Students who are able to write well have mastered one of life's most essential skills. To do so, they must assimilate the complex acts of analysis, synthesis and the clear and convincing expression of ideas. In 1993, MKA faculty instituted the Writing Challenge to help students become better writers. This unique program has achieved measurable success, most notable through the reports of MKA graduates who consistently remark on their success with writing at college.
The Writing Challenge clarifies expectations for students in grades Pre-K - 12 and helps students to better understand the strengths and weaknesses in their writing. It places a consistent emphasis on writing as a cumulative, continuous process that includes pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and sharing, and encourages students to strive for excellence as they hone both the technical and stylistic aspects of their writing. Using specifically defined criteria, groups of teachers formally assess students' writing at four benchmark grades: 3, 5, 7 and 11. Students take time to reflect on their writing products and their progress and, as a result, are able to set pragmatic, effective goals for improving their writing.