KIPP Texas Families,
While I hoped to start this note with joy, the past weekend proved otherwise for our nation in the wake of several violent mass shootings, specifically in Buffalo, NY; Laguna Woods, CA; and in our backyard in Houston, Texas.
While I am grateful that there are no reports of harm toward members of the KIPP community, it does not take away the pain and sorrow of those impacted by this weekend’s tragic events. And while I hoped it was not the case, reports came back that the Buffalo supermarket shooting was a racially targeted hate crime against a Black community. That particular attack was the deadliest US mass shooting of the year.
Our hearts are with those impacted by these egregious acts of violence. There is no room for hate in our communities, and silence in the face of hate is costly. We must continue to Champion Equity as an organization, take a stand against racism, and proactively create a nation of peace, justice, compassion, and love. As Nelson Mandela proclaimed, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
STAAR Testing Complete!
STAAR testing is officially complete! Congratulations to our Little KIPPsters. There have been countless hours of preparation through high-impact tutoring, acceleration academies, partnering with families, and, most notably, focusing on creating brave and belonging spaces for our Little KIPPsters. Thank you to every teacher, proctor, and supporter of our brilliant test takers.
During STAAR testing, KIPP Northeast KIPPsters came up with the idea of a “brain break” and used it to give back to the community. School Leader Brian Roberson, his leadership team, and our Little KIPPsters volunteered at the Houston Food Bank. They helped support the Food Bank’s mission of facilitating the growth of a sustainable local food system.
Way to go, KIPP Northeast! Your heart and drive for service are an inspiration for us all!
Teacher Summer Fellowship Winner
Harriett Ball award-winning fourth-grade teacher, Janae Reynolds, who teaches at KIPP ZENITH, just earned a $10,000 award and summer fellowship from the Fund for Teachers (FFT)! This July, she and fellow KIPP teacher Elise Barnes from KIPP Academy Chicago Primary will compare and contrast enslaved experiences in Ghana and Cape Town. They will visit museums, historic sites, and storytelling to create a unit in which students learn about the art of African storytelling and create personal stories reflecting their heritage.
Ms. Reynolds continues to move mountains! She is a Teach For America (TFA) alumna and distinguished teacher, designated for her exceptional data, relationship building, and quality instruction. I know our Little KIPPsters in her class are learning by leaps and bounds, and I am so honored and grateful to have her as a valued member of our Team & Family.
Regional COVID Levels
Each week we will share an update on where each of our KIPP region’s current COVID threat levels according to the CDC Community Levels tool. As of 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17, the levels are as follows:
Austin: LOW – Masks are strongly recommended but not required in KIPP schools or offices. Masks are still required in healthcare areas.
Dallas: LOW – Masks are strongly recommended but not required in KIPP schools or offices. Masks are still required in healthcare areas.
Houston: LOW – Masks are strongly recommended but not required in KIPP schools or offices. Masks are still required in healthcare areas.
San Antonio: LOW – Masks are strongly recommended but not required in KIPP schools or offices. Masks are still required in healthcare areas.
Please follow our Health & Safety Guidelines found here according to the level in your region.
Please follow our COVID Protocols found here according to the level in your region.
If COVID-19 Community Levels change mid-week in counties where our schools are located, we will not change our Health & Safety Guidelines until the following week unless the update involves a high (orange) threat level. In this instance, we will share same-day communication with regional staff and families, and the appropriate KIPP Texas COVID Policies will go into effect immediately.
To end this message with gratitude, I’ll share that last week was National Nurse Week. I am so appreciative of all our KIPP Texas nurses and clinic coordinators as they have infinite courage, compassion, and care. Let’s continue to thank and appreciate all nurses and medical support staff every day!
Let’s make it a great four-day week!