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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Primary & Elementary Schools, Special Education

Mission: The highlands school is an independent, non-profit harford county school designed to remediate students with learning differences including, reading and math disabilities, speech and language deficiencies, and attention deficit disorders, who have average to above average academic potential, but who are struggling to learn by conventional teaching methods. The children who enroll in our school are not achieving academically at their age level and/or manifest difficulties in one or more areas of skill development, including language, reading and spelling, perceptual motor integration and organization/study skills. It is the highlands school's goal to help each student discover how they learn and bring them up to grade level.

Programs: The highlands school is a state-of-the art, independent day schoollocated in bel air, maryland. The school is a regional resource forfamilies with bright and creative children in kindergarten through 8thgrade who struggle with dyslexia, language based learning differencesand attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adhd). The school'smission is to provide a positive environment focused on teachingstudents how to use their strengths to overcome frustrations andachieve academic and social successes. Through an individualized andmultisensory approach to learning, the school aims to equip studentswith the skills and strategies needed to become successful independentlearners. In addition to the full-time school year program, the school offers a 5-week summer program, tutoring services for children, adolescents and adults, and executive function training. The school has the capacity for 125 students.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Highlands School is a small nonprofit, but they are very generous dispersing their financial aid to families who need it. Their financial aid comes from many generous donors in the community which makes it possible for children from all socio-economic levels to attend.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a reading specialist and I have a private tutoring practice. Over the years, I have referred families of struggling readers to The Highlands Schhol. Their philosophy is to teach students the skills and stategies they need to become successful, independent learners so they can transition back to a traditional setting, usually within two to three years. The students improve their reading and other academic, study and social skills. I can see a difference in their self-esteem in a relatively short period of time. Learning becomes fun for them! After students leave The Highlands School and return to a school with traditional teaching methods, these young people continue to learn and graduate from high school and college.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son is attending the Highlands School this year after a wonderful experience with both the summer academic and social skills programs. He previously attended public school. The difference in my son has been amazing. He went from not liking school to looking forward to going to school. He is happy and has become more confident in his abilities. Homework is a breeze. He even enjoys PE!! The people at the Highlands School are very dedicated to the students and parents. We feel extremely fortunate to have the Highlands School nearby. I highly recommend this school to anyone with a struggling child. The difference is unbelievable!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been teaching at The Highlands School for over 10 years. At the beginning of the school year, we see down trodden students walking our halls. After just a few weeks of teaching them with our methods, we see them walking taller and with smiles on their faces. They realize that they can learn when they are taught by the proper methods they need to succeed. Then when they are tested and see that their grade level has improved, they are overjoyed, and so are we.

Kimberly D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the parent of a 9 year old daughter who has previously attended a private christian school and public school. Everyone meant well and thought they were helping but UNTIL I FOUND THE HIGHLAND SCHOOL, no one ever did. There are so many things this school offers children who learn differently I could be writing forever. They have small groups so children get individualized instruction. They are taught how they learn best and at their level and do not move on until the concept is solid within the child. This atmosphere greatly inscreases the success of the child. This school also believes in reinforcing positive behavior by rewarding effort and success and does not punish for failure. This has made a tremendous difference in my daughter's life. She is not afraid to try because she knows she will not be labeled "slow or incapable". It also follows everything I have been taught about building up my daughter's self esteem and lowering her anxiety level by the experts at Kennedy Krieger Institute. At the Highland School, they help the "whole child". While teaching them academics the way they need to learn they also give them a voice and help them learn to advocate for themselves. This is something NO ONE has been able to help her with until now. From preschool to third grade at other schools, she NEVER would walk into the school and go to class by herself. She was afraid of everything. People making fun of her, failure, getting lost, being starred at, being bullied, etc. She went to The Highland School one day, I was also there in parent orientation when I told one of the educational specialist that my daughter would need someone to walk her to her classroom everyday. That administrator said "done, no problem". The second day when I pulled up to school and went to get out of my car to help her to whomever would be taking her to the classroom, my daughter stopped me. She said, "mom, I don't need you to do that hear at my new school, I am fine, they really like us here"...and off she RAN barely stopping to give the staff person at the door her name........and I pulled around to the parking lot and sat there and CRIED. This is how it should be! How it should have been for her all of those other years of her school career. She has made me get there 1/2 hour early EVERY day to be the first one there and we get up at 5:45 a.m. everyday to do that. One of the strongest messages I have gotten from this school, as I was told this and have experienced this........ At other schools, "fair is - everyone gets the same thing to learn", "fair at The Highland School is - everyone gets WHATEVER THEY need to learn". AND IT WORKS. My daughter was failing everything (with a $800.00 a month tutoring bill) and she is now getting 90 - 100% on everything I see graded. Sincerely, An Extremely Grateful Mom

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an employee of The Highlands School. When I originally came to this school, I was totally uneducated and unaware of the tremendous need for students with learning differences. Year in and year out, I continue to be amazed at the accomplishments our students make. It is a thrill to see their self-confidence and self-esteem grow and flourish as they strive to meet each goal set before them. Our faculty and staff are by far, the most devoted educators I've ever encountered and it has been a honor to be part of this remarkable organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A valuable resource in Harford County Maryland that has helped so many children to achieve academic success. Children with learning disabilities tend to have such difficulties with learning to read and write like the majority of children. The Highlands School offers programs that fit the children's learning styles rather than making the child 'fit' into the program prescribed by a public placement.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son was lost untile he attended The Highlands School. He was not processing properly and was continually bullied at school because the other children perceived him as "stupid". His self-esteem took such a beating we were concerned he would never go back to school again. What The Highlands School has done for our son has been beyond amazing. They have taken a shattered little boy and within weeks of entering the school, turned him into a new child. He values school, what he learns and beams with a new found self esteem. They teach these children to value themselves for their differences. They have successfully come up with a program that does not leave any child behind......every single child at this school is valued and succeeds academically...not matter what their individual pace. This school not only transformed our son, but has transformed our family as well. I only wish I had sent him here years ago.

Tina R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter was struggling with tests, Spelling and just having a hard time retaining The information the teachers where Teaching. We had heard about the highlands school. So we decided to take a tour And bring. Our daughter to tour it as well . She did the summer program and loved it So we enrolled her full time. The small Groups are wonderful. And they teach On your child's level.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My son was struggling with school although I knew he was quite bright. He also was struggling socially. I heard that a new school would be opening to help children with learning disabilities/differences. We met with the folks and both were impressed. He became a member of the first class, staying only one year there and has gone on to do very well academically and socially. I now am so pleased to have the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors as every aspect of the operation of the school is geared to maximize the learning and well being of the students. Classes are small (3:1 student/teacher ratio in the small academic classes). There are sessions that help with social development, an impressive gym and theater. We were able to build a new school building and the design/layout is so impressive: the business and administrative activities take place in the front of the building - nearest the street. Small classrooms maximize interaction, "smart" board enable the students to pay attention to the work in the classroom without having to struggle to take notes. Perhaps most impressive is the wide variety of "learning" situations using every sense, and all manner of activities to assure that the students can find the best way for them to learn. Rarely does a student stay more than 2 or 3 years - it is the goal to teach the skills so students can return to "main stream" education, usually having improved by 2 -4 grade levels! These students are of average to above-average intelligence who might well get lost in traditional schools, and often have come to believe that they are stupid because they do not learn in the traditional ways. The Highlands School helps these children meet their potential, which in turn enables them to be more productive and positive members of society.

Client Served

Rating: 4

My son was enrolled at Highlands School after the public school failed to address his individual educational needs. After spending 4 years in the public school system, my son had not acquired any reading comprehension skills and was falling significantly behind. Since moving him to Highlands, he has grown in his love of school and learning. After 3 years, he has obtained nearly 3 grade levels in reading and over 4 years in math. The attention each child receives and the staff's dedication to finding what works in educating that individual is one of the reasons that there is no better choice in educating your learning-challenged child. I jusr regret there is no high school and this will be Brad's last year:-(.