has an excellent community of families. Many of the parents spend time together in the morning at the weekly parent coffee gatherings or as observers to the school assemblies. We also have quite a few opportunities for play dates outside of school. Don't let the old facilities scare you away; there are big plans for renovations over the coming years. Beneath the surface, Hilldale is an amazing place, and the quality of education, both academic and interpersonal is definitely worth the reasonable tuition price.
- Posted by

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Quick Stats (2024)

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in San Mateo County, CA is $24,051 for elementary schools and $35,950 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in San Mateo County, CA is 72% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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