Dear Team & Family,
For more than 25 years, our KIPP community has been on a continuous journey of growth and evolution. In fact, in 2019, when we marked our 25th year, we recognized the need to evolve our mission and vision to better reflect the world we hope to see and the actions we’ll continue to take to get there.
Informed by the voices of nearly 6,000 students, alumni, families, teachers, school leaders, and board members, KIPP’s new mission and vision represent a deeper partnership with families and communities, an expanded definition of student and alumni success, and a joint commitment to a more just world.
Today, we’re writing to you to celebrate shifts in our language that build on this new shared mission and vision: our story, our slogan, and KIPP Through College name. Words matter, and it’s crucial that our language honors who we are today, what we aspire to be and what we stand for.
To start, we encourage you to take two minutes to watch this video:
KIPP Through College Renamed
As we live the values embodied in our mission, we are embracing the challenge of ensuring our students leave us “ready for fulfilling lives” — a step beyond “ready for college.” We aspire to lead the education sector in championing a broader view of success, that is defined by students and alumni, inclusive of college, but not limited to it. To that end, the KIPP Through College (KTC) program will now be known as:
“Hearing this expanded definition of success, that KIPP has moved from only supporting a path to college, it makes me feel hopeful.”
– Dafne Lucio-Sanchez, KIPP Alum from Denver, Colorado, Class of 19’
Our New Story
Our new mission and vision established a clear, shared North Star for KIPP. Building on this work, we sought to develop an external narrative that tells the story of KIPP today.
Again, we turned to our KIPP team and family, engaging hundreds of students, alumni, families, and educators — coast to coast — to better understand what KIPP’s new direction means in their words. Reflecting these voices, our new narrative serves as a powerful depiction of the KIPP — and the world — we aspire to create together: identity affirming, joyfully challenging, and united in opportunity and purpose.
Every student walks through the doors of school bearing gifts. Talent. Perspective. Drive. Inspiration. So at KIPP Public Schools, we support every student to see those gifts, then build the skills and confidence they need to thrive.
We see each student as an individual, matching what sparks their curiosity with what and how we teach. We challenge their minds while nurturing their joy of learning — whether they are working to read their first word or solve their first calculus problem. We prepare every student for college and celebrate all paths to a fulfilling life. And we join together with families and communities, partnering to pursue the more just world we all want to see.
We are a network of 270 schools with nearly 10,000 educators and more than 160,000 students and alumni. Together, we continually raise the bar for teaching and learning, then ensure success in one classroom travels across our network to hundreds more. And while each of our schools reflects the community to which it belongs, we are united around a shared commitment: a future without limits.
Every day, KIPP students and alumni across the country deploy their smarts and heart to break through any barrier that dares stand between them and the future they want. Because KIPP students know they have everything they need inside, and a KIPP family at their backs. Together, they are lighting ever-wider paths to opportunity and change. For themselves. For all those who will follow them. And for us all.
Communicating our commitment to a world that is more just, inclusive and equitable, our new slogan distills our narrative into a single phrase:
“A future without limits to me means that anytime we encounter a glass ceiling, we are empowered and can choose to break through it. Even if I’m feeling limited today, at this moment, I know that with grit and ‘KIPP at my back,’ I can push through it.”
– Jamelfrey Pacheco, KIPP Alum from New York, NY, Class of 2007
Naming our Commitment to Public Schools
KIPP is deeply embedded within, and works collaboratively with, communities across the country. We proudly contribute to the public education solution within each of these communities. To reflect this commitment, we have adopted “Public Schools” as part of our formal name and logo mark. KIPP will now be known as:
This shift is also responsive to feedback from families and partners who combat an all-too-frequent misconception that charter schools are private. All charter schools are tuition-free public schools.
“We’ve always been proud to be part of the public solution. Now we’re leading with ‘public’ in our name to honor and celebrate that charter schools are public schools.
– Fabeah Newton, KIPP Voyage Academy for Girls School Leader and KIPP Alum from Houston, TX, Class of 2007
It is with tremendous gratitude and pride that we share these aspirations and intentions our community created together. When we read them, we hear the voices — and see the faces — of thousands of KIPP students past, present and future. And we are reminded that, while we continue to confront the harsh realities of entrenched systemic racism, we cannot stop working toward the more just world we all want to see. And it starts in our schools. At KIPP, we are proud of the progress we have made thus far, and we have much more work to do.
Together, we can build a future without limits. We invite you to reach out, learn more, and join us.
Kinnari Patel-Smyth, President, KIPP Foundation
Richard Barth, CEO, KIPP Foundation