If you are a parent who wants to be involved, this is the school for you. Students learn true independence. By 3rd grade, if a student wants to go to a library, he is responsible for filling out a form, finding a chaperone (from an approved list) figuring out which bus you will take and the times it picks up and returns. It is truly an environment where all children feel cared about by the entire staff. I could go on all day about how amazing this school it. It is a blessing and a gift that I will forever be thankful for. The only negative thing is that there is no high-school. This school doesn't talk the talk, it walks the walk and it teaches the children to walk the walk by setting the example. Recently they had a school play. After closing night, many families stuck around to help clean up and students of all ages were encouraged and allowed to help use power tools (with supervision) to help take apart the stage. Everything is a learning experience. When my son was 5, I was visiting the class he spilled something all over the floor. I said "Look at the mess you made" the teacher replied "He didn't make a mess, he made an opportunity to use a broom."
Highland Community School is FANTASTIC! It's not only the way a school should work, but also the way a community should work. Highland Community requires parent involvement. This means that the only kids that are going to go to the school are kids with parents that WANT to be involved. Because of this, the contention that you might see in other schools between parents and teachers is minimized. Instead, they work as a team. I see my the teachers of my children every day, so I don't have to wait until parent teacher conference day to find out how my kids are doing. I KNOW how they're doing every day. We are so lucky to have found this gem of a school in a fairly large city. We get it all. Diversity, community, teamwork and friendship!
We are new to Milwaukee having moved here from a small town up north. Our 8 yr old son had just spent a year participating in a multi-age class and his growth had been great, so we were a bit concerned about finding (and affording) equal or better quality education. Many people in our neighborhood - some current parents and some empty-nesters - that we should consider Highland Community School. We are so glad that we listened because our experience at Highland has been great. The parents are super involved. The teachers are super involved. Both of my children love going (3rd grader and 3K-er) and the transition from small town to big city has been smooth in large part due to the easy acceptance my children found at Highland Community School.
Highland Community School is surely one of a kind. The teachers/staff are awesome and truly care about the well being of the children. The parents know each other and our children and it is truly a family. I would highly recommend Highland to anyone. If anyone asks me about this school I rave about how great it is. It is unfortunate that the great school rating is not reflect an actual assessment of this school.
Highland Community School is a place where children, teachers, administration and parents all come together in a common goal--to give our children the highest quality education we can, while teaching to the WHOLE person. The Highland Community School kids are not just learning their 123s and ABCs, but they are learning kind, compassionate global citizens. I could not ask for a better school for my children.