A distinctive aspect of Kirby School is that we involve high school students in what electives are offered the following year. Students have a say–a tradition that enables us to offer highly individualized course schedules and stay connected to needs of our students.
Our size enables us to individualize learning paths which is why we annually offer a two-step course identification and selection process to determine the next year’s elective options. Our core curriculum remains intact from year to year.
Each February we offer students the opportunity to weigh in on course elective ideas put forth by faculty. Before we conduct this informal census, faculty work closely with the Academic Leadership Group to consider the scope and sequence of our course offerings. They develop ideas that supplement Kirby’s elective portfolio or offer new material based on the expertise of our faculty or the needs and interests of a cohort of students.
This informal course voting process does not require student commitment; it just lets us know what students might like to take. This, in turn, allows us to staff a list of course offerings that our students will look forward to taking. All Kirby graduation requirements meet or exceed UC a-g graduation requirements.
Then in March, after students have identified their interests in the course ideas, and we receive re-enrollment contracts from families (a concurrent process), we put forth to enrolled students the courses that students indicated they most want to take: the formal course selection process for the following year begins.
It is one way we partner with students to help them successfully chart their educational journey to college.