The staff at this school for the 2015/16 year were just AWFUL. I saw teachers yelling at each other. I saw teachers congregated and gossiping about each other. The word sabotage comes to mind.
The ring leader seemed to be a 3rd Grade blonde teacher who seemed to take opportunities to belittle other staff in front of the children. It's a shame the kids at this school learn how to belittle each other from the top down.
For this school year we moved to a more supportive environment - a better school.
As a teacher, I love working at New Highland Academy. Our staff is a cohesive group with a culture of collaboration and teacher leadership. We are excited to share what we are learning from our students and in our many professional development pursuits, such as inquiry research on our teaching practice with the support of Mills Teacher Scholars, as well as the Alameda County Integrated Learning Specialist Program initiative in teaching through the arts. Teachers at New Highland are dedicated, caring people who are true activists for social change.
My daughter has been at Highland since kindergarden now going to 5th grade. I am happy to say that the school has changed a lot. I am also very happy that we have more teachers that are from the community vs. other years we had exchange teachers. Ms. Jackson was a great and exceptional teacher.
Though New Highland Academy's test scores are lower than some schools, their scores have improved tremendously in the 3 years they have been a small school. Children have reported that they feel safer than they did before and parents along with the community have shown a greater support than before. NHA's Art program, which is the heart of the school has continued to blossom. (Students take either art, music, or dance.) With the amonts of achievements this school continues to make, there's no limit how far the school, its students, and its community can go.