If your children are used to the nurturing, uplifting, and effective practices of a renaissance or montessori school, do NOT let this discriminatory school pretend to care for them!! Forewarning; they are not what they claim to be at all! My son Jack may never feel the same about school after how they treated him. This is my children's first year in a public school; and after our experience at Highland Lakes Elementary, it is quite clear what the differences are; nurture, patience, regard for the child's innocence, discrimination.
I am certainly not leaving any course of action contingent on the schools response to a "bad review." They have used my children as proof that they are not concerned with how parents or students feel. Their policies are discriminative, at best. They choose which parents receive convenient treatment, and which parents are treated with disregard.
The health policies are awful and misinformative; resulting in school wide epidemics, because they don't believe in informing parents about things like, pinkeye, strep, lice; my son has an immune deficiency, I guess it's only important to me. They believe these things are a class by class issue and should be treated as such; regardless of how obviously contagious these three issues are. Not only are their procedures antiquated in comparison to the better districts in the valley, they have a complete disregard for a parents concern; and will even mock a concerned parent by saying, "What are you going to do, tell the press?" Knowing I work for the media, I believe they were attempting to bait me.
This school is a detriment to your child's happiness, education, and most importantly to the way they look at learning. Protect their innocence and choose another institution - who believes in accountability and acceptance.
When my son was introduced to a group of students, as his new class group, they were not very excepting of him because prior to being introduced to this group, the teacher used him as an example by ostracizing him from the groups because he was shaking his leg too much when he had finished his test first. She threw him back into a group, who were children and I had already targeted him as the odd man out. Understandably the other seven and eight-year-olds in the class looked at him as a problem and it would whisper things and be directly rude to him. When he brought this to Mrs. Stevenson she told him it was an inappropriate time to speak to her and he needed to go back to the group and deal with it. Thus making my seven-year-old confront his abusers without any support from an adult who I trusted him and the care of in my absence.
The school has no idea about learning differences. The only thing they are apprised of are the differences between special needs, general curriculum, and what they consider higher education. None of them are educated as to the five schools of thought a teacher should be comprehensive of before claiming to be a professional. My child is a somatic learner , Have fun explaining that one to the "educators" at Highland Lakes Elementary.
I have seen the opposite of all of these traits and being a mother of three children came from Montessori school methods, I am disgusted by the fact that these people are allowed to call them self Renaissance in any capacity. They are public school to teach common core. They are nothing exceptional. They are not nurturers. They are not compassionate. And they are extremely discriminatory.
While no school is perfect all the time, both of my kids LOVE their teachers, HLS is very welcoming and focuses on good community behavior. The chorus sounded amazing before winter break, the extracurricular clubs are great and the front office and nurse are wonderful! The principal and vice principal can be seen welcoming parents and students at the start of each day and while I have had no reason to speak to either they both seem happy and caring.
The teachers and staff seem happy too which makes Highland Lakes a nice place.
We have had a few instances where my children have been told they aren't allowed to walk through a building as a short cut after school while other children are allowed to do this. And there is one school helper who yells at the little kids during lunch and recess and over-punishes them. I saw the kindergarteners standing in line for over 10 minutes one day (that's a long time for Kinders). But that's all of the bad I can think of-and I'm sure it can be remedied with asking the helper to be a little more respectful of the little kids she is scaring the daylights out of (I don't think she realizes bc she seems like a decent person).
Overall, this is a great school with lots of clubs, activities and a variety of academic options.
We are very pleased with this school! This is our 1st year. The principal is very positive and fosters an encouraging environment. The PTSO is FABULOUS and supports the students, teachers, and staff! AMAZING community to be a part of.