Highland is the definition of "train-wreck Waterloo." The two teachers who posted below seem to be scripted - "lack of parent involvement" must be a term someone teaches the employees to use. I have two children at this school and I absolutely dread every time I have to deal with the staff. One teacher we've experienced was actually a good teacher - even great. The rest have seemed quite under-educated, or at least under-developed. Multiple times our child has spent a good part of the day in the nurse's office and we never even received a phone call. I could go on and on but I think my point is already clear. Luckily I'll be going to graduate school next year and my children will be transferred away from Highland before the poor environment does any unrepairable damage.
I went to the school when i was i a kid and i enjoyed it till the fourth grade my teacher would make fun of me by telling my i looked like i combed my hair with rake. my dad was mad. there was one i new how was nice and would help in any way possible. and known her all my life as a child i just wish i knew if she was still there
I have been a teacher at McKinstry for several years. I remember when it was a VERY difficult school with numerous discipline problems. Since becoming a PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) building, our discipline referrals have decreased dramatically. Instituting Character Counts into our school has also made a big difference. We still lack in the area of parent involvement, but we are working on it! We have promoted 'Honoring and Welcoming' parent activities and are working on 'Linking to Learning' to improve parent involvement in academic areas. McKinstry has dedicated, hard working teachers who strive to do what is best for students. We are currently a Reading First building as well as a SINA (School in Need of Assistance) building. Both titles mean that we provide quality professional development to staff in order to meet the needs at our building. Our committed staff makes McKinstry a great place!
I did my student teaching experience here with Mrs. Tapper in the music classroom. The staff at McKinstry are wonderful, marvelous, and put so much effort into making sure the kids succeed. The discipline problems that go on here are horrendous, but the teachers to the absolute best they can to contain and educate at the same time, a feat almost superhuman in itself. Discipline STARTS AT HOME, and the parents who are commenting on the discipline or similar issues need to give credit where it is due. When students are allowed to do whatever they want at home, they come to school and expect to do the same thing! When teachers ask them to follow the straight forward rules at McKinstry, they have difficulties because it is different from home. Consistency is the key! The teachers are frequently called names and profanities from kids as young as 1st and 2nd grade.
I am very happy with the education my child is getting at McKinstry. The staff is wonderful and they do everything in their power to make sure the students will excell. I am especially happy with the second grade teachers and how much they do to make sure all the students are learning the lessons. I would not want my child to go to any other elementary in Waterloo other then McKinstry!
This is the largest elem school in Waterloo, and the district continually cuts its resources. Makes promises and withdrawls and postpones them. I was on the staff for 5 years, the staff cares, but everyone is overburdened, and pulling double duty. Not even getting into the disapline issues, that were enormous. My 2 children went there, I would say the second biggest probem is lack of parent involvement. I was on the PTO I was 1 of 4 or 5 parents, the rest was teachers. We needed parent involvment to move the district to action.Parents could make this a better school.