Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about Kensington Woods
How is Kensington Woods Schools (KWoods) different from the surrounding traditional public high schools?
KWoods offers a small and personal environment where high expectations and a safe and orderly school lead to a low stress experience for students.
- KWoods is absolutely mission-driven in everything we do. Our mission is to provide and engage, challenging and innovative educational programs in a student centered environment. These simple descriptions can be seen in everything we do.
- Charters can harness the often stifled energy of innovative and experienced educators.
- KWoods builds in more time for professional development and planning that is specifically mission driven.
- KWoods provides mentoring and training opportunities for teachers based on initiative and performance.
- Project Term is a 2-3 week term at the very end of our year where students enroll in high engagement/high interest elective courses that all have some community based component. Many of these courses involve travel, some even out of state or travel abroad.
- KWoods incorporates school wide curriculum planning incorporating backward design, alignment to state and national content expectations
- KWoods uses an innovative approach to instruction including integrated studies, project based learning as well as comprehensive assessment.
Do Kensington Woods students receive a “regular high school diploma”?
Absolutely. As a State of Michigan public high school, Kensington Woods requires all students to master the Michigan Merit Curriculum in addition to our graduation requirements in order to earn their high school diploma.
Do I have to pay tuition?
No, charter schools are public schools. A nominal fee is assessed if you choose to participate in extra-curricular activities such as sports, clubs and some Project Term courses.
Why is there a lottery system for admissions?
Michigan charter law requires that we utilize a lottery in the admissions process if we receive more applicants than spaces available.
How long is the school day and school year?
Classes begin at 8:15 a.m. and end at 3:40 p.m., except on Fridays when students are dismissed at 12pm. Students attend school on a similar calendar to the rest of the public schools in Livingston County.
Where do I have to live to attend Kensington Woods?
There is no residency requirement for attending Kensington Woods Schools. We primarily serve students from Livingston and Washtenaw County and their surrounding areas, including Howell, Brighton, Pinckney, Whitmore Lake, Ann Arbor, Hartland, Fowlerville, South Lyon, Milford and beyond.
What is the discipline code?
Students attending Kensington Woods adhere to a strict code of conduct. Expectations for student conduct, attendance and academic achievement are high. For more information on the school's discipline code, please refer to the student handbook.
My son or daughter is an average student. Will he/she succeed at Kensington Woods?
Yes, if he or she is willing to expend the effort necessary to succeed. High expectations are set for all students at Kensington Woods. Within this environment of high expectations, the faculty of Kensington Woods assume a “whatever it takes” attitude toward supporting students in their academic work.
Frequently Asked Questions about Charter Schools
What is a charter school?
A charter school, or public school academy, is an independent public school that is allowed the freedom to be more innovated while being held accountable for improved student achievement. Charter schools not only have a school board, but also an authorizer that holds them accountable. They are public in every sense by being open to all students, non-selective in enrollment, non-religious, and tuition-free.
How are charter schools funded?
Charter schools receive a per-pupil foundation allowance from the state, in the same way that traditional districts do. The foundation allowance can be the same as the local district but is never above it. On average, charter public schools receive about $718 less per student than traditional districts. Charter schools must also fund their own facilities. They cannot ask voters for separate tax supported revenue to pay for facilities, technology or anything else.
What is a charter school authorizer?
An authorizer can be any public university, community college, traditional district or intermediate district. Authorizers provide oversight and can intervene with a charter at any time. They assure the charter school is following all local, state and federal laws as well as meeting their performance obligations in the charter contract. Kensington Woods authorizer is Central Michigan University.
How are charter schools held accountable?
Charter schools are held to the same expectations and standards that any public school is in the state of Michigan. Kensington Woods is overseen by the State of Michigan, our authorizer (Central Michigan University), the local intermediate school district (Livingston Educational Services Agency) and our school board. All four organizations verify that Kensington Woods follows all local, state and federal laws and educational expectations. Kensington Woods also has additional expectations we meet as part of our charter contract with Central Michigan University.
Can charter schools choose their own students?
No. Charter schools are open to all students. When the number of student applications exceeds the number of available seats, a random selection lottery is held to determine which students will be enrolled.
Do charter school students have to take the MSTEP?
Yes. Charter school students must take the MSTEP and all other state and federally mandated assessments. Kensington Woods middle school students also take the EdPerformance test, which is required by our authorizer, Central Michigan University, and is used by teachers to assess student growth and adjust instruction.
Do charter schools offer special education?
Yes. Charter schools must provide special education services to any student who requires them.
Are charter schools for-profit companies?
No. Charter schools are organized by law under the Michigan Non-Profit Corporation Act. They are all public schools that are 100% not-for-profit entities. Charter schools can, like traditional school districts, contract with for-profit companies to provide goods and services to the school.