six students smiling in classroom

Why Attend Hillcrest Community School?

Welcome to Hillcrest!

At Hillcrest, we take great pride in being the choice school of Bloomington Public Schools and a nationally recognized Artful Learning school. We work hard to ensure every 5th-grade student graduates from Hillcrest ready for middle school with a strong academic foundation and artistic identity. Through the integration of the arts, we inspire, challenge, and empower our students to be strong community members and succeed academically.

We believe that the arts:

  • Empower students to take ownership of their artistic identity and well-being
  • Engage individuals in the greater community
  • Serve as an essential means of communication
  • Provide insight into cultures and societies
  • Support the academic success of all students and help close the achievement gap by building interdisciplinary relationships with academics.

Hillcrest is a joyful community of artful learners. Our mission is to inspire, challenge, and empower student learning through the arts. We are a community school, welcoming students from the entire Bloomington community. Students are selected from a lottery applicant pool. Free bus transportation is available for any Bloomington residents attending Hillcrest Community School.

Artful Learning

Hillcrest Community School embeds the arts into learning in every classroom by using the Artful Learning® instructional model from the late composer Leonard Bernstein’s organization. This nationally recognized and highly researched instructional model integrates fine art masterworks and arts-based learning strategies into the daily curriculum. Students learn core academics through arts-focused experiences, inquiry, creation, and reflection. Resident artists regularly visit our classes to work with students, and students take many field trips to performances and art spaces around the Twin Cities.

Learn more about Artful Learning


Hillcrest Community School holds students to high expectations and rigorous academic standards. We take pride in fully preparing every student for success in middle school both academically and as a citizen of our community. The Artful Learning curriculum supports the Bloomington Public Schools' core curriculum. Students spend time daily on math, science, literacy (reading, writing, speaking, listening), and social studies in their grade-level classrooms and have music, visual art, and physical education every three days. Content is integrated among/between subjects whenever possible.