Middle School

The Highlands Middle School experience focuses on leadership, decision-making and autonomy. During their 6th, 7th and 8th grade years, students are presented with a variety of opportunities to think critically about their own trajectory in addition to coursework. As a 4k-8th grade program, we believe that creating a supportive environment in which our Middle School students can take risks, test personal limits and develop lasting values and interests is essential to producing valuable, change-making members of the community. By instilling a love of learning as well as a sense of perseverance and determination in every student, Highlands produces graduates that are prepared and eager to take on new challenges and succeed in rapidly changing environments.

Capstone

Nationally, Highlands is one of few Middle Schools offering a Capstone program to graduating students. Our Capstone program is a year-long, individual thesis project centered around a particular passion or curiosity of each 8th grade student. It is a culmination of all of the skills each student has developed in their tenure at Highlands, including public speaking, research, writing, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. Capstone exemplifies our approach to Project Based Learning, linking ideas and concepts to practical application at each interval. Students are given autonomy over their projects while maintaining accountability with individual advisors, replicating activities they will encounter throughout their academic and professional futures. The program provides students with the opportunity to leave their Highlands experience with a tangible reflection of the knowledge, interests and character they have cultivated during their time. 

Advisory

Highlands Advisory program extends to all Middle School students and is a cross-grade program that gives students an opportunity to work with fellow students and an assigned faculty advisor on areas such as self-image, building on strengths, increasing confidence, risk-taking and other qualities central to Highlands’ whole-child philosophy. The program reinforces the concept of community throughout Highlands by giving students the opportunity to work with students across the Middle School student body, mentor students from lower grades, and identify opportunities for leadership and service learning within and outside of the Highlands campus.

Advisory is initiated with a parent/student/advisor conference in which goals and expectations for the year are set. Each advisory group includes students from all Middle School grades and meets three times per seven-day rotation. These three sessions each have a different theme and focus, adding meaningful variation to the program.

Advising Day
Advisory groups meet to discuss specific topics, from study skills to current events. Students can talk through challenges, ideas or observations with each other and with their advisor and receive positive coaching related the development of various skills.

Design Day
Students are exposed to a variety of challenges requiring design thinking and problem solving skills. Students work through the process of ideation, prototyping and revision, learning to empathize with end users to solve problems and generate ideas from specific feedback.

Game Day
Game days focus on collegial competition and team building. Highlands five advisory groups compete against one another in student/faculty designed obstacle courses and challenges, strengthening communication and collaboration in a high-energy, active environment. 

Student Council

Highlands Student Council (or StuCo) is comprised of Highlands Middle School students and largely facilitates the fun aspects of Highlands student environment. Student council furnishes students with essential experiences, including running meetings, managing funds, coordinating events, public speaking, etc. 

Community Meetings

Middle School Community meetings are conducted on Thursdays and are an opportunity for students to consistently practice public speaking in a supportive environment. At each meeting, a different homeroom class presents on a topic of importance to their class, the Middle School or the school as a whole. As an added leadership opportunity, Highlands All School Community Meetings (taking place at least once per month) are led by Highlands 8th grade students. They control the agenda of each meeting and ensure that all students and faculty are given the opportunity to make relevant announcements.

Electives

  • Drama
  • Art Soup
  • Competitions
  • Yearbook
  • Junior United Nations Assembly
  • Debate
  • Math Team
  • Varsity Math
  • Robotics
  • Science by Design
  • Science Outside
  • Frisbee Golf
  • Music Appreciation
  • Serve to Learn
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.