About our School
Ward-Highlands has the prestigious honor of receiving an "A" on the Florida School Performance Grading System for the school year 2015-2016.
Mission and Vision Statements
Ward-Highlands Elementary School seeks to create a challenging learning environment that encourages high expectations for success through development-appropriate instruction that allows for individual differences and learning styles. Our school promotes a safe, orderly, caring, and supportive environment. Each student's self-esteem is fostered by positive relationships with students and staff. We strive to have our parents, teachers, and community members actively involved on our students' learning.
Ward-Highlands Elementary School is a place where all students can learn; academically, socially, and emotionally in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Teachers work tirelessly to promote a positive school environment and raise student performance. Our goal is to work in a partnership with our parents and community to create an environment where students are empowered to discover their strengths and to achieve their maximum potential. Our entire school community shares the belief that all children can and will learn.
Environment and Behavioral System
School personnel use various resources to gain knowledge about students cultural backgrounds and to build relationships. Most teachers review cultural differences in their beginning of the year units where students are encouraged to share. At this time teachers also incorporate their own information to build rapport and promote a community atmosphere.
School administration and teachers focus on building safe classroom and school environments by sticking to our school-wide expectations; 1. Be safe, 2. Be respectful 3. Be responsible; and our motto "If it is to be, it is up to me!". Administrators review these points on the daily morning show where they review scenarios for students where they can apply the expectations. Teachers use the expectations to model their classroom rules and procedures.
WHES staff work together as a community to implement a school wide behavioral plan that promotes fairness and equity for all students. School wide expectations are reviewed daily on the morning show and used to build individual classroom rules and procedures. When necessary the Dean of Students will work with teachers to help establish procedures and offer reinforcement when consequences must be delivered for negative actions.
School Profile and Demographics
R. L. Ward-Highlands Elementary School is a prominent school that is located in the City of Ocala in Marion County. The school is based in a community that is characterized by economic and cultural diversity. We have an enrollment of 850 students. The student population is a blend of multi-ethnic groups that include 63.6% Caucasian, 21.3% African American, 8.5% Hispanic, 0.2 % American Indian, 1.1% Asian, and 5.3% Multi-Racial. We have 55% of our students on free and reduced lunches, and as a result, Ward-Highlands is eligible for school-wide Title One funding.
There are three regular education school buses and nine ESE buses that serve Ward-Highlands students. Three of the regular education buses transport students for AYP and desegregation purposes. We have a large number of students who are car-riders. Also, our school provides extended day care before and after school for working parents.
Ward-Highlands Elementary values parents, families, and community members as stakeholders and partners in student achievement, school improvement, and educational accountability. Therefore, we offer opportunities for parental and community involvement through PTO, SAC, and school volunteers.