Hill­side El­e­men­tary School at Te­soro Viejo com­pletes suc­cess­ful in­au­gu­ral year

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Real Estate -

The end of the school year brings smiles to the faces of stu­dents and teach­ers. But, the smiles at Hill­side El­e­men­tary School mean so much more this year.

Com­plet­ing its in­au­gu­ral school year, Hill­side El­e­men­tary is lo­cated in Te­soro Viejo — Madera County’s new­est, award-win­ning master-planned com­mu­nity.

“It was such a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Alden Washam whose fourth­grade son at­tended Hill­side El­e­men­tary School’s in­au­gu­ral school year. “The sup­port we got from all the teach­ers and the prin­ci­pal was amaz­ing.”

The suc­cess­ful first school year was cel­e­brated with a kinder­garten grad­u­a­tion and an eighth-grade pro­mo­tion cer­e­mony. Hill­side El­e­men­tary School opened last Au­gust for the 2018-2019 school year in Hill­side Vil­lage, Te­soro Viejo’s first res­i­den­tial vil­lage. The school serves stu­dents in tran­si­tional kinder­garten through eighth grade with an on­site preschool.

“My son ab­so­lutely loved preschool,” says Syd­ney Dehlan who is one of the first res­i­dents to move into Te­soro Viejo. “I ex­pect a smooth tran­si­tion into kinder­garten next year, par­tic­u­larly since he can walk to school.”

Built as a true neigh­bor­hood school, Hill­side El­e­men­tary School is part

of the Chawana­kee Uni­fied School Dis­trict. Be­cause of the nat­u­ral beauty of Te­soro Viejo land­scape, stu­dents spent a lot of time out­side learn­ing — some­thing that Hill­side El­e­men­tary School Prin­ci­pal Jared Pierce is proud of.

“Our stu­dents’ learn­ing is not con­fined by the class­room,” Pierce says. “I of­ten said to a group of stu­dents, ‘let’s go for a walk.’ ”

There’s noth­ing tra­di­tional about Hill­side El­e­men­tary School, as the in­au­gu­ral staff was chal­lenged to cre­ate an ed­u­ca­tional en­vi­ron­ment that en­gaged and in­spired stu­dents to dig deeper and be ac­tive par­tic­i­pants in their own learn­ing.

“They have built such a great foun­da­tion,” Washam says. “This is re­ally a family where the older kids look out for the younger kids.”

Set­ting a strong foun­da­tion and cre­at­ing a cul­ture where stu­dents take charge of their own pos­i­tive be­hav­ior was some­thing that was a top pri­or­ity for the school, says Pierce.

“We fo­cus how we want stu­dents to be­have and let them take charge of their own be­hav­ior,” Pierce says. “We hold them ac­count­able so that they are in tune with their en­vi­ron­ment and can man­age them­selves and the group — skills we want them to have as adults.”

Hill­side El­e­men­tary School is at the cen­ter of Hill­side Vil­lage. The com­mu­nity has an am­phithe­ater, which is home to Live on the Lawn, an out­door con­cert se­ries; a re­sort­style club­house called The Ranch House with pools, splash pads and ca­banas; two neigh­bor­hood parks; in ad­di­tion to miles of trails and pre­served open spa­ces.

Open­ing this fall, the Ranch House has been de­signed for flex­i­ble gath­er­ing spa­ces in­clud­ing a bar­be­cue pavil­ion with event lawn, fire-pit con­ver­sa­tion ar­eas, an out­door liv­ing room with fire­place and sur­round­ing moun­tain views. In­doors, the club­house will fea­ture a mul­ti­pur­pose room with ad­ja­cent prep kitchen ideal for family cel­e­bra­tions and private oc­ca­sions, a Club Room with tele­vi­sions, plus a flex-space room for meet­ings, classes and events.

For Hill­side El­e­men­tary School par­ents like Washam, AXIS — the neigh­bor­hood cof­fee bar and eatery — is an added bonus.

“We love AXIS,” Washam says. “When my hus­band drops off my son, he likes to go early so he can get a cof­fee and a pas­try.”

Model homes at Te­soro Viejo are now open, fea­tur­ing three new neigh­bor­hoods by two leg­endary builders, McCaf­frey Homes with its Al­tura and Oaks neigh­bor­hoods and D.R. Hor­ton with The Bluffs. In­ter­ested home shop­pers are in­vited to tour the nine pro­fes­sion­ally dec­o­rated mod­els homes that are open daily. Plus K. Ho­va­nian Homes will be un­veil­ing its Vista Bella neigh­bor­hood this sum­mer with four new floor plans.

The state-of-the-art wel­come cen­ter, The Hub, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon­day through Satur­day and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sun­day. Vis­i­tors can view the ameni­ties within Hill­side Vil­lage, in­clud­ing the Ranch House — the re­sort-style club­house and recre­ation cen­ter — Har­vest and Cor­don parks, am­phithe­ater, pre­served open space and trails.

Te­soro Viejo is lo­cated east of High­way 41, just north of River Park. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.tesoroviej­o.com.

Hill­side El­e­men­tary School kinder­garten teacher Brook­lyn Fu­son cel­e­brates with one of her stu­dents. The school opened in Au­gust 2018 and serves stu­dents in tran­si­tional kinder­garten through eighth grade.

Chawana­kee Uni­fied Su­per­in­ten­dent Dar­ren Sylvia con­grat­u­la­tions a mem­ber of the first-ever eighth-grade class at Hill­side El­e­men­tary School. The eighth-grade class was cel­e­brated with a pro­mo­tion cer­e­mony.

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