A Message from the Head of School

What if I were to tell you that schools are antiquated? The model used by almost all schools, public and private, hasn’t evolved much in the last 150 years. Even our 10-month school calendar with summers off is based on a bygone agrarian model. Students in the 19th- and 20th-centuries were very different than those who populate our classrooms today.

Today’s educational system was created as a “just in case” model of learning. Schools require students to memorize a bunch of disjointed facts “just in case” they might need to know them at some time in their lives. But the reality is, today’s students have grown up with a “just in time” model of learning. They live in a world of instantaneous information, where the answer is always just a YouTube video or Google search away. The old rules no longer apply.

At Kalamazoo Country Day School, we are reimagining what is possible in school. Our teachers practice a learner-centered, inclusive approach that supports and challenges students according to their individual needs. Students are allowed to pursue their passions through a wide variety of innovative learning methods. Because we recognize that identity development and personal growth thrive in the context of community, KCDS fosters relationships of trust, caring, and mutual respect among students, parents, teachers, and staff. Our small class sizes give students a comfort level they may not feel in a large-group setting, allowing them take more academic risks, and feel more competent about themselves as learners.

KCDS has moved away from standardized testing and grades to a more comprehensive, personalized approach that considers student voice. Assessment takes the form of student portfolios filled with project-based learning assignments, with an emphasis on student reflection, so that students may reach a deeper understanding of content. At KCDS, we strongly believe that there is no failing, only learning.

Dr. Scott Kemple, Head of School


Dr. Scott Kemple, Head of School