Welcome to The Kew-Forest Upper School! The first thing everyone who spends some time at Kew-Forest remarks upon is the pervasive sense of warmth and community in the school. It is visible in the conversations faculty and students have in the hallways, in the way parents stay to talk with faculty and staff who formerly or who have never taught their children, and in the happy greetings our older students offer to the younger. The second thing everyone notices is how remarkably diverse our community is. With a notable international student population and over 31 nationalities represented and 17+ languages spoken at home, the Upper School is truly global community. In this rich context, our Upper School students begin to define who they are and who they want to be -- as scholars, athletes, artists, and citizens -- with the assistance and support of wonderful faculty members and access to challenging and thought-provoking courses, myriad interscholastic athletic teams, and multiple clubs, co-curriculars, and opportunities to serve.
The Kew-Forest Upper School faculty, 83% of whom hold advanced degrees, provide a rigorous college preparatory academic program with co-curricular options in a supportive atmosphere. Our program is both traditional and progressive with a curriculum that emphasizes the fundamentals of English, mathematics, science, world languages, history, and visual and performing arts, as well as 21st century skills in technology and creative innovation. Classic liberal arts courses like Development of Civilizations are offered alongside exciting electives such as Myth and Game Design & Development. Beyond our core and Honors curriculum, juniors and seniors are eligible to take a range of challenging Advanced Placement courses in subjects including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, World History, U.S. History, U.S. Law & Government, English Language and Literature, Studio Art, and World Languages.
Students thrive in these courses because The Kew-Forest Upper School is a place where every student is valued. An average class size of 14 students means that each student is seen and encouraged and expected to participate. Students learn by doing as they work together on group activities and take the lead in round table discussions while teachers offer guidance and mentorship. With 150 students in the Middle and Upper School, the 6.5:1 student/teacher ratio means that teachers come to know their students and their work extremely well, allowing them to provide detailed feedback to meet individual needs.
At Kew-Forest, learning is an ongoing, iterative process that does not begin and end in the classroom. Our students participate in and benefit from a wide range of co-curricular activities. With over 20 interscholastic athletic teams, Kew-Forest offers something for nearly everyone. In fact, 61% of Upper School students are members of one or more athletic teams, and in the past 3 years alone we have won eight championship titles in sports ranging from Archery to Cross Country to JV Basketball. Our students’ artwork hangs throughout the school, our musicians perform original compositions at assemblies and in our common areas, and our theatrically inclined students participate in multiple fall plays and one-acts as well as the spring musical. Over 44% of our students participate in our award-winning Mock Trial and Model U.N. teams, and all students engage in our 15+ clubs, assemblies, an advisory program, Health Education, and ongoing service learning opportunities.
Through all of these opportunities, Upper School students at Kew-Forest strive, learn, sometimes stumble, persevere, and continually grow. They become critical thinkers, questioning readers, fluid writers, ready speakers, and observant, empathetic, and generous human beings, able to both lead and serve because they know that their growth and success are inextricably tied to those of their peers and the world around them. Our success as a school, then, is graduating these young people who become the capable and caring adults we are proud to send out into our communities and world, and we are so glad you are engaged in this work with us.
Tiffany D. Trotter
Head of Middle and Upper School