Highland school opened its doors on Feb. 4 1952 with an enrollment of 238 students. Highland Avenue was barricaded when school was in session. A playground was added and later a six-classroom primary wing. Highland’s newsletter, The Highland Fling was created.
During the 60’s, the students at Highland were involved in many activities which included donations to the Save the Children Foundation, a Luau, sending cards to Vietnam servicemen, donating candy to Dixon State hospital for children, and making paper mache animals to assist in learning reading, writing and arithmetic.
During the 70’s many changes happened at Highland. Many new teachers were hired to accommodate larger classrooms, portable classrooms were added, and a mascot was chosen (the Highland Bull). A bicentennial celebration was held including a cake, (which had 200 lighted candles), and a time capsule that was buried on the playground. The annual fun fair began in the fall and field day in the spring. Studio Six started production, along with the sixth grade store where the sixth grade students made and sold products for their economics unit.
More changes to Highland occurred in the 80’s. Renovations included an office expansion and a stage which was added to the gym. Many Highland programs continued, as many new ones were added. Balloon launches, Olympic Day, summer reading incentives, and an artist-in-residence (painting student artwork on the walls of the building) were some of the new programs. Highland’s library, which was one small room, was enlarged and became the Learning Resource Center (LRC). The PTA started their “fresh” Pizza, “made to order” sale (made very early on a Saturday morning). A contest was held and a new Highland logo (The Slide) was voted on.
The 90’s watched Highland grow. Four new classrooms were added in the primary wing, two new sixth grade rooms, the LRC was expanded, and the computer lab was upgraded. Highland held many celebrations during the 90’s which included spirit days and all school themes. Highland and the community celebrated Highland’s 40th birthday, and the welcoming of a former student, Cammi Granato, who led the U.S.A.’s women’s hockey team to an Olympic Gold medal. There were assemblies, parades, tributes and many P.T.A. sponsored events. Highland School became “Home of the Huskies” as the 90’s ended.
The new millennium brought the Highland Husky Helpers (students doing monthly activities to help others), and a new century of studies, another visit from Cammi Granato, and a great send off to the Salt Lake City Olympic Games. A BIG celebration for Highland’s 50th birthday occurred in 2002 along with the presentation and installation and of a 16” old-fashioned school bell.
In November 2010 Highland School was nominated by the Illinois State Board of Education as a possible recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Award. Staff and parents worked together to complete the application for this distinguished honor. In September 2011 were awarded the Blue Ribbon School distinction. The Student Council assisted in purchasing a new sign for the front of our building to celebrate this accomplishment.