About Us

Last Updated: 10/19/2018 7:47 PM

The Hillside Public School District is located in Union County, New Jersey, and serves Prek-12th grade students.


Hillside Fun Facts

  • Created from parcels of land carved out of neighboring Newark, Elizabeth and Union
  • Spans 2.76 square miles
  • Originally contained the farms of Woodruff, Conant and Saybrook.  Local streets still bear their names
  • Incorporated after the appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1910.  For this reason, the team’s nickname of the high school is Comets
  • Woodruff House is one of the oldest structures in the township and houses 3 centuries of memorabilia and historical documents about the township.  Most recently updated to include a Phil Rizzuto All Sports Museum, honoring Hillside’s legend
  • Has been the home of Bristol Myers-Squibb
  • Lionel trains were manufactured from 1929 to 1974 at a factory in Hillside
  • White Collar workers established the neighborhood known as Westminster where Yankee shortstop Phil Rizzuto lived for most of his adult life until his death
  • The Westminster section also included the private Pingry School for Boys which is now the East Campus of Kean University
  • Conant Park, the township’s largest park was established in the early 1950’s
  • The rear of Conant Park near the Pingry School was the boundary of the Kean Estate, boyhood home of former Governor, Tom Kean
  • The Kean family donated the land on Morris Avenue and helped to establish Newark Normal College in 1885.  (It was re-named Kean College and now Kean University in the family honor)
  • Town Hall, Police headquarters and the Municipal library were constructed at the corner  of Liberty and Hillside Avenue in the 1950’s
  • Portions of Hillside are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone
  • Governed by the Faulkner Act and includes an elected mayor and a seven member Township council.
  • The Honorable Angela Garretson is the Mayor of Hillside
  • Accessible via the Garden State Parkway, US Route 22 and Interstate 78
  • Bus service is offered by NJ Transit
  • Closest train stations are Union and Elizabeth
  • Newark Liberty International Airport is approximately 2 miles east of Hillside
  • Site of Evergreen cemetery – known locally as the burial site of many Gypsy families including “Singin Sam” – whose elaborate grave can be seen from the street.  Also the burial site of notable authors and writers including Stephen Crane (The Red Badge of Courage), Edward Stratemeyer, author of The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins and Tom Swift.  Six US Congressmen are also buried there.


(Source – Wikipedia)

The History of Hillside Schools


  • The school system was formed in 1894 at a Roselle schoolhouse.  The Hillside area was served by two of the five schools in the township of Union
  • The  Township was separated from Union in 1913- the school system also separated
  • Five men who served on the Union Township Board of Education lived in the newly formed Hillside Township and were appointed to serve on the Hillside Board of Education – One of which was Abram P. Morris
  • There were only two schools in the newly formed township: Saybrook and Hillside Avenue School (Now WOK)  (WOK is named for a former school principal Walter O. Krumbiegel)
  • It is believed that the schoolhouse (WOK) which sat on the “hillside” led to the selection of the name for the new Township of Hillside
  • Saybrook was a one-room school built at Virginia Street and Woodruff Avenue.  It became a home in 1922 after the erection of the school at Virginia Street and Long Avenue.  (Now the current administration building for the Board of Education)
  • As both schools in the township were grammar schools, students who wished to have more than a grammar school education went to a high school in Elizabeth
  • Because of the growing population in 1917 a new school called Central Grammar School was built on Coe Avenue.  It would later become the first high school
  • Hurden Looker was erected in 1920 and named in honor of Russell Looker, who was killed in action in France and Edward Hurden who died in France while serving in the armed forces
  • Calvin Coolidge School was erected in 1927 – during the tenure of President Calvin Coolidge
  • George Washington School was the last of the elementary schools to be erected in 1931.
  • By 1938 the Coe Avenue School was inadequate to meet the continued needs of the community so a new high school building was completed in 1940 to accommodate sophomores, juniors and seniors.
  • The Coe Avenue School became a junior high school and selected Abram P. Morris for the school name.  (One of the original Board of Ed members)
  • AP Morris, CC, GW, and Hurden Looker Schools were considered Neighborhood Schools and housed grades K-8
  • In the fall of 1989 a court ordered desegregation forced the reorganization of the schools as follows:    AP Morris, Hurden Looker and Calvin Coolidge housed grades K-4; George Washington housed grades 5-6; WOK housed grades 7-8; and HHS housed grades 9-12
  • In 2001, the Board of Education decided to reorganize the schools into magnet academies; each having a specific theme; CC, HL and GW housed grades 3-6.  Parents selected their child’s school based on the following  themes:
    • Calvin Coolidge – Humanities, Communication and Technology
    • Hurden Looker – Science for Life, Entrepreneurship and Global Studies
    • George Washington – Arts and Mathematics Academy
      • APM = PreK-2, WOK-7-8, and HHS -9-12
  • In September 2011,the schools were reorganized by grade level which is  the current configuration
    • APM – Pre K- 1
    • Calvin Coolidge – Grades 2-6
    • Hurden Looker – Grades 2-6
    • George Washington – Grades 2-6
    • Walter O. Krumbiegel – Grades  7-8
    • HHS – Grades 9-12