At Kenowa Hills, our greatest goal is preparing our students for a successful future. The traditional grade-based approach to advancement in school has always been an unfortunate obstacle in this; every student learns at their own pace and in their own way, and it’s difficult to support the needs of every individual in a time-based school system. We think that this system is restrictive to student learning, and that’s why we became one of the first schools in Michigan to embrace competency-based education, or what we call, Personal Mastery.
What does this mean for your child? Instead of advancing based on time in a certain grade level, students advance after they’ve mastered the content of the class. With the help of their teacher, your child will set individual learning goals in addition to the class’s learning targets, and follow a competency-based pathway where time is the variable and learning is the constant. Your child will own their own learning and track their own progress, take ownership of their goals and understand what they need to do to reach them.
Our goal for your child is to have them master topics before moving onto more complex ones, so they don’t move through lessons without understanding all of the material. In a grade-based approach to advancement, your child might understand one concept well for a test but not the other and still pass; if this happens, they’ll move on missing important knowledge, which has the effect of creating large gaps in what they know. With Personal Mastery, your child will demonstrate their knowledge of each concept before moving onto the next. We hope to eliminate these gaps in knowledge, and accelerate learning by making sure they have all the tools to succeed.
Your child will also have access to a wide array of programs Kenowa Hills maintains to assist in the pursuit of personal mastery. With things like a summer learning program, business partnerships, advanced placement classes, internships, middle college, and comprehensive elective offerings, we can better personalize learning for each individual student’s needs and interests.
In the classroom, Kenowa Hills’ brand of Personal Mastery has a primary focus on collaboration. We want to encourage our students to work alongside others to increase their understanding of the topic and encourage one another through group problem solving, discussion, questioning, and explaining their thinking. This personalized learning allows students to teach each other, make connections between the content and their experiences, and think more deeply about the content, with the added benefit of learning important collaboration-based skills that will be useful as they approach college and a career.
While student interaction is an important part of personal mastery, this system also provides your child with personalized attention from teachers. Instead of teaching to a broad group of students without understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses, Personal Mastery allows teachers to interact with students individually or in small groups to help them better address their weaknesses. In this way, we strive to help your child reach their full potential.