Welcome to Kent (2) Flipbook PDF
Welcome to Kent (2)
FLIP PDF 7.07MB
NOTES This space is for you to fill in with any useful information that you'll need to reference often. We recommend noting down your mailbox number and password, the school store hours, and gym hours.
WELCOME TO KENT AN INTRODUCTION TO THIS GUIDEBOOK
WELCOME! Whether you’re a newcomer to campus or a veteran at Kent, this guidebook will hopefully teach you something new about the opportunities and traditions found here. This guide defines Kent-specific terms, compiles school-provided resources, and offers ways to get help so that you can make the most of your time on campus with the knowledge of the opportunities available to you. If you find yourself with too much free time and an itch to be productive, visit the “Initiatives” section to see what projects you can take on. Alternatively, if you’re looking for ways to decompress and enjoy the weekend with some friends, you can find plenty of great options under “Recreation.” Want to spice up your dining hall meals? Have a great idea but don’t know how to act on it? Interested in the local hiking trails? This guide has got you covered! Enjoy your time here, and never forget that your Kent experience is what you make of it. Important Disclaimer: This guide was created by students for students and in no way represents the School's official policies, rules, or regulations. Please refer to Kent's Student & Parent/Guardian Handbook for the school's official policies.
Table of Contents: KENT TERMS ........................................
CLUBS.................................................... 13 ART.......................................................
TIPS AND TRICKS..................................
PERSONAL WELL BEING........................
LEAVING A LEGACY................................ 30 TL;DR................................................. 33
KENT TERMS: III (THIRD) FORMER = FRESHMEN OR 9TH GRADER IV (FOURTH) FORMER = SOPHOMORE OR 10TH GRADER V (FIFTH) FORMER = JUNIOR OR 11TH GRADER VI (SIXTH) FORMER = SENIOR= OR 12TH GRADER PG = POSTGRADUATE STUDENT DH = THE DINING HALL SC = THE SENIOR COUNCIL OR THE STUDENT CENTER (LOCATED
UNDER THE DINING HALL, WHERE THE SNACK BAR IS LOCATED.) DC = THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE HOURS = A DISCIPLINARY PUNISHMENT THAT INVOLVES DOING
COMMUNITY WORK FOR A SET NUMBER OF HOURS (HENCE THE NAME.) EXAMPLES OF WORK INCLUDE RAKING LEAVES AND CLEANING UP THE DINING HALL.
STUDENT LIFE 1.
Kent has a rich culture with no shortage of special traditions and customs. Many of these traditions come in the form of unique school events that you may not be familiar with. Though some school festivities vary from year to year, other events have a long history on campus and have become a staple part of the Kent experience.
During the Spring term (typically in May,) Fifth Form students hike up to Numeral Rock and paint their class number (e.g. class of 2022
→ ‘22) on the
Rock over the number of the previous class. This tradition celebrates the
students’ coming rise as seniors and marks the transition between the Fifth and Sixth Forms. Fifth Formers often come back from the hike decked in fun colors as students “accidentally” splatter each other with paint! Usually, the class holds a vote to decide their class colors, and everyone wears a studentdesigned rock day shirt to get covered in paint. If you have any questions regarding Rock Day, reach out to the Fifth Form dean. Ring Day
Fifth Formers (the ring baby) can buy a class ring (or some other object of value) and ask a Sixth Former (the ring mom) to present it to them at the ring banquet. Rings can usually be purchased before winter break, and ring proposals (when the Fifth Former asks the Sixth Former to be their ring mom) typically occur prior to the banquet in the Spring term. On Ring Day, it’s customary for ring sisters to twin (dress the same) during the academic day and dress formally for the ring banquet (which takes the place of normal dinner.) A ring mom can have multiple ring babies who would then become ring sisters. Though this tradition uses terms like ring mom and ring sisters, students anywhere on the gender spectrum are welcome and encouraged to participate. Tapping
The whole school (all students and faculty/staff members) votes to elect next year’s Senior Council members from the current Fifth Form class. The current Senior Council (SC) announces the newly elected SC in the Chapel during what’s known as the Tapping Ceremony. This is traditionally followed by a “Passing of the Torch” bonfire and ice cream social. Learn more about the Senior Council in the "Student Positions" section.
Prom is a quintessential part of the high school experience, and the Kent experience is no exception. Prom occurs near the end of the school year during the Spring term and is open to all Sixth Formers and their plus-ones. Sixth Formers can invite anyone to prom as their plus one, though non-Kent students will need prior approval from the Dean’s Office. Besides the entry tickets required for participation, attendees can also purchase flowers and rent tuxedos from school-partnered services. Attendees will gather in the Chapel to take pictures and group up before heading to the prom venue which changes every year. Besides prom, there are various other dances hosted at Kent. Typically, Blue Key organizes a Sadie Hawkins Dance (Sadies) near the end of February. Sadies is traditionally a girl-asks-boy dance though anyone can participate with anyone or no one as their date. Sadies has an all-black dress code and is a great place to socialize and decompress. In some years, the school also hosts Homecoming and inter-school dances. Student Jobs
Every student has a weekly obligation to perform an assigned task–their student job. Jobs are a longstanding Kent tradition that allows students to contribute to the community. Examples of jobs include washing dishes, taking care of gardens, and monitoring facilities. Jobs are randomly assigned to new students but students can switch to a new job by applying for special positions. These positions include exclusive jobs requiring specific expertise (like setting up art exhibitions or supervising music room usage) and leadership positions that exempt students from student jobs due to the level of commitment needed (like being a class representative or part of the Senior Council.)
As students enter the Sixth Form (grade 12) they assume positions of responsibility and leadership within the Kent community. To honor their hard work, Kent traditionally offers Sixth Formers the ability to earn specific privileges. Though customs fluctuate year to year, these privileges include: Senior Grass: traditionally, the small lawn outside the dining hall is
reserved for Sixth Formers to step on. Student Center Access: Sixth Formers can hang out in the student
center (the space under the dining hall) during study hall while underformers can not. Senior Spring: During this period, Sixth Formers in good disciplinary
standing can enjoy a relaxed dress code and wear college sweatshirts to show where they are headed next. Sixth Formers can also enjoy later town privileges and more freedom during study hall, including access to the athletic center. Chapel Seating: Sixth Formers get exclusive access to the side seats in
the chapel. When Sixth Formers aren’t attending chapel (e.g. because of a class meeting), Fifth Formers get to sit in these areas instead. Leadership: Sixth Formers have the opportunity to take on important
leadership positions like serving on the Senior Council or the Disciplinary Committee. These customs exist not so that Sixth Form students can rule over their underclassmen (though some Third Form students may disagree), but because being a Sixth Former means serving as a role model for your younger peers, a position of responsibility and esteem. Senior Privileges, much like Rock Day, represent a rite of passage from the Fifth Form to the Sixth Form.
You can find countless unique and engaging ways to hang out with friends and spend your free time all across campus. Some of these activities are school-organized while others will require a bit more planning and coordination on your part. Blue Key
Blue Key is a student organization that organizes weekend activities for everyone. These activities include free food (make-your-own stations and free desserts,) outings (trips to escape rooms or apple picking farms,) tournaments (dodgeball, spike ball, campus-wide Manhunt,) and so much more (free skate, intervis*, free swim.) Be on the lookout for the weekly Blue Key email so you never miss out on fun weekend activities. Blue Key consists of the Senior Council’s Blue Key heads and all the class representatives. If you ever have any feedback or suggestions, definitely speak to a member of Blue Key as they always appreciate community input; just remember to be civil about it! *Intervis, short for intervisitation, is a specified period where girls can visit boy’s dorm rooms and vice versa. Students intervisiting will need to sign in in the common room and keep the room door propped open during the visit. Supervision for intervisitation is run by dorm faculty members and Senior Council in concert.
If you enjoy playing card, board, or tabletop games, you can find several options scattered across campus. Chess boards will usually be available at the head table for open use (the long table near the Schoolhouse side of the dining hall.) You can also use the board games located in some common rooms. Additionally, feel free to ask a dorm parent if they own any games that they would be willing to lend out to students. Always remember to clean up afterward so everyone can keep enjoying these privileges. We highly recommend buying/bringing your own set of cards and/or any other games that you enjoy so you can play with friends whenever and wherever.
Many different groups at Kent put on various shows that all community members can enjoy throughout the year. Theatre: The theatre program puts on three major productions
throughout the school year: the Fall play, the Winter One Acts, and the Spring musical. You can participate as an activity actor (theatre is your after-school activity), a non-activity actor (you still participate in another activity or sport while playing a minor role in the play), or a stagehand. Concerts: Kent’s music program puts on several concerts throughout the
year featuring the school’s orchestra, band, and choir. These concerts take place in Mattison, the music department’s performance hall (located above the Dining Hall), or the Chapel. The Talent Show: Every Spring, Kent hosts a talent show that anyone can
participate in. Students can sign up individually or as a group to showcase their talents and raise money for charity through audience votes. Popular acts include dancing, singing, and juggling. Dance: The Kent School Dance Ensemble puts on a dance show every
term featuring student and teacher choreography. Students who are familiar with the dance program but don’t do dance as their afternoon activity can still participate in the show usually through solo dances developed in their own time. Student Publications
Kent is home to several clubs and after-school activity groups that create and manage publications. Anyone can join these clubs/activities to create material, format submissions, and distribute the results. Current publications on campus include: The Cauldron Literary Magazine: The Cauldron is the school’s resident
art magazine. It showcases student art, writing, and photography in the form of a printed magazine every year. The Cauldron will sometimes also produce end-of-term online editions. Send submissions to [email protected] at any point during the year! The magazine is published by the Cauldron club. Reference the “Clubs” section to see
how you can join!
The Kent News: Kent News is “the student news site of Kent School” and
covers diverse topics relating to sports, art, and student life on campus. The website also features student profiles, opinion pieces, advice, and global news. Check it out at https://kentnews.org. Kent News is managed by the Kent News after-school activity group. Guild Papers: Kent School’s Guild consists of students, alumni, and
faculty members who have written a guild paper and received approval from the guild masters. Guild papers are scholarly articles written on topics from all disciplines and serve as an academic challenge for anyone willing to undertake such a project. After their completion, guild papers are presented in an open lecture that anyone can listen in on. To read past papers or learn about how to write your own, visit https://libguides.kent-school.edu/Guild. Unveil: Unveil is an e-magazine that explores a different social justice
issue every edition through art and writing. Examples of topics include Asian American Advocacy and LGBT pride. It features student art, poems, speeches, and opinion pieces to raise awareness and promote community understanding. Send your submissions to [email protected] whenever. Unveil is also managed by a club, so anyone can join and help out at any point! Campus Sightseeing
There are tons of great spots on campus that are good for both hanging out with friends and finding some peace and quiet alone. The Rock/Numeral Rock: The Rock is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a large
rock. It’s located atop a short but satisfying hike that starts next to the baseball field. The Rock overlooks the town of Kent and offers a beautiful view, especially during the middle of autumn. Club Fields: You can find Club Fields between Field dorm and Hoerle
dorm to enjoy a picnic, a swim in Macedonia Brook, a game of volleyball on senior beach (the sandy area past the bridge), and everything in between. Club Fields is one of the best places to be on a warm, sunny afternoon and is the site of many major events like Spring Fest.
Case Point: Case Point sits behind Case Dorm and overlooks the
Housatonic River, offering a place to sit, chat, and have a barbeque. If you’re ever looking for a unique way to celebrate a special occasion, why not head over to IGA, purchase some ingredients, and host a barbeque party? Chapel lawn: Chapel lawn is the patch of grass just outside of the chapel.
It offers a full view of the campus and a scenic space to chat, eat meals, and play lawn games. Hiking
You can explore a variety of diverse and beautiful hiking trails located near campus. These make for a great early morning exercise or a fulfilling weekend activity, especially for when family members visit. We recommend that you bring a friend, plenty of water, and avoid traveling in the dark. The use of these trails requires prior notification of the Dean’s Office so that they know where you are in case of an emergency. The trails are open for use between 6 am and dusk which varies throughout the year (usually around 6 pm) with permission from the Dean’s Office. There are four main places where hiking is readily available within walking distance of the main campus: The white-blazed Appalachian Trail (AT) and the blue-blazed trail up to Numeral Rock are popular, accessible, and open to anyone. The cross-country trails are accessible either off Whatley Farm road (where some Kent faculty live) or by the side trail that starts behind the Headmaster’s House. Access from Whatley Farm requires the use of a car. The mountain biking trails start by South Fields on the west side of Schaticoke Road just after the fence surrounding the Maintenance Facility. There are also several trails built into the hillside behind Faculty Village with an entrance off Faculty Road.
A map showcasing nearby hiking trails
For more information about the natural landscape around campus, go to https://www.kentlandtrust.org/klt-places. For more information about trails, contact Mr. Klingebiel, Mr. Benjamin, Mr. Sokolnicki (cross-country coach,) or Mr. Scofield (mountain biking coach.)
The town of Kent is only a five-minute walk from the school and is basically a part of campus. During town permission hours (usually between sunrise and sundown), you can go into the town of Kent to browse shops, have a meal, or pick up some snacks! The town even features a grocery store, pharmacy, and a gas station convenience store where you can get virtually anything you need. If you are looking for a place to grab a casual meal, Kent Pizza Garden (commonly referred to as KPG), J.P. Gifford’s (nicknamed J.P. 's), Cozzy’s, or Shanghai are the places to go. If you want to grab groceries, head to the Davis IGA. For snacks, the Mobil gas station convenience store or Kent Coffee will be your best friend. If you want a more upscale restaurant for a birthday dinner, Kingsley Tavern, Fife and Drum, or Swyft are all great options. The town of Kent also offers a public library and other events throughout the year, including a pumpkin charity run in the fall. Community service clubs like REACH often volunteer in town as well.
No high school would be complete without a variety of student-led clubs, and Kent has no shortage on that front. Students, with the help of a faculty advisor, create and run most of the clubs you see on campus. Kent offers countless different clubs, each with its own unique activities and role on campus. From badminton to social justice to Kent News, there is bound to be a club for you, and if there isn’t, it’s easy to create a club of your own! Joining a Club
During the fall, clubs will gather in front of the dining hall and set up tables to advertise their club–this is the annual club fair. During the club fair, students can write their names down to join a club. If you decide to join a club later in the year, you can simply email the club heads. You can find a list of clubs and the students who run them on Powerschool under the extras tab. Starting a Club
If no preexisting club offers what you’re looking for, you can create a new club of your very own. All you have to do is reach out to a faculty member to act as your club’s faculty advisor and fill in an application. The club registration form is typically sent out at the beginning of the year, so be on the lookout for that!
There are plenty of ways to satisfy your creative needs at Kent. Besides taking art classes or art deca (art as an after-school activity), students can also paint, craft, draw, and sculpt during the open art sessions hosted every few weeks in the art studio under Field. Student artwork is often exhibited in the walkway between Mattison Auditorium and the dining hall. If you are working on a portfolio, you can speak to any of the art teachers for guidance, supplies, and maybe even a chance to put your art on showcase. Additionally, student artists should consider sending their pieces to student publications like The Cauldron or Unveil .
Kent Center for Music Studies (located above the dining hall) has an orchestra, five choirs, a concert band, and a jazz band. Aside from these larger, core ensembles, Kent is also home to many smaller ensembles (pick up a brochure from the Music Center to find a comprehensive list.) Ensembles at Kent usually have practice once or twice a week between dinner and study hall. You can sign up to participate in these ensembles at the beginning of the year, so be on the lookout for early emails on audition times or sign-up procedures! Additionally, some ensembles will accept new members at the start of each term/ after major concerts. You can also sign up for instrument lessons which take place once a week during a free block. Anyone is free to practice in the music center’s practice rooms from 7:00 am - 9:45 pm.
Courses and Credit
The music department offers many opportunities for students to explore music history, techniques, and principles through course offerings. These courses include Music History (Perspectives in Jazz, The Blues: A Musical Journey, and An Exploration of Rock-N-Roll for fall, winter, and spring, respectively), Music History and Appreciation (general history), three terms of music theory, and three terms of music technology. To fulfill the music requirement for graduation, students can: Participate in orchestra, concert band, or choir for three terms. Take three terms of private instrument/ vocal lessons. Complete a course in Music History, Technology, or Theory. Recording studio
At Kent, there is a state-of-the-art music recording studio. This recording studio has all the software and hardware that any professional studio would have. Accompanying this facility and its equipment, Kent offers three terms of the Music Technology course that teaches students the basics of the studio, how to use the equipment and software, how to record and set up the studio, and advanced studio procedures. This is a great facility for students who are interested in music production or simply recording music. The recording studio is located on the top floor of the music center above the dining hall. Contact Dr. Bouldin for more information about its usage and availability. For more information on Kent’s music programs, email any of the music teachers or visit the music center located above the dining hall. You can also reference the following websites for more details: https://www.kent-school.edu/arts/music https://www.kent-school.edu/arts/music/music-faculty
Besides just afternoon activities, students can work out and play sports for extra training or just for fun! If you want to lift during your free time, be sure to drop by the fitness center and check their open hours–typically in the morning and evening. The gym is open at different times during each term so make sure you revise your schedule after each break. The courts are also open for use, be it the tennis, squash, or basketball courts, and are great for pre-season practice or passing time with friends. We would recommend that you drop by these facilities in the evenings as it is less likely that there will be a sports team using them for practice. If the door is locked, you can call campus security and ask them if, one, the facility is open for use, and two, if they could unlock the doors for you. Make sure to thank them for their time and hard work! Kent is also home to the Trackman Golf Simulator. Students officially signed up for golf at any level (developmental, JV, or varsity) are welcome to use the simulator whenever the gym is open to students. Anyone who isn’t on the roster but is interested in using the simulator can reach out to Mr. Sokolnicki at [email protected] for a quick tutorial and to be added to the access list. The simulator offers golf clubs for both righties and lefties to borrow, though students are encouraged to bring their own clubs if they have them.
Being a sports team manager at Kent is a great way to get involved in a sport you may not have experience in! Being a manager qualifies as your afterschool activity for that specific term. Varsity teams are limited to one manager each unless special circumstances dictate otherwise (as evaluated by the Athletics Director.) The manager is an integral part of the team: they follow the same attendance rules and other policies as a player and even receive a varsity letter at the end of the season. Coaches will ensure that managers get daily exercise through participation in practice or other fitness programs. Sub-Varsity teams typically aren’t allowed managers unless the Athletics Director approves it in advance. Additionally, managers must be 5th or 6th form students participating in sports for the other two terms. If you are interested in being a manager for any Kent sports team, reach out to that team’s coach and Coach Duncan ([email protected]) to get more information. Boys can manage girls teams, and girls can manage boys teams. As a manager, you can expect to attend every practice and game, traveling with the team to other schools for competitions. Other roles include keeping the scorebook, taking stats, or even helping to videotape and commentate on games. Managing is an excellent way to learn the ins and outs of a new sport and meet new people! Kent Sports Media
Another unique and fun way to get involved with sports on campus is through the Kent Sports Media after-school activity. Activity members will be part of a production crew that uses PlaySight technology to live stream, edit, and commentate on sports games at Kent. Students will generate material for the admissions office and Kent’s social media accounts, learning the fundamental skills for sports journalism in the process. The activity meets on game days (Wednesdays and Saturdays) and Mondays and Fridays. Reach out to Mrs. Schmidt-Sabia in the athletics department ([email protected]) for more details or information on how you can get involved even if Kent Sports Media is not your main activity.
The Chapel is a foundational aspect of Kent culture and creates moments for the community to come together and reflect. Regardless of how spirituality manifests in your life, chapel service is a time of rest and introspection for everyone. Besides mandatory service on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings, St. Joseph’s Chapel is always unlocked for student use. Anyone can wander in whenever to pray or find some peace and quiet. To host larger meetings in the chapel (like a club meeting,) just reach out to Mama K ([email protected]) beforehand for permission. Chapel services usually include chapel talks, and musical offerings twice per term. Chapel talks cover a wide range of topics related to building community and are delivered by students, faculty members, or guest speakers. If a member of the community wants to give a chapel talk, they just have to contact Mama K for details and guidelines. Student talks are mostly given by Sixth Formers due to the limited openings; however, Fifth Formers can speak as well. Musical Offering performances are approved by Mrs. Kovacs, who is in charge of organizing and recruiting student musicians for chapel. Generally, performers take private lessons or participate in a musical ensemble; however, if you have a piece prepared and are interested (even if you're not in lessons or an ensemble), please reach out to Mrs. Kovacs ([email protected]).
TIPS AND TRICKS
Dining hall tips:
If you ever want to spice up your meals and explore creative food options on campus, here are a few tips from Kent students: When making stir-fry, make sure to use and experiment with the condiments provided (garlic, chives, etc.) Always wake up early for French toast sticks at breakfast because they run out quickly and taste better when they are freshly made. Head to the Dining Hall (DH) early for sweet potato fries because the earlier batches are much crispier. Put unmelted cheese on a burger/Philly cheesesteak/quesadilla, and stick it in the microwave; it will taste so much better. Remember that we have microwaves on campus! If you have leftover food or arrive late to the DH when the food isn’t piping hot anymore, heating your meals can make a world of difference. Microwaves are located in the dining hall and every common room. Swirl the two fro-yo flavors separately so the raspberry/chocolate flavor doesn’t cover the vanilla flavor (the “mix” swirl tan can cause the other flavor to override some of the vanilla taste.) Try Toffee/French vanilla with iced coffee. Mix ketchup with honey mustard for chicken nuggets/tenders/burgers. Don’t forget that you can buy seasonings and sauces online like salad dressings, seaweed flakes, and condensed milk (just be mindful of other people’s allergies.) A quick DIY snack involves cutting up a banana, putting it in a cup with some honey, and sticking it in the freezer.
Bucket List Ideas
Here are just a few ideas for spontaneous and unique ways to diversify your Kent experience! Feel free to borrow a few or get inspired and create your own activities. Play Monopoly/Chess in the Chapel when it’s dark Organize a game of Mafia (host it in a common room or outside if the weather is nice) Card games are a must! Since Kent has students from all over the world, you can learn a dozen new card games just from playing with friends. Have a picnic at Case Point, Chapel Lawn, or Club Fields. We recommend doing this at the end or beginning of the school year when it’s warmer. Climb up to Numeral Rock. The hike is fun, the view is beautiful, and the journey will be a memory that will likely stay with you long after graduation. Go stargazing at any of the school’s fields on a clear weekend night.
Kent offers a variety of resources and opportunities for students to review class materials and explore academic interests.
Study help programs: Peer tutoring: Peer tutors are Fifth and Sixth Form students with strong
academic backgrounds who are trained to help other students with classwork. They are available in the library during study hall and offer assistance with math, science, research, and writing. Feel free to drop by whenever you find yourself stuck with a difficult problem, tricky concept, or essay in need of peer review.
The ARC: The Academic Resource Center is available for all Kent students
who want to schedule a study or writing conference. Located on the 2nd floor of the library, the ARC is open at two different times each day. During the academic day, students can schedule 1:1 meetings with teachers who provide study tips, learning strategies, time management techniques, and more. During study hall, teachers offer feedback for all types of essays and at any stage of the writing process. Drop-in visits are allowed, but as the ARC is often busy, we recommend that you schedule a conference beforehand. Schedule a meeting and learn more at https://libguides.kent-school.edu/arc. The ARC website also includes many helpful resources like citation guides, study strategies, and writing tips. Teachers are available during conference periods unless they have other school commitments. Never hesitate to ask for clarification or extra help if you don’t understand a certain concept. During conference periods, teachers will be in their offices or classrooms and you can drop in with any questions or concerns. Not only can you ask questions about class material, but you can also ask for extra practice questions, extra credit, or feedback for a work-in-progress assignment. If you can not attend conference for any reason, you can always check with your teacher to see when they might be available. Remember, their job is to help and support you!
Other academic resources: The library website: https://libguides.kent-school.edu/library offers many
useful subscriptions to various news sources like The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Wall Street Journal. Normally, you would have to pay for access to these resources, but they are free for all Kent students as long as you are either connected to school wifi or set up an account with your school email. Other subscriptions include SORA (an audiobook/Ebook library) and numerous research databases like JSTOR and Science Magazine. Kent is a community in which we all support and learn from each other. To make the most of your Kent experience and your academic pursuits, never shy away from asking your classmates, upperclassmen, advisor, librarians, or anyone else you trust for study tips, class material comprehension, or writing feedback.
Accommodations: Students with physical disabilities and/or learning differences are encouraged to seek support from the School to bolster their success at Kent. Students and their guardians should submit all supporting documentation for the student’s physical and learning needs to Bethany Booth in the Academic Resource Center ([email protected]) and Christina Memoli in the Studies Office ([email protected]) to request accommodations. A Learning Specialist will then evaluate the student’s documentation to create an appropriate learning support plan. Students with accommodations are strongly encouraged to schedule 1:1 appointments in the ARC to learn more about what resources and supports, including assistive technology, are available. You can schedule a meeting at https://libguides.kent-school.edu/Academic-Resource-Center and find assistive technology resources at https://libguides.kentschool.edu/Academic-Resource-Center/tech-tools.
The Counseling Center
Kent has several full-time counselors and a counseling center located next to the health center. The counseling center offers not only counseling but also a space for everyone to relax and practice wellness. It is filled with resources for decompression like coloring pages, music, a fountain, and a sand tray. Counselors are available Monday through Friday during the school day and offer emergency services after 5 or 6 pm. Counseling is unavailable during school breaks unless private arrangements are made. You can schedule a meeting through Calendly or email (you can contact any specific counselor, or reach out to Ms. Raskind ([email protected]) if you are new to counseling), but drop-in visits are also welcome. No matter how big or small, if there is something you want to talk about, feel free to speak to a counselor! The school’s counselors are here to support everyone on campus, not just the individuals suffering from mental illnesses. The counseling center keeps a strict policy of confidentiality, meaning you can confide in them without fear of disciplinary action (with the exception of some federal and state crimes.) Furthermore, counseling sessions are completely free of charge. The school also has a visiting psychiatrist, Dr. Miller, who comes once a week for medication management and patient evaluation. If you wish to speak with him, you can reach out to the school’s counselors who will arrange a meeting if they think it is necessary. Typically the counseling center will not grant mental health days; however, if a student is in a state of severe mental illness, the student’s counselor will evaluate their condition and create a plan to support their mental health needs, for example, by excusing a student from a class while they stay in the health center.
Other Mental Health Resources
Any member of the Kent community that you trust is a valuable resource for personal wellbeing. Never hesitate to reach out when you need help. Kent school also offers a peer counseling program; peer counselors are students who have been certified to help out other students in need. You can find peer counselors by looking for a label on their dorm room door. How to support a friend in need
If you are concerned about a friend’s well-being, talk to any trusted adult. They will keep an eye out for your friend and refer them to counseling if necessary. You can also consider seeing a counselor yourself to ask about ways to support your friend and specific things you can say.
If you ever want to challenge yourself academically or start a large project and would like the help of a mentor and the school’s resources, Kent has you covered. The school offers a variety of opportunities for students to do independent learning and research.
If there is a subject area that you are interested in but isn’t covered by the courses offered at Kent, you can apply to take an independent study. Essentially, you can design a course and take it for credit as long as you can find a teacher to be your mentor and the studies office approves your study plan. Your independent study could be mostly independent (i.e. working on your own and regularly checking in with the teacher for guidance and feedback) or heavily centered on working with the teacher (i.e. the teacher walks you through concepts/ information/ techniques.) Independent studies can be either major or minor. The former counts as an extra elective or as a substitute for another class while the latter can take the place of your afternoon activity. Minor independent studies can only be taken one term per year by Fifth Formers or Sixth Formers in good academic and disciplinary standing. Contact the studies office to learn more about the details and possibilities. Out of school competitions
There are many opportunities to participate in local, national, and international competitions. Oftentimes, the school will sign up to olympiads such as the USABO or the physics bowl and emails will be sent out to let students sign up if they are interested. If you’re interested in a competition that the school isn’t already participating in, you can speak to a relevant teacher and find other students who may be interested; there is a good chance that the school will be able to host the test/ competition if there is enough interest. Kent also has a math team that competes in various math competitions, many taking place off-campus. Please contact the current head of the math team, Mr. Tolfree, for more information. Popular competitions among Kent students include the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair, the AMC, and the National Scholastic Art Awards.
Kent school has a group of scholars known as the Guild. To be admitted into the guild, you need to write a guild paper and present it to the guild masters who will then decide to admit or deny you to the guild. Guild papers are lengthy research papers on a topic of your choosing (e.g. a study and analysis of Italian painters and their influence in art history) or an overview of an independent research project (e.g. a summary of how you engineered biosynthetic prosthetics.) Guild papers are a great way to challenge yourself, explore a specific topic in-depth, and get practice and feedback in writing academic papers. You can find more information about the guild at https://libguides.kent-school.edu/Guild.
The Senior Council (SC) is a group of twenty-two Sixth-Form leaders who serve as a bridge between the student body and the administration. Each member of the council has specific responsibilities depending on their role. Roles include Head Prefect, Prefect, Blue Key Head, Sacristan, Verger, Class Representative, and Clubs Program Steward. Besides personal responsibilities, the whole Senior Council works together to improve the school’s environment, policies, and culture. Twenty of the twenty-two members are elected during the tapping process (see the Kent Culture section for details) while the remaining two are Class Representatives elected by their fellow Sixth Form students the following day (generally Rock Day!) New Senior Council members are elected primarily from votes. Every student and faculty member can vote for up to eleven girls and eleven boys from the group of Sixth Formers who opt into the election process; all votes are weighted equally. These Senior Council members will work with faculty advisors from the Dean’s Office, and other arenas at Kent, on leadership training and training for their specific positions throughout the course of the year.
The Disciplinary Council is a group of teachers and students that oversee Disciplinary Cases cases (DC cases.) For more information on disciplinary action and school rules, please refer to Kent’s official Student and Parent Handbook of Information. There are six students on the council in total: two members who serve from Spring to Fall (starting in their Fifth Form year and finishing in their Sixth Form year), two members who serve from Fall to Spring of their Sixth Form year, and two members who serve as substitutes in case one of the former four can’t attend a case. DC members are selected through a two-stage process involving a written application and an interview with the current DC. Class Representatives
Each class (e.g. class of 2022) will have four representatives (two male and two female) who are elected by students of that class at the beginning of each year. Class reps work with Blue Key to organize student activities, prepare form events like form-exclusive ice cream socials, and look out for their fellow form members. Class Representative elections are held at the start of each school year, and candidates will need to pass two rounds–the first requiring an introductory paragraph and the second requiring a speech presented to the whole class. Being a class rep is a great way to engage with the community, get to know the other students in your form, and give voice to your classmates about Blue Key activities! Peer tutors
Peer tutors are available to tutor students in the library during study hall. As a peer tutor, you will spend one study hall a week in the library to help students who come to you for help. Peer tutor applications are sent out during the Spring term. You can apply to be either a Research & Writing tutor or a Math & Science tutor. Peer tutoring is a weekly commitment that counts as a “Student Job.”
Peer counselors are students trained and certified to counsel other students who need guidance or support but don’t want to or can’t go to one of the school’s therapists. Applications to become a peer counselor are sent out during the Fall. Students who pass the first round participate in an interview, and those that pass the interview undergo training later in the year. Students who complete the training then receive a special name card to hang on their door, indicating their position as peer counselors. Anyone can apply no matter what their grade level is! Tour Guides
Tour guides occasionally give tours to prospective students during their free block. Tour guides are often assigned students who share their interests or backgrounds so tours are more informative and personal. To apply to be a tour guide, visit or email the admissions office for more information. This role would be considered a “Student Job” and is a highly desired position by many students.
Sports teams at Kent of all levels typically have a few team captains. Team captains are responsible for boosting team morale, encouraging communication, and supporting all team members. Captains also play a role in organizing end-of-season team banquets and preparing paper plate awards (superlatives written on paper plates for each team member.) Sports Captains are usually elected through team member votes though each team will have its own methods of selection.
Kent Peer Orientation Program (KPOP)
KPOP leaders help welcome new students to Kent by overseeing their orientation during early week and remaining engaged with the members of their KPOP group into the early weeks of the school year. Students can apply to be KPOP leaders for the next school year through applications sent out during the Spring term. Other roles
Besides what is listed above, there are dozens of less-advertised and lessformal leadership positions on campus. Student groups, events, and programs often need motivated and responsible student leaders. Such examples include being a coordinator for the math team, organizing marketing strategies for the peer tutoring program, or leading a social justice workshop. Aside from filling out email applications, to get involved on campus, you can be proactive by joining a variety of student groups, reaching out to see how you can help, and volunteering to take on responsibilities.
LEAVING A LEGACY
There are so many ways to make a difference and leave a legacy on campus outside of traditional leadership positions. With all of its resources and opportunities, Kent is the perfect place to take initiative and contribute to a community. Traditions and protocols can seem set in stone, but anyone can meaningfully improve the Kent experience for themselves, their peers, and even students in years to come.
Whenever you catch yourself complaining about what the school needs to address or implement, instead of assuming that there’s nothing you can do, brainstorm solutions and talk to someone about it! For instance, if you notice that there isn’t enough mental health awareness on campus, you could design posters and ask for permission to put them up, you could reach out to a professional and arrange for them to come to campus and give a lecture, or you could gather student feedback on mental health at Kent and present it to the administration. In short, there is a near-infinite number of ways that you can make a difference in the areas that you care most about. Kent is all about supportive relationships and collaboration between the school and the students; this creates a unique environment where students play an important role in shaping the community in which we live and learn. Here are a few tips/ steps for what you can do when you want to make an impact:
Pay attention to the random ideas and complaints inside your head. Passing thoughts on cool projects that initially seem implausible can often lead to meaningful results. These thoughts often come in the form of “I wish we could do… at Kent'' or “wouldn’t it be cool if there was… ?” Sometimes these ideas will be impractical or unpopular, but other times, they could be the start of something great. If you stumble on a good idea, talk to your friends and classmates about it! Whether it be an issue that needs addressing or a cool project that you can’t do alone, it never hurts to get outside opinions, and you might even gain a few helping hands. Just remember that having productive discussions means more brainstorming ideas and less complaining about problems.
Talk to a teacher/faculty member. Speak to a faculty member who is relevant (like a counselor for mental health projects or your dorm head for issues within your dorm) or whom you are close to (like your advisor) for advice on getting started. Sometimes they will have the authority to approve and help implement your ideas, and other times, they will direct you to other faculty members, offer feedback, or propose potential next steps. Gather support/ feedback. It is harder to change some aspects of Kent that are rooted in tradition or related to fundamental policies such as the dress code, disciplinary actions, or the school schedule. In these cases, popular support is critical. Anyone aiming to change school policy should gather the support and feedback of as many people as possible. Start a petition or organize a rally to have student voices be heard clearly. Even if the change isn’t drastic or immediate, the school pays attention when students speak up and speak together.
Change is a collaborative process that can take a lot of time, thinking, and discussion. No one should feel pressured to make a revolutionary change in the school’s operations, but everyone should remember that they are valued and influential members of the Kent community. Besides large-scale projects and grand policy changes, leaving a legacy can be as simple as being a mentor to your underclassmen, participating in discussions, and engaging with the community. Now, what will your legacy be?
TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ
Here is a quick summary of everything this guidebook covers so you can get a general idea of what Kent offers even if you’re pressed for time:
From Ring Day to Tapping to Rock Day, Kent is home to many unique traditions that are foundational to the Kent experience. Ways to pass time and decompress include blue-key activities, visiting town, hiking, sample student work on campus, and pursuing hobbies like music production or pottery. Some “unlisted” afternoon activities include being a sports manager, participating in theatre productions as a non-activity actor, and fixing an independent study. Feel free to join as many clubs as you want to on campus! Each one is student-run, offers something unique, and doesn’t require too much commitment. Drop in for club activities and meetings whenever it suits your schedule and your interests. Kent offers a variety of academic resources to help students with school work and individual interests. These resources range from free online articles and programs to drop-in tutoring sessions with peers and teachers.
Students with physical disabilities and learning differences should speak to the studies office to organize accommodations, and all students are encouraged to pay a visit to the counseling center. Kent’s counseling center provides professional counselors, a visiting psychiatrist, and a space for anyone to relax and practice wellness. You can design an independent study, write a guild paper, and participate in interscholastic competitions to challenge yourself academically. Opportunities for student leadership are bountiful with the Senior Council, the Disciplinary Committee, tour guides, peer tutoring, peer counseling, KPOP, sports captainship, and more. Even without a formal title, anyone can significantly contribute to the Kent community, whether it be through an entrepreneurial endeavor or a petition for policy change. Kent provides the resources for students to take initiative and realize their visions.
Special thanks to:
Annie Yang '22 Dagny Peters '22 Tiffany Chan '22 Chidera Okonkwo '22
THIS GUIDE WAS CREATED BY STUDENTS FOR STUDENTS AND IN NO WAY REPRESENTS THE SCHOOL'S OFFICIAL POLICIES, RULES, OR REGULATIONS. PLEASE REFER TO KENT'S STUDENT & PARENT/GUARDIAN HANDBOOK FOR THE SCHOOL'S OFFICIAL POLICIES.