Sussex County's Only Independent School

A coeducational day school for students in preschool through grade eight

You shouldn't have to choose between excellent academics and a nurturing environment. At Hilltop, your child can have it all.


Why Hilltop?

Meet Dr. Amy Covucci '81

Optometrist

Hilltop gave me the sense of inquiry and discovery that led me to want to become a doctor. The school encourages its students to ask questions, take risks and even experience failure on the road to success and growth.


Read Dr. Covucci's Full Story

Meet Nicholas

Grade 6

Hilltop has it all: great academics, nice teachers, and amazing extra curricular opportunities including athletics.


Read Nick's Full Story

Meet The Patels

Parents of Aroosh '21 and Kaeya '23

We wanted to instill both curiosity and passion towards education in our children along with leadership skills for tomorrows world.


Read The Patels Full Story

Meet Lauren Pugh Getty '03

Power Systems Engineer for US Navy Submarines

I always thrived in a smaller class size where the teachers could make sure that each student was appropriately challenged to excel.


Read Lauren's Full Story

Meet Mr. Timmermans

Music Teacher

In a day and age when many other schools are cutting from the arts, Hilltop sees the value in arts education. Our school fosters a supportive environment for students to take risks and be creative.


Read Mr. Timmerman's Full Story

Meet Chloe

Grade 8

My favorite teacher is Mrs. Katzenbach. In addition to history, she also teaches us independence. Her independent study projects help me figure things out on my own and not always be quick to ask for help.


Read Chloe's Full Story

Meet Sebastian

Grade 5

I say Hilltop is perfect. It is a great place to learn and make friends.


Read Sebastian's Full Story

Meet Mrs. Easter

Grade 2

The small classes allow for constant meaningful differentiated instruction.


Read Mrs. Easter's Full Story

Meet The Turndorfs

Parents of Isabella '16 and Gianluca '16

Our kids are Hilltop lifers and attended from preschool through eighth grade. The years of presentations, the thoughtful discussions they have in class and the focus on ethical behavior has gone a long way toward molding them into good young people.


Read The Turndorf's Full Story

Meet Emma D'Amico '12

Freshman at Drew University

Hilltop prepared me for high school and college by developing my confidence in myself and in my knowledge of course material. Being confident with giving presentations, asking questions in class, and not bring afraid to ask for help let me appreciate and excel at every opportunity I had.


Read Emma's Story

Meet Antonio

Grade 5

The teachers here really care about the students, just like when I was home schooled. But now I can do amazing science experiments, use cutting-edge technology, and socialize with my friends. It's the best of both worlds!


Read Antonio's Story

Experience the Hilltop Difference

When it comes to your child's education, you shouldn't have to settle for excellent academics or a nurturing environment. At Hilltop Country Day School, you can have it all from preschool through eighth grade. Experience the Hilltop difference through this video and then come see for yourself when you visit campus.

Read More
  • 10:1 Student to teacher ratio
  • 24 Enrichment
    Programs
    Offered
  • Students From
    • 23 Towns
    • 7 Counties
    • 2 States
  • 6 Athletics Offered

News / Blog

Blog

7 Must-Have Physical Fitness Apps

Having trouble getting your child to stay active? Here are several apps you can use to make fitness fun at home.   1. Bit Breaker  Bit Breaker is best-used solo and employs a strict lateral and jump regimen. Your movement controls an ‘Atari’ type of paddle on the bottom of the screen to control the […]

Read More
News

Students Beautify Ryker Lake

Students, parents and faculty and staff at Hilltop Country Day School spent part of a recent Saturday morning picking up litter at Ryker Lake in Sparta. This project, led by the school’s fourth graders, is part of a larger school wide initiative to do one off-campus community service project a month. “I hope to teach […]

Read More
Blog

Six Traits of Good Writing (And How We Develop Them)

Teaching students the art of writing is one of the most fundamental components of the middle school English curriculum. Hilltop students begin fifth grade with a strong background in composition skills to develop well-constructed paragraphs about a variety of topics. In middle school, we build on those fundamentals and encourage students to become more confident […]

Read More
Blog

Best Homemade Sensory Playdough Recipe

What kid doesn’t love playdough? We don’t know any! But what’s even more fun than playdough is sensory playdough! Our Kindergarten teacher Nicole Petrillo made homemade sensory playdough with her class and shared her recipe, and some things to do with it, with us. Enjoy! Ms. Nicole Petrillo’s Homemade Sensory Playdough Recipe Ingredients 2 cups […]

Read More
News

Kindergarteners Conclude: Cats Rule, Dogs Drool

Kindergarten students have taken up a challenge to publish a “Graph of the Week” designed to inform the entire school population of their observations in topics ranging from favorite foods to pets.  They roamed through the school armed with clipboards (and charm) introducing themselves then notifying teachers that they were gathering data to create graphs. […]

Read More
News

Hilltop Honored for 50 Years By Sparta Town Council

Hilltop Country Day School was honored on September 12 by the Sparta Township Council with a proclamation recognizing the independent school’s 50 year history in Sparta. The proclamation states that Hilltop has “fulfilled its mission by providing small class sizes with personalized attention and a flexible curriculum by the administrators, faculty members and staff.” Head […]

Read More
Blog

Is My Child Ready For Preschool?

We are all aware that children are capable of learning at an early age. Most schools accept preschool students at age two and a half. But is that a magic age? Is your two and a half-to-four year old child ready for preschool? As a seasoned preschool teacher for 33 years, I ask parents to […]

Read More
News

Hilltop Launches New Summer Reading Program

Hilltop Country Day School unveiled a new summer reading curriculum to its students this year. Instead of reading two assigned books and doing a book report, every student in the school, from preschoolers to eighth graders, will be reading books on a shared theme: Friendship and Tolerance. “The theme we have selected is timely and […]

Read More
Blog

5 Parenting Hacks For Life With Toddlers That Are Guaranteed To Make Your Life Easier

When you run a preschool program bustling with 20, 2.5 to 5-year-olds, you develop a few life hacks over the years to help the classroom run smoothly. Here are some of our favorite hacks you can use at home to make life with toddlers easier. Comment below to share you favorite parenting hacks, too!  Save […]

Read More
Blog

Make Sunscreen Part of Your Outdoor Gear

Summer is almost here! We can’t wait to be outside enjoying the beautiful warm weather! We need to protect ourselves and our children from overexposure to the sun and its harmful rays. Your best defenses against getting too much harmful UV radiation are protective clothing, shade and limited time in the sun: Hats, shirts, shorts […]

Read More
News

Hilltop Country Day School Celebrates 36th Commencement

It was a momentous occasion for the Hilltop Class of 2017 on Friday, June 9 as they became the 36th eighth grade class to graduate and become Hilltop alumni. More than 100 people gathered on the campus to cheer and celebrate as the Class of 2017 received their diplomas and set forth to begin a […]

Read More
News

Hilltop Holds Lower School Closing Ceremony

Whether first year students or Hilltop lifers, the positive impact of a Hilltop Country Day School education was clear during speeches by the graduating fourth graders at the Lower School Closing Ceremony on June 8.   Parents, grandparents, siblings and friends gathered on the campus to cheer and celebrate as the Class of 2021 officially […]

Read More
Blog

3 Tips for Traveling This Summer With Kids

Over the past 12 months or so, my “tangible” skill set has grown exponentially thanks to my job search.  Writing cover letters, developing résumés, and keeping my composure in Head of School interviews has even surprised me.  But when I think about perhaps the greatest “skill” I’ve cultivated during the past year it is, without question, […]

Read More
Blog

7 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Summer Camp

Summer is the perfect time to explore, relax, and try something new.  A summer camp provides a place for children to develop friendships, learn new skills and investigate unexplored areas of interest.  Summer camps support a parent’s desire for their child to get up and move.  A summer camp routine breaks up the cycle of […]

Read More
Blog

12 Reasons to Choose An Independent (Private) School

One of my favorite educators, the late Priscilla Vail, used to talk about “the rightness of fit.” She referred to the choice of a school when you know that it is the place where your child will learn, grow, thrive and make friendships that last a lifetime. What do you look for when choosing a […]

Read More
Blog

8 Ways to Foster a Toddler’s Love of Music

Do you want to nurture your child’s interest and excitement in music? Does you child show potential talent for music? At this age your child will learn best through exploration that’s fun. Here are a few age-appropriate ways to encourage your preschooler to get jazzed about music. Listening Listening to music of all genres stimulates […]

Read More
Blog

11 Tips to Make the Most of Your Kid’s Spring Break

This year your spring break may be more along the lines of the staycation, but that’s OK! Here are 11 great ideas for setting aside intentional time for creating memories for the WHOLE family.: 1. Make some rules: such as, no phones and other electronic devices during activity times 2. As a family make a wish list […]

Read More
News

Kindergartners Explore World of Dinosaurs

On March 17 the kindergartners transformed into junior paleontologists to host a Knowledge Sharing Exhibition about dinosaurs.  Parents, faculty, and peers were invited to ask the paleontologist questions about dinosaurs they had discovered, explore dinosaur fossils made by the students, and play an interactive game designed by the class to discover which teeth belonged to […]

Read More
News

First Graders Travel to Australia

The first graders at Hilltop Country Day School hosted a Knowledge Sharing Exhibition on Friday, March 17 to culminate their recent study of all things Australia.  During a Knowledge Sharing Exhibition, parents, faculty and staff and their peers are invited to experience all the students have learned about a topic.  The students sang an Aussie […]

Read More
News

Hilltop Student Art Chosen for Art Educators of NJ Spring Exhibit at NJPAC

A Hilltop Country Day School student has been chosen for the second consecutive year to display a piece of student artwork in the Art Educators of New Jersey Spring Exhibit at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.  Richard Cort ’18 has been chosen to display his mixed media piece in the exhibit beginning on May 1.  […]

Read More
Blog

3 Easy Morning Exercises For Kids

I wanted to share a fun morning exercise that your child can do before starting their day prior to eating a healthy nutritious breakfast. The exercise is called Training for a Triathlon. It can be done in your own home either inside or outside, requires some really great music (maybe your playlist has some Coldplay, […]

Read More
Blog

CAPITOL HILLTOP: Monuments, Newseum, and Wizards!

Greetings from Washington, D.C.! I’ve come to appreciate a special characteristic of our eighth graders: patience. It all began with breakfast at 9:30 a.m. which was actually closer to 10. Because of our day early arrival this is the best the hotel could do. Next, delayed opening for the Smithsonian Museums (thank you #stella) and […]

Read More
News

Antonio Puopolo Named February Student of the Month

Hilltop Country Day School is pleased to announce that Antonio Puopolo ’20 was chosen by the faculty and staff of Hilltop Country Day School to be Student of the Month for February. Nominations are solicited from all faculty and staff for Upper School students, grades 5-8, who have exhibited exceptional academic success in all of their […]

Read More
News

CAPITOL HILLTOP: Eighth Graders Visit Air and Space Museum

#Stella didn’t stop us! The “adventure bus” trip to Washington D.C. was quiet for the most part – lots of napping and being “plugged in” with favorite music and streaming TV shows. There were a few Pokemon sightings along the way. We took a break to stretch our legs at the Chesapeake House in Maryland.  […]

Read More
News

Hilltop To Welcome New Head of School

The Hilltop Country Day School Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Kevin Folan, currently the Assistant Head of School and Executive Director of Enrollment at Hyde School in Maine, will be the next Head of School. “In Kevin, we have found an innovative, dynamic collaborative leader who motivates and inspires,” said Board Chair […]

Read More
News

Hilltop Welcomes Students from China

Hilltop students were honored to host four Chinese exchange students for a home stay program in January and February.  The school is proud to partner with International Educational Opportunities to offer international students the opportunity to study in the United States for either short-term or yearlong programs.  “Hosting international students complements Hilltop’s global curriculum by […]

Read More
News

Jessica Wilm Named January Student of the Month

Hilltop Country Day School is pleased to announce that Jessica Wilm ’17 was chosen by the faculty and staff of Hilltop Country Day School to be Student of the Month for January. Nominations are solicited from all faculty and staff for Upper School students, grades 5-8, who have exhibited exceptional academic success in all of […]

Read More
News

Fifth Grader Wins School Geography Bee

Antonio Puopolo, a fifth grade student at Hilltop Country Day School, won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee on January 30, and a chance at a $50,000 college scholarship. The school-level Bee, at which students answered questions on geography, was the first round in the 29th annual National Geographic Bee. “We are so […]

Read More
Blog

Corrine Wilm Selected As November Student of the Month

Hilltop Country Day School Eighth Grader Corrine Wilm was chosen by the faculty and staff as November’s Student of the Month. Nominations are solicited from all faculty and staff for Upper School students who have exhibited exceptional academic success in all of their classes during the month, but who have also modeled the school’s Core […]

Read More
Blog

Tips for Successful Toilet Training in 10 Days

Are you counting the days until your toddler is fully potty-trained and can enroll in preschool? Have no fear! Hilltop’s Preschool teacher Mrs. Christine DeStefano is coming to your rescue! With more than 30 years of experience with preschool-aged children, and successful toilet training of her own two children, three grandchildren and hundreds of other 2 ½ […]

Read More
Blog

Hilltop Kicks Off 2016-17 School Year With 6.25% Enrollment Increase

Hilltop Country Day School kicked-off the 2016-17 school year on Wednesday, September 7 with a record enrollment increase and a full slate of new programs. While other local schools are cutting programming and experiencing overcrowding, Hilltop is flourishing while maintaining the school’s signature small class sizes and nurturing environment. “Hilltop has been committed to providing […]

Read More
Blog

Best Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

Looking to bring home a piece of Hilltop’s Outdoor Classroom curriculum? It is not too late in the summer to put out a hummingbird feeder. Here in northern New Jersey, the only hummingbird that is native is the Ruby-Throated. These beautiful little birds migrate south to the tropics sometime in late September or early October, […]

Read More
Blog

4 Tips for High School Success from Graduation Speaker Emma D’Amico ’12

The graduation address for the Class of 2016 was delivered by Emma D’Amico ’12, a recent graduate of Sparta High School. While at Hilltop, Emma was in the Instrumental Ensemble playing trumpet and violin. In her eighth grade year she was the student council president and was the recipient of the presidents volunteer service award Gold […]

Read More
Blog

5 Reasons Private Kindergarten Is Worth The Cost

Experts believe 90% of brain development occurs by age 5 . That’s why choosing the best early childhood education for your child is critical. Our expert educators have put together a guide on the characteristics that quality kindergarten programs should have and why paying for a private kindergarten is worth the cost. Download the free […]

Read More
Blog

5 Elements of Cutting-Edge Exhibition Assessments in Schools

It is no secret that the traditional educational model that existed for centuries is no longer effective in today’s 21st Century landscape. At Hilltop we realize that our students will eventually be entering a workforce where the jobs have yet to be imagined. Therefore, it is our responsibility to provide an education and schoolwide experience […]

Read More
Blog

The 7 Things Worrying Your Soon-to-Be-Middle Schooler and What We’re Doing About It

If you think back and remember what it was like to be a new student at a new school or a student new to the middle school years, you will recall a variety of feelings and emotions, many good, some not so good. It is never easy entering a new environment, especially one where the […]

Read More
Blog

5 Tips for Visiting Museums/Art Galleries With Kids

Spring is in the air and that means new shows are popping up in many area museums and galleries.  It’s a great opportunity for a family day out and seeing art through a child’s eyes.  At Hilltop, we discuss with students how to look at art, what questions to ask, and even etiquette for such […]

Read More
Blog

Best Rustic Potato Soup Recipe

At Hilltop Country Day School we take pride in our outdoor classroom and environmental science curriculum. Our fourth graders harvested a wonderful crop of potatoes from our potato patch this fall and from that haul we whipped up a delectable rustic potato soup. From our Hilltop table to yours, enjoy! Ingredients Potatoes, washed well, cut […]

Read More
Blog

Cultivating Grit in Our Children [Replay]

Hilltop Country Day School’s Head of School Peter Gordon presented a talk titled, “Cultivating Grit in Our Children,” in which he offered insight as an educator and a parent on why sometime’s it’s OK to let children fail as it develops a key characteristic for success in today’s world: grit. Click on the play button below to begin the video.

Read More
Blog

3 Ways to Decrease Separation Anxiety in Nursery School

I’ve often heard it said that the job of being a parent is to spend 18 (or more) years raising a child so they don’t need you anymore. It’s the most selfless job in the world especially when you think about it that way. ­This could not be more evident than during morning drop-off. As […]

Read More
Blog

3 Simple Things You Can Do To Help Keep Your Child’s Binder Organized

Your child’s binder looks like a bomb exploded. Papers are crumbled into balls at the bottom of the backpack, the spine on the binder may already be breaking, and your student’s grades may be suffering from this lack of organization. Don’t stress. With just a few minor adjustments and a commitment to a maintenance plan, […]

Read More
Blog

6 Book Recommendations for Elementary School Readers

The holidays are over and now you have a ton of gift cards burning a hole in your pocket, right? Why not spend them on something educational for your child instead of just another toy? We’re here to help with 9 of the best books for kids ages 5-10. Read on for some of our […]

Read More

Download Our Ebook

5 Reasons Private Kindergarten is Worth The Cost

Consider these five factors when researching kindergarten options for your  child. 

Read More

Get The Guide

5 Questions To Ask About Your Child's School

Choosing the right school for your child is a big decision. Let us help you.

Read More