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Donations to Hill Learning Center support Hill’s mission and impact by investing in people, partnerships, and programs. Grants and individual contributions can:
- Provide financial aid for students whose families cannot afford Hill tuition
- Provide scholarships for teachers to access Hill’s myriad professional development opportunities
- Support partnerships with schools, districts, and community nonprofits seeking to implement HillRAP or provide Hill-trained tutors for struggling learners
- Invest in technology and curriculum development to expand our impact on the 20% of students who have learning differences
Donors may provide general operating support or restrict their contributions to specific priorities or initiatives. To learn more about Hill’s philanthropic priorities, please contact Karen Smith Fernandez, Director of Philanthropy.
When making your gift, simply designate your donation in honor or memory of the person of your choice.
Hill Learning Center is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization (tax ID 56-2089788), and donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.
Please click here to make a gift online by credit card. If you would like to make your donation by check, please send your check payable to Hill Learning Center to: Hill Learning Center | Attn: Philanthropy| 3200 Pickett Road | Durham, NC 27705.
Monthly recurring gifts are one of the best ways to provide reliable, sustaining support to Hill Learning Center. Simply select the monthly option on the donate page, choose your monthly contribution amount, and enter your debit/credit card information. You will receive monthly tax receipt letters along with a tax receipt letter in January for your cumulative total given.
When you make your donation to Hill Learning Center please let us know that you are applying for a matching gift. To request the match, contact your employer’s Human Resources Department and complete the necessary paperwork.
Donor advised funds (DAFs) are becoming one of the most popular charitable vehicles because of their flexibility and favorable tax benefits. Hill Learning Center does accept DAF contributions; however, donating through a DAF may limit the donor benefits that you can receive. Because a maximum tax deduction is received when funds are contributed to a DAF, a donor cannot legally receive any benefits with a substantial fair market value for a gift made from a DAF.
If you are 70 ½ or older and hold a traditional or ROTH IRA, you may qualify to make a charitable gift of up to $100,000. The gift must be transferred from your IRA directly to Hill Learning Center. Contact your IRA administrator for details on how to use this provision. The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize your tax deductions.
If you wish to make a gift to Hill Learning Center’s endowment fund, simply designate your gift to “endowment” . Gifts to the endowment are eligible for naming opportunities at a certain level. Please contact Karen Smith Fernandez at email@example.com for more information.
Our fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 of the next year.
All Hill Tutoring methodology students are given an academic assessment during their initial tutoring sessions. This assessment allows tutors to set a baseline and starting point for instruction. Hill Tutoring does NOT conduct psychological assessments and does NOT diagnose learning challenges.
The micro-credentials are delivered online through the Hill Learning System (HLS) platform. You may log in and out at your convenience, and your course progress will be held. Participants will need to work with a school-aged child and have assignments to complete and submit for feedback and review outside of the platform.
Hill developed our six micro-credential stacks in partnership with NC State’s Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. We encourage you to review their website for comprehensive information about how micro-credentials work.
Participants will earn a certificate and 0.5 CEU for each micro-credential skill they complete in a stack. Upon completion of the Foundations of Reading stack you will earn 2.5 CEUs. All other badges receive 2.0 CEUs upon completion.
To get started, you will select the badge you want to earn. The Foundations of Reading horizontal stack develops competencies in the five core components of reading. The vertical stacks offer a deeper dive into Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, or Text Comprehension. Once you complete the micro-credentials in each stack and submit your evidence for review and feedback, you’ll be ready to share your earned digital badge.
Yes, we offer online and in-person training opportunities including a Structured Literacy workshop (ideal for general classroom teachers), a two-day Hill Reading Achievement Program workshop (for those seeking a specific intervention), and three online courses that feature content aligned with our micro-credentials.
Yes, however you must register for a micro-credential stack that will put you on a pathway to earning a badge. You will earn a certificate and 0.5 CEUs for each micro-credential you complete, whether or not you complete the full stack.
Each micro-credential stack costs $150. If you’ve earned the Foundations of Reading badge, each vertical stack costs $100.
Hill currently offers micro-credentials in Foundations of Reading, Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Text Comprehension.
Hill directly serves approximately 1,000 students in the Triangle, and thousands more through HillRAP partnerships and the 800+ teachers participating in Hill trainings each year. Learn more about our reach.
Hill partners with more than 30 North Carolina school districts, and several charter schools, to support HillRAP Print or Digital implementation. See our reach for a map of current district partners. Additionally, several independent schools in the Southeast have adopted HillRAP as a core element of their student support services for struggling readers and students with diagnosed learning disabilities.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how to partner with Hill Learning Center.
Most of Hill’s partnerships with schools and districts are built around training and certifying teachers to implement Hill’s reading intervention HillRAP. Hill collaborates with administrators to develop a plan for tailored to their school or district context, oftentimes with the goal of having HillRAP-trained teachers in every school in a district certifying a subset of them as HillRAP Mentors to coach their peers and support sustainability. Independent school partners often incorporate HillRAP into learning support centers for struggling readers. Partnerships may also include other professional development offerings. Check out Hill’s video library to learn about HillRAP partnerships with Edgecombe and Carteret Counties.
The HillRAP Digital instructional app is available for free download through the Apple app store. To download, search Hill Learning System. You must successfully complete training and have a username and password to use the app with students.
Word Attack is individualized based on the assessment, and all students work at their own instructional level. In Phonological Awareness, which is taught orally in a small group, students work on the same skill until mastered by the entire group. The Oral Drill, Fluency, and Comprehension components are individualize based on students. All student progress is tracked individually.
Yes. Before beginning instruction, all students must be assessed to determine the proper starting point for instruction. The HillRAP Digital app is designed to automatically assess from day one in both Phonological Awareness and Word Attack components. After the assessment has completed, skills are automatically introduced in instruction based on the students’ individual skill deficits.
Yes, the Hill Readers series is included in the HillRAP Digital app as part of the Comprehension and Fluency from Text components. The Hill Readers are 13 books of leveled decodable texts that align with the Hill Work Attack skill sequence with many comprehension questions and an answer key.
With the HillRAP Digital app license, a teacher can serve an unlimited number of students. The program is designed to support up to four students in a group.
Student progress is tracked by the HillRAP Digital app and is uploaded automatically to the Hill Learning System portal at the end of each session. Teachers and administrators can access attendance, assessment, and progress monitoring data for all the components of the program through the Hill Learning System portal.
Independent, third party evaluations have shown Hill’s School and HillRAP are making a positive difference for students, regardless of where they attend school. Analysis of ten years of Hill School student achievement data found that students enrolled at Hill showed significant improvement in achievement scores, greater than what would normally be expected from their peers without a learning difference. Evaluations of the Hill Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP) in public schools have demonstrated positive impacts on students’ reading skills and show students receiving HillRAP improve at faster rates than “average” students.
Yes, Hill’s instruction methods and student and educator programs are research-based. Hill believes that our impact, growth and sustainability rely on strengthening the evidence base of our school and programs and continuously advancing our own practice and expertise. Click here to view independent, third party evaluations of Hill programs.
Students’ social emotional learning skills such as academic confidence and organizational skills are critical to their success. Hill students, parents, and teachers often cite growth in these areas as some of the most meaningful benefits of Hill programs and methodology. Going forward, Hill aims to measure student social emotional and executive function development more systematically. In school year 2017-18, Hill piloted student surveys that showed, for example, that elementary students had a 17 percentage point increase in confidence about reading out loud, middle school students had a 12 percentage point increase in their ability to focus at school and high school students had an 18 percentage point increase in their ability to begin work independently.
In the 2017-18 school year, 93% of students receiving HillRAP in public schools made growth on their Text Reading Comprehension (TRC) and 95% of students improved their oral reading fluency as measured by mClass (based on results for over 900 students in 17 school districts across North Carolina). 57% of students receiving HillRAP met or exceeded expected growth and began closing their literacy gaps. Click here to view independent, third party evaluations of HillRAP in public school and Hill school settings.
Individual tutoring is $75 per hour and small-group tutoring is $50 per hour.
The half-day program is designed to enable students to receive small group, intensive remediation for a portion of each day at Hill, while continuing to benefit from the programs at a traditional base school. Students are able to maintain interactions with friends and take advantage of enrichment activities, athletics, and content courses at their base school. This model also allows for a thoughtful transition to the base school on a full-time basis as they will have had the coaching and support for applying the academic, executive function, and advocacy skills learned at Hill to other contexts and settings.
Hill students attend over 70 different base schools in the area, spanning over various school districts including Durham, Wake, Orange, Chatham, and Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools. On average, 65% of our students attend public schools and 35% attend independent or home schools.
CEUs are awarded for all professional development offered at Hill Learning Center. A pre- and post-workshop activity is required for all workshops so that CEUs can be awarded in even increments. For example: You will be asked to complete a pre-workshop activity prior to attending the workshop. You attend the workshop for seven hours. You will be asked to complete a post-workshop follow-up activity. After your follow-up activity is reviewed and approved, you will be emailed a full 1.0 CEU for your participation in the workshop.
Online registration fees include anytime access to the course material, including downloadable online resources, for up to a year. In-person fees include lunch, all materials (combination of print and digital), and free parking. HLS Digital training also includes a one year license for the instructional app. All trainings are eligible for CEU credits upon completion.
Students in grades 1-8 attend Hill for three hours per day for instruction in reading, written language and math. Students in grades 9-12 may attend for one, two, or three hours and choose from the following courses: English, Academic Writing, Math and Spanish.
Hill School students need to have a formal diagnosis of a learning difference such as a specific reading, writing, or math learning disability (LD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). Other types of learning differences may also be considered in the admissions process. For Hill’s tutoring and summer programs, no diagnosis is required.
We recommend students come to Hill at least twice a week for any intensive remediation and/or multiple subject instruction. Most students attend for one hour per session.
We transform students with learning differences into confident, independent learners. To learn more about our mission, history, and core values click here.
A typical face-to-face training day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 8:00 a.m. A boxed lunch is provided so that participants can spend time with their colleagues.
While a formal evaluation and diagnosis is not required, Hill Summer Programs do have an admissions process that includes an application and teacher recommendation. Interested families are also encouraged to plan a visit during the school year to see Hill methodology in action and help assess program fit for their student.
Hill Summer Programs are led by Hill’s Head of School and site directors who are full-time faculty members. Hill’s Assistant Head of School/Counselor also provides student and program support. Faculty are a combination of Hill, local public school, and local private school teachers who receive specialized training and coaching in Hill methodology. Many summer faculty have been teaching with Hill each summer for many years. College and graduate school interns provide additional support at both summer program sites – Hill Learning Center and Ravenscroft.
Hill trainers are sometimes available to conduct custom trainings at other locations. Potential topics include Hill Methodology (HillRAP, HillWrite, HillMath), learning differences, literacy, math, or executive function. Please contact Pam Hoggard for more information.
HillRAP serves students with foundational gaps in literacy development due to diagnosed or undiagnosed learning differences or attention challenges; limited English proficiency (i.e. English Language Learners); or the effects of growing up in poverty.
Hill Learning Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and our tax ID number is 56-2089788.
Hill Learning Center was established in 1977 in Durham, North Carolina as the Learning Development Center, a program of Durham Academy that provided instruction in reading, writing, and math for students with diagnosed learning differences who attended local public and private schools.To learn more about the history and evolution of Hill, click here.
To make a gift of stock, simply review these instructions and provide it to your broker to process the gift. Please also contact Karen Smith Fernandez at email@example.com to let us know that your gift is on its way. When we receive a gift of stock, we are usually not informed about who made the donation and contacting us ensures you will receive the appropriate recognition for your generosity.
There are two versions of the Hill Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP), HillRAP Print and HillRAP Digital. HillRAP Print is delivered using student data notebooks as well as teacher notebooks used to track student progress. HillRAP Digital utilizes a smart app and iPad tablets to support instruction, track student data and progress, and generate reports. HillRAP Digital also includes digital versions of the Hill Readers controlled, decodable texts and comprehension questions. Otherwise, the HillRAP content, methodology, and certification process are the same for both versions of HillRAP.
Currently, HillRAP Digital is only available for iPad tablets. Review the HillRAP Digital technical specifications to see what’s required to get started.
Reliable internet access, the HillRAP iPad app (free) and Hill Learning System license ($250 annual subscription), and iPad devices for the teacher and students who will be receiving instruction. Review the HillRAP Digital technical specifications to see what’s required to get started.
Hill reaches students through three direct programs including a half-day school, summer and tutoring offerings. Hill serves educators through professional development opportunities ranging from online courses to in-person workshops, including training and certification in Hill’s research-based methodology and strategies for differentiating instruction and support for students. Hill has developed the Hill Learning System to leverage technology to support teachers and students more effectively and at larger scale. Hill provides additional support for parents and community members with our free Community Education Series.
Hill’s Board consists of more than twenty leaders who have expertise as parents and professionals and a passion for supporting students with learning differences and expanding Hill’s impact. To view our list of current and lifetime Board Members, click here.
Hill is proud to offer a free, open to the public, community education series. Typically 6-8 times per year, Hill brings in expert speakers to share knowledge and practical strategies in support of students with learning differences and attention challenges. This series is particularly popular with area families, teachers, and professionals. To view upcoming events, click here.
Hill Learning Center began as a program of nearby Durham Academy (DA) in 1977, becoming an independent nonprofit in 1998. Hill maintains an affiliation with DA to share certain business services and facilities management. Hill also offers a training in learning differences for all new DA faculty and tutoring on DA campuses. Hill Upper School students are able to participate in some DA student clubs and athletic teams. Each year, approximately 5-10% of Hill School students are dually enrolled at Durham Academy.
Please click here to access Hill’s annual reports, audited financials, and honor roll of donors.
Hill offers parts of our state-of-the-art training and meeting facility for rent. To inquire about renting our facility, click here.
Tutoring is available year-round, Monday – Sunday. Currently, Hill Tutoring is operating remotely. We believe that virtual tutoring is the most consistent and viable approach for our students and tutors for the immediate future. Our number one priority is providing consistent instruction and support, while meeting the individual needs of each tutee, and we will continue to refine and adapt our virtual learning approach as we get new information. Our plan is to resume in-person tutoring in 2021.
Hill tutors are passionate educators who participate in a rigorous screening process and series of extensive trainings related to their content area(s) and in meeting the needs of a diverse population of learners. We provide a customized match with a tutor based on your child’s educational and scheduling needs. Your child meets with the same tutor each session, ensuring consistent instruction and fostering a strong relationship with your family.
Hill Tutoring is always looking for qualified applicants. We encourage you to visit our employment page to see open positions.
The program is designed for up to four students per group. Occasionally expert instructors can implement with five at a time. The app allows more than four students per group, but it is not recommended. Teachers implementing HillRAP Digital can serve as many groups of students as their schedule allows, as long as their HillRAP license is current.
Anyone enrolled in a Hill Methodology teacher workshop or online course has access to the Hill Learning System teacher training and support portal as part of their registration fee. HillRAP Digital users pay an annual licensing fee, currently $250, to use the HillRAP instructional app. This allows the license holder to deliver HillRAP to an unlimited number of students. The licensing fee includes tech support and access to the HLS online portal, instructional videos and resources, and HillRAP reports for administrators and teachers. Coaching and certification are priced separately.
Any licensed HLS user who has completed the 2-day HillRAP Digital training has access to tech support and online instructional resources and training videos on the HLS portal for as long as their HLS license is current. The training includes the first year licensing fee. Hill also highly recommends all HillRAP workshop participants take advantage of additional coaching and certification opportunities. Click here to learn more about HillRAP coaching and certification.
Hill offers high-quality, self-paced courses in topics related to teaching students with learning differences and a Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners Certificate Program. These courses are powered by our Hill Learning System (HLS) platform. Participants log in and out at their convenience. The courses hold your progress, and allow you to resume the course where you left off.
Participants earn between 1.0-1.5 CEUs for each online course that is successfully completed.
Hill’s online courses cost between $100-$150 each and award the participant 1.0-1.5 CEUs.
Many Hill students have an IEP from their base public schools; however, this is not a requirement. If a student does have an IEP, Hill supports the IEP process and coordinates with the school if needed.
For the morning session, students arrive by 8:05 am and leave at 11:00 am with a fifteen minute break at 9:55 am. For the afternoon session, students arrive by 12:10 and leave at 3:05 pm with a fifteen minute break at 2:00 pm. Classes are 50 minutes in duration. After School Study Hall is available for afternoon students. Lunch is not offered at Hill, but many afternoon students eat lunch before they arrive or have time before the afternoon session to eat in the playground area or in the lounge. Students in grades 9-12 may attend for one, two, or three hours and choose from the following courses: English, Academic Writing, Math and Spanish.
We have a maximum 4:1 student/teacher ratio and group up to 5 students on similar levels in Spanish to support language development.
Need-based financial aid is available for Hill School, and some families are able to access state education grants and other sources to help cover Hill tuition. Learn more about affording Hill here.
Technology plays a critical role in preparing our students to lead in the 21st century world. We are deliberate and purposeful with technology, choosing devices and software that supports our methodology and program philosophy. Currently, each classroom is equipped with four computers (1:1 ratio) and four iPads (1:1 ratio). K-8 reading classrooms also use the Hill Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP) app to deliver Hill’s copyrighted reading methodology that was developed by Hill faculty and experts over the last 40 years.
The George Watts Hill Award for Citizenship, Academic Progress, Initiative, and Community Service is given in memory of our Founder George Watts Hill every year since 1993. Each year, a student in each of Hill’s academic levels is selected by their teachers to receive this award in honor of their contributions to their community and commitment to academic growth. Click here to view a list of past recipients.
The Road Less Traveled Award is presented to a Hill alumnus who has demonstrated remarkable perseverance and is a shining example of what a confident, independent learner can achieve and whose accomplishments are often a direct result of the challenges he or she has overcome. The title of the award is taken from a line in Robert Frost’s famous poem. The spirit of the poem reflects the many challenges Hill students and alumni have faced, and continue to face, in their lives. Students and alumni at Hill often take the road less traveled because of their learning differences, which makes “all the difference” in their lives. Click here to view a list of past recipients.