The mission of Highlands Elementary is to instill in its students the desire to become lifelong learners. Our dedicated educators will accomplish this mission by providing a stimulating learning environment that embraces values of citizenship and integrity within a curriculum that is both relevant and developmentally appropriate.
On October 29, 1957 the land on which Highlands School is located at 2500 Barney Avenue was purchased from Mr. Aaron Fleming and his wife, Mrs. Cole Strong Fleming. Highlands Elementary School is a brick structure built in 1962 on a twenty acre tract of land in Northwest Huntsville with twenty classrooms, Secretary’s office, Principal’s office, clinic operated by Red Cross volunteer workers, a teacher’s lounge and bath, and attractive 1560 square foot library, lunchroom worker’s lounge, and three custodial storage rooms.
In 1964, due to increased enrollment, ten additional classrooms were added. The enrollment of Highlands reflects the community changes during the twelve year history of the school; from its opening with 598 students and fifteen teachers in 1962-1963, an enrollment which necessitated the use of portables, the library, and the teachers’ lounge for classroom space to now. Completion of nearby Montview Elementary School in 1967-1968 alleviated the crowded conditions at Highlands by reducing the number of students to 996 with 30 teachers.
During the school year of 1973-1974, the sixth grade from Highlands was transferred to Ed. White Middle School. Also, in compliance with a court order, first and second grades were bussed to Cavalry Hill School beginning in March 1975. Third, fourth, and fifth grades from Cavalry Hill were bussed to Highlands, for the remainder of the school year. At the beginning of the 1975-1976 school year, the sixth grade returned to Highlands giving Highlands grades three through six with twenty-two classroom teachers, two Special Education teachers, one Librarian, and Principal. Highlands School faculty believes that an attractive, well-designed and equipped building is imperative to meet the daily health, safety, and educational needs of all children. As the district has evovled and changed, sixth grade and PreK were added to the building. As of the 2014-2015 school year, Highlands is now a PreK-6 school. Highlands’ history is rich with numerous principals at the helm: Mary Briscoe 1962-1964, Osalene Hiding Holmberg 1964-1987, Norma Westmeyer 1987-1996 Rebecca Curtis 1996-2003, Michael Livingston 2003-2012, John Humphrey 2012-2014, and Timothy Scott 2014-Present.
Highlands was recognized in the 2000-2001 school year as one of Alabama’s Most Distinguished Title I School. Highlands earned this honor through much rewarding and exhaustive work and innovative teaching strategies. Highlands became a certified Alabama Reading Initiative site in June 2003. Highlands celebrated it fortieth anniversary and dedicated its outdoors classroom on May 9, 2003.