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High School Program

Overview

Kensington Woods' High School program includes 9-12th grades. We believe that students who complete a four-year program at Kensington Woods will have the academic background required by Michigan public universities. Students who graduate from KWHS will not only leave our program with core knowledge of their academic and elective courses but also with 21st century skills that allow them to understand why it is important and how to use it effectively.

We believe the school’s responsibility in education is to bring curiosity, challenge, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment into our students’ lives. We believe it is through commitment, self-discipline, and determination that students stretch the limits of their minds and realize the enjoyment of education.

We believe certain skills to be essential for all of our graduates: to read well, to write clearly and coherently, to study effectively, to reason thoroughly, to question thoughtfully, and to think critically and creatively. 

 

Class Offerings

Kensington Woods' tailors its schedule each year to meet the needs of its students and offer them the most variety. The list of classes below are classes that are often offered, but not all classes are offered every year, based on student needs and interest and teacher availability. New classes are also regularly added to the curriculum. Honors sections are also offered.

  • English
  • Freshman Seminar (English 9 and Civics integration)
  • English 10
  • English 11/Civics (English 11 and Government integration)
  • English 12 (English 12, Art and Senior Exhibition integration)
  • AP English (Language and Composition)
  • AP English (Literature and Composition)
  • Dual Enrollment
  • Mathematics
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra I
  • Geometry
  • Algebra II
  • Advanced Algebra II/Trig
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Calculus
  • Math Lab
  • Dual Enrollment
  • Social Studies
  • Freshman Seminar (English and Civics Integration
  • World Cultures (World History and Geography Integration)
  • US History
  • English 11/Civics (English 11 and Government Integration)
  • Government
  • Economics
  • Dual Enrollment
  • Science
  • Concepts of Physics
  • Chemistry/Art (Chemistry and Visual Art integration)
  • Biology
  • Anatomy/Physiology
  • Advanced Physics
  • Dual Enrollment
 
  • Visual Arts
  • Visual Arts 1, 2, and 3
  • Digital Art 1, 2 and 3 (Photography and/or Graphic Design)
  • AP Studio Art
  • Yearbook
  • Chemistry/Art
  • English 12/Art
  • Independent Study
  • Foreign Language
  • Spanish 1
  • Spanish 2
  • Spanish 3
  • Spanish 4
  • Dual Enrollment
  • Physical Education
  • Physical Education
  • Health
  • Independent Study
  • Additional Electives
  • Creative Media
  • Humanities Symposium
  • STEM Symposium
  • Technology
  • Study Skills
  • Co-op
  • Project Term
  • Dual Enrollment
 

Students may also be eligible to take courses from Michigan Virtual University. The course catalog can be found here: https://micourses.org/

Dual Enrollment

Kensington Woods offers many dual enrollment and Advanced Placement (AP) opportunities for students, allowing them to immerse themselves in the college experience and earn college credit while in high school.

We strongly encourage all Juniors and Seniors to engage in dual enrollment or AP experiences. Students dual enroll through a variety of colleges, including Lansing Community College and Washtenaw Community College. Kensington Woods also pays for all or part of the tuition; contact the Counseling department for more information.

On average, students who dual enroll while attending KWoods graduate high school with over 20 college credits.

 
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Senior Exhibition

The Senior Exhibition is a graduation requirement designed to showcase student achievement through a representation of the qualities the school values: academics, character and service as well as independent thinking and personal responsibility. Students are guided through their Senior Exhibition throughout senior year in their English 12 class.

In the course of the project students are required to develop an Essential Question about a social issue, research the origins, causes and possible solutions to the problem, write a research paper and conduct a sustainable service project that relates to their research. Along the way seniors will develop skills in communicating, project design and implementation, organization, time management and mentoring. The final exhibition is presented to staff, students, parents and the community in a celebration of their achievement.

Recent Senior Exhibition topics included:

  • Space Colonization
  • Education and Preparing Students for Independence
  • Photography and the Perception of Beauty
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • College Tuition
  • Year-Round Schooling
  • PTSD in Combat Veterans
  • Sustainable Landscaping
  • Public Perception of Depression
  • Rethinking the American Voting System
  • Energy Use and Reduction in the US
 

Graduation Requirements

Students will engage in a combination of course work and real-world application experiences during their time at Kensington Woods. All students wishing to obtain a Kensington Woods High School diploma must fulfill the Michigan Merit Curriculum and additional Kensington Woods Schools requirements. More information can be found in the Student Handbook.

Kensington Woods High School requires a more rigorous course of study in high school than the minimum requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum Graduation Requirements to prepare students for success after high school graduation. Studies from the Department of Education show that students who succeeded in challenging high school courses were more likely to go on to college and earn degrees. In addition, it found that the courses students took were a more accurate predictor of their success than grades, test scores, or class rank.

 

  • English/Language Arts: 4 credits
  • Mathematics: 4 credits
    • Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 & 1 additional math credit
    • Mathematics must be taken during a student’s Senior year
  • Science: 3 credits
    • Biology, Chemistry or Physics, and 1 additional science credit
  • Social Studies: 3 credits
    • Civics/Government, Economics, U.S. History, World History
  • World Language*: 2 credits
  • Visual Or Applied Arts: 1 credit
  • Health & Physical Education**: 1 credit
  • College Acceptance
  • Advisory: .5 credit/year
  • Project Term: .5 credit/year (9th-11th)
  • Senior Exhibition
  • Online Experience
  • Additional Electives: To total 22 credits***

*Additional credit in Visual or Applied Arts may be substituted for the second credit of World Languages.

**Additional credit in English, Math, Science or Foreign Language may be substituted for Physical Education credit. 3 seasons of KWHS JV or Varsity interscholastic athletics, 3 Fitness/Health designated Project Term courses or a combination of both may be substituted for the Physical Education requirement.

***Students need 22 credits to graduate

 

 

 
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SAT & MSTEP

To measure our success in meeting the rigorous standards created by the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) and prepare all students for the MSTEP and the SAT tests their Junior year, we have adopted the PSAT testing system. The PSAT sequence assesses students in 9th-11th grade and yields a great deal of results for both the student and us.

At Kensington Woods, students take the PSAT not only to practice test taking but also to evaluate their skill set to allow for more growth.

How the Results are Used

Students
In results given to students, they get advice and guidance about careers they may be interested in, and counseling with regard to the education they need to achieve career goals. These results are reviewed and used regularly in Advisory to set and work towards academic, career and college goals.

Teachers
Teachers are given data from the PSAT testing early enough to adjust instruction to meet the individualized needs of all students. While other schools use the PSAT, only Kensington Woods has the benefit of small size to truly utilize the information data to target and improve instruction.

Curriculum
Targeted support, individually designed, is also woven into the curriculum, based on the PSAT results. Kensington Woods analyzes the test results and provides services right in school that students in other schools would otherwise pay for in expensive “test prep” classes. These services are worked directly into the daily curriculum for all students as well as provided through regular Advisory classes for all Juniors.

The Data

When we look at test scores, we look at them over time, asking one main question: Have our students improved from where they started? We use this data to regularly tailor our curriculum to our student's needs. At Kensington Woods, we have a proven record continual success at students improving their scores over time, especially for those who started with us as 9th graders or earlier.