Junior High School Program
Underneath the learning process at Kensington Woods is its unique culture, which is rooted in our school’s philosophy of a supportive, yet challenging learning environment. This holds true for our Junior High program as well.
Our environment is one in which students are able to express their individuality during a time of life which is often filled with insecurity. Their teachers demonstrate a deep understanding of their needs and a dedication to helping each child grow in his or her own way. By the end of eighth grade, students are ready for the greater independence and rigor of our High School. This is accomplished through an academic program which has depth and by a culture which emphasizes responsibility and respect.
High Academic Expectations
High expectations for student achievement are at the core of this program. Students are challenged with a unique and engaging curriculum that blends 7th and 8th grade content and integrates it across subjects; taught in a way that taps into the strengths of early adolescent learners.
The rigorous curriculum is designed to prepare students for success in high school. Students build skills in reading complex texts and in laying the math foundations for high school as well as having opportunities to explore and develop expertise in areas of their interest. Curriculum and classes are integrated across subjects and designed around themes that create real-world connections and context for students.
While students in the Junior High program will largely be separated from the 9-12 grade students during their day, all high school courses will be available to junior high school students who are qualified to take them. Junior high students will also have access to and be working with the high school college counselors during 7th and 8th grade.
The Junior High program contains a faculty of highly qualified teachers who look past the challenges of early adolescence -- awkwardness, rapid physical maturation, and emotional ups and downs -- to focus on the strengths of the young adult -- adult-like intelligence, a capacity for high performance, and a lively sense of humor.
Our program caters to the academic, social, and emotional needs of this developmental stage. At the same time, the broad array of individual differences among our students is understood and accommodated through flexibility in placement and individualization. Our Junior High School staff shares an understanding of the developmental level of its students and is loyal and enthusiastic in their support.
The Kensington Woods Junior High School program also includes a strong, supportive Advisory program, where students will regularly meet with an Advisor to assess their progress in the program as well as set goals for their growth.
We believe our students have outstanding gifts and talents, which can only be enhanced by good character. We seek to guide them in developing the well-rounded character that will serve them well in life and help them serve others.
The instructional style is one that respects the high adolescent need to make connections with others—students work in groups where discussion and activities are structured—making sure that the intellect is engaged and active, but also where students are developing an identity in a place where they can be free to be themselves, but are also guided by caring adults.
Students also make connections with older students through mentoring experiences, creating connections that help guide students through their Junior High school years and the transition into High School.
A Time for Transition
The Kensington Woods Junior High is a gentle and supportive transition into high school. Research shows that it is the transition years that are the most difficult for students; this is particularly troublesome when students hit the middle school years and school work becomes more separated by content, more abstract in nature and frequently is removed from the student’s personal experiences. That discomfort can result in students not believing in education’s value for them, and result in disengagement or failure.
To make the transition to high school and college smoother and more successful, we actively work to honor and value the cognitive capabilities of early adolescents by providing a rigorous curriculum that is integrated and focuses on the skills students need to develop for high school.
School-sponsored clubs and athletics are open to junior high students, providing them opportunities to continue to develop social skills as well as personal interests.