Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

Does Kentwood have a Parents Organization?

A:

Throughout the years, parents have expressed a desire to be involved with their children's education. The Kentwood Organization of Parents (KOP) was formed so that parents could have an avenue to facilitate this need. Parents are able to volunteer for a variety of activities, such as fundraising, the school picnic, school play, yearbook, Teacher Appreciation Day and many other events that are outlined in the Orientation Package. We encourage parents to become involved.

Q:

What should I expect during my child's first Quarter at Kentwood?

A:

The first quarter for every new student enrolled at Kentwood is a DIAGNOSTIC QUARTER, during which the staff and treatment team spend this time observing behaviors, getting to know your child, reviewing your Parent Priority Sheets and all the testing available. Finally we create an individual plan for your child. The primary emphasis during this time is to integrate you child in to the Kentwood social skills and behavioral milieu. Academic demands are kept to a minimum and the level of difficulty slowly increased to allow us to gauge the relationship between behavior and academic stress. The majority of students entering Kentwood have been underachieving in school not because of lack of intelligence but due to lack of learning and study skills. The fact that your child have covered certain curriculum content and even received passing grades does not mean that the information has been absorbed, comprehended and or can be recalled or generalized to other situations. A combination of auditory and, or visual processing difficulties, illness, distractibility, anxiety, absence from school, behavioral consequences and lack of skills etc. has contributed to a foundation for learning that has many bricks missing which results in a very shaky foundation for further learning in the higher grades. As the demands of the curriculum, complexity and quantity of work become greater the foundation is more likely to collapse.

Q:

What should I do if my child comes home and is unhappy or upset about something that happened at school?

A:

The Kentwood program encourages students to follow the CHAIN OF COMMAND by doing the following. The student should discuss problems with their home base teacher. Students are given opportunities to discuss any issue that is troubling them, at home base periods being the first and last periods each day. Students are advised that if their home base teacher does not address their concerns, they are to speak to the counselor in the Central Processing Unit. If still not resolved, they can speak to the Principal and as a last resort, the Administrator. If there is still no satisfaction it is time to get the parents involved. At Kentwood, we emphasize problem solving and aspire to teach the students to problem solve and deal with issues and problems in a responsible and mature manner. Many of our students come to us having trained their parents to problem solve for them. Understandably, the parents' first response is to jump to the defense of their children. Many new students and their families are not aware of our methods for problem solving and resolving conflicts. It is very common for new students to return home with stories and descriptions of events that have occurred at school, which may on the surface appear to be unfair and/or upsetting. Many new students to Kentwood have spent many years splitting between school and home or between parents, step-parents, and other family members. (Splitting is when the child goes from one person to another until they get the answer or result they want). Success in our program is predicated upon good communication and trust between parents and the school The objective of this procedure is to teach children how to handle problems on their own without involving their parents in every incident. This does not mean keeping anything secret. They are encouraged to tell their parents about such incidents and how they intend to handle them. However, if this procedure is not working for any reason, parents are encouraged, in their capacity as members of their child's treatment team, to visit the school and help us process this issue with their child.

Q:

What should I do if I am unhappy with something school related?

A:

Our staff is instructed to communicate with every parent on a regular basis. The purpose of this communication is to give you feedback on how your child is doing and to address any issues you may have with our program. In addition we have quarterly parent meetings that are more intensive than the telephone contacts or the Newsletters and which give you a further opportunity to address any issues you may have. Finally, at various intervals during the year, you are required to complete our rating scales on the quality of services provided by us. We pay a lot of attention to your feedback, as meeting your needs will ensure a successful program.

It may be that you are unhappy with something that must be dealt with immediately. In that case, please do not hesitate to call the school to make an appointment. It is imperative that you not make your child privy to issues that are not his/her concern.

Q:

When can I visit my child's classroom?

A:

It is not possible for you to visit your child's classroom during the school day. We have many requests for classroom visits from parents, clinicians, professionals, etc. during the year, and to grant them all would be extremely disruptive to the school program and the classrooms. Due to the increased security measures and interruption to the home base process, parents will not be allowed to walk their children to the classroom in the mornings. Registration and a visitor's pass are required for anyone entering the school.

Q:

Why is there no homework and when does homework start?

A:

There is a homework policy, but homework does not start until the child is competent and motivated to do the homework without assistance. This does not mean that parents cannot be involved in their child's homework. It means that responsibility rests with the child and not the parents. Homework expectations increase in quantity and quality as the student shows competence at each level.

Most families, when they enroll at Kentwood, have been fighting over the issue of homework. The assignments have not been written down, the work is too difficult or the homework is done and then lost. The primary reasons for trouble with homework are that our students do not have, nor have they ever been taught the skills necessary to successfully do homework independently. Therefore, for the first 20 weeks after a new student enrolls in the Kentwood program there is a "NO HOMEWORK POLICY". This affords us the time to teach the Kentwood methods to the students and to slowly allow them to practice these skills without causing family fights. Once the student has sufficient skill to begin homework, we at Kentwood have a structured and incremental homework program. Parents, as members of their child's treatment team, are kept in the picture as to the homework level achieved by their child.

Q:

Is help available to me to deal with my child's behavior at home?

A:

Help is available, but it is not part of the overall enrollment package. Behaviors at home should not carry consequences at school, and behaviors at school should not involve consequences at home. However, if such a threshold is to be crossed, it must be done with prior approval of the student, parents and staff.

Limited advice and parent workshops to guide parents are provided free. A more detailed and sustained program can be provided, but this will entail additional cost. If you need further information in this regard, notify the school to obtain details.

Q:

My child says that the work is too easy. What is going on with the curriculum?

A:

Learning is fun, particularly if it is presented in a manner that is interesting and easy to understand. We strive to make the work feel easy, but that does not mean that it is not meeting curriculum requirements. Detailed curriculum objectives are prepared for each subject and grade level, permitting us to monitor the progress of each child in every subject. It should be borne in mind that whereas completion of the curriculum is desirable, that objective is subordinate to meeting the priorities stipulated by the parents of each child. Parents, as members of their child's treatment team, are kept in the picture as to the extent of the curriculum covered in each subject by their child. Students, when they come to Kentwood, do not lack intelligence or ability, but they do lack skills. Most students do not know how to begin a task, stay on task, and complete a task. They do not have the organizational skills to write reports or the sequencing skills to complete math problems. They lack fundamental knowledge with regards to test taking and study skills. Many new students to Kentwood arrive with behavioral issues that for years have interfered with their schooling. We understand that unless students learn how to stop naming and blaming others for their problems, accept responsibility for their work and actions, and adhere to the rules of school and society it does not matter how smart they are they will struggle in school and in life. The curriculum is designed to teach study skills, organizational skills, test taking, report writing, and all the underlying skills necessary to become a top student. Therefore we place a great deal of emphasis upon addressing the behavioral issues while at the same time teaching skills through a challenging, grad- appropriate curriculum.

Q:

What should I do if there is a problem on the bus?

A:

Parents are furnished with the bus drivers' cell phones numbers for this purpose. It is important to be aware that bus rules are designed primarily with safety purposes in mind. This means that there is no tolerance for behavior that may affect the safety of children traveling on the bus. Children must be at pickup points on time, as the bus cannot wait for late arrivals.

It is important that parents are at drop-off points at scheduled times as young children cannot be left unattended. In such circumstances the child will remain on the bus and be returned to the school. The parents will then have to make their own arrangements to pick up their child.

Q:

What are "Clubs"?

A:

After school clubs are arranged for students who are having difficulty with specific manipulative, disruptive or dangerous behaviors. Clubs will take place every Thursday from 2:45pm to 4:30pm. and a late night club is held every 3rd Wednesday of the month. Attendance at clubs is by invitation only and will be arranged in advance with parents. Clubs are a free service offered by Kentwood, the staff is not paid for running clubs, and we do it as part of our mission to help children and families. In accordance with the enrollment agreement we ask parents to work with us in order to effectively change your children's behavior. The agenda for clubs is to work on more appropriate ways of behaving in the classroom, on the vans or at home. Clubs are a way for us to spend individual time helping students to learn alternative ways of behaving. We at Kentwood understand that many behaviors are manipulative. Clubs are a way of ending the manipulation and giving students consequences for these behaviors. Club activities may include running, exercising, and role-playing so that the students can practice more appropriate ways of expressing frustration in school. An invitation to attend a CLUB is not really an invitation but is mandatory. We request support from parents with regards to attendance at Clubs, as this is truly one of the most effective parts of the Kentwood program. It is, however, only truly effective if the school and parents can present a UNITED FRONT to students. Improvement, both behaviorally and academically, usually follows quickly.

Q:

What happens if my child is failing or has incomplete grades or assignments?

A:

It depends on the circumstances. Parents will be consulted and a variety of actions will be considered for implementation including:

  • Attending supervised make-up classes that are held every two weeks
  • Remaining behind after school to complete work not done that day
  • Completing additional homework
  • Attending summer school

Q:

What should I do if my child complains about being teased at school?

A:

Unfortunately, teasing has become a common problem in schools across the country. However teasing amongst students who are not being successful in school, and who have social skills difficulties, is extremely common. One common thread throughout our interviews with prospective students is that 99% of them have been teased by other students. We cannot guarantee that teasing will not go on at Kentwood. In fact because of the nature of our student population a certain amount of teasing is inevitable. What sets Kentwood Preparatory School apart from other programs is that we deal with teasing immediately as part of our social skills curriculum. Teasing is not tolerated. However if it occurs you can be guaranteed that those involved will get the opportunity to learn how to deal with teasing appropriately, and those caught teasing will receive appropriate consequences and Clubs designed to stop the teasing. Our program encourages students to discuss problems with their home base teacher. Students are given opportunities to discuss any issue that is troubling them. Students are advised that if their home base teacher does not address their concerns, they are to speak to their advisor or the Principal and as a last resort, the Administrator. If there is still no satisfaction it is time to get their parents involved.

Q:

Does Kentwood provide counseling services?

A:

Kentwood is not a clinical program. This means that psychological testing, individual counseling, group therapy, family therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy are not part of the enrollment package. Our program goals are clearly set out in the brochure. We do, however, liaise with professionals in those fields, as well as doctors and psychiatrists servicing children in our program.

Q:

What does my child do in P.E.?

A:

Physical Education is a mandatory part of the school curriculum. It is also an ideal class in which to teach social skills, following directions, taking turns, and sportsmanship. P.E. is used as an ideal vehicle through which to teach life skills using sports and games as a means to learn skills necessary to be successful in life. For younger student's academic skills such as sequencing, following directions, learning left and right, and using sports to make learning fun are all incorporated into P.E. lessons. Older students will play soccer, flag football, basketball etc. and will learn to pick teams, play by the rules, and cooperate with teammates and the referee.

Q:

What are the Skills Labs & Central Processing Unit (CPU)?

A:

CPU, Learning Skills and Social Skills Lab are the core of the Kentwood School Program. CPU is a safe place to which students can go to talk about or process if they are not coping in the classroom or in other parts of the program. Trained staff supervise the Skills Labs. Social Skills Lab has two components: The Classroom and the CPU. The classroom is designed for students who are not yet ready, or able, to function in a regular classroom but need to learn the social skills necessary to succeed in a classroom. These students have been prescriptioned into the Social Skills Class for a period of no less than 3 weeks, and they must earn their way back into the regular school program by demonstrating mastery of skills required for transition back into a regular classroom. The second component is the Central Processing Unit (CPU) itself, which is a counseling/behavior unit designed as a place where students are sent when they are not coping or are too upset to stay in the classroom. It is a place to discuss these feelings and behaviors that led to being sent to CPU and then to learn and practice alternative ways of behaving that will allow the students cope effectively in the classroom environment to avoid going to CPU in the future. These skills are modeled for the students and are practiced with the staff in the lab. The Learning Skills Lab is a classroom where students are assigned for small group instruction and remediation. Any student who is identified as requiring extra assistance with academics will be assigned to the learning lab for the subjects or classes in which they are struggling. Other students may be prescribed into Learning Skills Lab full time and receive an intensive remedial program in a small group setting. This program is a more intensive tutorial and is offered to parents at an addition cost.

Q:

What is a BIC sheet and how is used?

A:

The Behavior Intervention Chart is a record of your child's behavior every minute of every day during school time. When a child is enrolled in our program we observe and record the classroom behaviors needing improvement. These observations are shared and discussed with the child and agreement is reached to target the six most prevalent behaviors every classroom period. When we observe the number of incidents diminishing it is an indication of success.

Target behaviors are identified and printed on the front of the BIC sheet. The students are made aware of the specific problems they are having in the classroom or during unstructured activities. They are then taught alternative ways of controlling the frequency and intensity of these behaviors during the day. The BIC also makes provision for recording the teacher's assessment of the work effort in each period giving ratings of "not satisfactory," "satisfactory," or "good." Each student earns points for both work/effort and improvement in reducing the frequency and intensity of their target behaviors. Rewards can be earned at the end of each week for improvement and achievement in both work/ effort and in reducing the frequency of inappropriate behavior. The weekly results are graphed with the students. A more detailed explanation of the mechanics of the BIC may be obtained upon request.

Q:

My child is never ready to come to school on time. What should I do?

A:

Kentwood prides itself on being supportive to parents and being flexible with regards to behavior management. This is a problem that can have any number of causes. Do not get exasperated. Talk to us and we will help you design a program to address this issue.

Q:

My child takes medication. What is the system for administering medication at school?

A:

Parents of children who are on medication must provide on a monthly basis, a month's supply of medication for their child in advance. Kentwood will provide parents with daily plastic bags into which parents must put the daily pills in the correct dosage. On the bag should be written the students name, the time to be administered, the date to be administered, and the type of medication. In addition parents should provide Kentwood with a supply of extra medications should we run out or should your child forget to take the medication in the morning. It is very important that monthly supplies of medication are brought to school (by the parent or an authorized adult) at least three days before the start of each new month. If this is not done parents will be charged a processing fee. It is also very important that we are informed of any change in medication, dosage, time of administration, or if your child is taken off medication for any reason.

Q:

How often will there be communication about my child's progress in academics and behavior?

A:

Kentwood schedules four quarterly conferences at which the classroom teacher will go over each child's report card and discuss behavioral and other issues pertaining to each student. The fourth quarter conference is optional. Throughout the year newsletters will inform parents of school activities and news. For other issues appointments can be made through the front office manager. Staff members are available only at certain times for meetings. We will endeavor to accommodate parents within these time frames. Please understand that meetings without appointments especially before school or at the beginning of school are not possible. All staff is required to be involved in school activities. The office manager is the only person who is authorized to set appointments as she has a record of all staff schedules in the appointment book.

Q:

Does Kentwood have a parent support group?

A:

Kentwood provides a variety of parent workshops throughout the year. This gives them an opportunity to give and receive support from each other.

Q:

What are school hours?

A:

School hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Q:

When should my child arrive at school and be picked up from school?

A:

The school is open to receive students at 7:30 a.m. and is closed at 5:30 p.m. It is suggested that students should arrive between 8:00 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. because home base begins promptly at 8:30 and, unless you have signed up and paid for after care, students must be picked up between 3:00 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. If students are picked up after 3:15 p.m. after care charges will be assessed.

Q:

What should I do if I am going to be late to pick up my child?

A:

If you realize that you are going to be late to pick up your child from school please call as soon as possible. All students not enrolled in after care must be picked up by 3:15 p.m. After that, late pick up students are sent to join after care and parents will be charged the daily rate. Should you be late to pick up your child from aftercare a charge of $2.00 per minute with a $25 minimum after 5:30 PM will be incurred.

Q:

Does Kentwood have an aftercare program?

A:

Yes! After care runs from 3:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily (Monday through Friday) After care can be paid for on a daily or monthly basis. Please ask our financial department for details.

Q:

To whom should I speak about finances?

A:

If you have any questions regarding tuition, monthly payments, billing, etc. Call the front office and ask for the finance department. You will then be connected to someone who can answer your questions. The front office manager cannot answer your questions and is only authorized to receive checks, which are then passed on to the finance department. Monies for lunches, field trips, after care etc. are to be mailed in, or handed to the front office manager who will pass them on to the finance department.

Q:

What happens if my child is sick or absent and work must be made up?

A:

If your child is sick and absent from school for one, two, or three days, a phone call from the parent is required to establish absence records. Makeup classes are offered every other week on Thursday afternoons 2:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. If your child is absent for longer than three days, a doctor's note is legally required for an excused absence. Make up work is sent home only for those students who are on an excused absence for more than 5 consecutive days.

Q:

Does Kentwood administer the FCAT exams?

A:

Kentwood does not administer the F.C.A.T exams to our students. There are several reasons for this. Many of our students have had bad experiences taking standardized tests; they do not have the test taking skills, and are too impulsive when it comes to multiple-choice tests. Secondly, many of our students do not do well in timed tests. Many students have had accommodations made for tests, which do not apply to the FCAT. We do, however test our students annually on standardized tests, which are administered in March. Achievement tests are an important tool to give us information on the effectiveness of our teaching and curriculum. They also help us to identify areas of academic strength and weakness so that we can modify each child's academic program accordingly.

Q:

What tests does Kentwood use to monitor my child's progress in school?

A:

Kentwood administers the Terra Nova Test is administered annually to our students in grades 3 through 12. In addition to these tests, each student at Kentwood must have an up to date psycho-educational test battery upon entry into our school. These tests are administered by licensed psychologists and give us invaluable information regarding each child's strengths and weaknesses academically and behaviorally. We cannot program effectively without these tests. Psycho-educational tests include an I.Q. Test and scores which are broken down and scored by each sub test. This test is usually called the W.I.S.C. IV. In addition to the intelligence test we also require academic testing. Neuro-psychological testing is also helpful.

Q:

What is the factor system and how will it help my child in school?

A:

The Kentwood factor system is the center of our individualized academic program. Basically it is a hierarchical system designed to methodically teach students the systems necessary to produce increasingly more sophisticated paragraphs, summaries, essays, research projects, book reports, and other written assignments. These are the very products that will be required throughout each child's education and at work in the future. Depending upon the student's ability to organize thoughts into written form, a factor level will be assigned to each student regardless of grade level. Factor levels can change for each subject. Even homework is organized according to factor levels. In math the number of accommodations made for students in math determines factor levels. For example, Level One students require squared graph paper, a calculator, and modified test materials. A Level Five student requires no formal accommodations. The curriculum is taught at grade level, and each student receives the same high-level instruction. Only the output requirements are individualized. Each student is required to progress through the factor levels. If they get stuck, extra classes are offered.

Q:

May I bring in a birthday cake for the class on my child's birthday?

A:

Many parents of our younger students wish to bring in cupcakes, or a birthday cake on or around their child's birthday. Kentwood encourages parents to do this, but certain policies must be followed for this to occur. Parents must inform the front office at least a week in advance if they plan to bring in a birthday cake. This will avoid scheduling conflicts with field trips, sports events, or other scheduled curriculum activities. Secondly the parents may attend, but must first clear this with the front office and register before entering campus. Finally the time of the celebration will usually be just before the end of school, between 2:00 pm and 2:30 pm.

Q:

May my child bring an iPod or Video games to school?

A:

Music players, Laptop computers, notebook computers, and other small electronic devices are not allowed on campus without: a) permission from parents, b) Approval from the Treatment Team, and c) Acknowledgement of the enrollment agreement which states, "Kentwood is not responsible if the device is lost, stolen, broken, misplaced, or otherwise harmed in any way." Also please be aware that music CD's and computer games, which contain subject material, which the school deems to be inappropriate, obscene, violent, or offensive will be confiscated . Finally, we frequently have a problem with swapping, trading and/or borrowing of game items, video games, trading cards etc. therefore these practices are not permitted.

Q:

What security measures are in place at Kentwood?

A:

Security all over the country, especially in schools, has increased dramatically. We at Kentwood are aware of the number of visitors we receive on a daily basis. They range from parents to psychologists, to clinicians. Therefore, we have implemented a system of registration of visitors to our campuses. No visitor is allowed through our front door without first registering with the office manager and receiving a visitor's pass. No parent is allowed to walk his or her child to the classroom. In the event of a scheduled conference or meeting during the school day, each parent or family member must first register and receive a visitor's pass. We are sure you can understand the safety issues, which require us to enforce these measures.

Q:

When can I pick up my child for an appointment?

A:

To minimize disruption in class at the end of the day, we do not allow dismissals between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m.  If your child has an appointment, please pick them up before 2:30.

Q:

Do we have school today?

A:

You will be always be notified by our School Messenger system and email if we cancel school or change hours due to weather.  For the most part, we follow Palm Beach School District calendar except we have no early dismissals or half-days.  In the case of tropical storms, hurricanes, flooding, etc.  we may be able to continue having school because we have more flexibility with our transportation system, electricity, etc. because we are a small school.  

Q:

Who is in charge of before and after care?

A:

Ms. Wiehl is the Director

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