“GO DO IT! We are in.” – KCS Parent
From January 2018 to June 2019, the Senior Campus Committee engaged in research to build our school model, testing it with parent and student feedback as it was developed. Our effort began with a Task Force of 40 parents, past parents, board members, and staff to research exemplary schools throughout North America. That was followed with market research led by an external firm to hear from grade 7 and 8 parents and students on elements we were considering. Finally, last spring, a KCS survey invited all families to share some of their thoughts about high school, features we were exploring for our model, factors they’ll be considering for their children, and questions they had for us. 50% of families responded and generously shared their comments. It has been evident from the beginning that many parents are interested, see the need for a KCS Senior School, and see the value of the model we’re building.
Here is some of what we learned from the school-wide survey:
- 82% of parents said they were interested in learning more about the Senior School and open to considering it for their children
- 81% said location and ease of their child’s commute is a consideration in the choice of high school
- 90% said they believe the high school experience needs to evolve from what they had to better prepare students for the futures they face
- 88% said they believe the distinguishing features we intend to offer provide valuable learning: extensive engagement of external experts; regular offsite learning; a program that invites students to exercise leadership in their learning in an area of interest; and experiential learning (including field placements, collaboration with external organizations, entrepreneurship, travel, and opportunity for co-op)
- 83% were interested after learning about what we expect to be a smaller population of students, potentially 160 at full enrolment
- When asked about how critical exclusive access to green space and an on-site high school gym were in their choice of high school, 50 and 56% respectively said they were critical
- After learning all of the above, and also learning that this model is expected to cost parents less than other independent schools and to provide a distinctly enriching learning experience, 64% of parents said they remain interested in our model
Then we asked parents for their questions. Here’s a sample:
- How will it compare to other top secondary schools?
- What will this school actually look like?
- What’s special about these four distinctive features – partners, offsite learning, including student interests, and experiential learning?
- What would a regular day be like?
- How will it prepare them for university?
- What kind of athletics and arts programs will it offer?
We are excited to see the high level of interest based on the number of questions we continue to receive. Our goal is to answer the questions as honestly and as quickly as we can through these updates.
Questioning has deep roots at KCS. It is a questioning mindset, one we directly develop, that makes rich student learning happen. That same mindset is at the root of our efforts to build the KCS Senior School. We welcome all who wish to add their questions. Welcome to the dialogue about how great education can be.