By Richard Barth, KIPP Foundation CEO
What a year it has been! If you haven’t yet, check out this fun video celebrating our 2016 high school and college graduates.
We’ve never been more excited about the year to come, which includes many ‘firsts’ for KIPP. New initiatives to learn more from our peers, to share more of what we know, and to adapt in order to better confront the challenges our students face.
Here are three efforts that I thought I should highlight for you:
We’re hosting 25 college presidents at KIPP School Summit to tackle the challenge of college persistence for first-generation college goers.
For the first time in our history, we will be hosting a convening of college presidents from across the United States. Twenty five college presidents and 65+ senior administrators from a wide range of schools, such as the City College of New York, Duke University, Guttman Community College, Spelman College, Rice University and Franklin and Marshall, will be in the same room tackling challenges facing first-generation college goers. The group will identify practices and policies we all can embrace to address these challenges and spur change.
We’re sharing and building on KIPP’s literacy curriculum with 19 other schools.
In partnership with the Charter School Growth Fund, we are sharing our college-prep literacy curriculum, KIPP Wheatley, as it is implemented across 19 schools within 6 charter management organizations. Achievement Prep (DC), Aspire Public Schools (Memphis), Freedom Preparatory Academy (Memphis), LEARN Charter Schools (Chicago), The Preparatory Schools (Cleveland), University Preparatory Academies (Palm Beach), and KIPP will collaborate over the next year, sharing insights and lessons learned. We’re excited to work alongside these amazing educators to accelerate learning for both students and teachers.
We’re piloting programs in 5 regions to better support students who don’t go to college.
KIPP’s mission has always been focused on preparing students to lead choice-filled lives. While we know that a college degree is the clearest path to a life of opportunity and choice, we also know many students pursue different paths and we want to help support them. Throughout the year, at least 5 KIPP regions will launch Middle Skills Careers Pathways pilot programs. “Middle Skills Careers” are those that require more than a high school diploma but less than a college degree and provide benefits and opportunities for upward mobility. This is a new step for us and we have a lot to learn. We’re humbled to do this work alongside giants in the field: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Accenture, and the James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation are sponsoring the pilot programs and Accenture is also informing our approach with career-readiness support and market research.
Much more to come on all fronts and don’t hesitate to send any questions you may have! In the meantime, check out our Beyond KIPP Resource Library to find hundreds of tools and resources used in our schools and classrooms year round.