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Highlands Elementary School9

San Mateo, CA | San Mateo County

Quality
Principal
Teachers
Activities
Parents
Safety

March 16, 2015


I have to disagree with the previous reviewer, praising highly of the principal, Heather Gomez. She put her son in a school where she has a great influence. For example, on the first day of Kindergarten, there were a sign where to line up, a bucket of name tags, and a place to take a "first day of Kindergarten" picture. It turned out it was only for one class that Heather's son belonged to. She was standing right near the sign, she only gave curtly short answer, "only for class 1" when parents came by to ask her about the first day procedures. Heather's son belongs to a teacher's classroom who has a great reputation. It just seems like exercing personal influence without any qualms about it. On a separate note, she didn't care the other 75 parents and their children were mobbing around. I live in the neighborhood, and it is my best interest that the schools does well. However, the school is very much average despite of all the parent volunteers, and it seemed to be getting worse since Heather's arrival.

Submitted by a parent

January 25, 2015


My son is in Kindergarten and loves his teacher and the school! As a parent, I love this school. The principal is amazing and sends her own kids to this school even though she lives in Baywood and could send her kids there. This school has strong and well-rounded academic programs and is known to be one of the best schools in the area. It is not a school in "decline" as one poster wrote. This school has amazing resources and great parent involvement. The staff is very capable and top notch. My son's teacher is in constant communication with the parents and cares about all of the kids. This school accommodates all skill levels. So if a child is more advanced, they can go as far as they are willing to go. If a student needs more help, they can get more help. Overall, we love this school and the community feeling it creates and embraces.

Submitted by a parent

January 7, 2015


A great school with great kids and teachers, but unfortunately due to mismanagement by the school district, it's a school in decline. This year is the first year for the new "common core" math standard (spending more time to go deeper on math basics). As a result, all kids in the same grade are taught the same (low) level of math. My son finds the math boring and he disengages from doing his school work. The school board (which manages the K-8 grades in San Mateo and Foster City) removed the fast track math program (pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry in the middle school grades) and isn't interested in bringing it back. They claim this is due to the new Common-Core mandate, though other school systems (like Belmont, Redwood City, Palo Alto, and Los Gatos) have either left their fast math track programs intact or have re-instituted them back due to parent demand. A common theme I've heard with community parents is that many put their kids in a private school for elementary and middle school and then bring their kids to Aragon for high school. Aragon is managed by a different school district and still has a top notch reputation.

Submitted by a parent

October 22, 2014


We have been so impressed with Highlands Elementary School and the fantastic education our children are receiving. The teachers are extremely dedicated, and we have found them to be fair, approachable and truly passionate about teaching. The principal empowers the teachers and students, and the schools focuses not only on academics, but also life skills. The school also gives the children opportunities to work on individual projects, team projects, public speaking and writing, which are skills they will need later in life. The parent community is helpful and involved with things like fundraising, the book fair, the walk-a-jog, the garden and teacher appreciation events. The Highlands is a very special community, and most children walk or ride their bikes to school. The school community is welcoming and nurtures young children while getting them ready to move on to middle school. We feel very fortunate to have our children at such a wonderful elementary school.

Submitted by a parent

June 22, 2014


The principal Heather Gomez is fabulous. She has fantastic management skills as well as the school version of bedside manner. I have yet to encounter a teacher I feel is below top notch. I have 2 children and have been nothing but happy with the Highlands community.

Submitted by a parent

September 13, 2013


My school seems to shine with happy energy when I approach on Bunker Hill Dr. As the school has grown and new buildings have come in, the usage of space seems well thought-out, with plenty of space for kids' recesses and activities, as well as safety preserved. There is emphasis on reading with book fairs several times a year as well as trips to the library. The adults associated with the school, whether volunteers or paid aids, remain concerned about sustaining the quality of the education, as well as preservation of a cleaned and repaired facility.When I hear that kids get to go to Highlands School, I am confident that their public education will be a great opportunity for each individual child.

April 16, 2010


It has a great staff and an active and devoted PTA, along with eager students.

July 6, 2007


Our son started kindergarten at the Highlands last fall and we've been pretty impressed, not just by the entire staff there but the curriculum as well, since day one. There is a great group of dedicated teachers and support staff whose personal and professional mission is to provide a great place for learning academics and 'lifeskills' in inspiring and fun ways. I've seen their efforts go beyond their 8-hr work day to prep for their classes, parent-teacher conferences, etc. The principal is quite an inspiration to everyone and parents like me. Parent commitment to supporting the teachers and kids is phenomenal - not just through the PTA. Some local schools have significant CST/API scores, etc. and are not as culturally diverse as the Highlands. Highlands is an academic jewel that reflects both.

Submitted by a parent

April 15, 2007


Our daughter is in kindergarten this year. We have found that, overall, the school is wonderful, with a great curriculum, exceptional parent involvement and warm, caring teachers who instill not only academics, but just as importantly, life skills both in and out of the classroom. The Principal is excellent and hands-on and we feel there really is a sense of community to this school. We are quite impressed with the level of parent dedication to their children's success as well as to their school experience. There are many varied programs and activities that encourage student participation and foster a love of learning. We are extremely pleased to be a part of this school.

Submitted by a parent

January 11, 2007


We think that Highland School is wonderful and works to not only educate their students in basic skills, but works to instill compassion and citizenship in their students. We love the school. But we wish that the teachers' salaries were more competitive to those of surrounding districts since we have seen this school lose some very valued, experienced teachers on staff.

Submitted by a parent

September 18, 2006


Excellent school, with plenty of parental involvement. Since the school is situated in a small neighborhood, it also fosters a great sense of community - the 'It Takes a Village' idea. Kids from this school going on to the local middle schools can be identified by their teachers right away - sincere, hardworking, with an eagerness to learn. Could always be better - as can everything else of course, but all things considered - academics, teachers, parents, principal, overall quality of development - it would take a good deal to find a better school overall. One of our kids just went to Gr 6 in Borel, and the younger one is now in Gr 4, and both have been very happy.

Submitted by a parent

April 10, 2006


Highlands is an excellent school. My children love it and the staff take pride in what they do

Submitted by a parent

August 15, 2005


Both of my two children attend Highlands Elementary School and we feel it has high quality of academic programs. We especially are impressed with the dedication and sensitivity of the principal and the teachers.

Submitted by a parent

August 15, 2005


The teachers at highlands are excellent and the school curriculum is great. My daughter loved school there and she was also getting a quality education in a safe, productive school environment.

Submitted by a parent

June 12, 2005


All of the parents provide support throughout the school. It seems to be a strong school solid. Lots of high achievers.

Submitted by a parent

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Mark Palermo
988 Howard Ave, Suite 300
Burlingame, CA 94010
650-218-6400

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