Innovations for 2017-18 School Year
KICS prides itself as a school that is eager to grow and develop. The 2017-18 school year began with some exciting innovations. Following are a few highlights of the changes around campus.
The secondary schedule has been adapted to a new 7-day rotation, with an aim to maximize learning time. The rotating schedule enables classes to meet at a different time each day, giving all students and teachers the ability to experience a content area in their optimal learning times within each rotation. The schedule also features a long block in each day which provides classes with enough time to explore learning in ways that are not possible to cover in a 50 minute class. “The long block in our new schedule is a great offering, especially for art and science classes. My art students now have time to really dig in to a project,” said secondary art teacher Louise Koonce.
Play therapy is a form of counseling that uses play rather than conversation. “Play therapy is based on the premise that children naturally process through play. It is an effective way of addressing cognitive, emotional, social and behavioral challenges that kids face,” explains play therapist, Catherine Gitau, who to date has completed over 500 hours of play therapy counseling.
Mrs. Gitau meets with parents before, during and after their child’s block of sessions. “We discuss the needs of their child and the outcomes they hope for.” She uses different tools to measure progress, including conversations with teachers.
Mrs. Gitau has seen incredible transformation in the lives of the children she has worked with. “It’s not all play though – I pray for the kids I work with before every session and I feel like I’m simply a tool that God uses to do His transforming work,” she noted.
KICS Pre-Kites has transferred to a new building located within walking distance of the main campus. The warm, inviting, home-like environment is now home to 20 children. “KICS Pre-Kites offers a full day option this year to meet the needs of our community. Many of our families are professionals with both parents working full time. These families expressed a need for a full-time program in a safe and nurturing learning environment for their children, and KICS was pleased to be able to meet this need,” explains Pre-Kites director Carrie Devescovi.
As a result of the full day initiative, Pre-Kites has welcomed new programs for the children such as Art, French, Physical Education, Library and Music, allowing them to learn and develop even further.
Pre-Kites is pleased to welcome an additional teacher into the family. Gretchen Driesenga joins the team from the Haven of Peace Academy in Tanzania, where she was serving on the mission field with her family. “We are thankful for all of the growth that is happening in our Pre-Kites program and look forward to what God has in store for us this year,” remarked Mrs. Devescovi.
This year at KICS, all Juniors and Seniors have been issued a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 for use in the classroom and at home. This device provides the best features of both a laptop and a tablet while allowing students to do school work by typing, touching and writing directly on the screen with a stylus. Teachers are able to distribute and receive work through Microsoft Teams and OneNote Class Notebooks, communicate more readily with students via e-mail and Skype, and provide a multitude of resources and information through the Internet whenever needed. All other students continue to have computer access through laptops in the media centers and student laptop cart. Mr. Stevens, the director of Technology said, “This year, teachers are able to better monitor their students’ work using a program on their laptops called LanSchool that allows them to view student screens and limit access to certain apps and websites.”
Each year KICS is blessed to welcome new staff members to our community. Across all grades, there are more than 20 new teachers, administrators and assistants. This expansion allows KICS to offer more classes for the growing number of students as well greater offerings in AP classes. The new personnel come from many backgrounds and homelands, including the United States, Kenya and Great Britain. This cultural diversity is celebrated at KICS while the commitment to Christ-centered education unifies our staff body.