How will my child benefit from a Highland School education?
Highland students develop confidence, independence, resourcefulness, self-motivation, and responsibility in a school community that values individual rights and the democratic process. Our students have the space and time to delve into their passions. They learn not to be afraid to make mistakes and how to develop through reflecting on the consequences of their actions. Students develop the self-confidence to find out what they need to know even if they are exploring previously unknown topics.
Who does well at Highland?
Children who start at 4 years old can continue the pattern of learning that they began at birth. They usually don't have to unlearn the idea that they wouldn't learn anything if they weren't forced or enticed into it. They are better able to participate in learning and living at The Highland School. We believe that each child is a unique individual and each child's experience at Highland is different. Overall, a wide variety of children have done well at The Highland School. Students have come to the school with different cultural backgrounds, family structures, and past experiences. If you have specific concerns about your child's ability to be a student, please contact us.
How do children learn if it's not required?
Children are born curious with needs to reach out and explore their environment. Humans are social beings who enjoy sharing their experiences with others. Some of the most important and difficult skills are learned before children are school aged. For example, walking and talking are not "required" by families, yet they are embraced by children at an early age. At The Highland School, students learn because they are interested in satisfying their own curiosity, because they want to share in social activities that involve communication skills, and because they want to develop their own abilities to accomplish things in the world.
How will my child become a responsible person?
At Highland, children are able to practice being responsible in an environment where they can make mistakes and learn from them. Children learn to become responsible by reflecting on their interactions with the people and things around them. For the process to occur, children need to be equal members of a democratic community. This process of interaction results in change and growth - both for the children and those who live and work with them. Living and learning at Highland give children the opportunity to grow into self-reliant and responsible adults.
What's it like being a Highland parent?
Choosing to send your child to Highland is both rewarding and challenging. It can be hard to describe why your child goes to a democratic school. People ask many questions of you and you may find yourself at a loss for words. Talking with other parents and school members may help find ways to describe how the school works. While it can be difficult to be a parent, it is rewarding to see your child grow into a happy, responsible adult.
How are rules enforced?
Rules are primarily enforced by the knowledge that the same school members who make the rules also enforce the rules. Most rule violations are handled informally by a student or staff member reminding the rule breaker of the rule. If the reminder isn't enough, any school member can write a complaint and involve the judicial system. The Highland School's judicial system is created by the General School Meeting. The system follows the principles of due process and innocent until proven guilty while safeguarding individual rights.
What is the graduation process?
The graduation process involves choosing a committee to help the student demonstrate to the General School Meeting that he or she is ready to be responsible in the world. There are three competency areas including life skills, the student's special area of interest, and understanding how the school works. The prospective graduate defends his or her thesis in front of the School Meeting. Upon completion of the process, the General School Meeting votes to award a diploma and the student graduates. Graduates of The Highland School have been accepted at a wide range of colleges and universities across the country. A few of the colleges include Miami University of Ohio, Marlboro College, Salem International University, and the University of Chicago.