Kentwood Preparatory School is committed to the development of every child, both as a person and as a student. Because the school is a community, it is imperative that order and efficiency be maintained to foster the well being of the entire community. At Kentwood Preparatory School, we believe that each member of the school community bears a share of the responsibility for making the school a better place in which to teach and learn. Continuing enrollment is an earned and maintained privilege, not a right guaranteed by admission.
Recognizing a trend of the past decades, misunderstandings between families and schools have been resolved with litigation. A clear understanding of the school’s practices via this Handbook has helped us avoid such unpleasantness. Students should remember that Kentwood Preparatory School is an independent school, and that enrollment is voluntary. All should understand, therefore, that their presence in school is an implied consent to support the school community, its goals and objectives, and its standards of conduct.
The purpose of this Handbook is to assist students and their families in understanding our school’s goals and standards. Also, it specifies procedures so that the faculty and students may conduct the school’s primary business, learning, with minimum distractions and maximum success. Understandably, much of the above will vary in practice from grade to grade within our grades 1-12 school. Nonetheless, the principles are constant and paramount in importance. Students should know the Handbook well, because it contains useful information. More importantly, they should realize that the spirit and intent of this guide, rather than its specific wording, make all that is written here vital to the community.
Understanding, acceptance, and commitment to this spirit will help all our students to develop the sense of pride they should feel for our traditions, our strong faculty, and our high standards of education.
The basic educational purposes of Kentwood Preparatory School are: 1) preparation of its students for life and 2) development in its students of the necessary academic, social, behavioral, physical and problem-solving skills to enable them to live constructive lives in a rapidly changing society. Kentwood is dedicated to helping families with children who have special behavioral, learning and social-emotional needs. Kentwood offers a diagnostic, prescriptive teaching, and learning experience for the physically normal, intelligent children who, for a multiplicity of causes, have not been able to benefit from a regular school program. The purposes of Kentwood are:
- To identify the family dynamics, crises, and needs, and the student’s academic, behavioral and social-emotional deficits and strengths.
- To develop prescribed programs that will remediate the student’s deficits, reinforce the student’s strengths, and, if necessary, teach the student compensatory skills.
- To work with the student and family to insure a happy, well-adjusted and functioning family unit.
- To assist students in fulfilling their potential and to assume their rightful place in society as well-adjusted, happy and productive individuals.
The Kentwood school program is based on a cognitive behavioral model designed to give intensive skills training in reading, writing, math, and study skills. The model includes a social skills and behavior modification approach to social-emotional issues, self-image, and the development of confidence as a learner within a supportive and understanding environment.
Kentwood is non-discriminatory in admissions and employment practices and recognizes the value student and staff diversity can bring to the program.
Kentwood - Program Overview
- Kentwood Preparatory School believes that a symbiotic relationship exists among the social-emotional-academic-family gestalt of each student and that, especially with “special needs” students, deficits in all of these areas must be treated by a multidisciplinary approach involving academic and therapeutic interventions.
- Kentwood is keenly aware of the serious responsibility of educating young people who have special needs. We recognize that the whole family joins Kentwood, and that the whole family needs to work together with the school in order for us to achieve growth and development for the child and the family unit. Parent participation is a necessary part of the total education process. Parents are encouraged to request teacher conferences, to communicate suggestions for the betterment of the school, and to attend parent/student/faculty meetings.
- Kentwood believes that self-esteem is vital to the child’s growth. It is promoted in the students by the recognition that the adults with whom they interact considers them to be special and worthy people. We believe that a teacher’s attitude toward each child is crucial and can set the tone for others’ attitudes as well. We believe that basic to a teacher’s attitude is love and respect for children and belief in praise and encouragement for enhancing a child’s growth.
- Compulsory homework has too often been an occasion for conflict at home, especially for the child who has difficulties. The parent-child relationship is threatened when the child struggles to do well for the parent and when the parent struggles to understand why the child does not learn effectively or is unable to do the assigned work. At Kentwood, the school and the family form a partnership and work together. No homework is given until the student has the necessary skills to work independently at home. The parents are instructed how much guidance and help to give. Parent involvement is kept to a minimum so as to foster a sense of independence, competence, achievement, and responsibility in the student.
- Kentwood is a multi-sensory school relying heavily on a variety of creative educational techniques to inspire learning in each individual child. Our academic goal is to foster accomplishment, which will in turn produce feelings of success for each student according to ability. We believe in stimulating young minds and doing so in a way that is rewarding for the student. We believe that a student’s potential is always more than it appears to be on the surface. We strive to develop this potential through creative teaching methods, sensitivity to individual needs, and supportive relationships between teachers, parents, and students. We believe that caring and supportive parents, teachers, and creative learning situations inspire students.
- Kentwood seeks to develop qualities of leadership and responsibility between its student and staff. We expect the faculty and students to conduct themselves in a way that exemplifies the true spirit of the school community. These qualities include:
- Respect for an individual’s feelings
- Sense of dignity
- Courtesy and self-control
- Hospitality to newcomers
- Concern for others
- Good sportsmanship
- Kindness and humility
- Pride in dress and work
- Community service
- Kentwood believes in the maintenance of definite standards of organization and expectations in the classroom and throughout the school day. The most important factors in maintaining these standards are:
- accountability (understanding choices and consequences)
- boundaries (clearly defined limits of behavior)
- consistency (avoiding mixed messages, by consistent enforcement of rules)
- structure (clearly defined expectations in the home and in the school)
- We often refer to these factors as the ABCS.
Specific goals include:
- The building of strong foundations in the basic academic disciplines leading to placement and success in appropriate secondary schools and colleges. An acceptance of the principle that excellence is the school’s standard of achievement in all aspects of school life.
- The development of learning skills necessary for continuing educational experience wherein a capacity for self-education is instilled.
- An appreciation of the importance of the arts in our culture and society.
- An understanding of the importance of personal health and physical activity to one’s well being.
- A willingness and ability to face the pressures of competition and the development of a sense of proper perspective regarding competition.
- An awareness and respect for others and their differences.
- An awareness that in a community of people, leadership, teamwork, responsible citizenship, and concern for others are vital to the welfare of that community.
- The realization that continuing enrollment at Kentwood Preparatory School is an earned privilege, not a continuing right, and is extended only to students who accept the school’s standards of behavior and who demonstrate a willingness and ability to live up to their potential.
The Kentwood Preparatory School Faculty and Administration have adopted a policy of annual, formal evaluations of student performances for continuing enrollment. Each year, based on faculty assessment, students receive a spring letter from the Principal either inviting them to return or informing them that they no longer have the privilege of attending the school. Those decisions are made according to how well students and their families have worked with us to realize their potential. The following information regarding school rules, student behavior, and standards should be read carefully, for it is crucial to those decisions.
Consideration for Others
In conjunction with the Student Bill of rights, the simple phrase, “Consideration for Others,” is the theme for all behavioral expectations at Kentwood Preparatory School. The school community fosters discipline through trust, reason, and self-control, rather than through a system of rules based on fear or the constant threat of punishment. Students are expected to conduct themselves with consideration for others at all times. “Others” includes Teachers, fellow students, parents, visitors and school property.
At Kentwood Preparatory School, the primary responsibility for good conduct is placed with the student. All members of the school community are expected to practice, demonstrate, and encourage:
- Respect for the dignity of and acceptance of differences in others, including students, faculty, staff, visitors, and associates outside the school.
- A willingness to make decisions about personal and school matters, and to accept the consequences of those decisions.
- Respect for the property of the school and others. No one should take property of others without permission.
- A willingness to serve and contribute to the general welfare of the school.
- A positive attitude and a constructive approach to the solution of individual and group problems.
Student behavior, which is deemed harmful to the student, to other students, or to the school’s reputation, is subject to administrative action, which could include suspension or dismissal.
Harassment of any kind - physical, social, emotional, sexual - is a serious violation of “Consideration for Others” and will not be tolerated at Kentwood Preparatory School. If a student is found to be harassing or bullying another member of the school community, it may lead to suspension or other serious disciplinary action. Students should know that the school considers harassment or bullying behavior directed at another student to be unacceptable, even if it occurs outside of school. Any attempt to intimidate or otherwise bother a student after an allegation of harassment has been made will also be viewed as a serious violation of school rules.
A smile, a friendly greeting, and a gesture of kindness are traditions at Kentwood Preparatory School. Together with a willingness to lend a helping hand, these qualities help make our school a better place to work and play. It is important that our students represent the school appropriately, on and off campus and in the community. Again, students should be considerate of others, as they should expect others to be considerate of them.
Students should learn early in their academic lives that “borrowing” ideas from another student or lifting a choice passage from the source are both harmful and dishonest. It is also a bad habit on which the student may come to rely. To do so is plagiarism -stealing someone’s ideas and passing them off as one’s own. Plagiarism and cheating are serious violations of academic integrity, which may result in probation, suspension, or other serious disciplinary action.
Students should neither give nor receive assistance in homework, quizzes, tests, or exams except as authorized by their instructors. This policy does not preclude students from working together to understand the procedures of their work, however. In fact, such cooperation is encouraged when it is helpful to the learning process. At the beginning of the school year, teachers will work with students to clarify precisely what practices are acceptable in regard to working together.
Throughout the year, students assume various leadership roles in the school community. It is important to the quality of life at school that they receive reasonable support from the student body. Recognizing that the judgment of student leaders will be imperfect, we, nevertheless expect others to fulfill their obligations as outlined by the leaders. Furthermore, as the “senior” members of our school community, all have an additional responsibility to act as positive role models for the younger students.
Occasionally, a student may resist direction from other students, teachers, or coaches. Certainly, the right to dissent is inherent in the community, but the manner in which one disagrees is important.
A public, unattractive display of temper is immature, undesirable, and an ineffective way to achieve resolution of a disagreement. A better way is to find a time to talk reasonably with the other person. After class or after the game, not during, are good examples of other times. If this is not possible, a student should talk with a teacher. If the student is not satisfied with the teacher’s response, the student can ask for permission to speak to a behavior specialist or administrator. Most conflicts are resolved in school, before the student leaves for the day. To avoid splitting a note will be sent home with the student only if he/she is unable to resolve the problem at school. This note invites the parent to get involved by calling the school. If a note is not received the student is probably trying cause a split between the parents and the school. We commonly refer to this procedure as “Chain of Command” which incorporates teaching of life skills and encourages them to advocate for themselves.