Special Programs

Special Education Services

The Hillsborough Schools provide Special Education services for those children who are found eligible by the Child Study Team. Referrals for assessment can be made by parents or classroom teachers. Small group instruction is provided for learning and/or speech and language handicapped children. Through the San Mateo County Office of Education, other services are available for children who need more intensive or more specialized services. Please call the principal for further information.

English Learners

Students identified as English Language Learners receive support within their general education classes. All classroom teachers are trained in skills to assist English language learners and/or have received CLAD or equivalent credentials. In addition, depending on a child’s CELDT level, our literacy specialist services may also be utilized to support a CELDT level 1 or 2 student’s language and literacy development.


The current HCSD criteria for a student to be considered gifted is for a student to either: 1) score in the 98th or 99th %tile on the OLSAT-8 (Otis-Lennon School Ability Test)-which is given to all Kindergarten and 2nd grade students, or 2) obtaining and sharing private cognitive testing that shows tests results greater than or equal to 98th%-tile.

South School holds fall conferences for all students. For those students who meet the HCSD gifted criteria, a fall conference with parents, the teacher, the school psychologist, the counselor and the principal occurs to discuss a variety of ways to support and extend an identified gifted student’s social-emotional and academic development.

Artist in Residence

Our Artist in Residence program is designed to enhance the core curriculum through exposure to a variety of performing arts experiences with professional artists. Teachers are paired with a professional artist and design 8 week residencies that extend core learning for students in each grade level. During our residencies, an aspect of the core curriculum is made vivid through a serious and in depth exploration of a specific facet of the arts.

Tiger Tickets

“Everyone wins when everyone’s in” is the character focus for South School. Students demonstrate daily behaviors that reinforce the character theme. South students work together to include other students in activities and games, to reach out to help others when they are having difficulties as well as to include others in ideas to make South a better school. As these behaviors are sincerely demonstrated, teachers may recognize the efforts with Tiger Tickets, blue tickets recording student actions. Tiger Tickets are proudly brought to the office to the Tiger Ticket box where they are collected over a time span. Tickets are drawn and students are recognized school wide for their positive acts of kindness. Tiger Tickets are great motivators and reinforcers for strong character.

Lakas Shimizu STAR Service Learning Project/Award

In 2013 our STAR Award, which focused on building awareness through community service, changed to a service-learning focus and was renamed in memory of Lakas Shimizu, his generous spirit and the important role that community service played in his life. Designed within the parameters of the Hillsborough City School District’s Essential Outcomes, this award continues to be an integral part of South Hillsborough Elementary School’s efforts to teach community awareness, outreach, and service.

The criteria for the STAR Award builds upon the strong foundation we have at our school for community service with an increased focus on Service-Learning. Participants (4th & 5th graders only) identify a community need they felt passionate about, learn about that need, and then engage in a hands-on, reflective learning experience by working with a local organization. To earn the LS STAR Award, students complete their service, reflect and then present to a panel of staff and community members.

Student Leadership

Leadership opportunities are available to students throughout the school:

Student Council

Student Council officers from the 4th and 5th grades, and representatives from 2nd through 5th grade attend monthly meetings to discuss school needs, climate and events. Council members facilitate the community drives that occur during the year and present at school board meetings.

Fifth Grade Friends

The goal of the Fifth Grade Friends program is to model kindness and leadership skills for the benefit of all South students. Fifth Grade Friends involves all students in the fifth grade.

Fifth graders are chosen by their teachers to participate in book buddies, flag duty, tether ball duty, recycling, Media Center setup and breakdown and Computer Lab helpers.

There are also opportunities for all fifth graders to be Lunch helpers, Kinderwood helpers, Dumpster divers, and Pre-School partners. These jobs are awarded through an application submitted to Mrs. Veal. The Fifth Grade Friends Leadership Program brings positive behaviors that influence the behavior and actions of all the students of South School. Every fifth grade student is a fifth grade friend!

Green Ambassadors

Each year two new Green Ambassadors are elected or appointed in every class. The Green Ambassador will be responsible for recycling in the classroom, energy use in the classroom, making sure lights are turned off when not needed, and the reuse of materials. The Green Ambassadors also provide green tips during Monday morning announcements. The green tips will be tips that our students can use in school and at home to help our earth.

Our South School garden which was planted last spring by the Green Ambassadors has been a real success!

Green Ambassadors will spend time harvesting all the fruits and vegetables that were planted in the spring. The Fall Ambassadors will be planting in late October or early November.

Everyone at South is so excited with our new garden fence built by our wonderful volunteers on Fathers & Friends Day! Many thanks for their hard work!

Jr. Fire Marshals

One representative from each of our classrooms is chosen to help with school safety. JFMs are responsible for reading the monthly Fire Safety Newsletter to their class and they monitor and support classroom safety drills.

Buddy Classes

Upper grade classes pair up with our primary classes to share in learning opportunities throughout the school year.


    • 300 El Cerrito Avenue
    • Hillsborough,
    • CA
    • 94010
  • Phone (650) 342-5193
  • Fax (650) 342-6964

Our schools have received 26 California Distinguished School Awards, 7 National Blue Ribbon Awards, and 29 Kent Awards for Innovative Programs. Our success is due to high quality staff, committed and involved families and community members, a supportive Board, a cohesive vision, and a strong commitment to excellence.
Interested in current district discussions, view Superintendent Reports here.

More than two decades of research findings are unequivocal: the most important aspect of a school in terms of student learning is teacher quality, and our teachers are among the best!

Students in K-2 have access to a reading specialist. 3rd-5th grade students participate in our Innovation Labs where they create and explore. K-5 students participate in music classes, and 4th-8th grade students have access to instrument instruction. Spanish instruction begins in 4th grade, and Mandarin is offered in our middle school. All of our schools have a dedicated counselor, teacher librarian, physical educator, and more!

Through the generosity of donors, the Hillsborough Schools Foundation pledged $3.5 million to our schools for this school year. Last year's Fund-A-Need raised funds for traffic and safety. Thank you!
Interested in current district discussions, view Superintendent Reports here.

Click on "News" for an archive of all of our E-Notify messages. Also, check out our Twitter feed on our home page for more information about our award-winning schools.
Interested in current district discussions, view Superintendent Reports here.

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