A cornerstone of our work at Highlander is engaging families in the school. Parental involvement is a serious sharing of responsibility for each child’s learning and development.
Highlander believes that parents are a child’s most important teachers and understands that each child’s education relies on a committed support network of adults who work together to help students achieve their potential.
All Highlander parents must commit to being involved in their child’s education upon acceptance into the school. This means that parents must to commit to:
We encourage parents to become involved through the Board of Trustees, SIT (School Improvement Team), or sub-committees. Highlander also encourages parents to support their children by being present in the school by leading a workshop or activity, assisting in classrooms, or acting a mentor to a student with similar interests.
A home visit is a meeting hosted by the student in his/her home, and includes the student, teacher and parent(s)/guardian(s). Home visits occur every August/September.
A trusting relationship between faculty and families is critical to our school philosophy, and meeting before the school year promotes discussion in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Parents play active roles in the learning plans established for their children, and there must be a level of comfort with the process and teacher to optimize parent involvement.
Home visits allow teachers an inside look at the interests of their students. Through observations, informal conversation, and question-and-answer sessions, the home visit provides a window on what students are excited to learn about.
The home visit also provides teachers an environmental context for student interests, actions, and beliefs. Highlander boasts a diverse population of students; the home visit enables the teacher to learn where each student is coming from and to understand family structure and expectations. It is an important foundation upon which we build academic, social, and organizational goals.
A learning plan outlines the academic, social and organizational goal for each student and grounds the personalized learning that occurs at Highlander. Learning plan meetings occur annually in October, January (optional), and April. The plan outlines two to four goals for each student and details an action plan for achieving those goals. The parent action plan is critical to achieving learning goals, and shared accountability sets the stage for student success.
These evening meetings are usually held in September, January, and April. The school also hosts an open house for upper- and lower-school parents in October, giving parents an opportunity to see their child’s classroom, hear about their child’s academic and social experiences, and speak to the teacher and each other about the start of the school year.
Finally, the school hosts parents during “exhibition time,” when a classroom of students showcase the academic work of the quarter, present information that they have collected and analyzed, and answer questions about their work posed by teachers, administrators and their parents.
Highlander encourages parents to get involved with the school and their children’s education in other ways. Parents can serve on the Board of Trustees, mentor students, chaperone field trips, and teaching mini lessons. Learn more about how you can get involved with Highlander.