I give Highlander Charter School 5 stars because I think that the students are being pushed to do their best, just like they did 3 years ago when I didn't speak any English, or like they do every day when I come to school. HIghlander is a place where students can feel safe, where students can express their ideas, and where students' voices are being heard. This is why I love Highlander!
I love this school because I get the help I need and the teachers care about their students. Highlander has helped me in many ways, I was able to learn how to communicate/speak in English in less than a year with the help of my teachers and after school tutoring. Highlander has also helped me learn about careers of my interest with Expanded Learning Opportunities. It allows students to explore different careers of their interest.
I feel Highlander is a great school due to the environment and teachers. The way the school is set up our teachers are close enough to talk about emotions and feelings, almost like family. I've been going to Highlander for 8 years and it truly feels like home. I love Highlander, even on my bad days. Highlander taught me everything I need to know about respect, relationships, communication, and so much more. I learn everything at my own pase and have a great knowledge due to this school. Highlander is a welcoming school and once your here its truly great.
My son attended Highlander for kindergarten and had a phenomenal year. His teachers were extremely caring and communicated regularly with my husband and me using Class Dojo. They also differentiated for him, making sure his needs were being met. He has nothing but fond memories of Highlander!
What was once a wonderful learning experience is now lackluster at best. I would attest that their elementary school program is still stellar with some of the best educators I have ever encountered. However, something changes when the children transition to middle school. I have to assume it is because of the focus of standardized testing that has shifted the focus of the administration from an engaging place to learn with supports for every kind of learner to a teach-to-the-test method that leaves most students struggling or underwater. The head of school is a wonderful woman who wants the best for her students, but it has become clear, over the years, that she has taken on perhaps more than she can successfully juggle. Parent engagement has all but dissolved and I no longer know the school in which I once felt so welcomed.
I have had 3 kids enrolled in Highlander.When their charter was in jeopardy of being revoked the administration changed to save their jobs. During that change they sold their sole and all they stood for. The administrator put such pressure,stress on the students that the creative teachers had to goose step into line.My children had leaning differences "one student at a time" motto when out the window.My kids now cried they hated school.The Special Ed department can't even follow or write an effective iep.One of my children didNt have a teacher but a TFA teach for America student.The administration was never forthcoming with this information.The TFA "teacher" would break down and cry in class stating to the kids that it was too much.But that was only a "perception" on my child.Next, my eighth garder read a book that was so violent and sexuallity charged in the name of teaching the kids about "choices".The main character was raped very vividly in jail.I would have movedHellandhigh water to keep the Highlander of the past open.Most of the staff are great people and awesome out of the box teacher's with a love of learning! For them who stayed true their values. I am thankful!
All is not what it seems. It looks good from the outside. Some wonderful teachers but they frequently change their teaching methods. When test scores are not great they constantly counteract with an excuse "we are no longer teaching that way". Or "Our kids have excelled and that one test doesn't reflect that". It went from a small family "big picture" school. To a large, now pre K thru 12 experimental school always working on the next best thing. Sad to see.
I doubt this space is large enough for me to write everything I love about Highlander. Let's start with the dedicated support staff and the wonderful teachers, or we could talk about the student-specific teaching style, or maybe I should mention how my children are genuinely engaged and excited by school. Perhaps, though, it would be our award-winning after school program that would catch your interest. The bottom line is after having had my children in Highlander, I cannot imagine putting them anywhere else.