Headmaster’s Message

Welcome to Hill Top Preparatory School!

tomAs an independent school head who has served a population of learning disabled students for several decades, it is a pleasure to be the Headmaster at such a warm and accepting community located in such a beautiful suburb of Philadelphia.  I want to welcome you to our website which has been designed to help you become familiar with so many of the unique elements of our school and to help you better understand the students who we best serve.

When the founders of Hill Top Prep started in 1971 to serve learning disabled students they saw even back then that many students who struggle in school didn’t have merely a language-based learning problem.  On the contrary, many students coming to Hill Top Prep found that reading and spelling came easily to them. Often these students find traditional school settings a challenge because they have difficulties with:

  • Attending to a task and/or sitting still
  • Managing their time
  • Processing of auditory information
  • Coordination
  • Abstract reasoning
  • Social situations
  • Transitioning from one activity to another
  • Anxiety or feelings of sadness
  • Being overwhelmed by lots of stimuli at once

Hill Top Prep is aware that many bright, talented and highly creative students can struggle in school even if they haven’t been diagnosed with dyslexia but have “multi-dimensional needs” which are not related to language skills.  Our teachers and supportive staff have developed a safe, nurturing environment for students who struggle with the kinds of issues listed above.  It is these issues grouped together that can create in our students true “functional impairments” for learning when they are in a traditional academic setting.

We invite you to come and see how those of us at Hill Top have created an oasis for our students which can help them to learn by providing an academically challenging curriculum with a learning environment sensitive to their neurological needs, offers support and guidance for feelings of anxiety or sadness and lastly, can directly teach those skills that their peers seemingly learn through osmosis.

I hope you enjoy the visit to our website and that you will contact us for a campus visit.  We have a wonderful school and we are always delighted to share what we do with visitors.


Tom Needham, Headmaster