We returned to Highland after years at a charter school and have been very happy. My son has 20 kids in his class opposed to 36 that he had at charter school. I was worried that he would not be challenged after attending an "academically rigorous" school. He is thriving and is challenged. I feel the homework load is far less than he had last year and he usually completes the weeks worth by Wednesday at the latest. So far we love Highland and the staff. My son is excited to go to school for the first time in his life. This speaks volumes to me as a parent. This is a great school.
They repeatedly will use phrases like "We don't do grades, so it really doesn't matter" or "You should not be concerned, your child is not the lowest in the class" or "Homework is for fun and I never check it for correctness or completeness".
The school is a huge disappointment. After buying a house just so my kids could attend Highland, I am desperate to find a way out. The class sizes are too large which leads to kids falling through the cracks and not getting any attention. The details that are overlooked by teachers and staff is astounding. The administration will tell you what you want to hear with no follow through. They are also begging for money at every turn, while not offering any solutions to class sizes or more support.
My son went to Highland for 1st and 2nd grade until we moved away from the area. It was really a great school with great teachers and staff. My son was on an ILP and worked with Mrs. Chambless who was a godsend. The teachers really helped address his issues with learning to read and he is a great reader now! I would have never left Highland had it not been for moving across town and I highly recommend this school to anyone looking for a great learning environment for their child!
My son has been at Highland Elementary now for 4 years and for the most part we have been happy with it. The teachers are very caring and helpful. I really like the fact that so many parents are volunteers. The general layout of the school is really nice and spacious. My issues are that a new principle arrived in 2010 and things seem to be getting more and more disorganized. Also I feel that some of the office staff is incredibly rude when we have needed to call with a question or issue. It just seems like anything out of the ordinary gets you a rude response these days.
Highland has a warm, caring atmosphere. Many of the teachers have been there for several years (low turn-over rate, which is good.) I have only two complaints--the school hours (9:06-3:43) and homework. Beginning homework at 4:00, after having already endured nearly 7 hours of school seems wrong. It makes for a hectic schedule, particularly if your child is involved in any extra-curricular activities. It also affects a normal dinner schedule, as the kids are generally starving when they get home. So, they eat a snack, then aren't hungry for "real dinner" until much later. The entire window from 4:00 until bed-time consists of snack, homework, dinner, shower, read, and go to bed. Very little family time left over. I understand the importance of working with your child one-on-one to reinforce skills taught at school--but how about skipping unnecessary busywork and looking into a more reasonable start/dismissal time?