April 30, 2020

A Day in the Life of a KIPPSter: Snapshot of distance learning at KIPP Texas Public Schools during the COVID-19 outbreak

Adapted from an April 10, 2020 article by Richard Barth, KIPP Foundation CEO

The COVID-19 outbreak has created unprecedented challenges for teachers, parents, and our Little KIPPsters. As we navigate these uncharted waters, our students and their families continue to strive to persist with purpose through remote learning. Here’s a snapshot of a typical day for Maddison Gloria, a fifth-grader from Houston’s KIPP Academy West, a part of KIPP Texas Public Schools.

8 a.m. — Students wake and dress for school

Students are expected to be dressed and sitting down to breakfast by 8 a.m., ready to follow their grade-level distance learning plan. By 8:45, Maddison begins her day with independent reading, in a room where the quiet is welcomed and, at times, too still. She misses seeing her friends and looks forward to being online at 9:30 a.m. with teachers and classmates for English Language Arts (ELA).

9:30 a.m. — Maddison begins her school day – at home

Maddison goes online to meet her teacher and classmates in Google Classroom. Like other students, Maddison says she (formerly) took seeing her classmates and teachers face-to-face for granted. “It’s not the same going online,” Maddison says, “but the upside is fewer distractions.”

Maddison’s ELA assignment is to read two texts: “I am the Library Lady” by poet J. Patrick Lewis and an article about “Making Books in Braille.” To further develop her analytical writing, Maddison will write about the similarities and differences between the two texts.

10 a.m. – A quick break with the family dog, Thor

10:15 a.m. – Back to work: Time for Math!

Shifting to math and this week’s pre-algebra curriculum, Maddison finds the quotient of a whole number, and works with unit fractions.

11 a.m. – Science, Lunch, and Social Studies

In virtual science class, this week’s lesson focuses on sedimentary rocks, fossil formation, and the earth’s rotation. “I like working at my own pace, but I also know I should have appreciated school more than I did,” Maddison remarks.

Noon to 2 p.m. — Lunch and one last push before outdoor time or a one-on-one with a teacher


Maddison gets word that her school will be closed for the remainder of the year. It’s tough news. More weeks of grappling with isolation, competing demands, and the need for new levels of family engagement.

Still, Maddison is grateful to be a KIPPster and “share my learning experience with teachers that care about my future. At KIPP, I can be myself and my teachers encourage me to be the best I can be.”






KIPP Texas Public Schools is a network of 55, pre-K-12 schools in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. Together, with their families, and communities, KIPP Texas creates joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare students with the skills and confidence to pursue the paths they choose – college, career, and beyond. Seats still are available for the 2020-21 school year. Interested in learning more? Click here for details.