The Dean System
Kinkaid’s mission is to promote educational excellence, personal responsibility, and balanced growth to help students discover and develop their talents and fulfill their best potential. The Deans’ Office supports students in their four-year journey through Upper School, advising and counseling them in academic and social matters, including the college application process.
The Dean Model was created to provide consistent counsel and support for students with regard to academic achievement, personal accountability, and social dynamics.
The Deans work as a team and frequently collaborate to best serve students. While students and parents work primarily with their assigned Dean, that work is informed by the broad expertise and varied experiences of the entire Deans’ Office and the other members of the Student Support Team.
The Deans incorporate the Kinkaid Core Values into their work with students, encouraging honest and open communication. The Deans meet one-on-one with students throughout the year, supporting them as they learn to take responsibility for their experience and develop self-advocacy skills while encouraging a balance between their academic and co-curricular endeavors. In addition, they work with the students to help them discover what motivates them, cultivate their interests, and explore their interests while building confidence in their abilities.
Serving as an advisor and counselor to students, the Dean works closely with students and families to guide them throughout their four-year academic journey. That journey includes their progress towards meeting Kinkaid's graduation requirements; developing the students’ interests and aspirations; and exploring opportunities exploring opportunities for growth. Deans also support students in selecting classes, reviewing grades, setting goals, and facing academic challenges. Shortly after Spring Break, families in grades eight to ten, including new to Kinkaid families, meet with their Dean to review the year and make course selections for the following school year.
With strong skills in academic counseling, the Deans guide students to become independent learners and to develop self-advocacy skills. The Dean is the primary liaison between Kinkaid and the family, playing an important role for both the student and parents. The office also hosts grade-level evening programs for parents at the start of the school year.
The Deans provide social and emotional support to students who may be confronted with issues that require additional attention. When needed, they will refer students to the school counselors and learning specialists. Additionally, the Deans partner with Kinkaid’s learning specialists, the Director of the Health Center, school psychologists, the Dean of Students, the Assistant and Head of Upper School, a group called the Student Support Team (SST), to support students on a range of academic, emotional, and physical issues.
To complement individual academic advising and social support, the Deans also serve as the student’s college counselor. With decades of professional experience both as secondary school counselors and as college admissions officers, the Deans have served on counselor advisory boards at Southern Methodist University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Utah, evaluated scholarship applications for the Coca-Cola Foundation, interviewed students for the Gates Scholarship, served on committees for the Association for College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS) and as faculty for College Horizons, are published authors, and have presented at state and national conferences. They have also visited hundreds of college campuses and host hundreds of college admissions officers who visit Kinkaid each year. These experiences ensure that each student receives valuable and timely advice throughout their college process.
Starting in the junior year, Deans work with their students throughout the college process, using a holistic approach to college counseling. Encouraging self-reflection and in-depth research on a wide range of colleges, the Deans work with students to develop personalized college lists that support students’ goals and interests. In addition, they assist students in developing comprehensive and compelling applications and keep students and families informed of the evolving trends and policies that impact college admission.
The Kinkaid Upper School provides ongoing, daily guidance to help students manage the challenges of high school. In addition to our Deans' Office, Kinkaid offers specialized programs through our School Counselors and Learning Specialists. School Counselors work to support the social and mental health needs of our students, and Learning Specialists work to ensure all students have the tools they need to meet their individual academic goals. Our support staff encourages students to seek aid when necessary and are available to all types of learners in our community.
Kinkaid is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), an organization of secondary school counselors and college admission officers. Kinkaid is also a member of the Texas Association for College Admission Counseling (TACAC) and the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS).