Americans have always viewed education as our bridge to the future and as the means to create a better society peopled by responsible, productive citizens. For our state truly to succeed and progress, we must improve the education we provide to all Rhode Island children.
Highlander offers school choice for families who do not have the means to afford a private school education for their children and often live in communities with failing public schools. Its values include education, accessibility, empowerment, and excellence.
Jeanne D'Agostino (Development Director) says: "As an independent charter public school, Highlander is its own district. Our charter requires that 75% of our student come from Providence and the rest throughout the state. This is helpful for poor families who may move frequently, allowing for consistency for their children. Students are enrolled through a blind lottery that takes place the first week in March. We had over 2000 applications for 73 opening throughout the school."
Named after the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, the focus of our organization is social justice. The circumstances of living in poverty create obstacles that affect students' ability to come to school each day ready to learn. The lack of basic necessities and often living in dangerous environments create a condition of chronic stress for our youngest learners. A lack of early exposure to language skills and pre-school further hampers many students' readiness to learn. "Students living in poverty need more from their schools, not less."
What Has The Highlander Charter School Accomplished?
"Despite the challenges that many of our student and their families face, our educational successes have been considerable. By 7th and 8th grade, Highlander students not only outperform their peers at other urban schools, but also score at or above the statewide average in reading, math and writing."
Highlander is able to meets the needs of students by providing them with small class sizes, differentiated learning and support for all students, and a mixed method approach to teaching styles. Highlander creates a learning environment based on the best practices set by elite Rhode Island private schools. Highlander creates structures that reinvigorate those disenfranchised by the mainstream educational system.