Admissions Open House welcomes prospective families to campus


On Sunday, Oct. 17, the annual Admissions Open House was held, welcoming prospective students and families to campus to learn all about KO. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and in order to keep everyone safe, healthy, and distanced, the Middle School event took place in the morning, and the Upper School event occurred in the afternoon. 

Although there were not as many guests in attendance this year as a result of health and safety guidelines, there were 34 students present for the Middle School Open House and 60 students for the Upper School Open House, each of whom were allowed to bring one or two parents with them, making for a great turnout given the circumstances. Current Form 2 students were also invited to the Upper School Open House to get a better understanding of what life at the Upper School is like at KO.

Thirty-five student members of Shield & Dragon helped out with this event. Those students assisted teachers, gave tours, and greeted families. They were a huge help, and this event would not have been possible without them. 

Given that the number of people that could come to campus for Open House was limited, Admissions plans to hold several other events during the fall and early winter, some in-person and some online, as a way for more students and their families to become more familiar with KO.

Most of the Open House program was held outside, and there were many different mini-programs that were happening on campus for the students and families to explore. These various programs concerned everything from college counseling to athletics to the arts. A student panel occurred in Roberts Theater, and there were also several students who gave tours to families every 15 minutes. 

For the Middle School program, Head of the Middle School Ann Sciglimpalia held a talk on the importance of Middle School and explained what makes the KO Middle School so special. Students participated in an academic activity with several faculty members, and campus tours were offered with an informal Q&A with current students and faculty members. 

For the Upper School program, according to Senior Director of Admissions Rebecca Benavides, it was more of a “choose your own adventure” experience. Students could sit in on a student panel, go on tours, and have the opportunity to go to the curriculum fair where prospective students could learn more about the courses as well as the extracurricular activities offered at KO. Most of the event took place outside, although some portions, like the robotics, E-sports, and college counseling sessions, took place in their usual spaces on campus. 

Sophomore Ashely Buckingham said she loved helping out at the Open House this year. “The Open House was a great chance to interact with and welcome prospective families,” Ashley said. “I enjoyed giving a tour and sharing my knowledge and excitement about KO with a family.”

Junior Stella Dodd agreed, noting that the Open House went very well and that she enjoyed helping out. “My job was greeting people, opening doors, and letting people know where they needed to go,” Stella said. “I think it was very nice to have all the tables out so that the families who were visiting were able to connect with the teachers and know what happens in the curriculum, not only like math and science, but they also got to see more of the athletics department and even esports and college counseling,” Stella said she thought that it was really nice that prospective students were able to take tours and thought that overall, it was a great turnout. 

Additionally, sophomore Ava Cashman said she greatly enjoyed helping to run the Open House this year. “It was great getting to meet all of the prospective students and work together with everyone in Shield & Dragon to make the event run smoothly and successfully,” Ava said.

The goal of this program – for families to learn about what makes KO so special and to meet faculty members and current students – was certainly fulfilled and allowed for those outside of the KO community to become more familiar and connected to the happenings on campus. This event was very successful and had a great turnout for the first in-person, on-campus admissions event since 2019.