The K-8 Structure

The K-8 concept is a call to create a caring learning community by which members are totally committed to the school’s educational philosophy, programs, policies and practices. It includes both primary and middle grades, in order to facilitate child-oriented programs conducive to young adolescent learning.

K-8 structures are grounded in elementary philosophies in order to better meet the needs of young adolescent learners in a more personal environment.

The K-8 program creates a setting that operates more like a community rather than a bureaucracy. It is an alternative to the traditional view of schools with emphasis on family-like relationships.

The K-8 center provides a context for enhanced preparation for life, allowing students to thrive in a school environment that implements a challenging,academically sound curriculum.

The Kenwoods

A hammock, at last. The realization of a dream which found its beginning in the mind and heart of Earl Scull. Earl, a teacher at Kenwood for over 20 years, had for many years held on to the idea of creating a living learning center for Kenwood’s students and community and at the same time recreate and protect the Florida environment. He was encouraged in this by Martha Fabing, former principal of Kenwood. Finally, what appeared to be to a slap on the wrist for an informal neighborhood beautification program became a shot in the arm for Earl’s dream. In the spring of 1986, Bob Ross, whose children were attending Kenwood at the time, planted gumbo limbo trees in the median along Kendall Drive. The Department of Transportation saw this as impractical and told Mr. Ross they must be removed. It was then that Bob Ross came to Kenwood. The principal, Hal Schmitt, put him in touch with Earl Scull. A short time later Henry Block, a parent and member of the Florida Native Plant Society volunteered to help. The project of three men then became a unifying factor in the community. Donations of money, plants, services, time, and labor have brought to fruition the dream of a hammock. A hammock is a tract of forested land that rises above an adjacent marsh in the southern United States.

“KENWOODS”, as our hammock is called, has become a favorite respite for community members, students, and teachers. In November 1988 the Dade County Chapter of the Native Plant Society held its annual symposium at Kenwood. Miami-Dade Community College uses KENWOODS in several of its environmental classes. Other public schools and private schools in the area have visited KENWOODS, and has served as a model for projects at other locations.

In the center of our hammock you will find “Tori’s Treehouse”. This structure, completed in September 1989, was built from love. Labor, materials and time were donated. You will find this an ideal place to teach, study, read, dream, or meditate. Tori’s Treehouse was dedicated to the memory of Tori Block, who died of leukemia in 1988 at the age of 8, while a student at Kenwood. Nature has been capricious toward KENWOODS. On the one hand, we have witnessed remarkable growth rates of the various species, some of which have reputations as slow growers.

In 2016, our Kenwood Outdoor Learning Center became a certified wildlife habitat. 

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