June 17, 2021
Dear KIPP Texas Families,
Welcome to Summer 2021. As promised, we will be sending communications throughout the summer as necessary to keep our Team & Family updated on decisions that are being made or updates to our policies.
Before we get to the updates below, I want to acknowledge how heartbreaking it was to read the news of the mass shooting in Austin earlier this week. Once again, the results of senseless violence are tragic–a person lost their life and another is paralyzed. Please keep the Austin community in your thoughts.
I also want to draw attention to the significance of today. Six years ago today, our country, and especially the Black community, were shocked and devastated to learn that nine Black individuals were killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
As we think about our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism, it is imperative that we educate ourselves and our students not just on our history, but also on the current events that continue to impact the communities we serve and represent. Acts of violence can tear down our sense of security and impact our mental and emotional health in many different ways.
In today’s update, I want to share information regarding the method of learning for next year, our academic calendar, and remind you that KIPP Texas is providing FREE breakfast and lunch Grab n Go meals throughout the summer.
Method of Learning
At KIPP Texas Public Schools, we strongly believe that in-person learning is the best option for our students. Due to the regulatory requirements from the state, and our beliefs that in-person learning is best for KIPPsters, for the 2021-22 school year, 100% of our students will be in-person. This will allow us to fully focus our efforts and energy on providing a safe, equitable, and joyful environment for all students.
We are looking forward to all our KIPPsters benefitting from in-person learning in the following ways:
Supporting stronger connections – studies show that socializing and developing friendships helps children learn more about themselves, helps them build empathy, and form lasting relationships with peers. There is no better way to develop worthwhile connections than doing so in-person.
Create stronger academic experiences – research shows that students learn more when they are in-person at school because they have fewer distractions, experience increased concentration, and can receive more direct, personalized learning experiences.
Helps Improve Mental Health – authentic connections, physical activity, human interaction, a lot of sunlight, and healthy food are all contributors to mental health. While in-person, KIPPsters would benefit from regular and structured exposure to the activities that contribute to mental health.
Suits Different Learning Styles – we know that children learn differently – some are visual, auditory, or kinetic learners, while others learn best by reading or writing. Being together in a classroom allows teachers to guide each student according to their unique abilities and learning preferences.
We acknowledge that for some students and families, the prospect of in-person learning may be daunting given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In response to our continued commitment to the health and safety of our Team and Family, as we get closer to the start of school, we will communicate the detailed and updated health and safety protocols we will practice to help keep Little and Big KIPPsters safe and mitigate the spread of COVID.
SY21-22 Academic Calendar
The KIPP Texas Board of Directors approved the SY21-22 academic calendar changes we proposed. Below, you’ll find links to the final, approved academic calendars that are posted on our website, calendars in Spanish and English, and a summary of what has changed and stayed the same for next year:
Key Calendar dates
First day of school for KIPPsters: August 16
First week of school (Monday – Thursday): full school days
Last day of school for students: June 2 (San Antonio will be June 3)
Early release for students on Fridays: Approximately 2:00 pm
Spring Break (Austin, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and Houston): March 14-18, 2022
Spring Break (San Antonio): March 7-11, 2022
Here are the approved and final academic calendars that are posted on our website:
Here are the approved and final academic calendar one-page PDFs in English and Spanish:
Stay tuned for our Back-to-School website launch on July 12. You will receive additional communication from your school with specific schedule information as we get closer to the start of school in August.
FREE Summer Curbside Meals – Starting June 16 to July 9
KIPP Texas remains committed to supporting the health and well-being of our KIPPsters, even during the summer. We are so excited to be able to preview that KIPP Texas will provide a summer meal program, starting on June 16 until July 9! Our website has been updated with the summer distribution sites, times, and the following information:
When: Daily, from 9 am until 1 pm, starting on June 16 until July 9.
Who: Anyone in the community who is 18 years of age or younger (up to 21 years of age for individuals with disabilities).
Cost: Meals are FREE! Anyone eligible will receive a breakfast and lunch package when they come to a curbside meal distribution site.
Where: Visit our KIPP Texas Grab & Go Meal webpage to see the locations.
*KIPP Texas is an equal opportunity provider.
This is a very special weekend. On Saturday, we pause to recognize and reflect on Juneteenth, a celebration of the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans that took place an entire 2.5 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. On June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, General Granger came to read the General Order 3, which officially gave slaves their freedom. Earlier this week, Juneteenth was made an official federal holiday; and while we celebrate this day, we know that there is still so much work to be done as a nation.
On Sunday, and every day, we will celebrate you, our Big KIPPster fathers and father-figures! We are SO grateful for you, for the support you give to your children and the children around you. As you love, cheer, listen, guide, support, teach, learn, model and so much more, know that we see you, love you, and are grateful for how you show up and the positive impact you have.
I want to also send special hugs, thoughts, and love to fathers who have lost children, those of us who have lost, or who haven’t seen our fathers or father-figures in a long time.
My hope is that our Big KIPPster fathers and father-figures feel loved, thought of, and cared for always and especially this weekend.
We hope you find this information helpful, and you can expect that we will pass along any more updates throughout the summer as needed. Don’t forget to follow @KIPPTexas on Facebook and check the KIPP Texas website for the latest updates.
Happy Freedom Day and happy Father’s and Father-Figure’s Day!