LearnBoost welcomes Highland High
Highland High School is located in Palmdale, California and is part of the Antelope Valley Union High School District. About 4,000 students attend Highland High School in grades 9 through 12. It received a California Distinguished School award in 2005.
Highland High School was founded in 1989 in response to Palmdale's rapid population growth. Palmdale High School was not large enough to serve the children of the new families moving into the Antelope Valley. Highland High School is now the largest high school under the Antelope Valley Union High School District. The school has seen a rapid increase in the number of students each year as the area around Highland becomes more developed. The school also attracts students outside of its own district as one of the two schools in the area (the other being Quartz Hill High School) to offer the International Baccalaureate program.
The school's website defines its mission as follows:
"The mission of Highland High School is to provide an opportunity for all students to be empowered with the knowledge and skills derived from a quality core and elective curriculum; to encourage all students to develop their capacity for critical thought and effective communication in order to function in the jobs available today and in the future; and to become well-informed and productive citizens."
Highland High School is one of two schools in the AVUHSD to offer an IB program, allowing for smaller learning environments for those in the IB Academy. The program was founded by Glen Horst, who founded the Highland chapter after teaching at Highland. After Mr. Horst left Highland, the program was left in the hands of Meghan Lilley, who acted as coordinator until the 2009-2010 school year. The program is now run through a joint venture between Brian Guthrie and Ellen Coleman. Those who wish to be a part of the IB program usually start in 9th grade with the Pre-IB Program after taking the required examination for admittance. This allows for two years of training before full immersion into the real IB program which encompasses the junior and senior year. Students pursuing the Diploma take six courses, usually from six different subject areas, with three or four of them taken at higher level and the rest at standard level.
150 hours of CAS must also be completed, spread out over one and a half years. At most 25 hours can be attributed to Creativity, Action, or Service portions of the program. Failing to complete this program results in disqualification from the program.