About Kestrel Heights Charter School

WELCOME

TO KESTREL HEIGHTS CHARTER SCHOOL

Kestrel Heights School, located near the Research Triangle Park in Durham, is a public charter school established in 1998. Beginning in Fall 2017, the school will focus exclusively on elementary and middle school students with approximately 600 students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade.

The Kestrel Heights team believes that all children can succeed. We provide a diverse and welcoming environment where academics are emphasized, creativity is celebrated, and children are encouraged to excel.

By fostering a community with high expectations, modeling characteristics of responsible citizenship, and focusing on the development of the whole person, we aim to nurture lifelong learners.

September 2019

Kestrel scholars, parents, and staff,

Welcome back to the 2019-2020 school year! We have gotten off to a great start to the year and that is due to the entire community. We want to thank the parents and scholars for choosing KHS, we know you have choices so it means a lot to us that you have joined our family. I want to thank our staff for their commitment to scholars and our school. We simply cannot do it without all stakeholders working together.

We have made a lot of changes over the summer and we hope that these changes will continue to allow our scholars, school, and staff grow. I have set an organizational goal of 90-90-90 for this year. That is 90% retention for our current K thru 7 th grade scholars; 90% staff retention; and 90% growth for our scholars on their end of grade assessments.

In order to keep 90% of our scholars we need to create a school that parent want to send their children. We also need to have a school environment that is safe and conducive to learning. This year we have revamped our administrative structure to provide better support of the school. We have a dedicated Dean of Students, the Hawk Nest (a place for scholars who have consistently disruptive scholars), and retooled Positive Behavior Interventions and Support program(PBIS).

We have made a major change in how we are communicating to parents. We are using Class Dojo K-8 as our primary communication tool. We will still use SwiftK12 but the day to day communication that is critical to keeping parents informed is being channeled through Class Dojo. We have already received a lot of positive feedback from scholars, parents, and staff about the implementation of Class Dojo. I am excited to see how this tool can help keep the lines of communication open between the school and home.

Beyond safety, parents want to make sure their children are learning and being intellectually challenged. To keep our scholars engaged academically we have a dedicated Director of Instruction to ensure that teachers are being the best they can be each and every day. When public schools across the state are reducing electives we offer multiple opportunities for all our scholars (art, band, music, dance, PE, and Spanish). We have staff dedicated to supporting a variety of different learners; from our Academically and Intellectually Gifted program (AIG), our Exceptional Children’s program (EC), and our English Language Learning program (ELL).

To keep 90% of our staff we have made multiple changes. One is having a dedicated Director at each building. This allows the staff to have access and support from an administrator at all times during the instructional day. We have changed our teacher observation process to one in which teachers will get observed every 2 weeks and get short coaching cycles to improve their instruction. We have clearly identified all expectations for the year by having a calendar of events that is completed through June. By investing and clearly communicating to our teachers it is our goal to keep them here to better support our scholars.

To reach our goal of 90% scholar growth we truly believe you have to know where each scholars is academically. This year we will be doing both diagnostic and benchmark assessments. The purpose of these assessments is to see what areas our scholars have strengths and what areas need growth. Teachers with this knowledge will plan lessons to best meet the needs of each scholar. We hope that by focusing on the specific needs of each scholar they will get the attention and support they need to succeed on their end of grade assessments and be prepared for future academic challenges.

While we feel these goals are ambitious we also feel these goals are realistic. By working together as a community I know we can reach these goals. I am committed and excited to lead this organization as we reach for our goal of 90-90-90.

Thank you for your support of KHS, we are here to SOAR together into a very bright future. Have a great school year and never hesitate to contact me if you need any help.

Honored to be the leader,

Dr. Mark Tracy
tracy@kestrelheights.org
(w) 919-484-1300 ext 201
(c) 240-535-6362

THE PAIDEIA PHILOSOPHY

Kestrel Heights School believes in the Paideia principles of teaching. A Paideia school is a community of students, teachers, and parents who are committed to creating and sustaining an educational environment that fosters lifelong learning and creating knowledgeable, concerned, and responsible citizens.

PAIDEIA comes from the ancient Greek words pais, paidos and means the upbringing of a child

Principles of a Paideia Education
  • That all children can learn.
  • That, therefore, they all deserve the same quality of schooling, not just the same quantity.
  • That the quality of schooling to which they are entitled is what the wisest parents would wish for their own children, the best education for the best being the best education for all.
  • That schooling at its best is preparation for becoming generally educated in the course of a whole lifetime, and that schools should be judged on how well they provide such preparation.
  • That the three callings for which schooling should prepare all Americans are:
    1. To earn a decent livelihood
    2. To be a good citizen of the nation and world
    3. To make a good life for one’s self
  • That the primary cause of genuine learning is the activity of the learner’s own mind, sometimes with the help of a teacher functioning as a secondary and cooperative cause.

You can read more about Paideia by visiting The Paideia Center.

WELCOME

TO KESTREL HEIGHTS CHARTER SCHOOL

Kestrel Heights School, located near the Research Triangle Park in Durham, is a public charter school established in 1998. Beginning in Fall 2017, the school will focus exclusively on elementary and middle school students with approximately 600 students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade.

The Kestrel Heights team believes that all children can succeed. We provide a diverse and welcoming environment where academics are emphasized, creativity is celebrated, and children are encouraged to excel.

By fostering a community with high expectations, modeling characteristics of responsible citizenship, and focusing on the development of the whole person, we aim to nurture lifelong learners.

ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!

It’s hard to believe that our school year has come to an end. The entire staff at Kestrel Heights has enjoyed the privilege of teaching your children. It is such a joy to watch the students grow and mature as the school year progresses. I hope you and your family have an amazing summer. We are so blessed to have an amazing community of students and families who support our school and we look forward to seeing you next year.

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT YEAR…

As you begin your summer break, our team is already beginning to get ready for the 2017-18 school year. We are focused on “ACE,” our plan to enhance our school’s Academics, Culture and Enrichment opportunities. That includes our new partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a nationally recognized leader in education. They will provide an enhanced, integrated curriculum for K-8 students that will be introduced in the fall.

HELP KHS SOAR – AND YOU CAN WIN A $100 GIFT CARD

We currently have limited spaces available for next year and are actively recruiting new students. We hope you will encourage friends and neighbors to consider sending their children to Kestrel Heights.

The SOAR program (Supporting Our Active Recruitment) rewards families who help attract new students to Kestrel Heights. Each time you recommend our school to a family that enrolls a student next year, you will be entered to win one of three $100 Amazon gift cards. These cards will be awarded during the first week of school.

You can enter multiple times based on the number of enrolled students you invite to KHS. Spread the word about the great opportunities at Kestrel Heights – through Facebook and social media, by talking to families at church or youth sporting events, etc.

We want KHS to SOAR next year and I know we can with your help. Thank you for your continued support!

Note: If you have a friend who enrolls at KHS, they should inform Ms. Vargas that they were referred by you and you will be entered into the drawing. The winners will be announced at the start of next school year and will be featured on our website. If you have already referred someone, please let Ms. Vargas know so we can get you entered into the drawing.

THE PAIDEIA PHILOSOPHY

Kestrel Heights School believes in the Paideia principles of teaching. A Paideia school is a community of students, teachers, and parents who are committed to creating and sustaining an educational environment that fosters lifelong learning and creating knowledgeable, concerned, and responsible citizens.

PAIDEIA comes from the ancient Greek words pais, paidos and means the upbringing of a child

Principles of a Paideia Education
  • That all children can learn.
  • That, therefore, they all deserve the same quality of schooling, not just the same quantity.
  • That the quality of schooling to which they are entitled is what the wisest parents would wish for their own children, the best education for the best being the best education for all.
  • That schooling at its best is preparation for becoming generally educated in the course of a whole lifetime, and that schools should be judged on how well they provide such preparation.
  • That the three callings for which schooling should prepare all Americans are:
    1. To earn a decent livelihood
    2. To be a good citizen of the nation and world
    3. To make a good life for one’s self
  • That the primary cause of genuine learning is the activity of the learner’s own mind, sometimes with the help of a teacher functioning as a secondary and cooperative cause.

You can read more about Paideia by visiting The Paideia Center.

Life is a learning process; learning is a life-long process. You can’t separate the two.
Vivienne Forrester