One of the schools strongest traits is the fact that it understands all students learn differently. This school is not set-up like a traditional school where the teacher lectures then the students regurgitates the information on a test and everyone moves on. The teachers teach the information but the students via different means depending on the class have to prove they truly understand and have learned the information before moving on. Some students understand and prove their knowledge quickly, others need more time and that is ok, they get more instruction and when they can prove they understand the information then they can move on.
The staff, especially the principal and vice principal, know and care about each student. Even the high school teachers know the middle school students. The school is smaller than public schools so it is easier for the leadership to be tuned to the needs of the school and students.
The students are accountable and hold each other accountable. Unlike in the public schools bulling doesn't happen here and when it does the students stop it. The school has a system to encourage the students to not only stand up for others but also to praise fellow students who go above and beyond. The school also has a course called PSS, Personal, Social Service Skills, which each student must pass through level 2 prior to graduation.
This school has what is called advisories who meet at least once a week. The teacher who is the students advisory can meet one on one with the student to make sure they are on track with the studies. During this time the student can also meet with their individual teachers and get one on one time in addition to the time they get in the classroom. In general the class sizes are less than 20 students per teacher so the teacher has time to give to the students and understand how each student learns.
My son has been going to this school for 3 years now, since 6th grade, and we all love it. He was often bored in public school but at Highland he has excelled. He wants to go to school everyday. We recently retired from the military so my son went to school in Virginia and two different cities in Alaska. This school I feel is a safe place, physically and mentally, which I never felt was the case when he was in the public school system.