Academy Programs Grades 3-12
General Program Description for Grades 3-8
Kent Laboratory Academy serves students in grades 3-8 through two programs: Seed and Emergence. Our programs help us define the learning that is happening within grade bands. The Seed (grades 3-5) and Emergence (grades 6-8) programs thrive on student innovation and adaptability. While unique in their developmental approach, our educators anchor the classroom learning in an Instructional Inquiry-Based Model through multiple modes of learning to ensure the student experience is vertically aligned and continuous across the grade levels. Educators collaborate across and between these programs to build deep and meaningful knowledge for the learner and foster authentic relationships with students and their families. These programs ensure every child is known and grown as a learner through highly individualized inquiry-based learning cycles and methodologies while incorporating relational ways to meet the needs of the whole child.
In Seed and Emergence, our primary goal is to instill a passion for learning, build bridges between areas of study, and facilitate an educational experience that is tailored to fit the growth, achievement, and wellness of our students. Our Lab school partnership with the University of Washington Tacoma further promotes student-driven learning by supporting both programs with additional supportive educators, professional development, and an opportunity to practice cutting-edge research-based best practices.
Seed (Grades 3-5)
Students in Seed classrooms experience learning through an inquiry-based instructional model. The learning cycle begins by posing questions, problems, or scenarios that are relevant and interesting to students. Students then engage, explore, and make choices to demonstrate, share, and reflect on their learning.
In every learning cycle, 21st-century skills are reinforced including communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. As a result, students have opportunities to frequently interact with educators and peers to practice these skills. The inquiry model is vertically aligned across grade levels and continues into grades 6 - 8, becoming increasingly complex over time.
Seed students also have increased elective opportunities that include high school teacher-taught courses such as STEM (Science/Technology /Engineering/Math), Art, Creative Writing and Spanish as available. In all Seed classes, students are supported through a richly staffed environment and educator-to-student ratio.
Emergence (Grades 6-8)
Students in Emergence classrooms continue their learning through a more sophisticated, inquiry-based learning model. Active and engaged throughout the school day, students learn in small groups, across grade levels, with teams of educators, and through collaboration with peers. Students also have access to high school level courses and near-peer mentorship opportunities with elementary students.
Emergence educators collaborate regularly to design multiple-mode learning experiences for students that are vertically aligned and interdisciplinary. The Emergence program also incorporates 21st Century Skills including communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity. The primary goal of Emergence is to instill a passion for learning, growth, achievement, and wellness in all our students.
Link (Grades 7-12)
Students served through the SE (special education) Link program benefit from a more structured environment to support their learning. Link services are designed for current Kent School District students in grades 7-12 who need greater support due to challenges in social-emotional and academic learning. The program fosters an inclusive education and embeds support within the other secondary programs. Students’ unique needs and talents are supported while focusing on academic achievement in a more richly-staffed environment.
Electives (Grades 6-12)
All secondary students take electives courses including Career and Technical Education (CTE), the arts, Spanish, and physical education classes. Teachers of our elective courses strive to meet the needs and strengths of each student while creating connections between content and skills. In alignment with other programs, elective classes are inquiry-driven, scaffolded, and strive to support students becoming more resilient while developing a growth mindset.
Math (Grades 6-12)
Students receiving math instruction from educators at the Lab Academy who recognize math is not one size fits all. Teachers adapt instruction to the needs of the student, through a caring, whole-child approach that is relational and flexible. Teachers build rapport to support diverse learners by overcoming barriers in math with students.
General Program Description for Grades 9-12
High school students (grades 9-12) served at Kent Laboratory Academy are valued as individuals and as a part of our community. Fully trained in the Compassionate Schools framework, our educators actively support student resilience and academic success while also creating a sense of belonging. Kent Laboratory academic programs provide a personalized, culturally responsive approach that supports and flexes to the strengths and needs of our diverse learners. Courses are intentionally designed to be student-centered, and many have cross-curricular connections through social-emotional learning and academic strategies.
Our university partnership empowers us to welcome college educators and resources that further contribute to our community. Through the support of our partners, we are better equipped to focus and attend to the individual learner. Our lab model also provides opportunities and options for students to enroll in innovative courses that provide learning in a fresh and relevant way.
Connect (Grades 12)
Kent School District students who are behind in earning high school credits may be served through the Connect program at Kent Laboratory Academy. Through blended learning instruction, Connect students access online courses so students are able to work at their own pace for both credit retrieval and credit acquisition. Students in Connect can also choose between two daily meeting times that allow for a flexible schedule with direct teacher support. Connect students work closely with a school counselor, the dean of admissions and academics, and a teacher to support them. New students are accepted throughout the school year as space allows.