Flashback: Educational Facility Changes Moniker

Educational Facility Changes Moniker

August, 2005
Christopher Nagy
Livingston Press & Argus

The Livingston Technical Academy has changed its name to Kensington Woods High School to help better reflect its mission.

In addition to changing its name, the Genoa Township ninth- through 12th-grade school is adding a variety of educational enhancements in order to meet the needs of students, according to Chuck Stockwell, president of CS Partners, which manages Kensington Woods High School, as well as the Charyl Stockwell Academy in Hartland Township. 

Since it opened 10 years ago, the Livingston Technical Academy established itself as a provider of a personalized education, particularly as a career-based school dedicated to employment opportunities. However, with a wider variety of courses, the school is also targeting students with post-high school academic aspirations.

"Because of that, we decided we needed a new name to better reflect what we do," Stockwell said. 

Results of a survey found that few people understood that the Livingston Technical Academy was a high school at all, he said. "Many thought the school was an adult program." 

Since the area is covered by the Kensington Valley Conference, and since the school sits on the campus of Cleary University, away from the big-box stores and busy traffic of Grand River Avenue, Kensington Woods was selected as the new name of the facility. High school was tacked on, replacing academy, to clear up any confusion over the purpose of the school. 

"Changing our name is simply a way to signal parents and students that our programs are moving in an exciting direction," said Kensington Woods Principal Jim Perry. "We've expanded both the academic and college-prep component, and our technical and business school training to address the varied needs and interests of the student population." 

New offerings at Kensington Woods include advanced courses for college-bound juniors and seniors, a foreign language program, robotics competition, plus a language arts and social studies curriculum block to help incoming freshman transition into a more rigorous curriculum. Additionally, advisory programs will help all students with academic planning and post-secondary goals. On the extra-curricular side, a robotics club is slated for this fall and plans for a cross country team are in the works. 

Another significant area, Stockwell said, is the school's dual enrollment partnership with Cleary University, enabling Kensington Woods students to complete their first year of a business or information technology degree while in high school. 

"Our students will reap tremendous benefits," Perry said.

Kensington Woods is a tuition-free, state-funded high school providing accredited high school diplomas. In addition to the full-time day program, Kensington also offers evening courses to those who may find such a schedule more conducive to their lifestyle. The self-paced, instructor-guided program allows students to achieve their high school diploma with the flexibility of day and evening classes.

"I think a Kensington Woods High School student is a student who is looking for a more personalized education," Stockwell said. " We're never going to be a very big school." 

Roughly 190 students were enrolled at the school during the 2004-2005 school year. Between 200 and 225 students are expected to enroll this year. Stockwell said the school will likely eventually grow to a 300- to 400-student enrollment.

FlashbackJessie Pratt