Hillsdale High School (San Mateo, California)

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Hillsdale High School
Hillsdale High School Logo.jpg
Hillsdale High School is located in San Francisco Bay Area
Hillsdale High School
Hillsdale High School
Hillsdale High School is located in California
Hillsdale High School
Hillsdale High School
Hillsdale High School is located in the United States
Hillsdale High School
Hillsdale High School
3115 Del Monte Street


United States
Coordinates37°31′57″N 122°18′46″W / 37.532403°N 122.312669°W / 37.532403; -122.312669Coordinates: 37°31′57″N 122°18′46″W / 37.532403°N 122.312669°W / 37.532403; -122.312669
TypePublic Secondary
PrincipalJeff Gilbert
Faculty79.1 (FTE) (2017-18)[1]
Number of students1,534 (2017-18)[1]
Student to teacher ratio19.4:1 (2017-18)[1]
Color(s)Columbia Blue, Scarlet Red
Athletics conferencePeninsula Athletic League
Team nameFighting Knights
RivalAragon High School
NewspaperHillsdale Scroll[2]
YearbookThe Hillsdale Shield

Hillsdale High School is a public co-educational high school in San Mateo, California serving grades 9–12 as part of the San Mateo Union High School District. Hillsdale generally serves the residents of San Mateo and Foster City. The main feeder schools to Hillsdale are the Abbott, Bayside, Borel, and Bowditch Middle Schools of the San Mateo-Foster City School District.


When it opened in 1955, Hillsdale High School was awarded the School Design Award from the American Institute of Architects. It served as the prototype for Bay Area high schools, with indoor/outdoor passages, landscaped courtyards, and skylights in classrooms.[3] The design is credited to John Lyon Reid.[4]

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, teachers Greg Jouriles and Sue Bedford developed and implemented an integrated humanities curriculum, scheduling social studies and English classes back-to-back. The extended periods were first rolled out to first-year honors students in 1989, followed by a parallel program implemented by Christine Del Gaudio and Marty Kongsle for the remaining first-year students in 1992.[5]:5 1994 marked the start of the annual Battle at Dawn, a re-enactment of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle for first-year students at HHS as part of their studies about World War I.[6][7]:8

In 1996, HHS proposed implementing a senior exhibition as a graduation requirement to pass fourth-year English classes. Students would have to defend a fifteen-page thesis before a three-member panel for their senior exhibition, which drew attention from parents concerned their children would not pass.[5]:7 The senior exhibition requirement was implemented in 1997, and the review of multiple drafts added a substantial load to teachers' grading burden, including one-on-one assistance and mentoring. As a result, a tutorial period was added to the teachers' schedules in 1999, and the English, social studies, and math teachers collaborated to create the Reflective, Eager, Aspiring, Learning Masters (REALM) program to help personalize instruction.[5]:8–9 Jeff Gilbert left HHS in 2001 to join the Stanford Teacher Education Program, introducing the two schools, and Stanford faculty entered into a Professional Development School relationship with HHS in the fall of 2001.[5]:10

In the early 2000s, HHS won multiple grants to transform school culture into small learning communities (SLC),[8] an approach championed by Linda Darling-Hammond,[9] who had introduced HHS faculty to the concept during a professional development day in January 2002.[5]:10 The planning for SLCs at HHS was funded by a spring 2002 federal grant which culminated in Coyote Point Day, a two-day discussion and planning session held offsite at Coyote Point Park in November 2002.[5]:11

Under the SLC model, incoming first-year students at HHS are divided into four houses (Florence, Kyoto, Oaxaca, and Marrakech), named for important medieval centers of learning; each house has approximately 100 students, who stay with a common set of teachers covering math, English, social science, and science for two years.[8][10]


SMUHSD residents approved Measure D in 2000[11] and Measure M in 2006,[12][13] which directly funded the repair and modernization of District schools, including Hillsdale.



2017-2018[1] 1,534 students: 816 male (53.2%), 718 female (46.8%)

White Hispanic Asian Two or More Races Pacific Islander African American American Indian
584 467 313 140 8 18 4
38.1% 30.4% 20.4% 9.1% 0.5% 1.2% 0.3%

Approximately 21.9% of the students at Hillsdale are served by the free or reduced-price lunch program.[1]


Hillsdale participates in the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) in the following sports:[14]


Hillsdale High School has received a number of awards and honors:

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Hillsdale High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  2. ^ Hillsdale Scroll
  3. ^ a b c d "About Us: Hillsdale High School History". San Mateo Union High School District. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  4. ^ Michelson, Alan. "San Mateo Union High School District (SMUHSD), Hillsdale High School, San Mateo, CA". Pacific Coast Architecture Database. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f School Redesign Network (2005). Windows on Conversions: Hillsdale High School, San Mateo, California (PDF) (Report). Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  6. ^ Mathews, Jay (March 25, 2018). "Duck! Ninth-graders learn on the battlefield while squirt guns squirt". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e "A Knight's Tale: 2016-2017" (PDF). Hillsdale High School. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  8. ^ a b Swartz, Angela (August 28, 2013). "A decade of small learning community success: Hillsdale continues to share its redesign with other U.S. high schools". San Mateo Daily Journal. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  9. ^ Mathews, Jay (November 6, 2011). "My high school's surprise transformation, and what it says about education reform". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  10. ^ KVIE Sacramento. "Hillsdale High: A Small Learning Community". Inside California Education. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Measure D: San Mateo Union High School District Bonds For Repair and Renovation". Smart Voter. November 7, 2000. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Measure M: Bond Measure — San Mateo Union High School District". Smart Voter. November 7, 2006. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  13. ^ "Measure M" (PDF). San Mateo Union High School District. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Peninsula Athletic League". Archived from the original on January 14, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  15. ^ "Blue Ribbon Schools Program, p.11" (PDF). U.S. Department of Education. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 30, 2014.
  16. ^ 2007 Distinguished Middle and High Schools - California Distinguished Schools Program (CA Dept of Education)
  17. ^ "Hillsdale wins state Mock Trial". The Daily Journal. March 23, 2010.
  18. ^ "America's Best High Schools 2011 - Newsweek and The Daily Beast". Archived from the original on 2011-10-16. Retrieved 2012-11-10.
  19. ^ "2016 Recipients - Schools of Opportunity". April 4, 2017.
  20. ^ a b c "Hillsdale High School Hall of Fame: 2018 Inductees" (PDF). Hillsdale High School Alumni. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  21. ^ Sue Lempert (28 July 2014). "Famous local high school graduates". San Mateo Daily Journal.
  22. ^ Mathews, Jay (February 5, 2000). "What Coach Vermeil Taught Me". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Hillsdale High School Hall of Fame: 2019 Inductees" (PDF). Hillsdale High School Alumni. Retrieved 18 June 2019.

External links[edit]