1. This is huge myth that KFI is not-traditional. KFI is not as non-traditional as people think. (There are several schools modeled after KFI which are too non-traditional and follow National Open Univ exams), Please understand that they do follow the ICSE board, ask students to cram and sit for the 10th and 12th exams, and many students do well in terms of scoring marks. Just that if a student who passed out were to go to KFI and say that he or she came first in the country, there wont be any celebrations. They will simply ask him or her what he /she plans to do. The senior teachers are aware of the short term significance as well as the irrelevance (in absolute terms) of marks. Many of my students from non-science stream found their way to some of the well-known institutions such as St. Stephens. Many scored 90 plus. What differentiates KFI is that the school wont put pressure on the child to get that .5 % to get past some arbitrary cut-off mark.
Schools have become pretty much irrelevant to admissions in good institutions such as AIIMS, IIT, NIT, NID, etc. What is required to crack them is to go thro a rigorous pattern-cracking coaching, which many children do. FIIT JEE actually announces that it doesnt matter which school you go to, join them and get into IIT.
2. I heard from my wife's friend that her daughter, who went to Rishi Valley, got admitted to IIT Madras. I have friends who have done extraordinarily well in regular, business-like environment after coming out of KFI. It is simply as good (or as bad!) as any other school in that respect.
3. KFI students typically (are expected to) think out of the box, pursue their passion (energy engineering is what one boy chose recently), argue well, be themselves, etc. If well-embedded, and if not destroyed by parents or colleges, these traits come handy through life - that includes career.
4. I would think KFI has to go a long way to become non-traditional! Hope they keep traveling that path.
5. Many savvy parents supplement the academic rigour in KFI with after school classes, programmes such as mindspark.in, meritnation.com, etc. So the child gets to enjoy the relatively stress-free school ambience, learn to talk & question a lot, while managing to keep some marks-oriented "learning" going on the side. That way, ultimately, the school does leave a lasting impression in the child's development.
So for most students, admission to some decent colllege, good marks, etc are certain possibilities. Some students do drop out after 12th, take a break, work as apprentices somewhere or the other, before figuring out what they should be doing next. Which is not a bad idea either.