It didn’t take long for kindergarten teacher Cheryl Jackson to realize KIPP Journey Primary was a special place. “The moment I walked in the door the first time, I could feel the energy of this place. There’s a sense of openness here where every single person feels welcome.” Almost two years later, Jackson still has the same feeling. “We have a beautiful community here, made up of remarkable students and remarkable educators.”
At KIPP Journey Primary, educators are committed to rigorous lessons in core content. “Teachers here want to make sure they’re not just reaching a majority of students, they want to make sure they’re reaching every student. So every day, we’re teaching our lessons three, four, five different ways, because every single student learns differently, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Core content isn’t the sole focus at Journey Primary, however. The arts are also crucial to student development, and Journey is intentional about creating spaces for students to explore their passions and interests. As Caroline Stickell, Assistant School Leader says, “it’s really special to go in, for example, and see a bunch of five year olds in downward-facing dog or using mindfulness to talk about a problem.” Enrichment classes happen every day, whether in music, physical education, yoga, or art.
Students, teachers, and staff are all engaged in building this new institution. Every teacher, parent, and student is encouraged to use their voice to say anything that is on their mind or to propose a new idea. “We’re all building this foundation together,” observes Ms. Jackson.
Ms. Jackson is so impressed with Journey that her niece now attends school there, “At this school, every student is seen, heard, and gets to shine. KIPP is really intentional about helping students succeed. Students get the academic rigor, they learn the skills they need to be good people, and they learn about college from the very first day of kindergarten. Kids just don’t get left behind here.”
“The students, the teachers, it all feels like family here,” Jackson says. “When I leave work, I leave my family, and when I get home, I see my other family. What more could you ask for?”
KIPP Journey Primary, located in Sugarland, Texas (just outside of Houston) opened in 2019 and currently hosts kindergarten and first grade. It shares its campus with Journey Collegiate, and, like the KIPP schools before it, they grow by adding new grade levels every year. When KIPP Journey is fully grown, KIPPsters will be able to start their journey as a pre-K student and stay on the same campus all the way through high school graduation.
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