About Kestrel2018-08-16T09:27:13+00:00
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.

Dear Kestrel Heights Families and Staff,

It is with great excitement that I welcome back our scholars (students), parents, and staff to the 2018-19 school year. I truly hope that your summer break has been one of relaxation and enjoyment. Our team has been working hard over the last couple of months in preparation for the onset of the school year. In talking with our staff, they are honored and excited to have the chance to work with your child this school year. I wish to take this opportunity to provide some important information to keep you informed which we hope leads to a positive and smooth transition to the start of the school year.

The first day of school is just a few weeks away (August 22) and I wanted to inform you of some key changes that occurred over the summer and remind you of a few key events leading up to the start of school.

The biggest change is a physical one, our middle school has moved into the Annex building (former HS) at 4700 S. Alston. During the summer we worked really hard getting the building ready for students. We have painted the classrooms and hallways, polished the floors, and made some minor repairs. We are excited about how good the building looks and we know our scholars will have a quality environment to grow and learn.

We will continue to operate as a K-8 school but our school is now divided into two separate locations. The K-5 building is located at 4900 Prospectus Drive (same location as last year) and our 6-8 building is located at 4700 S. Alston (previous Annex/HS). As a result of this move, we have had to retool our traffic pattern. Ms. Goff has sent several messages about the change and I highly encourage you to review prior to the first day. If you have not seen the changes please contact the school so we can provide you the necessary information.

We are excited to let our middle school parents know that based on your feedback we have returned to two electives. This year students will have the opportunity to explore at least two different electives and some of our senior scholars (8th graders) will have the chance to earn high school credit. We want to thank our parents and scholars for your feedback as we are always looking for ways to improve and provide a better education at KHS.

Speaking of providing a better educational experience, Ms. Goff, our principal, has been working with her team to develop a 5-year strategic plan for academics. The goal of the plan is to be an “A” rated school within 5 years. We will be sharing details of this plan throughout the school year.

Speaking for our staff we feel this plan will increase scholar achievement, improve the culture of the school, and enhance parent communication.

Another change that occurred this summer is KHS school hours. Starting this year our school day will increase by 10 minutes. School will now start at 7:50 and end at 3:00. Students can arrive as early as 7:20, with the school day starting at 7:50. The official end of the school day is at 3:00 with pick up running from 3:00-3:30. We made this change to provide more time during the day for instruction and to ensure professional development time for our staff. We truly believe that to reach our goal of becoming an “A” rated school within five years, we must invest in our staff. We thank you in advance for your support and understanding of this change.

We have welcomed some new staff to the KHS family since school ended. I hope you have had a chance to see the new staff bio’s that have gone out over the summer. If you have not, no worries as you can meet them in person at our Open House on August 16 from 5:00-7:30. Ms. Goff will be sending more details over the next week pertaining to the Open House.

As a parent of two, one of my biggest questions over the summer was who will be my child’s teacher(s) for the upcoming school year? During the Open House, you will get the chance to get your child’s teacher(s) or schedule, meet the teachers and staff, and obtain some critical information about the start of the school year. We look forward to seeing you on the evening of August 16.

One way we are sharing information is through our various forms of social media. Make sure you are following us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and our web page) because we update that information on a regular basis. I will continue to do short videos on YouTube to keep you informed of key information. One of my goals this year is for the school to increase and improve parent communication and we will use social media as one of many tools to help achieve this goal.

Please know that I am committed to making sure we keep our scholars at the forefront of our decision-making process. But we will always need your help and support as parents. You are the most important teacher your child will ever have and we have to work together to make sure we provide the best learning environment. Our mission at the school is to provide a balance of high expectations academically and valuing each scholar’s happiness and social well-being. We believe that by providing a balanced approach we will develop quality citizens for our democratic society. We hope that you as parents will continue to support us as we make our way through the school year.

I look forward with tremendous anticipation to a great start to the 2018-19 school year. We are here to work with you to provide the very best for your child and I know with us working together we can make all of their dreams come true!

Enjoy these last few days of summer break and we will see you soon.

Sincerely,
Dr. Mark Tracy
Executive Director

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