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Highland Elementary School
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Highland Elementary School Share
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Midland Park, New Jersey
Bergen County
Midland Park School District
Highland Elementary School is a public school located in Midland Park, New Jersey with 267 students in grades 3-6.
Highlights
Electives centered around 21st Century skills: Robotics, STEAM, Simple Finance, Simple Woodworking, Broadcasting, Problem Based Learning, Enrichment and Maker Space.
Technology includes; 1:1 Chromebooks, Smartboard in every classroom, Google Apps for Education School, open teacher grade-books for 5th and 6th grade.
Highland has strong community service programs which include; working in a homeless shelter, Hammering for Habitat, senior citizen visitations, and many fundraisers for donations.
Awards

The Highland School earned recognition for its participation in the Table to Table fundraiser, Hammering for Habitat, and our work with the CTC Academy in Fair Lawn which is a mentorship program for severely 'differently-abled' school children. Last year, according to NJ.com, Highland School ranked as one of the top fourteen schools in Bergen County grades 3-12.

Location
31 Highland Avenue
Midland Park, NJ 07432
Contact
Principal: Mr. Peter Galasso
201-445-3880
pgalasso@mpsnj.org
Website
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Grades
3-6
White 80%
Black 1%
Asian 2%
Hispanic 15%
American Indian or Native Alaskan 0%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0%
Multiracial 3%
School size
267
students
Female 47.6%
Male 52.4%
Economically disadvantaged students 4%
Students with disabilities 18%
English learners 1%
Homeless students 0%
Students in foster care 0%
Military-connected students 0%
Migrant students 0%
Students by grade
Average number of students per grade
67
Grade Percent of total students Students
3rd Grade 27%
71
4th Grade 23%
61
5th Grade 29%
77
6th Grade 22%
58
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English & language arts proficiency
73%
of students

Math proficiency
62%
of students

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Crime per 100 students
1.1
Incidents per year
Violence 1
Weapons 0
Vandalism 1
Substances 0
Harassment, intimidation, and bullying 1
Total incidents 3
Percent of students absent fewer than 10 days
84%
Days absent Percent of students
0 days 10%
1 to 5 days 40%
6 to 10 days 34%
11 to 15 days 12%
Over 15 days 5%
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English 97.4%
Spanish 1.9%
Other 0.7%
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Learn more about Highland Elementary School.

Mission

The Highland School provides programs and services which enable students to grow academically and socially to achieve the goal of becoming knowledgeable, skillful, life long learners and contributing citizens in the 21st Century workplace. We offer a variety of extra-curricular activities, assembly programs, and PTA-sponsored events to round out the educational experience for all students.

Academics

The Highland Elementary School boasts four independent schedules; one per grade level. We believe that each schedule caters to the developmental age of the grade level student. For example, 3rd grade students are in a traditional homeroom setting where one teacher instructs all subjects. This is the most nurturing setting. As students advance in grades they go through teaming and quasi departmentalization, until 6th grade where they experience true departmentalization for the core subjects. The 6th grade schedule culminates with true electives centered in 21st Century Learning from which students may choose from. There is also a scheduled Student Wellness period at least once per week at every grade level to promote social emotional wellness through an implemented data driven curriculum.

Clubs

Highland School has eighteen clubs, which includes: Sign Language, Digital Photography, Newspaper, Intramurals, Environmental, Science, Math, Art, Dungeons and Dragons, Ball Room Dancing, and Yearbook Club. We also have a full musical open to 5th and 6th graders who perform on stage yearly. Highland School also maintains a full-time band and choral program that perform multiple times a year for the community. Our Arts program has received the NAAM award annually for the past six years.

Programs

Highland School and its partner school Godwin, offer Before and After School Day Care five days a week. Highland School also contracts with outside agencies to offer after school art programs, robotics, and science programs.

Teachers

Over the past three years the Highland School staff has been engaging in unprecedented professional development. We are wrapping up transition to a readers-writers workshop model by working with skilled consultants. Furthermore, our Math department has adapted our practices to include the Concrete, Iconic and Abstract models in order to ensure that all students, despite their learning style, will have access to the curriculum through manipulatives and hands on, real life approaches. Midland Park has started a BSI consortium where basic skills teachers from other districts come together to discuss program and strategies.

Supports

Highland School has ample support for all student needs. We have several collaborative classes per grade level which allows for a smaller student to teacher ratio. We support most special education needs in house through our LLD program, as well as the BCSS Hearing Impaired Program (HIP). We have a full-time Reading Specialist, Basic Skills teacher, Speech teacher, OT/PT teachers, and Enrichment teachers, all of which supplement the General/Special education programs at Highland. Through the utilization of state Title funds after school "HW support labs' and intervention programs are available for our most at risk students.

Health

Student Health and Wellness is a critical component of the Highland School. Through the Guidance Department, we offer many ‘skills’ groups for students, such as our social skills and divorce skills groups. Teachers and administration also organize school-wide wellness days where students and parents take a night off from all school work. The Highland School, along with the PTA, sponsors talent shows, a dance, and assemblies predicated on character development to promote a positive self-image. There is now a full curriculum based on the 7 mindsets and mindfulness that is a scheduled part of a students academic week which ensures students are engaged in a formal health and wellness program and meets the CASEL standards for Social Emotional Learning.

Parents

The Highland School has an extremely active and supportive PTA which organizes fundraisers and events in the school, such as the book fair, talent show, Harvest Festival, Movie night, etc. The PTA has donated tens of thousands of dollars in teachers and administrative grants over the past half-decade. The Highland School also works closely with the MPPEF, which raises funds for large projects, such as the 1:1 initiative which supplies technology resources to students. Over the past five years the Highland School has raised over $80,000 from the community to upgrade our gymnasium.

Facilities

The Highland School was built in 1924, but has been updated through two referendums over the past fifteen years. The Highland School now has a fully air conditioned gymnasium with a state of the art speaker system and LED lights controlled from an IPAD. The Enrichment room, PT/OT room and Makerspace lab just went under a serious renovation to enhance the facilities. The Highland School has touchscreen computer lab, hearing impaired rooms, art room, band and music room, Media Center and pull out adapted self-contained room for students with special needs. All classrooms have a digital sound enhancement system upgraded this past year. The school has a state of the art heating system, newly renovated bathrooms, brand new windows and playground/field area for the students.

School safety

The District and Highland School has updated its security features of the past several years to include; a district SRO Officer who is intimately involved in all buildings. A state of the art lock-down system with panic button, strobes, audio cues, automatic dispatch to the local and county police, and an app that allows district employees to communicate with local law enforcement directly citing student information and locations. Drills including evacuations and lock-downs are implemented routinely, addressing situational responses. The main office scans every visitor who enters the school.

Technology

The Highland School has a 1:1 platform centered around Google Apps for Education. All students have their own Google accounts that are monitored. Students have access to printing systems at all times. Students can print from home and pick up their paper in the morning. The Highland School's Wi-Fi system is exceptional with no lag time and access point in each room. Educational software both free and budgeted are used routinely; Nearpod, Breakout Edu, Pickers, Symbaloo, Kahoot, Flocabulary, Brain Pop, Discovery Streaming, etc. Furthermore, text editions are accessible on the Internet and are supplemented by internal databases like IXL for math and ELA and Reflex math to promote math fact acquisition. The science program utilizes technology to orchestrate on-line digital labs to help supplement hands on experiential activities. A new STEM lab and Maker Space was granted to the school, with over $25,000 in grant money to improve the space.

More

Highland School is comprised of approximately 300 students in grades 3-6. The Hearing Impaired Program of the Bergen County Special Services School District is housed in our school. This environment allows students with disabilities to be educated with non-disabled peers in a program emphasizing respect and acceptance of individuals with unique differences. Data-driven decisions continue to shape instructional practices and guide lesson planning. Formative and summative assessments are used to gauge student abilities and plan for appropriate instruction. A number of different types of benchmark tests are used throughout the year to assess the students’ academic achievement in reading and math. Through these assessments, teachers design data-informed differentiated lessons to meet each student’s needs. Furthermore, with the data gleaned from the PARCC assessments, teachers and administration work together to identify gaps in academic instruction to ensure our obligation in preparing students for future schooling is realized. To complement the rigorous curriculum in the core academic subjects, our students participate in other curricular programs including Physical Education/Health classes several times a week, Music, Technology, Library, Art and World Language. Upper elementary students have an opportunity to participate in the Interactive Band, the School Concert Band, Jazz Band, and electives that focus on 21st Century Learning skills, and students have the opportunity to showcase their talents in the Spring Musical. We consider these classes just as important in the development of our students as the core classes. All subjects now infuse technology into the curriculum though an integrative approach, which ensures students are keeping up with technological trends that support research, discovery, socialization, presentation, and creation. Highland School is a Google Apps for Education School that gives every student access to a laptop, making us a 1:1 program

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