High Academic Expectations - Kensington Woods High School


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High Academic Expectations

At Kensington Woods, we hold high expectations for all students in their character, behavior and, most importantly, their academics. By holding students to high academic expectations, we believe, and research supports, that they will rise to those expectations and excel. We help students meet our high expectations through a variety of ways.

Mastery Learning

We expect all students to master the content. Therefore, there are no "D's" at Kensington Woods. The minimum passing grade is a 70%. But we hold a mastery learning philosophy that allows students to develop their skills and knowledge until they can demonstrate mastery of the content. That might be retaking a test, revising a project or other ways to demonstrate their knowledge, depending on the course and teacher.

Mastery learning not only prevents failure but it builds motivation and confidence. Students who struggle with difficult work but then are able to successfully complete it get the sense of satisfaction and competence that is essential in developing adults who persist and are willing to tackle challenging problems.

Growth Mind Set

We practice a “Growth Mind Set” philosophy where students are instructed in the extraordinary ability of each human brain to grow and change throughout a lifetime. At Kensington Woods there is no such thing as “I’m not good at math,” or “I’ve never done well in English.” Rather, we guide students in locating their strengths, building on what they do well, and applying those strategies to new tasks. They are amazed at what they can do! By maintaining the same standard of learning for all, we believe that every student who enters our building can truly be whoever they want to be.

Whatever it Takes Attitude

At Kensington Woods, we hold a "Whatever it Takes" attitude. Teachers will do whatever it takes to help a student find success, and we expect students and parents to do so as well. Teachers, students and parents work as a team to help students achieve.

College Acceptance

We hold the expectation that all Seniors will be accepted into a 4-year university or college before graduating. We support them in achieving this goal through rigorous and relevant academics as well as our Advisory and college counseling programs. For more information on our graduates, click here.

Standardized Tests

Through our high expectations we expect to, and do see, academic success for students through improved performance in the classroom as well as on standardized tests like the MEAP, ACT and MME. We support strong performances on these tests not through teaching to the test, but by teaching the state standards and ACT's college readiness standards in engaging and rigorous ways that helps students truly learn the content and skills needed for success on these tests but also for success in college and beyond.

We also support students' strong and improved performance on the ACT through an ACT preparation program unique to Kensington Woods, designed for each student's needs.

At Kensington Woods, we have a proven record continual success at students improving their standardized test scores over time, especially for those who started with us as 9th graders or earlier.

Peer Tutoring

Kensington Woods embeds peer tutoring opportunities for students throughout the curriculum. Peer tutoring not only helps students who are struggling, but helps those students who are tutoring. Those students have an opportunity to “teach,” which is widely regarded as the most effective way of learning.