Some of my fondest memories are from elementary school. There are several complaints that the school leaves gaps in knowledge and I absolutely disagree. I moved onto become an honor student in middle and high school, because in elementary school I was taught how to think, not how to memorize a state test.
My son is currently attending Highland Free School, and we love it! He enjoys the hands-on projects and is blossoming academically in all subject areas. I have been surprised at his advancement in math and his ability to solve complex problems in his head at his young age! As a parent I also appreciate how safe and nurturing the environment is.
My child went to school here for 4 years. I thought it was a good school until my child went some place else and I discovered all the holes in the things he was taught. There were many things that the other students at his new school knew that he was never taught. I wouldn't recommend this school.
I'm not quite sure if "parent" from March, 2011 has a child who has gone there or is going there. I have never seen a "new age" philosophy or any sort of philosophy in the curriculum. It's a leftover from the Free School Movement--maybe s/he should have actually researched it first and learned something. I also have a friend who lived on the property of Drexel Elementary, although he was a janitor for Sunnyside School District, so an administrator or employee living on premises isn't all that weird! "Different" doesn't mean bad! There's also animals there, so it makes sense that someone is there as caretaker. His personality is quite interesting, but I've been impressed with my son's education there. As long as he keeps learning and the environment stays positive, I'll keep sending him there.
First of all this school espouses some new age philosophy, now I don't know what it's all about but what it seem's to amount to is that they coddle the kid's who are disruptive and disrespectful. Also people should know that highland has a reputation of having kid's at the school who have undiagnosed issue's. In general it doesn't seem like a lot of thought and attention goes in to the way the school is run, the director who "live's" at the school "full time" ( which seem's really weird to me) is a guy who has anger issue's big time. I could go on, I wouldn't recommend this school at all, however I do like the teacher's there but they are constrained by the way the director want's to do everything, and so nothing changes. I hope this was helpful...