Highlands School

Head of School Kavita Vasil with students.

Head of School Kavita Vasil with students.

The Next Generation: Highlands 21 Program

August 12, 2015 | View on Facebook

“There were so many things that drew me to be a part of Highlands School,” says Kavita Vasil, Head of School, who joined the Highlands School community in 2014. “But in the end, it was the people—the partnership between parents, school, and students—that cemented the deal.”

Founded in 1958 as an independent school for preschool through 8th grade students, Highlands School is renowned for its rigorous academic experience that cultivates tomorrow’s leaders.

Now, Highlands School is taking the next step in academic enrichment by introducing the Highlands 21 program, a school-wide curriculum concentrated on global learning in the 21st century.

Explains Vasil, “There is much research to support the necessity of 21st century learning, which includes critical thinking, problem solving, and inquiry experienced through real world activities.”

With an increased focus on learning through real-world experiences, students can’t help but dive headfirst into interactive learning that sparks intellectual curiosity.

“Parents can expect their students to become creative and independent thinkers,” says Vasil. “They can expect them to become problem-solvers who will undoubtedly make an important mark on the future of this world.”

Simply put, Highlands 21 is the next generation of learning targeted towards the next generation of students. Vasil explains that this program is all about priming students to handle the future, no matter what it holds.

“How do we prepare students today to hold jobs that do not yet exist? How do we ask them to solve problems that we do not even know yet are problems?” asks Vasil. “Changes are constantly occurring in the global world, and we are preparing students today to be able to adapt to a future that is totally unknown.”

Kavita and FC kidsThe Highlands School faculty is excited to engage students as pioneers in the next level of learning. For Vasil, the Highlands 21 program is just the latest piece of the school’s unwavering commitment to raise the bar in education.

She says, “Our diverse school community attracts families from all over the world—families united in their desire to provide their students with the best education in preparation for high school, college, and the world around them.”

You can learn more about Highlands School and its Highlands 21 program at www.highlandsschool.org

View Kavita Vasil’s One on One interview in the August issue of B-Metro here: http://bit.ly/1f3RafK

Teacher Leah Woolfall

Teacher Leah Woolfall

Do You Know STEM?

August 19, 2015 |View on Facebook

Short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, this fresh learning initiative sparks student interest in our world’s most prolific career fields starting at a young age. STEM is springing up across the country, and Highlands School is excited to deliver this enriching curriculum to Birmingham’s young minds.

We’re sitting down with a few of the teachers at Highlands School to find out how they’ll be bringing STEM into their own classrooms.

“STEM is centered on creativity, collaboration, and invention,” says Leah Woolfall, who will be introducing STEM concepts to her first grade classroom in fun and age-appropriate ways.

Teacher Sam Kindervater

Teacher Sam Kindervater

“LEGOs will be integrated into a variety of lessons throughout the year to enhance our student’s problem solving, engineering, and collaboration skills,” she explains.

As students get older, the STEM program will reflect their growing minds, allowing them to bridge the gap between the various STEM fields.

“Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are integrated into one class instead of being taught separately,” says Sandra Parker, a STEM teacher for 3rd – 5th grade. With the addition of two all-new STEM labs, students will have opportunities to collaborate and flex their creative problem solving skills on a daily basis.

For Sam Kindervater, a 6th- 8th grade science teacher at Highlands, middle school STEM is all about preparing students for high school and beyond.

“STEM is one of the fastest growing sectors of the workforce,” he explains. “And the skills STEM teaches are critical to equip students for success as they move forward in today’s world.”

Teacher Sandra Parker

Teacher Sandra Parker

STEM extends beyond the four pieces of its name—it focuses on preparing students for their future in an ever-changing world. With STEM in a student’s academic arsenal, the opportunities for success seem limitless.

Says Parker, “STEM is all around us, in every aspect of our lives. STEM is vital to the future of our children, where they will be able use these 21st century skills in the work force.”

Highlands School will be hosting a STEM Launch Party for the community on September 1st—contact cfullan@highlandsschool.org if you’re interested in attending and learning more about the school’s STEM program.

For more info on Highlands School, visit www.highlandsschool.org.

Dr. Parvez Sultan and daughter Sophia

Dr. Parvez Sultan and daughter Sophia

Like Father, Like Daughter

August 26, 2015 | View on Facebook

For Dr. Parvez Sultan, a Thoracic and Cardiac Surgeon at St. Vincent’s Health System, a love of learning that ignites at an early age can lead to a bright future. That’s why he chose to enroll his daughter, Sophia, in Highlands School, an independent preschool through 8th grade school boasting a rigorous and immersive academic experience for students.

“The school does an outstanding job of teaching kids in a nurturing environment,” says Dr. Sultan. “The teachers encourage students to start learning very early, especially with reading; this love of both knowledge and books carries over to academic success later on.”

Dr. Sultan has seen Sophia—now a bright, enthusiastic 5th grader—develop a genuine interest in the subjects she has learned at Highlands School. She recently attended the school’s STEM camp this summer, a fun and educational weeklong program introducing the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning initiative.

“Sophia was very excited to go to STEM camp this summer,” says Dr. Sultan, smiling. “Learning that science can be applied to many things in life was a ‘eureka moment’ for her, and she is now more interested in science.”

As for Sophia, STEM camp opened her eyes to new and active ways to apply learning concepts that most students only read about in a textbook.

Sophia Sultan

Sophia Sultan

“My favorite part of STEM camp was a unit called Crime Lab,” she says. “We read an interesting story about solving crimes using clues from blood and DNA. It showed us how we could apply science to help solve crimes.”

As Sophia starts the 5th grade, which will integrate more STEM concepts, Dr. Sultan can’t wait to see how his daughter’s mind will blossom this year at Highlands School.

“Highlands School is giving Sophia a unique education from elementary school and beyond,” he says. “I feel that if Sophia gets an early experience in problem solving and working in teams, this will eventually help her in her life and career.”

Learn more about the unique educational opportunities at Highlands School by visiting its website at www.highlandsschool.org. To get a hands-on look at the school’s new STEM program, make plans to attend its STEM Launch Event on September 1st. For more info on the event, email cfullan@highlandsschool.org

STEM Highlands SchoolSTEM Launch Party

August 29, 2015 | View on Facebook

B-Metro is going back to school this week!

We’ll be joined by bloggers Javacia Bowser of See Jane Write and Bertha Hidalgo of Chic in Academia at Highlands School‘s STEM Launch Party on Tuesday, September 1st!

An acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, STEM is an innovative learning initiative taking Highlands School by storm. We’ll be sharing live updates on our social media pages and taking part in some exciting lab demos!

Interested in learning more about STEM? Visit highlandsschool.org for more info or email cfullan@highlandsschool.org to find out how you can attend the launch event.

Bertha Hidalgo 2Javacia Harris Bowser pic

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