Kentwood Public Schools
Strong Schools, Strong Communities
Kentwood is a place where a globally diverse community and public school district unite to provide opportunities to live and learn in an inclusive and supportive setting. Partnering with parents and the community to educate all students in a safe, secure environment, the mission of Kentwood Public Schools is to educate students within an environment committed to excellence, equity, and diversity. The goal is for each student to master and apply the essential skills needed to be a successful and globally competitive citizen. Our students and staff model three important Points of Pride in daily routines at Kentwood:
- Grit. Our students have the inner strength and intellectual capability to meet and rise above life’s challenges.
- Positive relationships and high expectations. Positive relationships provide the support needed to overcome difficult life circumstances. Positive relationships provide the strength to meet high expectations and tackle what feels like the impossible.
- Global schools focused on excellence. We succeed on an international stage because Kentwood has a global perspective with a commitment to excellence in all that we do.
To educate students within an environment committed to excellence, equity, and diversity
We offer career and technical coursework through the Kent Career Tech Center and East Kentwood High School. We help students consider and connect with possible careers, build the skills expected in the workplace and learn about options after graduation, including college, technical training or going directly into the workforce. See "Fund Allocation" below for how Enhancement dollars are allowing us to expand these opportunities.
In addition, we are exposing elementary and middle school students to more careers while expanding the coursework and opportunities for students to experience different careers when they get to high school. Electronic resources are provided to allow students to explore careers and help them prepare for careers in high school.
Academics and Beyond
Strong academics are the basis for all K-12 learning beginning with literacy, mathematics, science and social studies. In addition to these areas, we engage students with a wide range of courses including Culinary Arts, Environmental Science, African American Literature and College Writing. Students are able to choose from 21 Advanced Placement (AP) courses and a multitude of dual enrollment options. Before and after-school opportunities including Jazz Band, competitive athletics and clubs such as National Art Honor Society and Robotics are available to students as well. K-12 English Learners also receive a comprehensive range of language support services by certified EL Teachers, certified Academic Interventionists or Paraprofessionals. Language acquisition instruction is designed to promote the academic performance of EL students and ensure they acquire the same knowledge and skills as their peers. Newcomer Centers are provided at both elementary and middle school levels to allow students to receive extended instruction time which accelerates their language proficiency and progress toward understanding academic content in the general education curriculum. EL teachers, general education teachers and building administrators receive high quality professional development regarding instructional strategies for supporting and sustaining EL programs. We also have after-school opportunities ranging from athletics and fine arts to ARCH programs.
New in the fall of 2019, we've developed a middle college program with Grand Rapids Community College and Davenport University. The East Kentwood Middle College (EKMC) is a unique educational opportunity that will allow students to graduate with a high school diploma, transferable college credits and an Associate of Arts degree starting in 10th grade. The EKMC is designed to prepare students for post secondary study and/or employment.
Support for Students
We work hard to support students so they succeed, including hiring the best staff to assist them. In addition, we have behavior and academic interventionists to enhance skills for students who may need extra help. Our Kent Schools Services Network provides families with necessary access to health care, mental health counseling and family outreach centers.
Early childhood is a crucial time in children's lives, a time when they engage in the world around them and learn all the basics they'll use in school and beyond. Our Great Start Readiness Preschool programs help children prepare for school success. In addition, we offer tuition based pre-school programs and a wide range of tutoring.
How Kentwood is using the funds generated from the enhancement millage:
- We've expanded our Career Tech Education program
- In August 2017, we added 2 full time teachers which helped us expand the program to meet the demand of the students. Our Residential Construction program continues to be a popular program on campus as enrollment continues to climb. The program was approved to build an 8 house development in Gaines Township. This would not have been possible without the enhancement millage dollars.
- In September 2018, we enhanced our "Video Production" curriculum, supported by a full service broadcast room complete with updated equipment that allows students to produce the Falcon News Network on a daily basis with live and remote broadcasts. In addition, we are beginning the development of our Culinary Arts program along with Life Skills classes. A small renovation to the high school will allow for an upgrade to the current space allowing for more students and increase choices in these curriculum. Both of these CTE initiatives would not be possible without the enhancement millage.
- In respect to the K-3 reading law we added three support staff to assure we have intentional lessons for all K-3 students in reading comprehension and fluency. In order to accomplish this, we also added three full time teachers to reduce teacher student ratio or class size.
- We work collaboratively with Kent School Services Network (KSSN) to bring support services to our individual schools in Kentwood. KSSN brings health and human services into the school building to serve students and families. This idea is called a "community school." Placing services at school removes many barriers that families have, and helps keep students in class. When students are in class, they can keep learning and achieving. Because of the enhancement millage we were able to add two new schools this year and plan to add more in the future.
- We added a "Youth Action Camp" in conjunction with the Michigan Center for Civic Education (MCCE). The summer program is instrumental for Secondary students in Kentwood to reflect best practices in civic and law-related education and provide experiences that are relevant, rigorous, and connected to real life experiences.
Enhancement millage dollars
Kentwood has received the following enhancement millage dollars:
- 2017-18 amount received - $1,934,367.28
- 2018-19 amount received - $2,087,023.49
- 2019-20 amount received - $2,194,143.93
- 2020-21 amount expected - $2,238,425.58
Kentwood Public Schools, together with the parents and the community, will educate all students in a safe, secure environment. We are committed to excellence, equity, and diversity in education. Our goal is for each student to master and apply the essential skills to be successful, productive citizens.
About Our District
KEY POINTS OF PRIDE
Grit: Our students have the inner strength and intellectual capability to meet and rise above life’s challenges.
Positive relationships and high expectations: Positive relationships provide the support needed to overcome difficult life circumstances. Positive relationships provide the strength to meet high expectations and tackle what feels like the impossible.
Global schools focused on excellence: We succeed on an international stage because Kentwood has a global perspective with a commitment to excellence in all that we do.
Superintendent, Kevin Polston