Parent FAQs

Heights Traditions

Can you tell me more about the four Clans?

The School is divided (students, faculty, and staff) into four clans. The clan names are taken from the four elements of the School crest, each with a motto connected to the ideals that complete a Heights man:

  • Gold Cross: Love of God
  • Red Cross: Service
  • White Lily: Pure Love and Fruitfulness
  • Red Rose: Friendship

At the beginning of every year, each new student and faculty or staff member is assigned to one of the four clans. The clans strengthen Heights enthusiasm and pride, give a strong sense of belonging to a tradition and family, and encourage leadership. They create rallying points through the year marked by festival days that include Holy Mass, competitions, a worthy meal, and spirited games. The clan with the most points at the end of the year on the Day of the Tower wins the Clan cup and hoists their flag on the flagpole for the coming year.

It seems like there are a lot of field trips throughout the year. Is there a reason for this?

We don’t just take field trips and adventures for the fun of it. There is something very special about the kind of interactions that students have when they travel together and experience the world. Below are a few goals we have when planning our trips:

  • To develop in every student a willing spirit of adventure towards new opportunities and challenges;
  • To promote a deeper sense of friendship amongst the students by creating shared experiences;
  • To provide unique opportunities for mentoring between students and teachers;
  • To develop willingness amongst the students to seek out experiences and move beyond the limits imposed by a personal desire for comfort;
  • To further a student’s appreciation of nature and the beauty of creation.
What is Coffee with the Headmaster?

The first Thursday of every month, beginning at 8:30 a.m., Headmaster Alvaro de Vicente sits down with parents to discuss what is happening at the School. The event takes place in the living room just outside the chapel; coffee and light refreshments are served. While the discussion is often mission specific, questions from parents are always welcome and make for wonderful conversation.

What is a CPR?

The CPRs (Class Parent Representatives) are parent volunteers who act as liaisons between the School and parents. CPRs help organize class parent events and communicate key messages regarding school-wide or class-specific issues.

General Information

What time does school begin and end?

Classes begin promptly at 8:20 a.m. Students are dismissed at 3:05 p.m.

How early can I drop off my son at school in the morning? How late can he stay in the afternoon?

While there is no direct supervision of the students during off-hours, The Heights has historically proven to be a safe environment for students to wait for a ride. The front door of the main building is typically open by 7:30 a.m. If students wish to enter the building, they may go into Chesterton Hall or into the Chapel. Students are not allowed on the upper floors before 8:00 a.m. The lower and middle school buildings are not opened until just before class begins at 8:20 a.m. Extracurricular activities, sports, and other events take place after school allowing the opportunity for students to remain on campus. In addition, the library remains open for quiet study until 4:00 p.m. each day.

How do I find out about other families who live near me so we can organize car pools?

Students are listed by ZIP Code in the CLASS LISTS section of the directory to assist parents in organizing car pools or get-togethers outside of school.

How can I get a message to my son during the school day?

If you call our main phone number, our receptionist can either deliver a message or arrange for your son to call you back, depending on the urgency of the situation.

My son just missed a day of school because he was sick. How does he get the assignments he missed?

A quick phone call or email to a fellow classmate will do the trick.

If there is a snowstorm, how will I know if school is cancelled?

The Heights follows Montgomery County weather decisions. WTOP Radio 103.5 FM and the Montgomery County Public Schools website are also reliable sources of school closing information. We do our best to put notifications on the home page of our website. In the rare event that we do not follow Montgomery County, we will send an email explaining the decision.

What is the Haberdashery?

The Haberdashery is the school store, located inside the front lobby. For store hours or to shop online, visit

Can the students wear other attire sold at the Haberdashery for PE?

No, school policy is that the students can only wear the issued clothing for PE.

Where is the Lost and Found?

The Lost and Found is located on the back porch of the modular building next to the gym. All items and clothing should be labeled with your son’s name. Every effort will be made to return a labeled item to the owner. Unclaimed items that remain unclaimed for a period of not less than two weeks will be bagged and sent to a charitable organization. Items lost in the lower school may also be held by your son’s homeroom teacher.

Is there a Heights Parent Association?

Yes. The Heights Parent Association (HPA) provides a number of services to the School, including event hosting through the Fathers and Mothers Clubs. Please contact Fathers Club President Joe Crnkovich: or Mothers Club President Paula Zelaya: to get involved.


Where do I find contact information for various departments and individuals?

Faculty phone extensions can be found in each faculty bio on the School’s website.

How often can I meet with my son’s teacher or mentor?

We hold Parent-Teacher Conferences at the end of each quarter, except the last one. However, you never have to wait for a conference to meet or talk with your son’s teacher or mentor. We see you as the primary educator of your son. We welcome any and every opportunity to discuss his progress, including intellectual, physical, moral and spiritual development.

How can I update my contact info?

You can make changes by emailing Joe Syski at or calling him at 301.365.0227 ext. 103.

How can I stay well informed about what is going on at the School on a day-to-day basis?
  • The Heights Website, – In addition to the parent page, we will post news updates on a regular basis. Visit often!
  • Heights Highlights – Sent every other Friday during the academic year, this email newsletter to current parents provides details of upcoming events and important announcements. The first issue of the academic year is sent in late August. If you do not receive one in your inbox, please contact Joe Syski at
  • The Heights Forum – The Heights Forum is an online resource featuring articles, podcasts, book reviews and other inspirational tools for parents and teachers alike. You can find it at
  • Letters  from the  Headmaster and  Heads of School  – Periodic letters  about curriculum and events are sent from the School.

If I have a Question About…

The Lower School

Call your son’s homeroom teacher or Lower School Head Colin Gleason, 301.365.0227 ext. 115.

The Middle School

Call your son’s teacher or Middle School Head Andrew Reed, 301.365.0227 ext. 104.

The Upper School

Call your son’s teacher or Upper School Head Michael Moynihan, 301.365.0227 ext. 125.

The Mentoring Program

Call your son’s mentor or the Head of Mentoring Joe Cardenas, 301.365.0227 ext. 111.

My Son's Grades

Call your son’s teacher, or, for an overall sense of his grades, please contact his mentor.

School Mass

Call the front desk or consult the calendar on the School website, Mass usually starts at 10:25 a.m. Parents and visitors are always welcome to attend.

Athletic Schedules

Athletic Director Dan Lively and coaches will use team emails and the website as a way to communicate practice times or make changes to the schedule. Athletics Hotline – 301.365.0227 ext. 7124.

Lunch Program

Business Manager Bill James, 301.365.0227 ext. 221.

Bus Program

Transportation Coordinator Andrew Acevedo,


Business Manager Bill James, 301.365.0227 ext. 221.

School Policies

Consult the Handbook in this directory, or online at Many questions not answered here are addressed there.

Asbestos Policy

As required, The Heights School’s Asbestos Management Plan is available upon request to the Facilities Manager.

Lead Testing Results

The School is required under Maryland state law to test all of the potential sources of drinking water (e.g., water fountains, faucets, ice machines, etc.) for the presence of lead and to report the results to our parents, students, faculty, and staff.  We last completed this testing in February 2020.  Of the 94 potential sources of drinking water that we have on campus, the lab indicated that one source had a level of lead above 20 parts per billion (ppb), which is the threshold whereby remediation is required.  That source was a vent hood sink in the science lab, which has not been used as a source of drinking water.  We disconnected the sink faucet and are taking steps to remove and replace any hardware (faucet, piping, etc.) that may be the source of the lead. Click here for more information regarding the testing results.

VolunteerPay Tuition and FeesHot Lunch Plan Information

Contact People:

Business Manager; Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Bill James
  • 301.365.0227 ext. 221
Sr. Business and Communications Executive
  • Kathryn Kime
  • 301.365.0227 ext. 147
Fundraising Events Manager
  • Kelly McGiffin
  • 301.365.0227 ext. 118
Fundraising Database Manager, Natural History
  • Stefan Syski
  • 301.365.0227 ext. 109