The Principal is an ineffective leader- unable to manage his staff, students, or properly maintain the property. Absolutely no acceptance of responsibility or willingness to lead. Test scores have steadily declined since he was transferred to the campus. Students are placed in classes on what appears to be a random basis, with no regard for what is best for the student or what would create a reasonable class situation for the teacher. Over his tenure I have observed several teachers behave inappropriately. Based upon the fact that the behavior reoccurs, I am lead to believe there was no consequence to the teacher. The yard staff is untrained and spend more time looking at their phones and gossiping with one another than providing supervision. The pick up situation in the afternoon is hazardous to the students as a result of his inability to effectively communicate the rules and enforce them. Ten years ago, pick up was not the dangerous situation it is now. It can be fixed.
Highlands is a good school and for the most part has good teachers. However, like most public schools they are not equipped to handle issues with kids who start to develop bad habits like talking (general disruptiveness) or poor work habits. In fact the environment tends to re-inforce this behavior because the faculty will not (or cannot) address these issues directly. My child started developing bad work habits in the fifth grade and was NEVER corrected by the teacher. Now in the sixth grade the situation has gotten worse because there is no deterent whatsoever in the classroom. Kids naturally seek instant gratification but they also need timely correction when their actions are not conducive to learning. I'm not talking about corrective actions like we had back in the day, although now I am so grateful for the swats I received when I deserved them, seriously. (Thank God for those teachers cared enough about us to not let us get away with shenanigans!) But today there is absolutely nothing done to curb unwanted behavior, not even a scolding, unbelievable. At this juncture the best alternative is to pull our child from public school and go private.
My daughter has had such a great experience at Highlands Elementary. She is encouraged each day to be successful and is surrounded by an amazing staff of individuals that really care for their students. The office staff is amazing and always makes an effort to greet you with a smile and answer any questions. The teachers are very experienced and you can tell that they have created a school identity that is amazing. From what I understand, many of the teachers have been with Highlands for 15+ years. I think it says something when you have a staff that has stayed together for so long.
Highlands is a great school. Most of the teachers are excellent, although there are a few that need to retire. (Lack enthusiasm/too much yelling). The principal needs to work on social skills with parents. The parental involvement is impressive!! Overall, a great school.
Principal is extremely hard to talk to and does not keep his word on getting back to you or keeping you to date on plans created for special circumstances. School does not hold kids responsible for their actions. If you want a pen to paper type school, this is it. They are so worried about the money and the tests scores that the kids self esteems go to the wayside
Highlands, as well as the Saugus Elementary School District, is excellent. I am so impressed by the emphasis of academics, parent involvement and community at Highlands. Of course a school is going to be concerned about attendance-children should be in school and of course there are fundraisers. This is a public school. Fundraisers are the way public schools earn money for all the extras the students receive. I would be concerned if the school did not have fundraisers or did not request parent involvement in the classroom or at the school. I went to private school from K-12th grade. Highlands is on par with a private school in my book.
As a parent, education is top priority. I believe Highlands is a school with high expectations of students. They provide challenging and thoughtful experiences for my twin boys. We moved into this district in order to be able to attend Highlands for its excellent reputation. The teaching, administrative, and support staff are fabulous. In our 3 years, our boys have had nothing but an exemplary education!