Looks like a newer construction with a great office staff and engaging programs, the teachers seem to have great programs for the children. 1st day but I really enjoyed meeting everyone and listening in on classes.
This school is focused on all of the wrong things. The staff and the entire school revolves around the students with the "behavioral issues". Many students are completely ignored unless they act out. There are children of parent volunteers whom rules do not apply. The principle is unreasonable and has no real focus other than to flex his authority. An excellent vice principle who was new to the school last year has left due to being "unable to enact real positive change." After 3yrs I am happy my child will by starting 3rd grade at a different school. I hope things improve for the students who will still be attending.
Can't say enough about this school! Loved it from 1st to 5th! I think because of the bad scores which are almost impossible to change with so much esl, that the teachers worked overtime to care for and teach the kids in very creative and fun ways! They would constantly have fun learning events for the kids . I have never seen teachers pour their hearts into their jobs as much as here. And as far as the education goes, my daughter went on to virtually skip a grade at a great math academy and I know it's because Highland Park continued to challenge her since the first grade and provide many learning experiences that most schools don't have time for. She even had a teacher take some kids to meet the mayor, in her free time! Not counting the great drama and music opportunities that they offer the kids, they also do fun WASL prep. And for the parents worried about not seeing much homework coming home, it's the budget cuts. When my daughter first started we had tons of paper coming home but I was told in later years that teachers were forced to pay for their own paper so they began conserving and condensing home assignments. And a very healthy and diverse cafeteria menu!
I have a first grader. I'm not seeing much writing coming home so it is hard to evaluate growth in this skill. I'd like to see more writing.
Everything about Highland Park is great. Our twin sons love it there, the teachers seem to really care about the children. It is a great environment for learning.
As far as the principal leadership goes she is good as long as what she is doing only has to do with the children and their needs. Other that that she knows how to put on a show... And a good one for evening events. All the rest of the staff at this school rocks! caring, loving teachers that only want the very best for all the kids. Spend time at this school and make up you own mind.
I think they are trying hard to change what others think. There are many spirit days and things going on. I met the principal Ann Gray at an afterschool activity night last week, and she was serving pizza and was very kind as far as I could tell. There does seem to be a big turn around in staff, but I'm not sure why.
I would like to say first and foremost that the teachers at Highland Park are not all new, young & inexperienced and we Do know better! I am currently teaching at Highland Park and enjoy it! I have been teaching more than ten years and have experienced bad principals...I would not consider Ann Gray one of those. She is a strong leader who wants the best for ALL students. She is also a strong minded woman which many find intimidating. She says what she means and means what she says. Some people can't handle that. If you want your child to have an advocate in the district that looks out for the true needs of the students, Ann Gray would be her. I am not a 'kiss up' nor a 'brown noser' I simply know what's best for kids. I am a well liked and respected teacher replying to post: 10/9/08
I love this school, The teachers are great, they genuinly care for thier students. The faculty at Highland park are wonderful. My daughter has been going to this school for 3 years and will be entering her forth this year. I am very glad we chose this school for her to attend.
The school has been working hard to improve their scores. Looping is done in the first and second grade and it is very successful. They have a new principal which I think is a huge improvement over the last one. We needed more active parents to help our school grow and acheive more. There are many amazing teachers.
The academic programs are fairly standard, but the teachers care about their students. Caucasion students are the minority here. Parent involvement is minimal.
Seattle School District has imposed the present principal Ann Gray without any parent, staff or community involvement. Ann Gray failed at previous high ranking positions within the Seattle School District. She failed as head of Title I funds. She failed as head of ESL department. She leaves behind her only failure and volatile relationaships. Her abusive and non professional manner in which she treats students, teachers, and employees is responsible for causing about 13 employees to quit their positions within Highland Park within six months (one of the persons to have left is the head teacher). Most of the best teachers have left and that does not fill me with much hope considering that this is a school that is in jeopardy academically.
Its a good clean school with some good teachers, but it lacks school spirit with no extra fun activitys. Academic is good.
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