Alief Kerr High School

Alief Kerr High School

Infobox School
name = Alief Kerr High School

| caption = Front View
motto = Be the difference that makes the difference!| established = 1994
type = Free public
district = Alief Independent School District
grades = 9-12
principal = Raymond Lowery
location = Harris County, Texas United States
enrollment = 768 [cite web|url=|title=Kerr High School Overview|publisher=Great Schools|accessdate=2007-03-13]
colors = Purple and white
mascot = Tiger
website = []

Alief Kerr High School is a top-ranked, college-prep secondary school located in the unincorporated area of Harris County, Texas, near the city of Houston.

Kerr is a part of the Alief Independent School District and it serves grades 9 through 12. Kerr first opened in the fall of 1994, and did not accept any incoming seniors for its first year. In May 1996, its senior class of approximately 55 students were the first to graduate from Kerr. Kerr had approximately 768 students [cite web|url=|title=Kerr High School Overview|publisher=Great Schools|date=2005-09-15|accessdate=2007-03-13] for the 2005-2006 school year.

Students must apply in their 8th grade year in order to attend Alief Kerr High School. The student attends an orientation and then proceeds into an interview. The entire process takes about a month. Traditional high schools in Alief ISD are assigned by a lottery, which can result in the student going to either Alief Elsik High School, Alief Hastings High School, or Alief Taylor High School. Alief Kerr and Alief Taylor are across the street from each other, and the smaller Kerr shares transportation vehicles with Alief Taylor. The school's mascot is the tiger and the school's colors are purple and white.


Instead of small traditional classrooms, Alief Kerr has large "centers" for each core subject. Every class in that specific subject is held in the subject's center. For example, ALL the classes for science are held in the Science Center. This includes Anatomy, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, GMO, and Physics. Depending on the class, each of these centers can hold 25-150 students. Teachers usually teach more than one specific branch of the core subject. A science teacher can be teaching Chemistry I, Physics I, and AP Physics during the same period. The centers at Alief Kerr include Art, Business, Computer Science, English, Foreign Language, Journalism, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Speech.

Each of the centers at Alief Kerr have an area of the room designated as a "quiet zone" which is usually separated by a glass wall. Teachers can separate each class for instruction or students can work in quiet in the quiet centers. Separate seminar rooms, about the size of a traditional class room, are also available for teachers to instruct seminars.

Independent Learning

Kerr is based on independent learning, with little input from the teachers. With the direction of the teachers, the students proceed through the courses, consulting with teachers when required or when needed by the student. Students can take advantage of this non-traditional system. They are given a very short deadline for completion of assignments, projects, and tests. Students who understand the material well and are focused on class work can proceed faster. Students have even been known to finish a course in half the time than usual. Students that need more time may move at a slower pace, but must complete the course within the term (9 weeks for a half credit course) or semester (18 weeks for a full credit course). [ history ] ]

PAK (Personal Activity Kit)

Instead of traditional work, students at Alief Kerr have PAKs (Personal Activity Kit) for each class. The PAKs include all the work for the section of learning. They also inform students of the objectives, direct them to learning materials, and prepare them for tests/quizzes. PAKs include work activities for that section of the course, such as a chapter. The PAK system directs students to participate in team work, seminars, and large groups to provide opportunities for teacher-directed and group learning. The students can choose to work in class or do their PAKs at home, the teachers encourage work in both environments. For most classes, a PAK is due in about one week, [ [ Chemistry Calendar ] ] with a test over the material after the PAK is due.


After the completion of each PAK, there is usually a test. This test usually covers the material, objectives, and concepts that was included in the corresponding PAK. Because of the unusual environment of Alief Kerr, traditional testing is difficult; especially when other classes are in the center. So, teachers either pull their students away from the center and administer the test themselves, or the student reports to the testing center. The testing center is a fairly large room where tests are administered for all the classes. The testing center houses the tests. One of the two testing center clerks gives the correct test to the student when the student presents a testing pass. Then the student chooses a seat, completes the test, and turns it in when completed.

A student first receives a testing pass when he/she turns in their PAK. On the testing pass there is information such as the student's name, advisory, class, class period, test name, and date that needs to be filled out. When a student finishes a test and turns it in, the testing center counter lady stamps the last sheet of the testing pass with a tiger stamp and gives that sheet to the student. This is proof that the student took that particular test. When the test grades are to be reported, a copy of the testing pass is given in the student's advisory with the student's grade.

TEA Acknowledgements

Alief Kerr High School is one of the only high schools in the Houston area to meet the Recognized status from the Texas Education Agency accountability ratings system. [] . Even more prestigious, Alief Kerr is one of seven schools to keep a high rating in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 school years.

2006 Texas Education Agency Gold Performance Acknowledgements Program

* Advanced Placement/International Baccalaurate Results
* Attendance Rate
* Commended Performance: Reading/English Language Arts (ELA)
* Commended Performance: Social Studies
* Comparable Improvement: Reading/ELA
* Recommended High School Program/Distinguished Achievement Program
* Texas Success Initiative-Higher Education Readiness Component:Mathematics

AP Classes

The following Advanced Placement classes are offered at Alief Kerr High School:

*AP Art 2D - Portfolio
*AP Art 3D - Portfolio
*AP Art Studio Drawing
*AP Biology
*AP Calculus AB
*AP Calculus BC
*AP Chemistry
*AP Computer Science I
*AP Computer Science II
*AP English III
*AP English IV
*AP Environmental Science
*AP French IV
*AP Macro Economics
*AP Music Theory
*AP Physics B
*AP Physics C
*AP Psychology
*AP Spanish IV
*AP Spanish VI
*AP Statistics
*AP US History
*AP US Government

In 2005-2006 students at Alief Kerr High School took Advanced Placement (AP) exams in the following areas: [ [ Student Teacher Ratio Kerr High School - Houston, Texas - TX ] ]

* Art: Studio 2-D Design
* Art: Studio Drawing
* Biology
* Calculus AB
* Calculus BC
* Chemistry
* Computer Science A
* Economics: Micro
* English Language & Composition
* English Literature & Composition
* Environmental Science
* European History
* French Language
* Geography: Human
* Government & Politics: U.S.
* Music Theory
* Physics B
* Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism
* Physics C: Mechanics
* Psychology
* Spanish Language
* Spanish Literature
* Statistics
* U.S. History


With the majority of the population competitively involved in speech & debate, orchestra, choir, theatre, dance, or art, Kerr may be best explained as part Montessori, part performing arts high school, and part little red school house full of competitive, college-bound kids. Unlike a true magnet school, such as Houston ISD's DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Kerr lacks an official area of concentration. Unlike traditional campuses, students are not separated by grade or course with one assigned teacher. Everyone learns together and students can seek out a variety of peer and teacher input. The results speak for themselves as Kerr has the most successful teams in the area. Unlike a one-size-fits-all pacing, students can work ahead and succeed in all classes.

Another unique aspect of Alief Kerr's educational system is replacing competitive sports UIL with other UIL curricular activities, such as speech & debate, choir, and band. The school does have intramural programs throughout the year that allow students to form teams and compete against one another in different activities including basketball, tennis, hockey and volleyball. Most Students also compete in Speech and Debate tournaments, theatre arts, art, band, choir, and orchestra. Over 80% of Kerr's student's actively compete in these areas. Many students also compete in Kerr's successful UIL academics teams. Alief Kerr competes in the 24-4A UIL district and has competed at the State level for the last four years straight, including the successful Current Events team which has taken a top three or four team ranking three times. Kerr's speech team has also had 3 UIL state competitors in two years, including the bronze medal winner in 2007.

Speech and Debate

One of Kerr's most competitive activities is speech and debate. In the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years, Kerr qualified many students to the Texas Forensic Association Competition, National Forensic League Competition, and University Interscholastic League Competition. Kerr students have reached the late elimination rounds at the Texas Forensic Association Tournament in extemp and impromptu speaking and has had a student place in the top eleven nationally at the National Forensic League Tournament in Student Congress.

In 2007, Kerr qualified its first student to the Extemp Tournament of Champions, its first National Forensic League Tournament Lincoln-Douglas Debate competitor, its second National Student Congress competitor, and the 2007 season's peak with a student placing third at the UIL State Competition in extemp. Increasingly, Kerr is becoming more recognized in the Houston area for its Lincoln Douglas Debate, and Extemp performances.

Clubs and Organizations

*Anime Club
*Art Club
* [ Band & Orchestra]
*Book Club
* [ Cadre Kerr (Theatre Club, Thespian Troupe #6198)]
*Chess Club
*Christian Fellowship
*Culture Club
*Engineering Club
*FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America)
* [ Kerr FBLA Chapter]
*Film Society
*Future Writers of America
*French Club
*Gamer's Club
*Interact Club
*Key Club
*Kerr Dance Society
*Knitting Club
*Muslim Student Association
*National Art Honor Society
*National Forensic League
*National Honor Society
* [ Newspaper] and Yearbook
*Principal's Lunch
*Science Club
* [ Speech & Debate]
*Student Council
*Students for Humanity
*Table Tennis Club (Also known as Ping Pong)

ee also


External links

* [ Alief Kerr Official Website]
* [ Alief Kerr Science Department]
* [ Alief Kerr Social Studies Department]
* [ Kerronicle Online]
* [ Kerr FBLA Chapter]
* [ Kerr Band and Orchestra Homepage]
* []
* [ Kerr Super Show w/ N'Sync]
* []
* [ Alief Kerr High School Cambiata Orchestra]

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