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Kent Lake Elementary

30181 Kent Lake Road
South Lyon, MI 48178
Principal: Kim Dancer
Phone: 248-573-8350
Fax: 248-486-0412


Full days-8:15 to 3:18
Half days-8:15 to 11:09

Lunch Times
1st Grade: 11:00-11:45
3rd Grade: 11:10-11:55
2nd Grade: 11:30-12:15
4th Grade: 11:50-12:35
Kindergarten: 12:15-1:00
5th Grade: 12:30-1:15

Kent Lake Elementary is the setting where all members of the learning community are dedicated to ensuring that students experience high achievement and opportunities for social, emotional and academic growth. Students attending Kent Lake are assigned to the building based on residence within the geographic attendance boundaries of the school, as well as the district’s School of Choice Program.

Kent Lake Elementary is a K-5 building located two miles north of the City of South Lyon in the southwest corner of Oakland County. Oakland County is located north of Detroit, Michigan. This growing county is rich in culture, resources, quality living opportunities and the home of many major industries. Kent Lake is in close proximity to highly respected colleges and universities. The building is a short drive from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti and Washtenaw Community College, also located in Ypsilanti

Welcome from the Principal - Kim Dancer

Dear Kent Lake School Community Member,

Greetings! Welcome to a new school year. What an exciting year we have ahead of us at Kent Lake Elementary, filled with outstanding educational experiences for our students. First, allow me to welcome to our community the many new families who will be joining us this school year. Our student population now totals 580 children, Kindergarten through Fifth grade. We invite all of you into the building and hope you will involve yourself in many ways.

Again this school year our focus will be on forming a strong learning community. A learning community has student achievement as its focus. The strong partnership comprised of staff, parents, students, and community members helps to achieve the goal of minimizing classroom interruptions to maximize instructional time.

Kent Lake has an established curriculum in all subject areas. Our curriculum is based on state and national standards and "Best Practices" of teachers. Parents and guardians do not need to wonder about the contents of the curriculum. It is on the Michigan State Department of Education web site and the

South Lyon Community Schools’ web site. Each teacher has curriculum guides and can answer questions about the curriculum. On the evening of the Kent Lake Curriculum Night, teachers have an opportunity to share the curriculum for their grade levels. 

Achievement is learning that is measured. Teachers teach materials identified in learning benchmarks, and district and state assessments tell us what we need to do to help our students achieve even more. Parents and guardians can help their students by paying close attention to the curriculum and by getting involved to find out what assessments say about their school’s achievements. Fortunately, the teachers at Kent Lake are benchmark oriented and have superior instructional skills.

Our PTO and CHEERS volunteer program, under the able leadership of the executive board and the president, Kim Robbins, have a full slate of committees. Each committee has activities in which they are responsible. I ask that all parents and guardians spend time at Kent Lake or “behind the scenes” on one of the many activities that support our learning community. Your children will know that school is important to you if you help out at Kent Lake Elementary, and they will realize we truly are a LEARNING COMMUNITY! We will reach a greater level of student success through your hours of volunteering at home, at school, or at one of our community events!

Kent Lake Elementary is an NCA accredited school. The AdvancEd/NCA accreditation process is firmly embedded in the Kent Lake Elementary School continuous School Improvement Process. This process provides a solid framework for increasing student achievement at Kent Lake Elementary School. In March 2011, Kent Lake Elementary School participated in a Quality Assurance Review (QAR) and was fully accredited. The QAR team commended the Kent Lake staff for functioning as a true professional learning community in which all members collaborate to share and learn with one another, committing to the academic, social, and emotional success of the students, and providing multiple ways to volunteer and contribute to the learning process and school mission.

Our Goal is to make this year a success for all students. I look forward to seeing you all participate in our learning community throughout the school year.

Biographical Information

I grew up in Swartz Creek, Michigan, a small town west of Flint. My entire K-12 educational experience was spent in the Swartz Creek Community Schools. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Central Michigan University. Immediately following graduation from CMU, I furthered my education by attending Oakland University. I completed a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership from Oakland University.

This is my eleventh year as the principal of Kent Lake Elementary. Before coming to Kent Lake, I served as the assistant principal of Centennial Middle School, also part of South Lyon Community Schools. Prior to that time, I taught Spanish at South Lyon High School, Rochester High School, and VanHoosen Middle School. My educational experiences are varied, but my focus has always been on providing an excellent learning environment, which focuses on increased academic achievement and developing responsible citizens.

I am married with four children. My interests include spending time with my family and friends, reading and staying current on educational issues, scrapbooking, gardening, and cheering on the Detroit Red Wings!

What I believe…

During my seventeen years in education I have developed educational values and beliefs that I feel are important to share with you. As the principal of Kent Lake Elementary I believe:

  • Do first what is best for children!
  • Learning is highly influenced by emotion. Therefore, we need to provide highly engaging and meaningful learning experiences where individuals are encouraged and supported to construct their own knowledge.
  • Students need enriched learning environments where they feel safe and empowered, and environments which have high expectations for academic achievement and Habits of Mind.
  • Assessment, instruction, and curriculum need to be aligned, authentic and engaging to increase student achievement.
  • All members of the learning community need to feel ownership in the shared mission and vision of our school community.
  • Decision making is a shared responsibility of all stakeholders in the educational program.
  • Lifelong learning, high expectations, and personal reflections set the tone for all members’ personal and professional growth in our learning community.

 What I am Proud of at Kent Lake:

  • We are an NCA Accredited School.
  • Kent Lake is a beautiful facility, which fosters an inviting, collaborative, and engaging learning environment.
  • Our staff is committed to student achievement. Our staff is constantly participating in professional development workshops to learn about curriculum, assessment, and "Best Practices" instruction.
  • Our PTO and CHEERS volunteer partner with our school to support student learning.
  • Students practice respect and responsibility daily. Our students are cooperative and bus and playground conflicts are minimal.
  • Our students use technology daily in their classrooms. We have Promethean Boards (interactive white boards) and Elmo document cameras in every classroom which are regularly incorporated into instruction to maximize student achievement. Four state of the art computers are also available in each classroom as well as a mini-lab in the library.
  • We have a solid curriculum based on National and State of Michigan Benchmarks, which are based on research about what children should learn and at what age they should learn subject matter.

Cultures of Thinking

What is Cultures of Thinking?
Kent Lake is a community where thinking is valued, which opens the door to powerful learning experiences and greater student engagement.  Our students are encouraged daily to develop deeper levels of understanding within this thinking culture.

The goal of Cultures of Thinking is to create a new learning community in which students utilize key thinking strategies such as:

Personal Reflection



Using Prior Knowledge



Building Explanations

Organizing Knowledge



Reasoning with Evidence


This learning is based on the research from the text, Making Thinking Visible, written by Ron Ritchhart.

What is Growth Mindset?
At Kent Lake we encourage our students to develop a Growth Mindset.  We can either have a Fixed Mindset where we let failure (or even success) define who we are, or a Growth Mindset where we see setbacks as opportunities to grow and improve. (Dweck, 2007)

The suggestions below provide a way for you to encourage your child to develop a Growth Mindset.

Encourage your child to make the switch…
Now, consider making the switch yourself…



Great job!

  • You did it on your own!
  • That took you a long time and you did it!

Nice work!

  • Tell me more about _____.
  • How did you do that?
  • You must be so proud of yourself!

How was your day?

  • What did you learn that was hard today?
  • What mistake did you make that you learned from?

When your child says…

Say this…

This is too hard for me.

  • You kept going even though it was hard!
  • You did _____ and then ____ and worked it out!
  • You did ___, what will you do now?

I just can’t do this.

  • Pretend you can.  We can always train our brains.

I’m never going to be smart in _____.

  • We can always improve our (math) brain with practice.
  • Give yourself time to learn this.


Get Involved


The PTO has many exciting events scheduled and more ideas that need developing! You can help us develop our ideas, share your own ideas, and assist in the planning of events by coming to PTO meetings. The meeting dates for the 16-17 school year are:

September 26th
October 10th
November 10th
January 23rd
February 13th
March 13th
April 24th
May 22nd

All meetings start at 7:00 pm and are held in the cafeteria.


Kent Lake Elementary participated in Stand4Change Day on May 1, 2015, and took the anti-bully pledge, along with over 2 million students from across the country. Stand4Change Day is provided by Defeat the Label!  Defeat the Label promotes a bully free society without social labels and stereotypes.  In support of the slogan, "Don't stand by!  Stand up, stand strong, stand together!" students and staff traced their foot onto construction paper and on it, they wrote what they can do to STAND UP!  The "feet" were hung on the lockers and in the main hallway. 

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