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Academy Staffing & Program Updates

Today, staff at Kent Phoenix Academy (KPA) and Kent Mountainview Academy (KMVA), learned that based on their feedback, current principal of KMVA Stephanie Knipp, pending Board of Director approval at the March 13, 2019 board meeting, will be appointed as the principal that oversees both schools beginning in the 2019-2020 school year at the KPA site. Earlier this year Merrilee Lyle, principal of Kent Phoenix Academy (KPA) announced her resignation at the end of this school year, which began the planning process for next year.  

Pending board approval, Principal Knipp will be supported in 2019-20 and 2020-21 by two (2) assistant principal positions, one for KPA and one for KMVA. These are two new positions for these schools and the current educational assistant and dean of student positions would be eliminated. Principal Knipp and the two assistant principals will use the next two school years as planning years to fully learn the functions of both schools as they prepare to move into a new academy site being built at the former Panther Lake property.  

At the beginning of this school year Kent School District (KSD) announced that a site had been selected and approved for a new elementary school in the Kent valley. This new elementary school was approved by voters in November 2016 by the passing of a $252,000,000 bond measure.   

The new school will be built on existing KSD property currently occupied by Kent Mountain View Academy. The KSD Facilities and Construction team exhausted all means of securing a site for the new Kent Valley elementary school, no other property suitable for the needs of the school was available. Construction will begin in the fall of 2019 and the new school will open to KSD students in August 2021. 

This means that KMVA will be getting a new home. For the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, KMVA students will be sharing space with Kent Phoenix Academy (KPA) at their current location on Kent east hill.  

Since announcing the move, the staff of KPA and KMVA have been preparing for both schools to share the KPA facility in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.  Staff at each school have provided input about the administrator structure and the staffing needs as they prepare to share a facility. The recommendation to the board for Principal Knipp to oversee both academies was a direct result of district leadership working with both current principals, reviewing staff feedback, and considering current staffing in both schools.  
 

FAQ 

When is the new Kent Valley Elementary School opening?  
The new school will open in the fall of 2021.  

How do I register for the Kent Valley Elementary School?  
When the opening date is closer, more details such as registration will be distributed.  

What are the boundaries for the Kent Valley Elementary School?  
The boundaries for this new school, along with Kent Valley Elementary and Neely-O'Brien Elementary schools, will be evaluated during the building process.  

How can Kent Mountain View Academy (KMVA) and Kent Phoenix Academy (KPA) share one building?  
The current school lends itself to housing two separate schools. With a capacity of over 700, it can easily house both schools on its campus. The possibility of combining some resources for both schools will make it more efficient as well. The configuration of the school campus includes two classrooms specifically designed for music, which KMVA will now have access to along with a dedicated lunchroom and larger gymnasium. The schools also will have separate entrance/exit areas. This will only be a temporary KPA/KMVA campus for the next two years as the new academy campus is being built.   

What will the new KPA and KMVA buildings look like?  
KMVA and KPA principals are collaborating with KSD Capital Facilities and KSD Communications teams to develop a process for stakeholder communications and feedback. Information, updates and opportunities for engagement will be shared with families and communities through school channels and the KSD website.   

Will iGrad be moving into KPA with KMVA also?  
iGrad will not be moving to the KPA site.  iGrad will remain in its current location, but it will utilize only one storefront based student need.   

Will additional positions be eliminated at KPA, KMVA or iGrad? 
No positions will be eliminated at iGrad and the school will be allocated a new educational assistant position for the upcoming year.  All positions will continue to be allocated at KPA and KMVA with the exception of the elimination of a principal position, a dean of students position, and an educational assistant position. Two assistant principal positions will be added to the KPA and KMVA allocations for the upcoming year.