By making the students conform to a strict dress code, the school eliminates the need for parents to "keep up with the Joneses" with the latest expensive fashion trend. This prevents students judging each other based on the cost of their outfit, and levels the playing field...
And since all the children dress the same way, they can be treated the same way. What does that mean? If gives children a chance to excel based on ability, not on family wealth. It also allows students to focus on schoolwork and activities with feeling somehow different because of social status.
Also, the charity events that are available, like visiting with the residents at a local nursing home or tutoring the local grammar school children, gives each student an appreciation for giving back to the community. All these things build strong character in the students.
As a parent who has put two children through KMHS (one of which also went to the Latin school), I am very happy with the quality of education my children received. They each had different academic experiences, and both were involved in the numerous after school activities available in the school.
Remember that this is a Catholic, college prep school. They have strict rules, especially around dress code and proper behavior. They call the children "professional students", and they are expected to act that way - so if you are looking for a more laid back environment, this isn't the place for your child. Both of my children have been back to visit the school post-graduation, which to me shows the positive experience and memories each took with them upon graduation.
As a parent, what impressed me the most about the school was the way the teachers and student body would rally during a crisis - whether it was a school supply drive after a hurricane, or helping a current student during a family tragedy. The school teaches compassion and empathy, which makes all their students better people when they graduate.
Like any school, the teachers at KMHS have multiple classes with numerous students, and most also are involved in after school activities. Not every teacher is able to connect with every student. I've sent two children through the high school, and they each connected with different teachers that more suited their individual personalities.
That said, since the teachers review the curriculum at the start of school, there should be no surprises about workload, frequency of exams, etc..
The amount of homework is a good preparation for the workload in college. It's important to understand though, that if you child is involved in extracurricular activities, time management will be critical - they workload can be overwhelming when combined with those activities.
The school does develop respect. While the students don't generally like the dress code, having each student in the same attire allows them to relate to each other on a human level, not on the basis of who has the most expensive shoes. Bullying isn't tolerated. Disrespectful behavior on campus, including at after school events, isn't tolerated either.
There are some positives about Kellenberg but academics are not one of them. They are very strict which is not a bad thing. The children are expected to follow a set of rules and if they don't they have to suffer the consequences. My problem is their academics. Some of the teachers are good but many do not talk nicely to the students or parents for that matter and this practice is condoned all the way up through the administration. This school does not have an atmosphere of academic excellence. Many of the teachers could care less if their students even understood the material and just robotically grade the scantron tests. If you want a school with great academics and teachers that really care about motivating your child and helping them reach their fullest potential and that will become future mentors for your child look elsewhere. Save your money.
Looking at the other reviews, many people have trouble with tuition, strict teachers, religion, and college/honors. For tuition, Kellenberg is now one of the lowest tuition catholic running schools on Long Island! As for Religion, I understand why many people would be upset that their child hasn't been accepted, this year Kellenberg only accepted those who were baptized Catholics. You have to understand. Kellenberg wants all students to understand strong catholic beliefs. Yes I know it is unfair, but Kellenberg is a really great CATHOLIC school. And for those complaining on how they are "not very religious" that's what you sign up for! Kellenberg is very proud of their Religion. If you don't like Religion go somewhere else like Holy Trinity, I sure know that they aren't very catholic for a CATHOLIC school. Now for the problem of "strict teachers" for your information, not all of the teachers are "strict" yes there are some teachers that are strict but they at strict because they want you to do your very best. As for honors/college, Many people who graduate from Kellenberg receive a scholarship to many colleges. Kellenberg is truly a great CATHOLIC school on Long Island