Student Ownership of Learning

In support of our vision, and our four priorities focused on helping KIPPsters to and through college, teachers serve as facilitators of student thinking in the classroom. Teachers create opportunities for students to build a sense of self and purpose, to deepen content understanding, and to develop the supporting skills and habits necessary for success in college and in the competitive world beyond. Students experience frequent opportunities to engage in problem solving and develop lines of reasoning that are integral to daily learning. The academic culture across classrooms upholds risk taking, struggle, and error as the process of learning.

The Capstone

The Capstone is the culminating demonstration of college success at KDCHS. Each course within each discipline follows an aligned progression of academic knowledge, skills, thinking, habits, and character strengths. We have recognized a gap between high school and college in the continuum of these academic facets, most prominently in the thinking skills expected in a college class compared to a high school class. The purpose of the Capstone is to set an academic target that is in line with the thinking demands our students will face in college, which then informs the characteristics of college-preparatory teaching and learning in each discipline at KDCHS. Toward the end of each course, beginning in ninth grade, students are required to apply the discipline’s core college success indicators through a rigorous performance task Capstone. By twelfth grade, students apply the culmination of four years of development in the discipline by completing their final Capstone. Student success on the Capstone demonstrates a student’s mastery of the discipline, and readiness for success in college.

Core Subject Areas

In grades 9-12, students take English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Spanish (grades 10-12). We offer several Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors classes for students to further challenge themselves.


Students are encouraged to pursue their passions in non-academic fields such as art, sports, and dance. KDCHS offers a range of art classes, including 2D and 3D Design, Advanced and AP Studio Art, and Ceramics. We also offer Yearbook and PE classes that include Health and Wellness, Weightlifting, Team Sports, Dance, and Adventure Ed.

AP Classes Offered in 2015-16:

• AP English Language & Composition
• AP Statistics
• AP Calculus
• AP Biology
• AP World History
• AP U.S. History
• AP U.S. Government
• AP Spanish Language
• AP Studio Art

Junior & Senior Seminars

These weekly seminars are taught by the KIPP Through College junior and senior advisors and serve to build knowledge and understanding of post-secondary options, and to keep students on track toward college. Junior Seminar provides a structured framework for students to be able to move into the final year of high school with a clear concept of how to skillfully select and apply to post-secondary institutions. This course utilizes lectures, small group discussions and practicums to engage students in project-based learning.

Senior Seminar guides students through the college application process by keeping them on track and working on college applications, scholarship applications, financial aid completion, choosing the right school, and final steps towards enrollment. The course is designed as half seminar-style learning on topics such as the Common Application, FAFSA, essay editing, and financial aid award letters; and half practicum with weekly check-ins with the college advisor.