February 2022 Fresh News

FRESH NEWS from Highland - 2.4.22

From the Desk of Ryan Henderson, Principal 


Dear Highland Families,

I wanted to share some good news with you today from your friendly neighborhood elementary school. So today it's a special edition of the 

TOP TEN Terrific Things Happening at Highland


  1. The CULTURE AND CLIMATE at Highland is strong! According to a recent Panorama survey of our students, we've actually improved in this area since 2019. Pretty remarkable during a global pandemic that severely impacted schools. Our data shows that 75% of students feel we have a positive energy at Highland. 78% of students feel our expectations for students are fair (an increase of 14%), there was a 17% increase in the amount of support students feel from their peers in their learning, and remarkably 86% of students feel their teachers are excited to be teaching their class, a jump of 10%. 


  1. We are blessed with an ACTIVE AND SUPPORTIVE PTA. Did you know that when Highland was built in 1999 they did not include a permanent way for us to display student work and other attractive wall displays? PTA partnered with us to order large bulletin boards for each classroom and program at Highland. They're going to make their way here on a semi soon and be installed thanks to the generosity of y'all, everyone who contributed to the Apex Fun Run and beyond. Thank you! 


  1. Our STUDENT ACTIVITIES are thriving. The Robotics Club (Mrs. Speare and Mrs. Cooper, advisors) is completing its season at a district competition next Saturday at Cavelero. Our Student Council (Mrs. Correa and Mrs. Anderson, advisors) meets regularly to improve the student experience at Highland. They are currently leading a campaign to get us all to do our part to reduce litter on campus. Our Safety Patrol (Mrs. McDonnell, advisor) is making a daily difference at our cross walks, keeping us safe to and from school. 


  1. We are doing some innovative work and l could not be more proud. Our staff is learning about the Science of Reading, taking what we are learning about how our brains learn to read, and how to help all students grow as readers. A big part of this is a focus on helping students develop the FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS they need to be a truly fluent, comprehending reader. 

If you'd like to learn more, check out my recent report to the School Board, which includes parts of our annual School Improvement Plan. 


  1. We continue to add new Highland Hornets to our family each week - some as new houses are built, some as folks just move into an existing home in the neighborhood. It does this principal heart SO MUCH good to see how quickly new students are integrated in our community - they build friendships, build bonds with staff members and become known and loved. That said, if there's anything I can do to help in a transition into Highland for your family, don't be shy! 


  1. As I think about points of pride here, so many things that we take for granted as part of our life at Highland and in Lake Stevens School District are funded through our local levies, from technology to support staff to student programs. Please make an informed decision by viewing this video https://vimeo.com/662713939 or by visiting www.lkstevens.wednet.edu/levy. Ballots must be returned by midnight THIS TUESDAY, Feb. 8. The attached flyer is a nice summary as well. 


  1. I have had a chance to meet with teachers recently to review their annual goals and learn how I can best support their growth as educators. When I asked them what their bright spot was right now almost all of them mentioned the most basic thing: being able to WORK WITH YOUR CHILDREN in person. They each beamed talking about their classes and the students they get to serve. We don't take it for granted that you trust us with your children each day! 


  1. We've continued to grow our cadre of Highland parents joining the ranks of classified substitutes and guest teachers. We HIGHLY VALUE these new additions to our team and would welcome YOU, too! Did you know that if you have a four year degree you can apply to be a guest teacher through the emergency certification process? Did you know that most people who are hired on as support staff paraeducators begin as classified substitutes? If you're intrigued, reach out! I'd love to tell you more! You can choose to work just at Highland, and it's highly flexible day to day. 


  1. I continue to be so grateful for how we can WORK TOGETHER during this difficult time. It is extraordinarily difficult to have to exclude your children from school due to close contact or positive cases, as we know how impacting it is to you, to their learning, and to your overall life as a family. This is a simple reminder that following health department guidelines are not a school or district decision, but are required for all schools in the county/state. We thank you for your grace and patience along the way. 


  1. Your kids are learning. That's our core mission, and it's happening. In the midst of many possible disruptions and distractions to learning, our mid year data is showing some promising gains in literacy. For those of you participating in parent/teacher conferences, you will have a chance to learn more about where your child is at. If you receive progress primarily through the semester report card coming 


A few things you need to know: 

- Want a glimpse into daily life at Highland? Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be able to view each day's video morning announcements. Here's today as an example: https://youtu.be/B7cWsVLu4lk. Just click subscribe to be in the loop daily. 

- Just a reminder that the hlattendance@lkstevens.wednet.edu email address is available 24/7 for you to let our team know about daily attendance. 

- Is anyone in the family waiting for COVID results? In most cases, staying home during this period of time, ESPECIALLY if your child has symptoms, makes the most sense. 


Please reach out if I can be of help to your family!


Ryan Henderson


Highland Elementary 

360.618.2284 mobile/text

425.335.1590 direct