2021/2022 Admission Brochure

Page 1


OUR MISSION Highland School prepares students to thrive, lead and serve in a diverse and dynamic world, developing essential skills and character by challenging them with a demanding academic and co-curricular program.



UNIQUE? What makes you unique? That’s often a difficult question for a young student to answer. At Highland School, a Pre-K2 to Grade 12 independent school located in Warrenton, Virginia, it is one of the most important questions that drives us every day. We work tirelessly to make sure that each student has every opportunity to find out what makes him or her unique. We provide our students with the tools and opportunities they need to discover themselves and to discover the world around them. To achieve this, we strive to create an academically challenging yet supportive, engaging, and nurturing environment. Highland School takes seriously this commitment to balancing academic, athletic, and artistic excellence while encouraging leadership and community service. Each member of our faculty and staff works hard to help our students participate and excel in as many ways as possible.


Combining the best of traditional and non-traditional educations Experience is the best teacher. At Highland, we combine traditional and non-traditional methods to create an active learning environment where every discovery comes to life through hands­-on activities. Highland School is a Pre-K to Grade 12 independent school located in Warrenton, Virginia. Students grow and develop, bound only by their energy and interests. Field Studies make research real. A highly evolved experiential learning program introduces students to the wonder and majesty of the natural world. Active learning across all divisions Across all of our divisions, Highland’s courses are as much active as academic. For example, students of drama, literature, and media use digital tools to tell their own stories. Field study trips to environmental centers underscore classroom science lessons. Students of Shakespeare read plays, act out the roles, and attend professional performances. Our robotics teams, which include programs for Lower, Middle, and Upper School students, combine mathematics, engineering, and computer programming to solve complex problems. These teams collaborate to make their complex designs a reality. Counseling the right fit For our Upper School students, college counseling emphasizes finding the best post-­secondary “fit” for each individual. College admission counselors visit campus each fall to meet students and answer questions. Beginning in Grade 9, counseling is an open discussion between parents, students, and Highland faculty and staff about making the best choices for the right reasons. Each January, young alumni return to give presentations and describe their college experiences. Technology at Highland Highland embraces sophisticated digital technologies in support of art and music, foreign language, and individualized instruction. Students develop an understanding of the positive role technology plays in connecting and engaging across platforms and disciplines. 4   Highland School

“In a school that prides itself on community,” says Lower School technology director Michele Daniel-Shenk, “we’ve seen that computers and mobile devices are powerful tools for bringing people together and opening new frontiers.” Computer labs in all divisions Built around a network of high­end iMac and PC computers running highly-specialized software, Highland’s computer labs, which are available to all students, inspire the academic mind and feed the creative spirit.

“Highland delivers exactly what they promise. They deliver the best education geared toward each individual student.” HIGHLAND PARENT

Best of the best Highland offers nine Honors courses in a range of subjects and 16 Advanced Placement classes. More than 75% of our seniors take advantage of these course offerings every year. Recent college acceptances include the most prestigious schools in Virginia, as well as Columbia University, Duke University, Stanford University, Yale University, and others. Learning how we learn In our dedicated Learning Center, educational specialists deliver a range of support services to Pre-K through Grade 12. The center is available to students in need of extra attention, advocacy, remediation, and individualized instruction. On campus resources help ensure that each Highland student develops confidence, competence, and academic independence. highlandschool.org

Here are a few of the things our families said about Highland as part of a recent parent survey: Academic Programs

“We knew Highland would be able to help make our children successful and push them to their fullest potential.”

Strong Faculty

“Highland has a great educational program with dedicated teachers.”



Have you recommended Highland School to a friend?

said “YES!” they have recommended Highland to a friend or coworker.

Character Development

“We couldn’t have made a better choice than when we chose Highland.”

College Preparation

“I can’t say enough good things about Highland. It is an important part of our lives.”

Overall level of satisfaction with your child’s educational experience at Highland

93.6% are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their child/children’s educational experience.

Safety of School Environment

“The campus feels safe and the faculty has done a tremendous job getting to know my son.”

A little about our current parents: Average Time at Highland First Year Parents (17%)

2-4 Years (40.1%)

Average Drive Time to School <10 min (26.7%)

21-30 min (24.8%)

>41 min (5.7%)

5-7 Years (15.1%) 8-10 Years (14.6%)

11 or More Years (13.2%) 11-20 min (30.0%)

31-40 min (12.9%)

Education Level Bachelor's degree


Graduate degree


Professional degree


Post-‐Graduate/ 13.2% Doctoral degree

“The teachers are invested in the students and encourage their successes every single day. They are positive role models and enable students to find their own strengths.” Highland Parent describing what he or she likes most about Highland

Highland School was founded in Warrenton in 1928 by Dorothy Rust and Lavinia Hamilton.

HONOR CODE Honor is expected of every individual. Each year, all students sign a code that embodies Highland’s core values.

Did you know?

Field studies are a long-standing tradition at Highland. Students in all divisions love getting off campus in search of new experiences and the chance to interact with experts.

Baseball Field Tennis Complex

Softball Field

Winfree Commons

Upper School

Highland Center for the Arts

The Rice Theater

Turf Athletic Field

View of Turf Athletic Field

8   Highland School


Bermuda Upper School

Middle School

Athletic Fields

Gymnasium Lower School

Our thoroughly modern campus serves students and families from a broad geographic area Highland is located on 42 acres in the heart of Warrenton, Virginia. Comprised of more than 183,000 square feet of instructional and administrative space, Highland boasts stateof-the-art facilities including a newly renovated Middle School, the Highland Center for the Arts and the recently constructed Hazel Lower School. Additionally, we offer a full-sized artificial turf field and the Johnson Academic Media Center. Our campus is located just 40 miles west of Washington, DC in the Piedmont region and serves students from nine counties including Fauquier, Prince William, Loudoun, Rappahannock, and Culpeper Counties.


Did you know? More than half of our Upper School students participate in the arts. Whether you’re performing on the stage, playing music in the jazz ensemble, or making a stunning dress out of household objects, we’ve got an outlet for you.

10   Highland School




THE FIVE C’S At Highland, we believe that the essential elements of an education are much more than the traditional three r’s of reading, writing, and arithmetic. That’s why we’ve identified the five c’s of critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and leadership, and character to serve as the backbone of a Highland education. No matter if you’re getting these five c’s through your involvement in academics, athletics, or the fine and performing arts (and very likely it’s a combination of all of these), you’re going to see the world and your place in it in a different way. And that’s the point. At Highland, we believe that an education should go far beyond learning facts, figures, and test-taking techniques. A 21st century education is rooted in essential skills – the five c’s – that you can use not only through college, but throughout your entire life.


Each year, all students in Highland’s Middle School travel to camp Friendship, located in Palmyra, Virginia. The oldest students work with faculty mentors to take on leadership roles in ‘Color Wars’ teams comprised of younger students.

12   Highland School


Did you know?

At Highland, academics don’t stop at the classroom door. Real-life experiences through field trips, internships, and field studies add to the learning that takes place on campus.


Did you know? Every year, Highland’s 6th graders raise trout in the classroom and then release them in local streams. As part of the project, students test the water for pH, nitrate levels, and the presence of bacteria to check the stream’s health.

14   Highland School




EXCELLENCE Since our founding in 1928, Highland School has prepared students for academic success. Today, this means that we challenge our students with a rigorous curriculum focused on preparing our students for college and beyond. From the first days of Pre-Kindergarten to the end of Grade 12 at Highland School, our college preparatory education is individualized and student-centered. Mapped across all grades, Highland’s curriculum is cohesive, expansive, and solidly skills-based. Teachers are trained to adapt their teaching to a wide range of learning styles. For students who need more individualized attention, Highland School offers the Learning Center. The Learning Center is comprised of a staff of full-time educators who train, tutor, challenge, and advocate for students of all abilities.


Where do you fit in?

As a Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 independent school, Highland serves the academic needs of a wide range of ages and an even broader range of abilities. Our students quickly discover there are no limits to what they can achieve. With a supportive and student-centered environment, all of our students’ needs are met.

Early Childhood Pre-K2 through Pre-K4

The Early Childhood Program at Highland is built around a developmental curriculum that promotes creativity, exploration, decision making, and choice. Each child, from our youngest two-yearolds to those preparing for our Kindergarten program, is encouraged to express his or her individuality while learning to function as an effective member of his or her peer group. Our Early Childhood program provides a warm and supportive learning environment. Each child is nurtured and encouraged to develop socially, emotionally, and academically at his or her own rate of growth.

Lower School

Kindergarten through Grade 4 Designed to nurture every child’s innate curiosity and wonder, our Lower School program is filled with fun exploration, confidence-building public performance, leadership, and character-building community service. Our application of ‘Project Approach,’ experiential math, social studies, language arts, and science classes form the foundation of the curriculum. Learning support and speech and language therapy resources are available. Highland’s Lower School teachers apply the principles of the ‘Responsive Classroom’ to foster a positive and supportive learning environment. This nationally-recognized approach emphasizes the students’ social and emotional growth, in addition to academic growth, as being essential to a child’s development.

As part of the core curriculum, all Lower School students gain a working knowledge of the fundamentals of visual arts, music, and technology. Each year, field studies take students beyond campus to explore and grow. From food and book drives for local causes, to raising money for a sister school in Kenya, and adopting endangered animals, Lower School students are full participants in the School’s community service program.

Middle School Grades 5 through 8

With the Middle School years come many intellectual and personal changes. We provide these young learners with an age-appropriate and varied program that challenges them academically, athletically, socially, and artistically in a nurturing environment. They feel safe to try new roles as they mature beyond childhood. A flexible schedule offers teachers opportunities to continue with our Project Approach. Regular assemblies, wellness, computer literacy, and programming classes and overnight field studies projects are also part of the Middle School experience. Core academics—including foreign languages—are emphasized, as are visual and digital arts, theater, and music. Competitive sports are available beginning in Grade 6. Leadership opportunities in the Middle School include Blue/Gold Captains, Student Hosts, Student Council, and National Junior Honor Society. All students participate in community service projects throughout the year.

Upper School Grades 9 through 12

Because there is so much to do, the toughest challenge an Upper School student faces is time management. Challenging college preparatory academics are the norm. Options include Advanced Placement and Honors courses in math, sciences, English, foreign languages, history, and the arts. There is also exposure to the fine and performing arts in our Center for the Arts. Opportunities flourish for full participation in athletics throughout the year. In the Upper School, there are many paths to excellence and a supportive environment in which to achieve at the highest possible levels. Here, challenge and support go hand in hand. A low student-teacher ratio ensures that students receive the individual attention they need to develop independence and confidence—skills essential for success in college and in life. Through such avenues as the Honor Code and a well-developed community service program, high ethical standards permeate Upper School life. Leadership opportunities exist through the Prefect Board, class officers, National Honor Society, and our own Leadership Certificate program. In fact, our Certificate Programs are an Upper School signature. Students can concentrate on global studies, engineering, entrepreneurship, leadership and the arts. They complete course work, academic studies and capstone projects that demonstrate a thorough understanding of their topics.      17

Did you know? Athletics at Highland is as much about participation as it is excellence. Each year, 78% of our Upper School students participate in at least one varsity-level sport. Over the past sixteen years, we’ve won 16 state titles.

18   Highland School




ATHLETES At Highland, athletics are kind of a big deal. We’ve found that athletics – both participatory and competitive – are a great way to bring out our Five C’s of critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and leadership, and character beyond the confines of the classroom. It starts in the earliest grades with dedicated physical fitness programs multiple times per week. In Middle School, students participate in three recreational or competitive sports per year. Options include volleyball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, cross country running, baseball, golf, and tennis. In the Upper School, athletics take on a more prominent role in Highland’s social landscape. Widely known and respected as tough competitors, Highland athletes embrace the thrill of winning and the virtues of sportsmanship. Highland’s coaches, who are all members of the national Positive Coaching Alliance, help student athletes “redefine what a winner is,” says Gary Leake, Athletic Director. “This positive approach helps to make the game better for all involved.”


Did you know? Highland offers 20 Varsity, four Junior Varsity and 19 Middle School teams for our students. On average, 70% of our varsity teams participate in their state tournaments. 20   Highland School



Get out there, do your best, and be part of a team Despite our long history of academic success, participation really is what matters most. At Highland School, the overall objective of our athletic program is to provide an opportunity for student participation in properly supervised and controlled activities. Accordingly, Highland’s athletic department encourages and supports broad participation from as many boys and girls as possible. Member of the Delaney Athletic Conference (DAC) Highland is a Division I member of the Delaney Athletic Conference. Our teams compete with other independent schools from around the region. “I am very proud of where our program is today, as well as where it is headed,“ said Gary Leake, Highland’s Athletic Director. “I view program success as a partnership between student athletes, coaches, teachers, parents, and school personnel. We are not a “win at all cost” school, but instead have

developed a method that emphasizes the quality of the experience over the quantity of wins and losses.” “I believe that, through participation, our student athletes have the opportunity to gain life lessons in such areas as self discipline, work ethic, character, time management, commitment and personal training habits,” Coach Leake continued. Varsity and Junior Varsity teams for girls and boys Highland School fields 20 Varsity teams for boys and girls across three seasons. We also offer Junior Varsity and Middle School teams across all three seasons to give more students the opportunity to participate, compete, and grow as both students and athletes. To learn more about our athletic program, please visit us online at www.highlandschool.org/athletics.

HIGHLAND’S COACHES ARE ALL MEMBERS OF THE POSITIVE COACHING ALLIANCE All of Highland’s coaches are members of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a national non-profit developing “Better Athletes, Better People” by working to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building youth sports experience. To learn more, visit www.positivecoach.org.      21

Did you know? In our Lower and Middle Schools, class plays are a way of life. Plays selected for each grade reflect a topic relevant to their studies. Students learn to master their lines, songs, and jokes and then perform them for families, classmates, and teachers.

22   Highland School




THE ARTS At Highland School, we are deeply committed to and invested in the fine and performing arts. Our state-of-the-art Highland Center for the Arts features The Rice Theater, the Lise Hicklin Black Box Theater, a dedicated gallery space, and studio spaces our faculty use to offer a wide variety of art and music classes including ceramics, 2D and 3D Design, guitar and jazz. As a central element of our mission, arts education distinguishes Highland from other public and private alternatives. All Lower and Middle School students participate in visual art and music in their daily curriculum. Programs for our youngest students include the violin, cello, xylophone, and chorus. When students enter the Upper School in Grade 9, they are eager for creative exploration through Highland’s dramatic productions, musical ensembles, and arts programs. In fact, more than half of our students continue to pursue extracurricular arts in the Upper School.



There’s no better form of ‘experiential learning’ than being on stage In the Lower and Middle Schools, our class plays set the stage for long-term involvement in the arts. The Fine and Performing Arts are an important component of Highland’s mission. In a time when school systems around the country are cutting funding to arts programs, our steadfast commitment to arts education sets Highland apart from the others. The arts are part of our core curriculum All Lower and Middle School students participate in visual art and music as regular parts of their core curriculum. These students enter the Upper School in Grade 9 and are often eager for more creative exploration. Highland Center for the Arts Our Highland Center for the Arts offers some enticing teaching and performance opportunities. The Rice Theater is a state-of-the-art performance space that hosts a wide variety of school and community events throughout the academic year. Additionally, the 60-seat Lise Hicklin Black Box theater is home to monthly Coffeehouse performances that give

Upper School students a chance to perform in front of a supportive audience of their peers. Highland hosts local, regional, and national productions “Performances by the American Shakespeare Company, the Piedmont Symphony, and others bring the community to the Highland campus,” says Michael Hughes, Highland’s Artistic Director. “But Highland student productions also attract a widespread audience. Highland School and our Center for the Arts have become an arts venue in its own right.” The Highland Center for the Arts is also home to a spacious art gallery, a 2D art room, 3D art room, a digital filmmaking lab, and a dedicated ceramics studio. Interested in learning more? Interested in learning more about the fine and performing arts programs across all divisions at Highland? Please visit our website at www.highlandschool.org/arts.

The arts are woven into Highland’s curriculum and culture Highland courses are as much active as academic. Some examples: students of drama, literature, and media make real films using sophisticated digital filmmaking tools. Students of Shakespeare read plays, act the roles, and attend professional performances. 24   Highland School


Did you know? Highland graduates go on to some of the best colleges and universities around the world. When they return to campus, our alumni always remark about how prepared they feel for the next steps in their academic journeys.

26   Highland School


Experience Highland School for yourself! Ready to check out Highland School? Here are some easy ‘next steps’ you can take to experience Highland for yourself:

Step 1: Find out when the next open house is scheduled.

Held throughout the year, these offer a great opportunity to meet our faculty, staff, and students and tour our campus. Check out the listing of admission events at www.highlandschool.org/openhouse.

Step 2: Learn more about our generous merit-based

scholarships and need-based financial aid. Our goal is to ensure that students who can benefit from the experience are able to attend Highland School, and we do everything we can to make that possible.

Step 3:

Check out an upcoming athletic event or a play. We host games and matches in every sport we offer and they are open to the public. Plays and musicals are held in the Spring and Fall. Check out our schedules at www.highlandschool.org.

Step 4:

Schedule a private tour of our campus. These are typically offered during school hours. To schedule a visit to our campus, check out the contact information below.

Schedule a private tour of our campus During Highland School’s regularly scheduled open houses, you’ll explore our campus, meet students and educators, and discover what continues to set Highland – and Highland’s students – apart. Can’t make it to one of our upcoming open house events? Schedule a personal tour of our campus. Please call our admission team at 540-878-2740 to schedule a visit. Learn more at www.highlandschool.org/admission.


Do you have specific questions about Highland School that we can answer for you? Please feel free to contact us today:

Highland School

597 Broadview Avenue Warrenton, Virginia 20186 540-878-2700

Admission and Tuition Assistance

Donna Tomlinson Director of Admission & Tuition Assistance 540-878-2740 dtomlinson@highlandschool.org www.highlandschool.org/admission


Gary Leake Director of Athletics 540-878-2760 gleake@highlandschool.org www.highlandschool.org/athletics

Fine & Performing Arts

Michael Hughes Artistic Director 540-878-2733 mhughes@highlandschool.org www.highlandschool.org/arts


Chris Cochrane Director of Facilities and Security 540-878-2770 ccochrane@highlandschool.org www.highlandschool.org/security

Learn more today at www.highlandschool.org

“I’ve never experienced so many people, outside of our family, dedicated to my child’s success.” NEW HIGHLAND PARENT      27

HIGHLAND SCHOOL Office of Admission & Tuition Assistance Warrenton, VA 20186 Tel. 540-878-2740

www.highlandschool.org/admission A Pre-K to Grade 12 Independent Co-Educational Day School in Warrenton, Virginia



Highland’s Senior/Kindergarten Buddy program is one of our best-loved traditions. “It’s our way of connecting the whole school,” said Head of School Hank Berg. “Getting these kids together at the beginning of each school year, and keeping them connected all year long, is incredibly beneficial to both age groups.” Read more at www.highlandschool.org/admission

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.