My daughter completed K-5 here.6 yrs ago I was looking for a walkable urban school with diversity.I fell for the warmth & professionalism of the staff & their level of experience (all of our teachers had MAs,often 10+ years exp - AT Highlands).Beyond class,my child cultivated interests in music (this teacher=FANTASTIC!!), technology,extras like Odyssey of the Mind,Girls onthe Run,Safety Patrol,Lit Circles.Highlands is rated LOW due to high poverty depressing AVG test scores, but having poor kids there didn't negatively impact my child.Her grades & social life were great; many peers, no bullying. While avg Highlands students struggled, her scores (& others') were in line w/those at the best schools.I respect the principal's ability to make a special atmosphere-children sense he values them for what they bring to the table-EVERYONE belongs!I'm pleased my child experienced such a rare environment.TAG was a weak spot-as in all Red Clay Title I schools,& our parent org was tiny...but mighty - as evidenced by election of a Highlands PTA mom to school board in 2013.I have confidence in the academic foundation my daughter got, & we found lifelong friends and lessons transcending academics!
This school positively oozes a warm, caring, supportive, close community feel. The principal is just simply amazing, dedicated, motivated, personal, part best friend, part positive role model, part educator. He knows all the kids by name and gives them high-fives in the hallway each morning. I've been through many schools (public and private) with my 3 kids, but my son has never experienced the same sense of belonging. The teachers are also dedicated, motivated, caring and professional. I guess a great principal attracts great teachers, and Highlands teachers tend to stay! The student body is diverse, because kids come in all kinds, just like real life. With the strong leadership of the principal, the strong support team of the faculty, and the sense of belonging that Highlands provides, everybody is given a great chance to make it at school, and in life. Plus a school experience I doubt anybody who went to Highlands will ever forget.
I have two children, and they transferred to Highlands from Private school. I was wary of this school at first, but in almost two years, their experiences have been overwhelmingly positve. First, the principal is excellent--very committed to the school and the students. The children all like him, and he knows them all by name. The school is smaller than some Delaware schools, which contributes to a warm, intimate environment. My children have had outstanding teachers these past years. Some of the teachers, I'd say are just "very good," but all of them are committed to the students and learning. Sometimes the work isn't challenging enough for my children, but the school follows Red Clay's standards, so maybe the district's standards are not high enough. Overall, I am very pleased with my sons' education. Not many discipline issues--none that prevent other students from learning, I should say.I haven't seen much bullying at Highlands. I wish there were more field trips and experiences outside the school. And more school plays/concerts The PTA is small, but that's only because parental involvement in the PTA stinks.
My nieces attend Highlands Elementary and it is a very good school. My only problem is that there are no bus aids and my nieces has complained about being bullied on the bus by the older students. Nonetheless, the school is pretty good!
The staff is incredibly devoted at this school who stick around for an ever-increasing range of extracurriculars, and there's a great core team of parents and students. Our test scores tend to be lower because we have a higher concentration of poor students, but there are great kids and families here, and I have no doubt my daughter is receiving as strong an education as her friends in private, parochial and homeschool environments.
I love Highlands School. I am a 35 year old father of 2 girls attending Highlands. I believe the school is small enough for focused attention but diverse enough to give children a complete elementary education. I went to Highlands when I was young and a lot has changed and some has stayed the same. The school has improved dramtically but the culture of closeness and being a neighborhood school remains. Technology, facilities and a first rate staff has brought this school to the forefront in Red Clay.
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