I regret encouraging my child to attend Highland. This used to be a good school but now has a tremendous disipline problem. My once happy and outgoing child who always loved school is now miserable, depressed and has extreme anxiety issues. She doesn't even feel safe at school because of the kids she has to deal with daily. In the two years that my child has been at Highland, I've only ran across one or two teachers that seem to care about their students.
Im currently homeschooled, but I went to Highland for 2.5 years and I could not be happier to get out. Here are the pros and the cons of this school.
-the chorus teacher is the BEST chorus teacher ever. She's sweet, funny, amazing, and does an amazing job at teaching the students. Im still taking lessons with her privately!
-There are two world languages you can take: Spanish and French.
-You can take 2D art or 3D art
-Lots of after school activities
-The counselors are super nice
-Most of the teachers cannot teach whatsoever.
-Too many problematic kids
-Bomb threats are almost monthly
-The principle sucks at his job
-The core content teachers suck at actually making you feel smart
-I barely paid any attention in most of my classes and I got A's and B's
-The French teacher sucks at her job. I once wrote down the lyrics to "never gonna give you up" by rick astley on apaper and I got an A.
-It's not super easy to make friends
-LOTS OF FIGHTS OH MY GOSH
-There are three types of teachers. The super strict teachers that actually like their students and want them to succeed (Ms. Torres is a Spanish teacher there and she is a prime example of that kind of teacher) The teacher that just gives lectures and doesn't even care if the students aren't listening, and the teacher who is super fun but doesn't teach much due to them cracking so many jokes.
-Don't go here.
My advanced placement child regrets choosing this school. She is sometimes put into classes with kids who do not care to learn. When asked for a transfer, the answer was no. If you look at these reviews the best reviews were years ago. Looks like this school is not longer what it used to be.
Lockdowns, gun searches and drug dogs are what your child learns here. 6th grade was enough for us and we go into another magnet program. That "highland" attitude has been passed on to the kids of this school where there is no learning to be had. It's pure survival. I know that all of the incidents are not even reported. Children who misbehave are not reprimanded when their parents threaten the school. There have been kids with knives with no punishment. One mom who is a social worker gets her child out of trouble and keeps his low performing academics in the AP program by threatening the school and they back down. I didn't want this child in class with mine that was there to learn! This was once a good program and now just out of control. We are out and not returning. Your child can not be prepared for high school. The AP program is extremely low level. The AP here would be remedial at most middle schools.
2 weeks into 6th grade my child is disappointed and i am not very impressed about Highland MIddle and the way they do things. My child was given a bully packet and i wasn't even notified but my child was hurt by it and told me what happened otherwise i wouldn't have known. Kids are not allowed to carry their backpacks throughout the day so they leave them in a classroom, last week someone stole her backpack which had her inhaler. She told teacher and teacher said it is not her responsibility, how is that? If nobody is in classroom why isn't it locked and if classroom is used for others why are kids forced to leave their belongings. I called school same day to discuss the bully situation and stolen backpack/inhaler and was told i would get a call from someone first thing Monday, guess what no call. School is old and air conditioning is not the best, it is very damp and stuffy in there and my daughter has been sneezing and coughing every day. My husband was told that they are aware of kids having breathing problems, staff as well and that there is mold but they do their best and would call 911 if needed since there is no nurse on staff.
My daughter has completed her first year at Highland Middle school on the Pacesetters team. This year was a much easier transition (from elementary school) than I anticipated. As in any school, the experience is what you make of it. I love the looping system. I believe it gives the teachers and students, plenty of times to "know" each other; the expectations of the students and the needs of the students. The school is large and has many students. I don't mind that aspect, because that can be benefitical for adapting to college life. My daughter lucked out with a wonderful team leader and dedicated teachers. Trips were great ( not too many). The reward (created by her teachers) system for good grades, was a great motivator for her. Her band concerts were enjoyable. She made a couple of "quality" friends. We hope that next year will be just as good and maybe better!