KIPP Texas Families,
Last week, Uvalde ISD welcomed their students to a new school year. Our hearts are with the parents, staff, students, and entire community as they start a new school year with 21 angels looking over them.The bravery of the Uvalde community and all those near and far who have been impacted is deeply moving–they are truly Ulvalde Strong! Thank you to our KIPPsters, Big and Little, for the outpouring of support and love for our Texas school community who participated in wearing maroon on Tuesday, September 6, and sending love to our neighbors in Uvalde.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
This week, I am excited to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month celebration which is celebrated nationally from September 15 through October 15.
Hispanic Heritage Month exists to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. We celebrate those who have contributed to our shared history and championed and inspired all to achieve success.
At KIPP Texas, over 22,800 Little KIPPsters and their families identify as Hispanic or Latine. That’s 68% of our student body! Cristina Chio, a KIPP Esperanza parent to three Little KIPPsters who identifies as Mexican, shared how a KIPP teacher changed her perspective and encouraged her to be proud of her voice and where she comes from.
Ms. Chio said, “A few years ago, I apologized to my daughter’s teacher for my thick accent. She looked at me and said, ‘Don’t ever apologize for your voice. Be proud of it.’ That interaction changed me. I am no longer shy about my accent; now, I only feel pride in where I come from. If a brief moment with a KIPP teacher had that kind of impact, you can only imagine the impact she had on my daughter every single day.”
That impact is what makes KIPP special! We celebrate diverse cultures and accept all who enter our doors. It is who we are, champions of equity. This Hispanic Heritage Month, I am proud to celebrate the beautiful culture of our Latine-American families and that of our 1,400+ Latine-American Big KIPPsters.
Attendance Awareness Month
September is Attendance Awareness Month, and our Big KIPPsters would love to see our smiling students every single school day at KIPP Texas! We firmly believe that the most powerful way to prepare our Little KIPPsters for success in college, career, and beyond is through attending school every day. Students feel more connected to their community and develop stronger relationships with their peers and teachers.
We LOVE our Teachers!
Being in hundreds of classrooms in the first four weeks of school brings me back to my time as a middle school English and Social Studies teacher. I absolutely loved being a teacher and seeing my students’ eyes light up when learning clicked for them in the classroom. For nearly 20 school days, our teachers have been working tirelessly to embrace more than 5,000 new Little KIPPsters, re-engage with our 29,000 returning KIPPsters, kick the year off with strong systems, routines, culture, and, most importantly, with academic excellence. I’ve visited approximately half of schools in the first 21 days of school and in every single school, I witnessed our dedicated, passionate, and exceptional teachers delivering on the promise we make to every KIPPster who is on a journey with us.
KIPP Texas has the BEST teachers in the state, and our KIPPsters are so fortunate. Teachers, we know the start of the school year can be exhausting! Thank you for showing up every day and giving every KIPPster the best version of yourself to support their learning. Nowhere else have I seen the hugs, fist bumps, joy, and love our teachers exude daily. It is beyond remarkable. It’s inspirational. You are inspirational! Where else but KIPP Texas does a teacher make a rap video about coming back to school like this one from Mr. Creeks from KIPP CONNECT? Another example of why we love our teachers.
KIPPsters and parents, join me is sending shine and love to our 2,000 teachers by sending a note here.
CEO of KIPP Texas