Highlands Blog

The Value of Consistency in the Formative Years

All parents want to send their child to the best school possible. This universal desire is the driving force behind hours of research, several campus tours, and countless questions asked. When you finally find a place that seems to be your student’s best fit, the focus shifts to their academic achievement — ensuring they are set up for success in their new learning environment. 

At Highlands School, we believe consistency is vital to academic and social success.
The formative years (kindergarten - eighth grade) are a time of building critical foundations. When students can move seamlessly from one grade to the next without changing schools, they thrive. Multiple studies have confirmed this, but we’d like to share with you our own reasons for emphasizing consistency:

Academic Growth
Organizing schools to improve academic outcomes is a hot topic across the United States. Many studies are finding that enrolling (and staying) in a K-8 program gives students the greatest chance for high achievement. Additionally, studies show that moving from a K-8 school to a stand-alone middle school is associated with a significant drop in test scores. We have seen the consistent growth that students experience as they progress through our school, and understand how a premature transition is damaging. Our school is designed to help students build the foundations they need for high school and beyond.

Social Growth
If a family decides to pull their child out of a K-8 school, it is usually around sixth grade. Sixth grade is a time of rapid growth and change. Students are not only discovering their unique identities, passions, and talents, they are developing social skills that are critical for lifelong success. Because we believe strong self-confidence as well as the ability to relate to others is so important, sixth grade is not an ideal time for a school transition. In a comfortable and familiar environment, students can continue healthy growth alongside like-minded peers, avoiding the pressures and potential pitfalls of fitting into a new place.  

Personal Growth
At Highlands School, all students experience the responsibilities and rewards of leadership. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade are not years of transition, but instead they represent a time of great intention. As students prepare for high school, they develop a strong sense of self-esteem through authentic leadership in our school. The personal growth that occurs during this period prepares students for the the new academic and social aspects of high school. After nine years in a consistent environment, they are ready to take on new challenges with confidence.

Learn More About Our Model
We would love to share more with you about the incredible outcomes fostered by our K-8 model. If you have questions or would like to schedule a tour of our campus in Birmingham, AL, call us at (205) 956-9731 today. We can’t wait to hear from you!
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Highlands School, 4901 Old Leeds Road, Birmingham, AL 35213, (205) 956-9731
Highlands School's 'whole child' approach to education and commitment to academic excellence, creative expression, and leadership development prepare and motivate students in grades 4k through 8 to make a positive difference in an ever-changing world. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Highlands School holds dual accrediation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Associations of Independent Schools (SAIS).

For more information, visit www.highlandsschool.org.