As a college student i look back at my HPHS days and realized this is a very good school. Many teachers are very concerned with students of all levels succeeding. The principal, brad swanson, is a very hands on principal but doesn't force the issue. He will observe teachers and check to make sure if they are feeling overwhelmed, and actually involves himself in the school day. At our graduation he painted an image of my entire senior class by naming students and things he would see them do at sporting events, in the halls, public events, etc. The think that muks the system up however, and why I give the school 4/5 is a small group of parents and their children who will always exist in the community. These people often believe their child is the best and their child believes it too. This leads to some very elitist attitudes in the school and sometimes kids get marginalized and bullied by these kids because they either don't agree or are viewed lesser by the "richer" families. Bullying is a problem sometimes, these kids will often pretend to be friends with other kids and start to rag on them, especially in student feedback sheets on project these kids essentially call them stupid.
The Special Needs department struggles with identifying autistic asperger children. Teachers are not well versed in handling autistic asperger children and the child is the one that suffers. My child was placed inappropriately in classes that were beyond her reach and it took my all to get that changed mid year. The damage had been done though emotionally and now my daughter suffers from high anxiety as a result which further impacts her grades and confidence. During the IEP meetings if I voice concerns as a parent, they are not taken seriously. I would say if you do not have a special needs child, this school is great, otherwise you will need to work hard to get accommodations for your child.
As a student, I was not as impressed as parents. The money to teach and the extracurricular activities from excess funding is at HPHS. However, when I went to university, I viewed some Chicago High School Grads as having more discipline. There seems like more peer pressure in hte suburbs that can distract. Maybe this is normal. However, there are both under-reported aggression (fights) and moral discipline challenges. Maybe, the city selective enrollment has had the same. I felt that I found better role models, elsewhere.
I have had a problem with my son for a few year when it comes to him and his focus on his homework,and other work related activities.After a few meetings with some of his teachers and staff we placed him in a deferent class that now makes sure that he is doing all of his work like he is suppose to.I have not seen this much improvement out of my son in years,and am very happy to report that he is doing really well,and haven't missed any assignments since the the meeting.I would definitely recommend this school to anyone who cares about there child's education.Great work Highland Park High School!!!
As a student at Highland Park, I have found that it is an amazing school for learning and and making tons of friends. From freshman to senior, everyone gets alone very well. Especiall people in the arts program get along. In 2005 Highland Park was the first high school in the nation to put on Beauty and the Beast for the musical. It went very well and it was so much fun to be apart of it. All the teachers are so helpful. Plus there is a writing lab, language lab and so much more. HPHS is an amazing school and I only wish that more and more people would go so that I could make even more friends than I have now.
Highland Park High School is an outstanding school in every way. Whether your child is a high-powered academic student or an average student, he or she can reach their potential in any number of ways. The curriculum has breadth and depth- one of the advantages of a large school. THe teachers are energetic, caring, enthusiastic and motivate the students to do their best. It is a highly competitive school in many areas and can be intimidating at first. But, my child has thrived in the positive learning environment that is fostered by the teachers and administration. 'Dream, Believe, Achieve' is the motto of this school, and you really see it in the students and their supportive parents. One of the best things about HPHS is the Fine and Performing Arts department- it is one of the best in the country- and the level of talent is astounding!