We were hesitant to place our daughter in this school because of the ratings. It is our neighborhood school for the Carolina lakes subdivision. Our daughter was placed in a classroom with a teacher who is certified in gifted education. The advanced children were placed in that class for what I was told. Our daughter loves going to school everyday. I had few concerns and the teacher replied promptly to my emails. I requested a seat change for my daughter because she was distracted by a no so well behaved child and she was moved immediately. My daughter has been encouraged by her teacher to study math daily and vocabulary, and my daughter wakes up everyday to practice vocabulary for the upcoming School Bee. She wants to excel because this teacher encourages her. So we are pleased that switching her from a private school to Highland has been a positive experience. I have met many others who love the teachers at Highland. If you are an involved parent in your child's education your child will do great at school. If you rely on the school to do all the work...well anywhere you go you will have the same negative outcome. Give Highland a try.
Overall this school could work on their communication skills. The staff members as well as the teachers, should stay connected and respectful with the parents. The teachers need to learn that with a kindergartner who is excited about school, does not always inform the parents about up an coming events; such as play's, holiday affairs. Safety and the well-begin is apart of being in the education field, if you are in-charge of children for 8 hours a day, teaching is not the only thing we as parents expect from the teachers and staff at Highland Elementary.
My daughter started at Highland about 3/4 of the way through her Kindergarten year. When we met with her teacher on her first day, she was very good about listening to our concerns and where she stood in Reading and Math. Our daughter continued to excel and loved her class. Forward to 1st grade, and she's lucky enough to have Mrs. Dobeck as her teacher. She tailors her interactions with the children based on each child's capabilities. My daughter is reading at a much higher level than most of the other kids, so she's let me know that she'd like to send her to a 2nd grade class occasionally to see how she does with their reading and/or vocab. She's encouraged my daughter to continue reading about things that interest her--instead of just what she's instructed to read. As for the school overall, it seems to function well. Lots of activities for the kids to involve themselves with. My only complaint, and this is probably nationwide, is the number of fundraisers that my daughter comes home with. Give it a rest!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!