By Richard Barth, KIPP Foundation CEO
Happy new year! Keeping up with our annual tradition, I want to share some highlights from the past 12 months and some thoughts on where we are as a Team and Family.
1. There are now 10,000 KIPPsters in college.
We have 10 times more alumni in college than in 2010! And there are now nearly 90 colleges that have 25 or more KIPPsters enrolled. Check out where our alumni are attending college.
2. We opened our 200th school.
Our schools now enroll nearly 80,000 students in grades PreK-12, up from 28,000 in 2010. If KIPP were a district, we’d be larger than the Boston or Atlanta public school systems. Meet a few of our 80,000 KIPP students.
3. KIPP stood strong for racial and social justice.
In the past year, KIPP’s Team and Family has been tested on so many fronts. We lost KIPPsters to violence—including, notably, KIPP Tulsa parent Terence Crutcher—and saw a rise in hostility around the country. As an organization, we took a stand with #BlackLivesMatter and others who are supporting our students. Our students and alumni raised their voices across the country, sharing insightful perspectives and reminding us of the power of a great education to prepare the leaders of tomorrow.
4. KIPP schools were recognized for academic excellence.
A few examples:
- In Los Angeles, KIPP LA Prep was named a National Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the federal government can bestow on a public school.
- In New Orleans, KIPP Renaissance High School received the first “A” state grade ever awarded to a school in the Recovery School District.
- Three KIPP high schools—KIPP NYC College Prep, KIPP Austin Collegiate, and KIPP San Jose Collegiate—were named to US News and World Report’s list of the top 100 high schools in the country.
- KIPP Generations Collegiate High School in Houston was listed in the top 100 on the Washington Post’s list of America’s most challenging high schools.
- KIPP DC Connect and KIPP DC Promise were ranked two of the District of Columbia’s top three charter schools by the DC Public Charter School Board.
- In the Arkansas Delta, KIPP Blytheville Collegiate and KIPP Blytheville College Prep were recognized by the University of Arkansas as two of the top-performing schools in the state.
5. Our students won recognition in extracurricular activities.
Here’s just a sampling:
- The KIPP McDonogh 15 and KIPP Central City bands placed second and third in the annual Class Got Brass competition in New Orleans.
- The KIPP Sunnyside High School InvenTeam won an MIT grant for creating a robot and an innovative asphalt patch to fix potholes in their Houston community.
- The KIPP Atlanta Collegiate High School Sounds of Royalty marching band was invited to the UN headquarters in New York City and performed at the 2016 International Human Rights Summit.
- The KIPP Impact Middle School step team won the North Florida regional competition for the second year in a row, and competed in the national Break the Stage Step Invitational in Atlanta.
- KIPP NYC College Prep High School students took home three Public Schools Athletic League NYC championship titles, in girls’ rugby, boys’ varsity baseball, and boys’ basketball.
- The KIPP Denver Collegiate Academy boys’ soccer team had an undefeated season, won the championship for the second year in a row, and made it to the state semifinals.
- KIPP Blytheville College Prep students Aaliyah Davis and Tai’Mhariya Allen took home photojournalism awards from the JEA National Student Write-Off.
- The KIPP DC Northeast Academy boys’ basketball team won the 2016 KIPP Cup competition among KIPP schools from all over the northeast US.
- In their very first season, KIPP Lanning Square Middle School’s boys’ basketball team went undefeated and won the Camden City Middle School league championship.
- KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy’s third grade music students participated in the Link Up program at Carnegie Hall, where they were selected to perform on stage with the orchestra.
- KIPP Vision Academy’s football team had an undefeated season, won the Atlanta Public Schools championship—a first for the school—and took second place in the state championship.
- KIPP Houston High School’s KIPP Krew are the reigning National Coed Dance Champions for the second year in a row. (You might have seen them on stage at KIPP School Summit 2016!)
6. Our teachers and leaders were recognized for excellence.
To name just a few:
- Joey LaRoche, school leader of KIPP Renaissance High School in New Orleans, was named Louisiana’s High School Principal of the Year.
- Laura Miguez Howarth, school leader of KIPP Academy Nashville, won the Ryan Award for exceptional leadership, including a chance to teach her best practices at Northwestern University.
- Erica Stewart, fourth grade math teacher at KIPP Excelencia Community Prep in Redwood City, CA, received The New Teacher Project’s Fishman Prize for classroom excellence.
- Gerald Kosoff, algebra teacher and math department chair at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate, was named Atlanta’s Teacher of the Year.
- Keith Hart Sr., music teacher at KIPP Believe Academy in New Orleans, is one of only 25 teachers nationwide to be nominated for the 2017 Grammy Music Educator Award.
- Cori Cloyd, dean of students at KIPP Triumph Academy in St. Louis, was recognized by the St. Louis American at their 2016 Salute to Excellence Education Gala.
7. We have 80-plus college partners and counting.
As an organization, we’re committed to breaking down the barriers between K-12 and higher education. We are working alongside our partners—from large public research universities to small private liberal arts colleges to community colleges—to share best practices that contribute to ever-higher graduation rates, and to learn from each other in a continued quest to improve. Here’s our full list of college partners.
8. We held our first College Presidents Convening this summer.
At our 2016 KIPP School Summit (KSS) in Atlanta, we invited leaders in higher education to meet and discuss the challenges that face first-generation college students. Senior administrators from over 50 institutions—including more than 20 college presidents—came together to plan, learn, and share ideas. Check out the highlights and lessons learned.
9. We recognized leaders in college counseling with our first-ever KIPP Through College Excellence Awards.
At KSS, we celebrated two longtime leaders in the KIPP Through College community: Jane Martinez Dowling and Bryan Contreras. Jane has led KIPP’s college counseling efforts at KIPP NYC for nearly a decade, and Bryan founded KIPP Houston High School’s KTC program and now leads college counseling for all of KIPP Houston. Read more about Bryan and why he became a college counselor.
10. We invested in career readiness for our students.
College is only one part of our students’ journey—they also need to be prepared for career success. In 2016, we launched our Alumni Leadership Accelerator for early- and mid-career KIPP alumni. Our KIPP Capitol Hill Internship Program continued into its second year, with a cohort of nine KIPP alumni who spent the summer gaining work experience in our nation’s halls of power. We continued our annual partnership with Accenture to secure paid internships for our alumni in a variety of fields. And we are collaborating with Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Dimon Foundation and Accenture to pilot new approaches in select regions, learning together about effective practices for career readiness.
As we look to 2017, I truly believe that we are at a critical juncture. More than ever, we’re called to reflect, renew, and recommit to building a better tomorrow. As always at KIPP, we will either find a way or make one.
I want to share my gratitude to everyone who has made our work possible this year. Thank you to our incredible KIPP students and alumni, our families, our teachers and staff, our national and regional boards of directors, and our partners of all kinds. Thank you for all that you do every day to help us build a better tomorrow, in 2017 and beyond.