5 Stars across the board! Highcrest is a good school for kids of any ability. Academics include the regular fare as well as art, drama, PE and technology. Kids can choose between French, Latin, Spanish, German or Mandarin or they can take an academic strategies class. A learning behavior specialist leads this class to help kids with ADHD or other difficulties to organize their workload and to give them extra support. After school clubs include radio, TV, languages, arts etc There are also free, daily before and after school supervised study. We have been very happy with our kids education and the teachers dedication. On the whole, this district attracts high quality teachers to meet the parents high expectations. I feel that my tax money is well spent. One other perk of sending your kids through district 39 is that they will not feel lost at New Trier because it is the souce of more than 1/3 of the graduating class! I went to New Trier also but came from one of the small feeder schools and I felt overwhelmed for a good year before I adjusted.
I am a student of Highcrest! It is an amazing school. They have teachers that are strict but fun, and teach us the amount of stuff in a day that some kids learn in a week! I take french and when I met with a french person after only 4 months of class I could carry on a conversation. When I have a good day, usually the best thing about was school! It is organized and I feel safe there. For people who just looked in on some classes then made bad reviews, listen to me, I go there Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday and Friday! I t is really an amazing school.
We've been very happy with Highcrest. The principal and teachers have become more seasoned, and their experience and devotion to the kids shows. Our child has some learning issues, and everyone has gone out of their way to ensure success. I've been told that at most schools our child wouldn't have qualified for help. At Highcrest they're right on top of things, and our child has been both successful and happy. I'd like to see a little more consideration of others enforced (like not talking in the halls when classes are in session), but I believe serious issues are addressed. It's a tricky balance between discipline and freedom at this age, and I like that Highcrest is not heavy handed like some middle schools. It makes for a happier community. The kids for the most part are nice, hard-working, and computer literate enough to spill their grievances on this site.
I feel that you can get good or bad teachers at this school. Some teachers really go the extra mile to help you understand and others just let you teach yourself while slurping dietcoke loudly in the back. The principal is pretty laidback and doesn't do much. The lunches are well below unsatisfactory. They only serve wheat bagels which are very bad, they have sandwhiches ehich have given people I know food poisoning, and awful hot lunches. The absolute best thing they serve are the breaksticks and I guess the salads are fine. Instead of trying to improve these, they spend money on more unused laptop carts.
Most of the teachers are uneducated and ill prepared to deal with the challenges of teaching middle school students. The school is large with 400 students per grade, and unless you push hard for a challenging curriculum you could end up being taught that objects don't fall at the same rate because gravity pushes harder on heavier objects (this actually happened and is just plain wrong!). The school is also plagued by bad administration and overall creates a disorderly student body (at no fault of their own!)
Bullying is a serious issue and continues to be through high school. Inane and ineffective programs have been implemented with little result. Principals, teachers and parents too often shrug off physical fights and verbal abuse both of which I've personally witnessed numerous times even at the elementary schools. Academically, the Wilmette public schools are acceptable but not great. Early math programs are especially poor. Wilmette continues to use material that the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics does not endorse anymore. (NCTM's recommendations are often used by schools throughout the nation in choosing curriculum.) In elementary school, my son spent almost an entire year playing Uno instead of learning math because the teacher told us that he knew too much and there was nothing she could do. At that point, we began using the excellent and challenging Singapore Math. Language Arts is not much better. Look elsewhere if education is important to you.