If your has special needs, do not be fooled by the positive feedback. This is a fabulous school for mainstream kids. It is also a hyper competitive place of the uber wealthy that has a tone-deaf approach to struggle and disability. My child has been bullied, excluded and sickened by the failure to have any empathy there.
Terrible for children on the autism spectrum. We have had a very difficult time getting properly trained staff for our middle of the spectrum kid. Would not recommend this school for any kid needing special services.
Our children did not attend this school. Our child participates in 203's highly gifted PI + program, which had one of its classrooms at this school until this year, when the entire program (and the kids test scores) were moved to Meadow Glens. We have heard nice things about Highlands and its leadership. A lot of families moving here feel they have to pay top dollar for a house and be in one of the "best" scoring 203 schools based on a real estate agent's opinion. Our experience with families in PI + is that the some of the kids who were among the brightest and most talented came from Title 1 District 203 schools. These children benefitted from significant parental and educational support outside of school and their families placed a priority on education in the early years -- not sports. Educational enrichment at home can make a big difference, not necessarily the classroom where a child spends only 6 hours a day for 160 days a year you will get a decent education at any of the 203 schools.
When our children went to Highlands their experience was very good, but not perfect. There were many excellent, life-changing teachers and a few clunkers. As with most districts, 203 gives more resources to special ed children than gifted. I would have liked more opportunities for my children in that area. However, I think one key measure of a school is how well students do in life later. My three children look back on this school has having given them a wonderful start on life. I highly recommend it and feel very fortunate that we landed there.
I went to Highlands Elementary from 2003 to 2009. I can honestly say I had an OUTSTANDING childhood here at Highlands. The teachers are top notch, and there are several extracurricular opportunities offered. If I could do elementary school all over again, I would because this school is truly amazing. My parents originally planned to send me to a private school, but they were so impressed with Highlands and Kennedy Junior High they decided to let me go to public schools. If you want your kid to have an excellent education, stay in CUSD 203. It's great here, I promise.