About us - Highland Central School District- Where Students Are The Priority!
The Area and Community
The Highland Central School District, located in the historic Hudson Valley, encompasses a predominately residential area with a number of working farms and apple orchards in its midst. The close-knit community of approximately 11,000 residents affords easy access to the many cultural and educational opportunities in both Albany and New York City via the New York State Thruwayand the Metro-North Railway. Also in the area are numerous prestigious colleges and universities including Vassar Collegea>, Marist College,SUNY New Paltz, the Culinary Institute of America, SUNY Ulster, and SUNY Dutchess.
Within the area, there are a number of historical and cultural points of interest, such as the United States Military Academy at West Point, historic Hyde Park, the Old Stone Houses in New Paltz, Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh, the magnificent cliffs and trails of Minnewaska and Lake Mohonk Mountain House, as well as the recently dedicated Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park.
Numerous recreational outdoor activities are also available. The Highland Recreation Commission, Community Team, and other local agencies offer a multitude of after-school and weekend events for children and their parents. Local Boy/Girl Scouts and other youth groups provide children a strong tie with their community.
The School District
The Highland Central School District, in collaboration with its community and partners, is a student-centered learning community focused on the development of independent, lifelong learners while providing a quality education and promoting positive and healthy student growth. Each of our buildings have active Parent Teacher Associations, and in the case of the High School, a PTSA which includes students in its membership. There is a seven member Board of Education comprised of dedicated residents. For the past several years, a student from the senior class has been selected by his or her classmates to serve as a non-voting member of the Board of Education. The student representative actively participates in Board meetings, providing unique insight and recommendations.
The District recognizes the importance of fostering good working relationships with our surrounding community. The District has formed a strong partnership with IBM, Highland Rotary Club, neighboring businesses, local emergency response teams, and the Towns of Clintondale and Lloyd.
In all three of our schools, the students are actively involved with giving back to the community. Each year our students participate in food drives, volunteer at local nursing homes, march in the local Memorial Day parade, and provide support and guidance to younger students in the District. Two very special community activities include “Make a Difference Day,” which involves our students working directly with and assisting our senior citizens, and the “Senior Citizen’s Prom,” where our students provide our elder community members with a fun-filled evening of food, music, and dancing.
Focus on Achievement
All schools in the Highland Central School District are committed to student and staff achievement. The promotion of literacy, social responsibility, and academic skills continue to be our District’s primary focus. Staff development opportunities have aided in improving instructional practices, expanding use of assessment tools, and the analysis of data to enhance student development and achievement. The District is committed to Comprehensive District Educational Planning (CDEP). The CDEP team is comprised of a representation of all stakeholders in the District and, in collaboration with staff, parents, students, and the community, is committed to developing action plans based on the established goals and objectives of the District.
The District is committed to helping ALL students. Each building has operational Instructional Support Teams, which are designed to help teachers address the individual needs of their students.
New York State has recognized all of the three schools in the District as “Schools in Good Academic Standing.” Both the Elementary School and Middle School have received additional recognition from the State for “Closing the Achievement Gap.” Highland High School was recently recognized for the highest graduation rate in the Mid-Hudson Valley, and has been honored with a silver medal ranking in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report.
Many of the students who attend the Highland Central School District take advantage of the variety of Fine Arts programs offered in all three buildings. Concert Band and Chorus are taught in Grades 4-12. Many graduates continue their pursuit of the arts in post-secondary schools, with some receiving scholarships. The District provides a large number of extra-curricular activities and athletic programs for students. For a small district, it is truly amazing to see so many of our students involved in after-school activities. The District also has affiliations with a number of local colleges, which enables students to receive college credit for courses that they take in high school. Students also have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement classes, which can also be applied toward college credit at many universities.