from the Head of School
Since our founding in 1935, Hillbrook School has been committed to a simple and compelling vision - to inspire students to achieve their dreams and reach beyond themselves to make a difference in the world.
At the center of our Marchmont campus lies the Village of Friendly Relations, a set of small buildings designed and built by our earliest students back in the late 1930s. School founder Mary Orem imagined that this small working village, which included a bank, general store, and a newspaper, would help children learn how to collaborate and co-exist and provide the children the skills they would need to help ensure a more peaceful and just world. Innovative and inspiring, the Village of Friendly Relations was highlighted in Sunset Magazine in the late 1930s.
Today, we are transitioning into a two-campus, JK-12. Our new Upper School, opening Fall 2023, will be located in Downtown San Jose, as we restore two historic spaces - the Moir Building and the Armory. Our new campus, like our existing campus, will serve as an inspiring space for students to learn and grow, and we are excited to see how “the city as classroom” creates a challenging and dynamic learning experience for our oldest students.
More than 85 years after our founding, we remain a school that is at the leading edge of education. Our innovative program provides the just right challenge for each student, balancing skill development with integrated project-based learning, and includes dedicated time each week for students to reach beyond and make a difference in the world. We are also home to the Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship, one of the only JK-12 centers dedicated to social impact education in the world, and the Hub, a state-of-the-art makerspace on the Marchmont Campus that serves as our epicenter for design, science, art, and engineering (the Upper School campus will have its own state-of-the-art design and engineering space too!) We are deeply committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and action, knowing that the best schools and the strongest academic programs are also intentionally diverse communities. At every step of the way, our school is connected by a close-knit, welcoming, generous community, whose support helps make a campus like ours possible.
We encourage you to step foot on one of our two campuses and enter spaces where students are known and valued as learners, where exceptional educators co-design learning experiences each day that challenge students to reach their highest potential, and where laughter, friendship, and joy are an integral part of our community.
Hillbrook is an extraordinary place to be a student. We hope you will visit soon.
Recommended Reading from Mark Silver
Imaginable, Jane McGonigal
Thinking in Bets, Annie Duke
Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Khaneman
How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott Haims
Apeirogon, Colum McCann
Enjoy More Content from Mark:
- ReMarks & Reflections: Mark's Blog
Follow ReMarks & Reflections, the Blog of Hillbrook's Head of School.
- Listen to Mark Silver's Podcast About Hillbrook
Subscribe to Mark's weekly 3-minute JAM about Hillbrook School - posted every Wednesday!