Students enrolled 906
Hours no info
School leader Ms Tina Miller
Transportation options no info
District Harnett County Schools
Before school no info
After school no info

Resources:The North Carolina education landscape explained. Learn More »


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1915 Buffalo Lake Road
Sanford, NC 27330

School website
(919) 499-2200
(919) 499-2524
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Highland Elementary address.

3 stars
Based on 49 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

March 01, 2014
I am so grateful for this school, the Harnett County School District and the state of North Carolina. I've had two children go through Highland. We moved here when my daughter was in second grade. We came from WA where a student had to be at least two years behind to receive any assistance and she had 28 other students in her class. Within her first week at Highland her teacher recognized she was struggling and let us know she was only at a Kindergarten reading level. She was immediately placed in Title 1 and received free after school tutoring. With great tools and a lot of practical homework I am very proud to say my daughter jumped up two full grades in reading and is currently excelling in third grade at Highland. Her teacher is amazing and she only has 15 classmates this year. She still receives Title 1 assistance and is getting ready to start another round of free after school tutoring. I love this school and I know it has changed my daughter's life forever! Her future is bright and it's all thanks to the amazing programs the state offers it's schools.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2014
I'll agree that I think it's a real mixed bag over there. My son (8yo) and daughter (5yo) moved in the middle of the year from WA state. My daughter's kindergarten teacher was amazing! Everyone else in the class could read when she got there and she didn't even know all her letter sounds; by the end of the year she was 1st grade ready! My son's teacher was out for almost HALF of his time there. When we called to ask if we could talk to his sub (since in 6 weeks we hadn't received ANY graded work) we were told by the office lady "I'm sure he's learning everything he should be". After more pushing, I got her to give my name and number to the "second grade representitive" who called and said she couldn't comment because she wasn't his teacher. We talked to the principle before buying our house since the school had a rating of 3 last year. She was upfront about the schools situation and the rating has increased to a 6, so I think they are on the right track, especially given the roll out of the new standard. The front office staff, however, is almost always rude and unhelpful. After school care is great; she's a no nonsense type, but extracurricular activities are lacking.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2013
Our son goes to highland and loves it. He is working hard and having fun at the same time. This school is under rated by greatschools.org. The area and school is amazing.

- submitted by a parent
August 08, 2013
Highland had a great summer reading program this year. They had a different act or specials each week and let kids check out books from the library. I even took my 2 and 4 year old along and they got to check out books too ! Had a great time and the younger kids are now familiar with parts of the school.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2013
Not happy with this school. Front Desk Ladies are at times rude. Teachers are hard to work with. Principal is focused to hard on keeping a FRONT of a happy and perfect school instead of passing the State Standard. Will not ever recommend this school to anyone I know.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2013
My oldest son has been at Highland for 4 years and my middle child just one year. We have had a wonderful experience with Highland. I've heard some of the negative things that people have said but I can only speak from personal experience and the truth is that we have never had any issues. My kids love their teachers. The principal is a little strict but that is not a bad thing considering that the principal before her was a little too relaxed. My oldest son has thrived academically there while my younger child has had a little harder time. We will be moving away this year and I'm very sad to leave.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2013
My children have been at this school for the past three years and I am sorry that we will be moving away this year. After reading a number of the reviews posted here, many of which shocked me, I realized they are all over a year old. Yes, the school has some issues, what school doesn't. There are good teachers and bad teachers. Just like good students and bad students and good parents, bad parents. Highland has a healthy mix of all those and everything in between. Between my three kids, over the course of three years (3rd-5th, 1st-3rd and a current kindergartener) we've had 9 teachers at this school. I have enjoyed all of them, as have my kids. The school has been transitioning to the common core curriculum the past year, which I think they've struggled with, but it's a big change. We also got a new principal last year (2011-2012), Mrs. Miller runs a tight ship. All in all, I like Highland. My kids like Highland. It doesn't offer a lot of other extracurricular activities, but what it does have is done well. I would recommend this school to anyone!

- submitted by a parent
November 28, 2011
Unless your child is completely normal with no issues whatsoever, do not send them to school here. My son has speech and sensory issues and I am struggling to get the help that he needs because they are unwilling to work with us. Some of the teachers need to learn how to act like human beings and have some compassion towards their students with special needs. Teachers and the principal are almost impossible to get a hold of when you need them, but are more than willing to call every day and tell you how awful your child is being. They have even made me pick him up early for behavior issues, but are dragging their feet on evaluating him for extra help. Worst. School. Ever.

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2011
We are very happy with this school and the support it's showing our children. It is academicaly challenging and my kids are always happy about their day. The communication with their teachers has been great and their new principal is very motivated and involved. The only thing I am not crazy about is the nutritional value of the school lunch, but I think that is a given for most schools and it's easier to just pack your own. Overall, we are very happy and excited about the rest of the year!!

- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2011
This is the worst school i have ever seen in my life! The teachers are rude, disrespectful and down right unprofecional!!! My children are in kindergarden and first grade. they are not learning like they should, but i have no problem teaching my kids! The teaches have gone as far as scraming in my childs faces and sticking them in corners away from the rest of the class so they have no contact with there peers!!!! there undermine me as a parent infront of the class and other parents...they even try to get in to confrintations with me infrom of students..they dont return my call EVER they dont even grade half of my kids work... i hate this school and you'd be smart not to EVER send your kids to this school....i will be doing my best to get my kids out!!!!!!!!!

- submitted by a parent
August 14, 2010
I do not understand how staff is hired at this school. Do they even do background checks??? I am not at all happy with this school. If you spend some time listening to your child they tell you what the other children do. The teachers do not correct the problem at all. Kids touching other kids privates should not be tolerated!!!!!!!

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
October 16, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
August 03, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2009
I love Highland Elementary! My daughter has been in this school for the past 2 years and she's really loving it! She has not missed a day of school, she is eager to wake up every morning and head out on that school bus! Her teachers are so sweet and generous, I volunteer twice a week so I see what goes on and I am VERY happy with the way they teach the kids. They're stern when they need to be and loving when they need to be. My daughter reads and writes way beyond her grade level and I know its because of her teachers. I am not looking forward to PCSing as we would miss this school very much! I too, think that the cafeteria is well organized at lunch time :)

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 21, 2008
My son went to this school for Kindergarten and 1st grade. I am sorry to leave this school! His teachers have been incredible and the office staff is great! Everyone that I have met at this school seems very involved and willing to work with parents who are also involved! My son is an advanced reader and they have taken strides to accomodate his forward momentum in reading and writing even though there is no expectation for T&G students of his age. I love Highland! We are only leaving it because we are PCSing! I highly recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
August 12, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
June 21, 2008
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- submitted by a teacher
May 28, 2008
After reading the reviews it seems like the easy solution for many of the parents complaining would be to request more communication. I've been there at lunch, yes there are many classes, but supervision is present and the process is well organized. As far as parties and awards, we've always been well informed...as long as you read your child's agenda and check her homework folder. The information is there. Entering this school, we had high expectations for our daughter's learning...and we haven't been disappointed. Her teachers have given her tasks at first grade levels when she found K work too easy. My only gripe is that they do not have an accelerated program for students under 3rd grade. Overall it's a great school.

- submitted by a parent
April 03, 2008
Out of all the schools I have been to- this one is by far the worse school. Even if the school is over populated there is no reason for not returning phone call or answering concerns! I volunteer and I am at the school 3 days a week so I am involved and it is discouraging to see the mess at the school.For all you parents with children there please know that during lunch time in the 2007-2008 school year your child eats with 11 OTHER classes with only 2-4 (at most on a great day) staff members supervising all the children! There is so much potential if you just had the correct staff and communication! Now I have had one teacher this year that has stood out and is SUPER! If I had not been there I would have never known the stuff I do!

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2007
This is our third year here and we enjoy Highland. We have been fortunate to have excellent teachers with whom we communicate. The school has implemented different learning tools to help the population succeed. The Principal is strict, concerned only with the students achievement and safety and I applaud him. Highland is the largest elementary school in the district, as big as a high school.

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2007
I would not recommend Highland Elementary to any parent of a disabled child. The principle seemed to be genuinely concerned. He treated our child respectably. Unfortunately I can not say that for many other members of the staff at Highland. Highland never returned phone calls or emails.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
September 14, 2007
This is our first year at this particular school and I am dismayed at our experience so far. We work with our children at home to guarantee their educational success. They have clearly shown us that they do not care, and have added undue stress on our child without hesitation or consern for the student's well being. We have been and will continue to take every effort to correct this within the school for our own child's safety, education, and well being,but I'm beginning to feel our efforts will be in vain due to the lack of cooperation from the school.

- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
August 04, 2007
I have had children attend Highland since it has opened, but I did not and do not have the same issues that some of the other parents have. I am a parent who is involved in my children's education and I know that it takes the teacher and the parents working together to help the child succeed. Highland made school of Distinction the first 3 years that it was open, despite the student population growing. Yes the classes are larger than the Administration or the teachers would like it to be, but you can not blame that on the school. My children have had very caring teachers who informed me when my children needed extra help in an area. I think Highland is one of the best schools in the area. I want to see how well the other school do we they have over 1100 students.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
August 01, 2007
I have had children at Highland Elementary since it first opened and have not been happy with the progress...it seems to be going down hill every year. The staff is rude....the teachers do not care about the children like they claim. Their solution to a child not learning is blaming it on the child not willing to learn and reataining them year after year. The class size is too big to pay adequate attention to any child falling behind. They do not offer any kind of Tutoring for younger children below 3rd grade....and do not teach at grade level. They have failed to make the No School Left Behind Grade for two years in a row and you can bet that now I have to chance to move my children to a different school.... I am moving them ASAP and giving another school the chance to teach my children what Highland Elementary could not.

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
June 21, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2007
The 2007 year has brought dismay to parents and the children. Our math scores from this years EOG are continuing to drop. Anyone with a mindset, including Administration, should see the last two years are the cause of too many sub's and not sufficiently spending instruction time on math covered in the EOG. No child left behind is a joke and teaching the test is all we do! Quit telling our kids to do page so and so and teach them how to do it. We all wonder why NC schools are so far behind the curve. Raising teachers requirements won't help anyone can have book sense, but no common sense. My child is not a problem child like most parents that complain. I am just sick of the sweep it under the rug good 'ole boy system in Harnett County!

- submitted by a teacher
April 11, 2007
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- submitted by a teacher
March 27, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
February 28, 2007
My two children have been attending this school for the last three years. Sadly, our military tour is up and it's time to move again. Before we moved here my husband did his homework and choose this school.It has grown an incredible amount with the new housing around it. Many of my friends have taken their children out and sent them to private schools this year. I chose not to because I believe the school is a great school just overcrowded. However, when I asked my kids if they ever felt there were too many kids they did say yes. There are too many modulars and the student teacher ratio troubles me. Despite that one area, they are with a staff of friendly caring adults and I wouldn't change that. Overcrowding is a big concern but they are doing the very best they can and my kids love it.

- submitted by a parent
May 11, 2006
My daughter is in Kindergarten, has a new teacher and is in a modular building. I cried the day I found out. Today, I could not be happier for all of those things. The level of communication between her teacher, teacher s assistant and our family is wonderful. The amount of homework, although exhausting at times, is helping my child prepare to compete in the world. My daughter s teacher has been attentive to her academic prowess and has sent home additional work as she master s tasks. The only thing I would like to see is the inclusion of foreign language 20 minutes a day, three days a week. The school is dealing with overcrowded-ness just as every other school in communities across the state. Allowing builders to come in, throw up homes, profit enormously and leave without paying towards building a new school is the big issue.

- submitted by a parent
April 05, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
April 05, 2006
My oldest kids have attended Highland Elementary since they opened and we can t be happier with the quality of education that they receive at Highland. The staff is great and my kids have lots of fun while they learn, they love their teachers. Before settling at Highland my kids attended different schools and none of them provided the great facilities and had a curriculum that stimulated them the way that Highland does. I have not seen any elementary school that has a computer lab and actually encourage kids to learn like Highland does. Also, the principal is very attentive and open to parents. As a matter of fact I have friends that bought their houses in this school district just to send their kids to Highland Elementary. Overall, I will highly recommend Highland Elementary to any parent.

- submitted by a parent
February 16, 2006
I have one child who currently attend Highland and I feel the school is set up to promote and enhance the intrest of some students over others. I have never witnessed so much favortism in one school. I pray my child will be allowed to transfer to another school next year.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2005
As a parent of a child who attended Highland and a teacher at Highland I have to say that I have been very pleased with the education that my child received. Our principal is a wonderful leader with every child's interest and education as his primary goal. The teachers here put in tireless hours daily to meet all of the individual needs. It saddens me to see some of these reviews and I just have to tell myself that there are some who you could never please. We have a PTO for parents, agendas and bookbag reminders that go home daily, a school newspaper, voice mail for each teacher and conferences continuously. We also use any parent volunteers that we can get! I don't understand how lack of parent communication could be an issue. I love each child in my class and I love our school!

- submitted by a teacher
August 27, 2005
I felt very welcomed at the school when first signing my child up. Have felt the same every since. The only thing I would change is the amount of time the parents get for notice for an award program. I feel like the school sets high goals for the kids which is wonderful. I've never seen a problem with discipline. I do wonder if the other parents 'complaining' about the school stop in to talk to the teacher's or anyone to find out what's coming up or how they can help. I'm always amazed of the parents who don't know anything of what's going on. That's where they need to step back and blame themselves instead of the school system.

- submitted by a parent
July 26, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2005
My child graduated kindergarten and is not looking forward to first grade, neither am I. His kindergarten teacher took pride in the fact that she failed eight children, a third of her class. I fail to see how it is the children's fault when numbers like this are presented. Frustration doesn't come close to how we felt everyday when my child got off the bus. Hopefully we will get a better teacher next year. The leadership at this school certainly does not enforce any behavior or quality standards for teachers, it's strictly the luck of the draw for these kids.

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2005
This school is overcrowded with no insight as to how to solve the problem. Another example of 'good' kids get ignored while teacher's time and energy is spent disciplining the 'bad' kids.

- submitted by a parent
June 20, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2005
The parents aren't allowed to be involved with their children, the teachers don't tell parents about parties, or award ceremonies, things kids expect thier parents to be there for but only learn about afterwards by your dissapointed children. My daughter attended 2nd grade here and she would come home telling me how easy her work was. She's learning things here in 2nd grade that she already learned in kindergarden! I've never met the principal and the teachers don't communicate at all with the parents! We moved up here from another state and thank God we are moving back before my daughter gets stupid and my son starts kindergarden! I wouldn't recommend this school or it's district. I would consider home school before this town!

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2005
I have two students at Highland right now and could not be any HAPPIER with the school staff and faculty. My experiences have all been very positive from the first day of kindergarten. Highland has a terrific principal who is available to parents and faculty alike as often as possible. Our principal is great about working with military families, who may need to vacation at different times of the year due to deployments. He is also terrific with the students. I have a very gifted child, and one that has struggled with reading this year, both are now reading well above grade level thanks to the wonderful Saxon Phonics program that is used in K-3. Our school has definitely earned its 'School of Distinction' rating and is well on its way to being a 'School of Excellence'. I am very comfortable recommending Highland Elementary to all of our neighbors.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2005
The school itself is new and wonderful. The teaching staff is friendly and willing to work with the parents and children. The administration is where Highland lacks. They do not communicate with parents, they do not work with parents and they are not understanding of any type of situations. They need to remember they are a blended community with military members and things are not just centered around Harnett County. I feel the administrative staff lacks profesionalism and skills needed to suport parents and communication with parents.

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2004
I feel that Highland Elementary is the worst school that my children have ever attended. I was told from them that they could enforce corpral punishment on my children and have the principal and or counselors talk to them without notifying or following up with the parents. I was told it was not protocal and that my request to make it so when dealing with my children was denied. They fail to realize the importance of communication between parent and school as well as where their role ends and mine as a parent takes over. They fail to remember these are our children and they cannot do whatever they want with them no matter how many times they quote and hide behind NC state law.

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2004
I feel that highland school is not a good school. Poor Teacher/Parent communication. The teachers at the school do not challenge the kids enough.

- submitted by a parent
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Highland Elementary
1915 Buffalo Lake Road, Sanford, NC  27330
(919) 499-2200
Last modified Highland Elementary is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Highland Elementary Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 50 reviews.