infographic by Evelyn Lubben
Controversial session stereotypes have a deep history at The King’s Academy. The introduction of the M/W session in the fall of 2006 influenced the school tremendously. Administration invested endless hours in the intricate creation of the welloiled machine that is TKA today. The history of our hybrid school’s sessions affects current students and staff members in unplanned ways.
“It would have made complete sense to meet Tuesdays and Thursdays,” Head of School Kristi Brannen said. “However, there was a co-op that many families at King’s participated in on Thursdays. To prove we were not trying to undermine what they were doing, we chose Tuesdays and Fridays.”
Beginning in 1999, TKA met only on Tuesdays and Fridays. As the school grew exponentially in the next decade, the administration was desperate to find a way to accept more applicants.
“We were growing so much that we nearly doubled Tuesday/Friday by 2005,” Mrs. Brannon said. “At that point, we decided to start a Monday/Wednesday session. This year, for the first time ever, the only grades that are not doubled or tripled on Monday/ Wednesday are fourth and fifth grades.”
The M/W session opened seven years after TKA was established, hosting kindergarten through third grades. The following year, dozens of students were placed on waiting lists, pushing the administration to add fourth through eighth grade all at one time. The second session became successful very quickly, but the transition was not without its bumps and bruises.
“Adding another session was a point in our school that we had to gingerly walk through,” Mrs. Brannen said. “Monday/Wednesday were the new ones, and it created a lot of division at first. For a long time, [the administration] worked really hard to change that thought process.”
Each new change the administration implements is a new invention because there is no other school like King’s. The experimental implementation of a new M/W session was eventually accepted and welcomed by students and families alike.
“We spent hours and hours coming up with different scenarios, asking what would cause the most unity among our sessions and families, what would cause the most joy among our students and what steps do we need to take to achieve the least resistance,” Mrs. Brannen said. “It was hours of decision making, but it was always worth it so that our students and families want to be here.”
Administration is always seeking the best interest of their students. No matter which days of the week students attend, they are promised truth, excellence and service.
“There is still some of the talk that ‘I want to be on Tuesday/Friday because all the people that play sports are on Tuesday/Friday,’ which is not true, but there might be some specific sports that are that way,” said Mrs. Brannen. “We can still see the small repercussions of the competition that came between the two sessions.”
The implementation of the M/W session was never meant to divide the school but to invigorate it. Now, over a decade later, TKA is a dual-session school, boasting over 1,000 students. This exponential growth would never have been possible without the addition of the M/W session.