• August 2023

    Dear Highlands Students and Families,

    I am pleased to welcome everyone to the 2023-24 school year! I am excited to see the smiling faces of our students and staff.

    This year, as we continue to Frame the Future for our students, we will focus on our RAM PRIDE to promote the unique qualities of the students, staff, parents, school board, and community. The administration and staff worked diligently over the summer to prepare the buildings and classrooms so that rigorous teaching and learning can start when our students return to school. The administration has been busy conducting multiple interviews for positions and welcoming new administration and staff to our Highlands family. Teachers spent the summer providing students with rigorous and relevant learning so they were ready to learn on day one.

    This school year will focus on implementing the Career and Workforce Readiness Program K-12 that will provide our students with the exposure, preparation, and education relevant to their postsecondary pathway of interest. In addition, we will partner with the World of Work and Partner4Work organizations to learn about the most current and successful programs that will prepare our students for future careers. We are excited to welcome Mrs. Faith Foster to the newly created Career & Workforce Readiness Coordinator position. She will dedicate her time to working with our staff and students in grades Pre-K through 12 to ensure they develop the 21st-century skills needed to succeed regardless of their postsecondary pathway. We are excited to announce that Mr. Romuald Nitowski will transfer to the Family and Consumer Science (FCS) teaching position. The district recognizes the importance of teaching our students the life skills necessary to be successful in all aspects of their lives. He will provide hands-on learning to our middle and high school students while teaching the FCS Standards.

    For the second year in a row, the Highlands School District is being recognized for the initiatives we are implementing by the Grable Foundation, which has donated significant grant money. This money will allow us to continue our membership with the Western PA Learning 2025 Alliance and AASA, which provides various local, state, and national workshops, training, and resources specific to the most effective best practices in education. The district’s Grading and Assessment Committee will pilot and implement Standards Aligned Reporting to provide a more meaningful assessment of your children’s learning. The committee has worked with the teaching staff to prepare them for this transition so they can support you and your children along with way.

    Another focus area will be to expand our community outreach with our Mobile Support Unit. This vehicle will enhance communication between the district and our families.  This may include bringing resources to families and conducting in-home meetings for those families who do not have transportation. 

    Local and state organizations are recognizing the Highlands School District for the hard work of our administrators, teachers, and staff on various programs we’ve implemented. We’ve been invited to speak at local and state events about our Handle with Care, Career & Workforce Readiness, and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) programs. I am proud that we are finally receiving recognition for the great work our administration and staff do daily to support your children. 

    I hope you know how important you and your children are to the Highlands School District administration, staff, and school board. We strive to provide your children with a safe and healthy learning environment daily while creating meaningful relationships. Our goal is to support them as they develop into the best possible person they can become throughout their time as RAMS.

    I look forward to seeing your children soon and wish them and our staff another rewarding and successful school year.

    Highlands: Framing the Future through RAM Pride!


    Dr. Monique Mawhinney



  • Dr. Monique Mawhinney


    Dr. Mawhinney