KHS ranks No. 2 in state

KHS was ranked second in the state and No. 238 in the country by Newsweek Aug. 19. The score was based on college readiness which factors in test scores and graduation rates.

“There’s one thing [we have] for sure: great students,” Dr. Michael Havener, head principal, said, “Second would be great teachers, and third, just as important, unbelievable community support. Without the community supporting us, [which] sometimes takes money, we wouldn’t be able to provide the level of education and experience that kids have here at Kirkwood High School.”

KHS provides opportunities for students that go further than the core classes. Whether it is a class or a club, there are career-oriented activities you can join.

“KHS is fun, welcoming and it’s a really good school. A lot of people are very nice and the teachers support us all even if we are confused as freshmen. People say high school is awful but it’s really not. Kirkwood represents that it’s not,” Jack Schulze, freshman, said.

The school-wide average at KHS on the ACT is 24.1 and 1746 for the SAT. In Missouri, the average ACT score is 21.8 and 1771 for the SAT. Practice tests are encouraged by the staff and a PSAT is held for sophomores and juniors in October.

“In class we do practice tests and regular tests [to prepare for finals],” Zoe Jones, sophomore, said, “And teachers also give us example problems from the ACT and SAT to get us used to it so [we] know the content and format really well.”

The graduation rate on average at KHS is currently 98.9 percent with 99.3 percent of students staying in school all four years. Students who are college bound make up 93.4 percent.

“Our goal is 100 [percent] and although we are very close we still haven’t met that goal,” Havener said. “So, my belief is that you have to look at every student every day and work with individual students and not just with groups of students.”

Havener said one aspect of the school the staff are working on is making sure every student is learning and understanding the material taught in the classroom. He said he hopes the students put schoolwork first, then extracurricular activities.

“[Kirkwood is] fun, but it’s also academic so that it gets to the point,” Jones said. “You will have times where you are having fun but you are also learning so it’s nice that I always feel prepared for [tests]. There’s no curveballs usually and you know everything ahead.”

Last year, KHS ranked third in Missouri and 390th in the country by US News which shows an improvement within the school from the past year. Changes have been made in the school with with curriculum and improving technology.

“I think it’s important to say all these successes that come up are a team effort and it’s not one set of people or one person,” Havener said. “Anytime we are fortunate enough to get some type of recognition it symbolizes all the hard work everybody’s putting in. So congratulations to students, staff and the community.”