This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School1
Posted April 02, 2015
- a parent
I agree with two of the parents who have posted before me. Kinard is not a good place for students who want to be college ready and use their brains for something other than memorization. Testing, retesting, and testing again is what is emphasized. As an example-- in the month of February (a short one by most measures) my child had 10 tests in science, 5 tests in math, 12 tests in English, and 2 tests in spanish. Rarely a day goes by that she doesn't have a test in something. These numbers do not even include any "retesting" that may occur if a student doesn't score highly enough (thankfully she didn't have any retests in February!). How are they learning anything with that much time dedicated to tests??? This doesn't even include the time spent on the state standardized tests!!! Will not be back here next year!
We were excited when we got a spot a Kinard. Now that the reality has set in, we realize it's a lot of hype. The kids at Kinard come from all over the area, but mostly the neighborhoods nearby. Lots of cliques to deal with and the pecking order is well-established. If your kiddo isn't self-motivated to do homework this school isn't for them. There is no credit given for homework diligence, only quizzes(formatives) and tests (summatives) will be counted. Your kiddo needs only to be a rinse and repeat learner to get top scores. They grade on a 1-4 scale so understand that before going in. There is no forgivenness in that scale at all, unless they like you. Our daughter, who is a diligent learner, has been within .1-.05 of an A and not gotten one in multiple cases. That's hard for kids who are high achievers as it basically breaks them down and makes then feel like the extra work doesn't pay off. Don't despair though, if you want your kiddo in honors classes, just complain and bug the teachers. They will eventually give in. Be prepared to have entitled kids with hovering parents too.
Kinard is a good school. It is one of the better middle schools in the district and it teaches Core Knowledge curriculum. Overall my child loves the school. It provides different levels for different learners but as a parent you have to be on top of what is going on with your child just like at any school. They have high expectations for each and every student and they achieve high test scores every year. The teachers are nice and most of them are well qualified in the fields they are teaching. Having said that, I think that the leadership at Kinard needs to focus more on the kids and less on the test scores. Standardized testing is not a good indication of depth of learning. The "we are the best" attitude can be nauseating at times especially when you see how they get there. There is a lot of homework regardless of what the principal says. I don't think they really understand the amount of work and busy work that goes home each week. Some of it is worthwhile learning while other stuff is more suited for the recycle bin. Have your child do a day visit to make sure it is the right choice for them as the back to school night is just marketing fluff.
Kinard is a difficult school to rate. In some ways it is a great school. The facilities are great, the principal is awesome, and they allow for a number of extracurricular activities. However, my concerns about Kinard include the following: 1. They are very much focused on memorization and repeat testing. By the 5th week of school my child has had 4+ tests in each class. If students do not score a 3 (equivalent to a B) or above they have to retake the test. For students who do better by "thinking" instead of memorization-- Kinard isn't good for them. 2. Some of the teachers use a "public shaming" method of correction. If a student forgets their homework (which they have EVERY night) the teacher often embarrasses them in front of the entire class. 3. Some teachers will tell you explicitly that they do not award 4's (A's) to students. A student must be "truly exceptional" to receive a 4. However, what is defined as exceptional is questionable at best (usually it involves repeating in writing EXACTLY what the teacher told them). 5. The school does not foster creativity or flexibility.
I graduated from Kinard last month after attending for three years, and I feel that I have nothing but good things to say about it. I had a rough time in the revolving elementary schools and always felt like an outsider. In Kinard that is no longer a problem. The atmosphere for students is very friendly, and I started making new friends from my first day. The teachers are amazing, friendly, and helpful, making class enjoyable while you still learn so much. I must particularly compliment English teacher Mr. Steven Ray Parker, from whom I learned so much. At Kinard, I recommend enrollment in Honors courses regardless of your current confidence. They are not particularly harder than regular classes, and in fact they are much more rewarding, and go more in-depth into the subjects being studied. The Honors classes can lift up a struggling student and help the most intellectually gifted student through its engaging atmosphere. Overall, I give Kinard 5 stars. My experience was amazing, and I will look back on my three years there with fondness.
Its the best school ever! It beats all the other middle schools in this area. Preston, Webber, Blevins, and Boltz don't march this amazing school! It also is able to make people happy and laugh. I will never have a middle school like this one.
Kinard is an amazing school! As a student who recently just finished 6th grade, I can say that I really enjoyed all my classes and teachers! It is not true that teachers do not go out of their way to help kids because all of them are so helpful! If you ever have a problem, they are willing to encourage as will as help you! The discipline at this school is not extremely enforced but it's still there. The teachers will still enforce rules. Don't judge Kinard just because everyone thinks we are so gifted and wealthy! We are like all average students and even though some students there are wealthier than me, I don't find it affecting me or my learning. Send your kid to Kinard and I promise you will find it a success!
I have very mixed feelings about Kinard. The kids and the teachers are all nice, the test scores are great, there are a lot of extracurriculars available, parents are involved... There is a lot to like. On the other hand, having had children attend other local middle schools, I am left with the impression that the high test scores at Kinard are largely a product of drill and not depth or creativity. The focus on memorization, sentence diagramming, etc. hits very much on my child's weakest areas. In some ways that is good -- forcing focus on something that would otherwise be weaker. In some ways it is not -- not developing real strengths in abstract reasoning. My older children who attend the high school Kinard feeds into have noticed much of the same: the kids who came there from Kinard are some of the weaker students in the pre-AP classes in terms of depth of thought and synthesizing material not just repeating rote learned information. There are some good teachers at Kinard, though, who hopefully will have more to offer than drill as my child progresses through middle school.