The school has adopted a behavior model that they incorporate into all areas of the school day, for all grade levels. It encourages respect, responsibility and safety. The children know these are the expectations and respond very positively. The teachers, administrators and staff genuinely care about teaching the children - not just academics - but honesty, integrity and fairness. I think students leave Highlands Elementary with more of these great qualities instilled in them - with the help of the adults at school - and the significant influence of positive peer pressure to exercise these qualities, as well.
I believe this school is a quality school, on every level. The administration and office staff are well-qualified and caring. The principal and vice-principal are very involved and accessible to parents and students. The teachers my child has had, in the two years we have been at the school, have been very good. The autism teacher, speech pathologist and paraprofessionals have worked very well with my child, and with our family/therapy program. I am thankful for the diversity in this school, and for the acceptance among students and staff of children with special needs being incorporated into as many mainstream classroom activities as possible. The way the children respond and treat my child speaks volumes about the way the school is teaching understanding and respect...I have found families of other children at Highlands to be very supportive, as well. The P.E. teacher, music teacher and art teacher seem very dedicated to their specialties, and in instilling passion in the kids. The school is fortunate to have a great PTO president that drives a well-run Parent-Teacher Organization that really benefits the school as a whole.
We are thankful for Gwen Lostocco and her willing heart and the positivity she brings to the classroom every day! She has welcomed children of all abilities and backgrounds -- from 2 different grades (!!!) to her classroom this year. We feel so blessed to have her as my son's 6th grade teacher. He level of compassion and empathy, paired with her encouragement and intuitiveness, add so much to her ability to educate our children. Thank you, Mrs. Lostocco!
Enrolled our son when our daughter was accepted to Odyssey which is in the same school. Found many times where boys were not treated the same as girls and called out for ridiculous issues. Principal and teachers are tight and tend to cover each others backs not for the good of the child. Some of the specialist are good but can only do what they are allowed. Aids within the school have also said they are aware staff sticking together when parents stand up to them. Parents need to be definite that teachers and principal accountable to them not the other way around. Transferred our child out felt we were dealing with a dead end.
What a poorly run school, not to say every school isn't. If it wasn't the case, we wouldn't have student load dept higher than credit card dept. I would have to agree with many others that this school looks at the difference of others as something bad, without getting to know them on a personal level. I've been accused of being a bad parent just because I'm dropping off my kid at the side of the street. Where everybody else is dropping off their kids. However for being different in age and other differences, I'm called out to be the bad parent. Waiting to be able to move my child out!
We moved to this school after 2 of my kids attended K-6 and K @ Jefferson. We attended for 2.5 miserableble years. We left when child #3 was 1/2 way through K. This school is too big, too "cold", too snotty, too mean, too rigid. Communication is horrible. Back to school night = no parent info, no currica, no schedule- just put your books away and think of a question so you don't mess up on the first day. Like what door do you go in, or how do you get breakfast, when is breakfast? It's totally up to you to ask and you will get a snotty note when you do things wrong. There are some very good teachers there & some not so good. Most classes are way overcrowded- K had 27 when we left. School was not fun. Uptight, rigid, not many field trips, very little respect for hometime by overwhelming kids with homework. Again some very good teachers, fun activities, but these can be found at other local schools with much better charisma
Highlands may well be a wonderfulschool for a child without special needs. As it was for my daughter is is gifted and talented. However, As the parent of a child with autism and other disabilities I have to say I have found this last two years to be extremely furstrating and agree with the previous poster that the principal could be a stronger leader. I have found that more than a few of the "specially" trained professionals to be lacking in anything more than a very basic understanding of children with disabilities. In other words if it is not in the texbook they read it cannot exist. I have found them to be under-informed,not up to date with the most current techniques and unwilling to be open to any point of view but thier own. not mine as a parents, not any of the other numerous physicians, psychologists or therapists that work with my child daily as well and have known him for 4 years. Saddest of all I have found a overall lack of common sense. Very dissapointing. Am moving out of the district to enroll my child in a school rated 9 out of 10 by Great Schools.
Amazing staff and volunteers.. I have a daughter that attends Highlands and we love everythng about... The time and patience that is given and offered to each and every student is outstanding and should not go unrecognized.. The principal knows every student by name and is always apart of every thing that the school puts on.. I would not want my children to go anywhere else.. THANK YOU TO ALL THE GREAT STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS! these children are our future and your doing a great job...
This is an excellent school my son is in a special education class and I don't know what we would have done without Highlands. The attention he receives is top notch and the teachers are wonderful. The principal is amazing she seems to know each child personally. I can't say enough how much this school has helped my child.