Kent schools recognized by state for innovation

Kent Phoenix Academy and Kent Mountain View Academy were named Washington State Innovative Schools by Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn.

School Board Director Karen DeBruler

School Board Director Karen DeBruler

Kent Phoenix Academy and Kent Mountain View Academy were named Washington State Innovative Schools by Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn.

The announcement was made during the Washington State Schools Director’s Association’s conference on Nov. 18. This award recognizes the two elementary schools for implementing inventive and exciting school models that make it possible for students to earn their high school diplomas.

Kent Phoenix Academy is comprised of four small schools:

• Kent Gateway – Students in grades 9-10 work with the same core group of teachers in both grades focusing on increasing academic and social skills.

• Kent Performance Learning Center – This program is for credit deficient students in grades 11–12 blends digital and project-based learning with community mentors and partnerships.

• Kent Success – Operating later in the day, this program offers credit deficient students an onsite, self-paced, computer-based education with the support of highly qualified staff.

• Kent Virtual High School – A self-paced, rigorous set of courses that are approved by OSPI and the NCAA. Students have the ability to learn at any time from any location.

Kent Phoenix Academy enrolls students by application. With a parent or guardian, students participate in an application and interview process along with math and reading skills assessments.

During the interview, students discuss their educational successes and challenges. Once a student is accepted into the school, agreements are signed by all parties and parents, school personnel and the student develop an individualized educational plan that addresses the student’s specific needs.

Kent Mountain View Academy has a grades 3-12 program that focuses on small classroom settings and attracting families who are not accessing public education. The school has three programs:

• Choice Program – One section of each grade level for grades 3–12

• Transition Program – Computer-based credit retrieval for grades 9–12

• Link Program – For Asperger’s/Autism students in grades 7–12

The elementary program rotates students through each of its’ four teachers multiple times during their elementary years, changing classes similar to a secondary schedule. Advanced elementary students can access middle and high school courses on campus.

Middle school students have the same teachers for grades 7 and 8, and the five high school content teachers work with students from grade 9 through graduation. This multi-year exposure to the same teachers and peer groups provides a base of stability and familiarity for Link Program students.

The Transition Program falls under the Alternative Learning Experience requirements. It allows students to attend school who cannot attend a full day due to health, financial, or other reasons.

“I am very excited about two of our schools receiving this distinction,” said Dr. Edward Lee Vargas, district superintendent. “Kent Phoenix Academy and Kent Mountain View Academy demonstrate how creative, thoughtful, and rigorous systems help successfully prepare all students for their future. The staff and leaders of KPA and KMVA believe in their students and should be proud of this accomplishment.”



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