What Makes K-W Great!
What Makes K-W Great in 2018!
As we prepared for the launch of our new website last year, the concept of a Twitter hashtag emerged. Staff and community members spontaneously responded to the trial run of #whatmakesKWgreat by tweeting out their positive observations about our school district. This simple idea has grown over the past year. It is now the source of the dynamic updates on our homepage. It tells the story of how we strive everyday to be a model, rural school district.
“What makes K-W great!” is an exclamation, not a question. While the trend across the country is to try to make big schools act more like small ones, we already have that mastered. Technically, the Kenyon-Wanamingo Public Schools offer overlapping layers of bonding social capital. In simpler terms, our students have the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive range of curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities with very few restrictions. If a K-W student wishes to take a class, join a team, or participate in an activity they can. A K-W student will regularly see their peers, school staff, and community members in multiple settings, which adds value to their educational experience.
Layers of positive relationships make K-W great! We are the Knights and we have blended Kenyon, Wanamingo, and parts of the surrounding area into a culture that is symbolically represented by the traditional strengths displayed within a Knighthood. A Knight is not gender specific. Knights learn from their adult and upper classman role models about the core values of respect and service to others. Our Knights strive to be the best that they can be. They take pride in their school, their community, and are held to high standards.
Here are just a few examples from the 2017-2018 school year that demonstrate the merit of our approach to personalized, comprehensive education:
· 97% on time high school graduation rate.
· 100% participation of eligible students in postsecondary placement tests.
· The 22.3 Junior Class composite ACT score exceeds the state average.
· Significant closing of achievement gaps in math and reading as measured by standardized tests
· State Class A Team Wrestling Tournament qualifiers
· State Class AA Team Volleyball Tournament qualifiers
· State Individual Speech Champion
· All-State Band recognition for two K-W students.
· All-State Choir recognition for two K-W students.
· Minnesota State Fair – FFA Overall Premier Exhibiting Chapter
· Regional Robotics Competition – 25th place out of 54 competitors.
· Minnesota State – Mankato Engineering Machine Design Contest, First and Sixth Place Teams
· Junior High Knowledge Bowl Regional – 6th Place Team
The theme for this school year is “This Is Ours!” It recognizes an extension beyond
“What Makes K-W Great” as we begin to occupy newly built or transformed spaces.
As we reflect upon last year, we are grateful for the overwhelming community support of our $11.5 million facilities improvement referendum. That investment, combined with an allocation of our state long-term facilities funding is putting a total of $14 million to work at our school sites immediately. The construction and remodeling currently underway represents the fourth year of a strategic plan to develop Kenyon-Wanamingo into a model rural school district.
Although these facilities improvements will create some disruptions in our usual routines, residents have watched the projects take shape already this summer. Wanamingo will add a new art/music/resource addition to their site. The historic Evert gym looks better than ever and early childhood, community education, and special education programs are transforming the former music/art area into an indoor activity center. The Kenyon site is adding an improved outdoor athletic complex as well as a fieldhouse for indoor activities; including training and fitness rooms. Like all district facilities, these will be available to the public through the community education/facilities office. Kenyon will also see auditorium and locker room upgrades, their own early childhood indoor activity center, and improved restrooms and meeting spaces. My favorite addition will be the secure entrance and commons area that will present a fresh look to the campus. Both schools will feature high quality, long lasting roofs.
We encourage you to visit our schools and programs to see what makes K-W great!