About Hillside Elementary
A Message from Principal Harrison and Assistant Principal Anderson
The Hillside team is pleased to welcome all of our new and returning families to the Hillside learning community! We hope you are ready for a year of meaningful learning experiences.
Our school is located in the Historic Valley Junction neighborhood and emphasizes our four pillars of Respect, Responsibility, Safety, and Caring. As we partner with families and community members, we strive to provide educational opportunities that will prepare our students for post-secondary training, careers, and life beyond Hillside. Our team seeks to engage students at a deeper level of inquiry and understanding that can be achieved with strong educational approaches. We believe that engaging academics, positive community, culturally-responsive teaching and family partnerships will help our students be successful in their life journey.
The Hillside team works to collaborate with our families to provide the necessary supports for every child. It is our hope to break down any barriers our students may have and ensure access to all. We invite you to partner with us at Hillside and be a part of your child’s educational experience.
We are going to have a great year together celebrating your child’s educational journey!
713 8th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
HOURS: 9:05 a.m.-3:55 p.m.
COLLABORATION SCHEDULE: Wednesdays 9:05 a.m.-3:10 p.m.
PRESCHOOL: 9:05-11:50 a.m. and 1:10-3:55 p.m.
Kelley Harrison, principal
Jackson Anderson, assistant principal
Hillside Elementary on the corner of 8th and Hillside was once the original home of Valley Junction High School. The high school opened its doors in September 1917 to 300 students with a staff of six. In 1923, Hillside Junior High was built in the cornfields east of the high school. Sixteen years later, a new football stadium was built north of the high school. In 1965, as the population increased the need for expansion caused the district to move Valley High to it’s current home on 35th street.
The old high school was then renamed Hillside Junior High and used as a junior high. Eventually, the building was torn down. The stadium however continued to be used until the fall of 2001. Soon discussions were underway to discuss the needed repairs for the stadium, Rex Mathes and Clegg Park Elementary Schools. The needed improvements proved to be too costly. The West Des Moines Community School District felt it was much more cost effective to reinvest in the area and rebuild a new elementary to accommodate students from Rex Mathes and Clegg Park. A design team was assembled in the fall of 2001. Within a year, plans were drafted, bids were submitted and approved, and construction began in the spring of 2003. It took a year to complete and in August 2004 over 75 staff members and 650 students from Rex Mathes and Clegg Park Elementary came together to form Hillside Elementary, a place for children to learn.