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Welcome to Hillcrest Elementary School

Thanks for stopping by the Internet home of Hillcrest Elementary School! We are part of the Gill-Montague Regional School District located in the New England town of Montague, Massachusetts. Montague enjoys a rich colonial and industrial history, featuring historic mills and rich farmland. Our school and our dedicated teachers and staff serve a student body of pre-kindergarten through first grade students. We invite you to get to know us better and learn more about the enriching and fun experiences all of our young students take part in each day at Hillcrest.

We invite you to explore the pages of our online home to learn more about our school as well as the exciting news and upcoming events that keep our students busy and happy and striving for excellence.

A Message from Our Principal

Dear Hillcrest Families,

The school year is well underway, and we’re seeing so much growth among our students! Can you believe that one third of the school year has already passed? I am sure you’ve seen tremendous changes in your Hillcrest student since September. As I visit classrooms each day, I am impressed by the gains in language, literacy, and mathematics skills as well as the social and emotional progress each child is making each day. Children are talking with each other about their learning, asking and answering questions about stories and math problems, and working together to solve simple social problems. Preschoolers are drawing detailed pictures on their play plans, kindergarten students are adding initial sounds to each word of their sentences in their chapter summaries, and first graders are writing three or four complete sentences in their Weekend News. Preschool mathematicians are counting the number of sunny days each month, kindergartners are sequencing numbers from 1 - 20, and first graders are creating and solving subtraction problems. Sprinkle in some science and social studies, and you’ll find learning in every nook and cranny of the building! Beyond the traditional academics, our teachers are always working to support our students’ social and emotional growth. Building new friendships and feeling a sense of connection to the school community are essential to children’s success in school.

Over the Thanksgiving break, I encourage you to talk to your Hillcrest student about their new school friends and to find out what they enjoy the most about their time at school. You may get the traditional response, “I love recess!” or you may discover that your little one has a new passion for math games, has learned all about watercolors in art class, or is hoping to teach you a song he or she has learned at our monthly all school sing. Ask your Hillcrest student to teach you something new. It could be a card game, a poem, or a P.E. game. I know you’ll be impressed by your child’s newfound skills. Just last week, a first grader taught me a new game for learning first grade sight words. As he proudly showed me how to use magnetic letters and a dry erase marker on a shiny cookie tray to write “the”, “and”, and “like”, he told me, “You can do this too, Mrs. Burstein. Do you have any cookie trays at home? You really should do this so you can learn some new words!” That sweet little suggestion made my day and certainly made me feel thankful for all of the rewards of being the principal of Hillcrest. 

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sarah Burstein

Sarah Burstein, Principal