We encourage students to take ownership of their learning. On a daily basis, our faculty support students’ unique interests within the framework of class instruction by offering assignments that allow for student choice. As part of that process, students often pursue academic interests that extend beyond the explicitly stated curriculum.
Breakfast Clubs are offered throughout the year in six-week segments to students at the first through fifth-grade levels. The KPS ELA Coordinator facilitates the Breakfast Clubs which are offered in the form of book, writing, and sketch communities where students come together to read, write, or draw. Everyone is encouraged to share their ideas.
Math Lab offers a series of before school elective mathematics courses for students in grades 3–5. These courses provide experiences for students to explore and expand their interest in mathematics using thought-provoking contexts such as genetics, origami, and financial literacy. Students will reinforce skills as well as extend thinking, reasoning, and mathematical communication abilities. Second graders have the opportunity to participate in Math Labs during recess.
Math Madness is an online math competition offered to students in grades 3–5. The team competes collaboratively and individually in a bracket against other schools across the country during weekly matches held before school.
The National Geographic GeoBee is an annual competition designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world. The National Geographic GeoBee includes three levels of competition; school, state, and national. Our Primary School team, which consists of interested 4th and 5th-grade students, meets once a week for 12 weeks to prepare for the school competition in January with the Middle School team. The school champion is then eligible to take an online qualifying test. The school champion takes a proctored online qualifying test and the top-100-ranked students in each state qualify to represent their school at the State GeoBee competition. State champions are then invited to compete in the national championship.
Perennial Math is open to all students in grades 3–5 and provides them with the opportunity to compete in mathematics on a national level. With a growth mindset at the forefront of the program, students work in collaborative and independent settings as they persevere in problem-solving, communicate their logic and reasoning, and reflect on their strategies and accuracy.
Spark is the Primary School’s literary magazine. Submissions are encouraged from all students in JPK to 5th grades. Members of the Sketch Club create images and designs that become part of the magazine layout. In the spring, the magazine is bound and distributed to the entire Primary School.
Wonder Lab is the Primary School’s innovative maker-space. It is a place for students to pose questions and explore possibilities. The purpose of the Wonder Lab is to encourage students to take ownership of their own learning. It is equipped with basic tools for design, fabrication, and construction. The Wonder Lab is available to JPK–5th-grade students and their teachers. Teachers may plan a special project with their students, or they may have a set day/time in which they would like to use the space to explore and play. Three days a week during recess, 2nd to 5th-grade students can sign up for Time-2-Tinker sessions, which allow them to play with such concepts as cardboard architecture, marble chutes, weaving, jewelry making, kitchen chemistry, and fabric design. Students are also encouraged to design their own projects based on their interests and passions. Periodically throughout the year, students’ work is displayed and honored.
To celebrate Women’s History Month and learn about the lives of accomplished women, our 3rd to 5th-grade students are invited to participate in the Women’s History Challenge. The challenge consists of gathering as much information about each remarkable woman listed and completing a research booklet. Participants then submit their research booklets from which a Jeopardy-style quiz show, based on the students’ findings, is created. In April, the students are invited to the Women’s History Tea, where they participate in the quiz show, eat tasty treats and celebrate the lives of notable women.
That's our mantra in robotics. Try crazy things, be free with your ideas, and see what happens. If you're going to build the future, you'll need to be a pioneer. –Emma, seventh grade
LEAN INTO DIFFICULTY.
When it comes to academics, it pays to challenge yourself. I'm in the Bioethics Symposium, presenting research on the ethics of genetically-enhanced intelligence. At times it's daunting—research, deadlines, time management—but it's also a whole new way of thinking. Very independent and "you-driven." –Isabella, sophomore
OWN YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE
It's one of the "conversation norms" we have at Kent Place, and it's always resonated with me. Everyone has a different and equally valid perspective to bring to the table—so put yourself out there. –Mary, senior
DON’T THINK YOU’RE GOING TO GET A LABEL.
There are no jocks here at Kent Place, no science geeks, no theater nerds. Last month a varsity athlete went to sing at the Vatican. Everyone here has some unique quality — and they’re amazing at what they do. –Claire, senior
REACH BEYOND WHAT YOU THINK YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH.
You'll face plenty of challenges, but push through them. Brilliant women use their resources: their teachers, our studios and library and, of course, each other. If you're stuck, collaboration can almost always get you across the finish line. –Suzanne Carreno-Powers, Math Teacher and STEM Coordinator
GET READY FOR RIGOROUS WORK.
And multiple extracurricular activities. Busy days, and a few late nights. But through it all, don’t lose your sense of fun. –Alessandra, junior
KPS alumnae are amazing. I met one alumna after a math and science panel who works in retail architecture. That made me think about a cool way to combine two of my interests — math and fashion. –Amber, junior
YOUR TIME AT KPS IS GOING TO OPEN UP OPTIONS YOU HADN'T EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT.
And when it's time to choose, you're going to know yourself so well, you'll pick the college that's the best fit for you—academically, socially, personally. So don't get tunnel vision. This is your process. Just know that you'll be ready! –Jennifer Simpson, Director of College Advising
SOLVING PROBLEMS IS A JOURNEY, ENJOY THE RIDE!
In the Middle School we do a Science Expo—either two or four people work on a science project for a couple of months and then present it to the entire class. We go into some in-depth projects and it’s incredible what we learn along the way, and how willing our teachers are to help us through the tough parts. –Toni Ann, eighth grade
SPEAK YOUR MIND.
Every girl here learns from an early age how to speak up and speak to adults. You never feel silly raising your hand, and you’re given lots of opportunities to speak publicly. I’m never shy about saying what’s on my mind. –Vittoria, fourth grade
ETHICS WILL CHANGE YOUR ENTIRE OUTLOOK.
Right away, we tackled questions of "right versus right." We're learning to look at every issue from both sides, which helps with everything from homework to friendships. –Elizabeth, eighth grade