Middle School Student Services
High School Admissions Counseling
KSDS works with each student and family as they move towards the transition to high school. The curriculum is structured to give students a strong foundation for success. KSDS graduates have a history of a high acceptance rates at Jewish day schools, independent high schools and magnet high schools in the Baltimore area.
Our high school admissions counselor assists Grade 8 students and their families in the high school application process. Students and parents receive a general orientation to the process and then meet individually with the counselor to discuss the student’s high school options. KSDS also hosts an annual high school fair, where students and their parents have the opportunity to meet with admissions staff from a variety of schools in the greater Baltimore area. Students work with the high school admissions counselor to prepare for visits to high schools and interviews. Students also receive coaching and information regarding the taking of the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE).
Study Skills Course (Fifth Grade)
Every KSDS fifth grader engages in a one-trimester course of Study Skills taught by our learning specialist. The course begins with a brief survey that begins to help students understand their strengths and learning preferences: whether visual, auditory, or kinesthetic/tactile. Students then identify the techniques that will help them become a stronger learner. Filled with broad lessons about learning and the brain, the course arms students with specific memorization and test-taking techniques, note taking methods and strategies for engaging with printed text and oral presentations. Our motto: “Study Smarter, Not Harder.”
Study Lab is for those days when a student needs to drop everything and get organized. In lieu of a day’s gym period, the student works one-on-one or in a small group with the learning specialist. In minutes, lockers are rearranged and binders put in order., providing students can make a fresh start. Students also attend for completion of assignments, studying for assessments, and review of concepts with teacher support.
Students can use Working Lunch to work on projects in a supportive environment during the lunch period. Guidance in General and Judaic studies is available, as is small group help in math, Spanish, and writing. More than just a study hall, Working Lunch provides teacher directed support for assignments and one-on-one support when needed. Students use the time to study and complete projects in small groups.
Students learn at different paces. KSMS has a full-time learning specialist whose primary responsibility is to support student learning for our entire student body. Our learning specialist serves as the instructor for our Grade 5 Study Skills course which enables her to create a foundation of strong student skills for each student. She works with the faculty through professional development and consultation to help provide remediation and enrichment in all areas of the curriculum. The learning specialist’s support of teachers allows them to challenge students appropriately at all ability levels.
When necessary, the learning specialist completes preliminary skills assessments with students who may be struggling in the classroom. She facilitates communication between faculty and outside professionals and families to support students in developing academically. The learning specialist supervises the Working Lunch and Study Lab
Middle School Counselor
The middle school counselor works both in and out of classrooms with students, families and faculty members. The counselor supports faculty members both by observing classes and by facilitating and processing sensitive subject matter as requested. She also assists faculty members by providing current information on student mental health issues as needed.
Beyond teaching our Grade 6 Wellness class, the KSMS Guidance Counselor supervises the advisory program, monitors social and emotional issues, troubleshoots peer issues and does individual and small group counseling. She also serves as the faculty advisor for the student Committee for Social Inclusion. In addition, she acts as a liaison between the school, families, and outside resources to coordinate student care. Parent programming, speaker coordination and the planning of certain field trips are also part of her duties.
Committee for Social Inclusion (CSI)
Made up of students and advised by the KSDS Guidance Counselor, CSI works with kids who are new to the school to help them get acclimated. CSI also works on breaking down social barriers between groups and making sure the social atmosphere feels safe and welcoming.