Kettering Fairmont High School is about to welcome around 80 students from The Dwight L. Barnes building. Barnes is Kettering’s old high school building used for an alternative program or KAP for short. Barnes was built in 1929 before changing it to the Dwight L. Barnes Junior High School.
Barnes, home of the Dragons, was Kettering’s first high school for students in 1954 when their colors were purple and white. As time went on, Dayton became a popular suburban location, which meant more room was needed to hold the incoming students. Fairmont was built in 1983 to bring both Fairmont West and East together as the Kettering Fairmont Firebirds.
KAP students will be transferred from the Barnes building into the the new Career Tech facility being built on the existing field hockey field, at the start of the 2021 school year.
The Kettering Alternative Program (KAP) provides individual guidance to those who need it. It provides students with a different educational environment. The traditional high school setting doesn’t work for some students, socially, physically, emotionally, academically or behaviorally.
Fairmont Principal Tyler Alexander is happy with the alternative program and that Fairmont is able to give multiple pathways to Fairmont students. KAP is just another opportunity for students to take advantage of when needed.
“Having another option for students shows that our district is good with forward-thinking and wants what’s best for our students,” Alexander said.
KAP used to only be offered to upperclassman, but now students in grades nine through 12 can apply for KAP. Kettering students have been given this opportunity the 2011-12 school year. If students are in need of a different setting, then they’re individually evaluated to determine what is needed.
This program offers a combination of community service, outdoor projects, having a job and keeping up with school work. KAP students are expected to meet all requirements and accomplish their workload.
While at Barnes, students usually have a class of around 12-15 students, taught by one teacher. Students involved with KAP may already be taking online classes as well.
“Some students can’t learn in a traditional setting, so KAP gives students the opportunity to feel comfortable physically and emotional,” Alexander said.
There is no set in stone requirements to become a part of KAP, and there is no additional fee after paying your normal enrollment fee. Either a student catches the eye of administration or if a student asks to be apart of the program, then they find the student’s best path to be successful.
Although students in KAP may not go in everyday, they have different individual requirements. Seniors are required to have a job, so they only go in for half days. Each student may have a complete different schedule in KAP but, they complete the same requirements needed to graduate.
Along with the same graduation requirements, they also receive the same diploma as their fellow classmates attending school on Fairmont’s campus.
With KAP soon being on Fairmont’s Campus, more opportunities will be available and new options will open up for the program’s staff and students.
With Barnes not being on Fairmont’s campus, there seems to be a vague description of what the program is. There is often a stigma that ‘Barnes’ is not even a part of Fairmont. Alexander is excited to see how things change when KAP moves onto campus.
“Since Barnes is off-campus, it creates this persona that it is not part of Fairmont High School, being on campus with their fellow students will give KAP students more opportunities to show that they’re part of the same program,” Alexander said.