• The Mission of Student Services and Service Providers

    When students struggle to make meaningful progress academically, the joy of learning may be lost to frustration. Highlands School District's mission is to provide support for students, staff, families, and community so that students may have successful educational experiences.
    Student Services includes:
        • Special Education
        • School Counseling
        • School Social Work
        • School Nursing
        • School Psychology
        • School Mental Health Services
    Within Highlands School District, these services are organized to meet the needs of all students and to support the educational program within each school building. 
    COUNSELING SERVICES are available at all of our schools. Two school counselors serve the Middle School: Julie Seitz-Allman and Julie Hiester. Serving students at the High School are school counselors Beth Carrarini, Marilyn Skwortz and Dr. Susie Gurrera Kim Hines is the High School counseling office secretary, and Karen Barnwell is the counseling office secretary at the Middle School. The Highlands Elementary School counselors are Angela Boyer, and Kristy Skradski and the Highlands Early Childhood Center is serviced by counselor Kristy Skradski.
    Student Assistance Teams, specially trained groups of teachers, school counselors, administrators and a liaison from the local mental health agency (Family Services of Western Pennsylvania) are available at all levels to support students who are experiencing difficulty with the educational process.  Issues that are addressed include academic problems, emotional/social issues, and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use/abuse. The Student Assistance Teams and the Elementary Student Assistance teams are part of the Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) available to all HSD students.
    PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES throughout the district are provided by Dr. Rebecca Keenan 724-226-2400, ext. 5653 and Dr. Angela Kennedy 724-226-2400, ext. 5652. Services also include Crisis Intervention, Crisis Post-vention (support services provided after a crisis), and Non-Violent Crisis Intervention training. 
    NURSING SERVICES are available in all buildings. 
    The district also provides services to students and families experiencing homelessness. Contact Dr. Cathleen Cubelic at 724-226-2400 or view this link for more information.
    Student Assistance Services, Elementary Student Assistance Services, and Instructional Support Services are combined under the heading of MTSS. The Director of Special Education Services coordinates this program (724-226-2400, ext. 5650).
    TITLE IX Compliance
    Concerns regarding Title IX compliance (sexual harassment between students or teachers and students and equitable participation in sports) are handled by Dr. Cathleen Cubelic, 724-226-2400, ext. 5611.
    TITLE VII Compliance
    Concerns regarding Title VII compliance (harassment between staff members) are coordinated by the district business manager, 724-226-2400.
    The Student Services Plan (mandated by PDE Chapter 12) can be assessed at the link below.


    MANDATED ANNUAL NOTICES for the following appear in the school calendar and on the district website:

    •     FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
    •     HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Access Act)
    •     The McKinney-Vento Act (Services for families experiencing homelessness)
    •     The Student Services Plan
    •     The Comprehensive Records and Confidentiality Plan           
    •     Mandated annual notices regarding childfind and special education services appear in the special education section.