This is a guest post from Marcia Aaron, KIPP LA Schools Executive Director.
This week has been an exciting one for KIPP LA Schools. I am immensely proud to share that, through the hard work and dedication of our students and staff, KIPP LA Prep and KIPP Raíces Academy have achieved scores over 900 on the California state Academic Performance Index (API). KIPP LA Prep received a 917 on the API, making it the highest performing middle school in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and KIPP Raíces Academy scored a 963, making it the fourth highest elementary school in the district.
These scores help to prove what is possible in public education. They also prove that the KIPP model – our longer school day and year, partnership with families and teachers that puts learning first, and strong culture of achievement – is working for kids in Los Angeles.
Opened in 2003, KIPP LA Prep is located in Boyle Heights and serves approximately 360 students in grades five through eight. The school was recently named a 2011 California Distinguished School, an award granted to the state’s “most exemplary and inspiring public schools.” During the 2010-2011 academic year, 95 percent of KIPP LA Prep students qualified for the federal free and reduced lunch program.
KIPP Raíces, located in unincorporated East Los Angeles, opened in 2008 and serves students in kindergarten through third grade. During the 2010-2011 academic year, 90 percent of KIPP Raíces students qualified for the federal free and reduced lunch program. Only one of the three schools that scored higher than Raíces had a federal free and reduced lunch program rate of over 18%. This is KIPP Raíces’ first API score.
Since our inception, KIPP LA has been committed to helping our kids climb the mountain to and through college. The API results serve as an important milestone for the KIPP LA Team and Family, especially our young KIPPsters who are just beginning their academic careers. Through the leadership of Angella Martinez, KIPP LA Prep School Leader, and Amber Young Medina, KIPP Raíces School Leader, our KIPPsters are learning that with an excellent education, good choices, and hard work, they can and will achieve their goals.