CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DISTRICT
The Highland School District, located approximately 17 miles northwest of downtown Yakima, serves the sprawling agricultural communities of Cowiche, Tieton and Naches Heights. Although many people commute to Yakima to work, the Highland economy is based almost entirely on the apple industry. Estimated district population is about 5,600 and growing; there are 132 sq. mi. encompassed by the district.
Yakima serves as the primary shopping center for most residents. There are three small locally-owned grocery stores in Tieton, Cowiche and Naches Heights, two post offices, a gas station/mini-mart, a restaurant, fruit packing and controlled atmosphere storage warehouses, and several other businesses associated with agriculture. Several churches are located in the Highland area. Numerous stores, restaurants and recreational facilities are easily accessible in the western suburbs of Yakima (about 15 to 20 minutes travel time).
Highland's student enrollment is at approximately 1154. District facilities currently include Marcus Whitman Cowiche Elementary, a K-3 primary school (349 students); Tieton Intermediate School, grades 4-6 (257 students); Highland Junior High for grades 7-8 (197 students); and Highland High School, grades 9-12 (350 students).
We have a National Magna Award-winning KinderCamp, held each summer, which gives in-coming kindergarten students a preview of the activities and school procedures in preparation for our all-day kindergarten program. We have baseball, softball and soccer fields, tennis courts and a fairly new track and football stadium. We are in the process of putting grass seed on two new soccer/athletic fields at the high school/ junior high campus. Those fields should be ready for use by late Fall of 2010.
Highland High School, with a state of the art, one-of-a-kind Integrated Technology and Business Lab, and gym, was completed for the opening of school in August, 2001. Remodeling was completed on the middle school for the opening of the 2002-03 school year. That building is now an intermediate school for students. Remodeling of the old high school resulted in a new junior high school, which was completed for the opening of the 2003-04 school year and houses students in grades 7 and 8,
A central kitchen serves all buildings. Thirteen school buses provide transportation for approximately 90% of the students.
Voter support for levies has been consistent, providing approval each year. We have a community that is quite involved in the education of our students and school activities in general.
The total district budget is approximately 11 million dollars. The district employs approximately 78 certificated persons and 68 classified persons (paraeducators, secretaries, bus drivers, food service and district support staff). We have a very low pupil-teacher ratio with emphasis on the excellent basic educational programs available to all students.
Much of the District lies within the fertile Yakima River Valley, which is known as the "Fruit Bowl of the Nation" due to its large fruit harvest. Irrigation in the valley is made possible from water from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Yakima Project. Apples, cherries, peaches, pears, grapes and other fruits plus a wide variety of vegetables, field crops and cereal grains make the Yakima Valley one of the top agricultural areas of the nation.
The Yakima Valley, located in the transitional zone between the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia Basin desert, has a four-season climate with a high percentage of sunny days. Its central location, favorable climate and excellent facilities make the Yakima Valley a popular convention and tourism center.
Visit our web site - http://www.highland.wednet.edu