Hillside Elementary School received national recognition by American School & University magazine for its outstanding education design. Each year American School & University publishes the Architectural Portfolio to showcase award-winning ideas and innovations for America’s schools and universities.
“This recognition is a testament to the commitment of our Board to provide high-quality facilities that support student learning,” said Darren Sylvia, superintendent of Chawanakee Unified School District. “The innovative design provides flexible spaces for our teachers to collaborate and for our students to learn in a project-based environment that is not defined by classroom walls.”
This is the second recognition of outstanding architectural design for Hillside Elementary School. The school was the only new elementary school in the Central Valley to receive an award of distinction from the 2019 Education Design Showcase awards by School Planning & Management.
Designed by Integrated Designs by SOMAM, Inc., Hillside Elementary School is the first school to be built in Tesoro Viejo. The school is recognized for its flexible building design that accommodates a collaborative learning environment and welcomes the community to share its facilities. Hillside Elementary School’s award-winning design features a 12-foot sliding door system that allows for innovative instruction. The oversized openings expand the learning space where teachers can collaborate with other teachers and provide learning opportunities outside the traditional classroom walls.
Chawanakee Unified opened Hillside Elementary School in August 2018 well ahead of the first residents moving in. The state-of-art school is located in Hillside Village, Tesoro Viejo’s inaugural residential village. Serving students in transitional kindergarten through 8th grade, Hillside Elementary School offers a strong science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum. Students learn by doing with project-based learning and the “outdoor classroom” concept allows for hands-on learning with the natural resources of the community’s landscape.
Hillside Elementary School is designed for 600 students, consists of three classroom wings with central corridors, STEM Lab, administration, state-of-the-art library/media center “Learning Laboratory,” and a gymnasium that also serves as a multipurpose space. It is a true community asset. The library/media center and multipurpose/gym are open to the public after school hours. Parents are able to reserve conference meeting rooms, recreational leagues are able to use the gymnasium and playfields, and the stage can be used for community theater.
Serving 1,200 students in eastern Madera Couty, Chawanakee Unified School District prides itself in delivering a rigorous educational program in a small learning environment. Smaller class sizes allows teachers to provide personalized education and project-based learning opportunities. Driven by a 21st century curriculum with state-of-the-art technology at its core, Chawanakee Unified prepares students for success in college and career. Students have access to a dual-platform technology program equipped with iPads, Chromebooks, and MacBook Air computers.
Since 1983, American School & University magazine has hosted the premier competitions for education design projects. School administrators and others interested in educational facilities look to the fall Architectural Portfolio as guides to award-winning ideas and innovations for America’s schools and universities.