KIPP Texas Families,
Within 44 hours, three senseless mass shooting tragedies occurred. Sunday, January 22, should have been filled with friends, dancing, and festivities as the community came together to commemorate Lunar New Year. Instead, we witnessed what is now called the worst mass shooting in Los Angeles county. A day later, another shooting devastated California again in Half Moon Bay. And just hours later, another mass shooting in Oakland. My heart goes out to the victims’ families, the wounded, the Asian-American community, and all impacted by these tragic events.
We return to school today after the difficult news we have watched unfold over the past weeks and the weekend with the release of the Tyre Nichols video footage. We will continue to process, grieve, and heal and create space for our Little KIPsters to do the same.
As we mourn these senseless tragedies, we stand with the community and will continue to take a stand against inhumane treatment, and injustice. As Big and Little KIPPsters, we continue to Champion Equity every day as we create brave and belonging spaces that honor diversity and inclusivity of every member of our community. We promise to continue our effort in educating students so that they can build a more just world.
This week marks the beginning of Black History Month, and as we celebrate our nation’s history throughout the month, I am excited to Champion the month of February as an opportunity to continue educating our students about the struggles and triumphs of our shared African American history. Throughout the month, we will “Lift Every Voice” and celebrate by sharing the stories of not only our KIPPsters but of history makers.
As we enter into February this week, I would like to remind our families that Friday, February 10 is our first Equity and Data Day and no school for students. February also has a four-day weekend with a Rest and Renew day on Friday, February 17 and President’s Day off on Monday, February 20. Make those travel plans now to relax and enjoy your extra long weekend. You can find the 2022-2023 Academic Calendars on our website here for more upcoming days off.
The Return of Shadow a KIPPster Day!
It’s coming back! Shadow-a-KIPPster Day is returning to our schools on Thursday, February 23! It will be an incredibly joyful day for our School Support Staff (SSP) Big KIPPsters to literally shadow Little KIPPsters in our schools all morning and deepen connection with Little KIPPsters and school-based staff so we can continue Chasing Excellence together. This KIPP Texas tradition is one of my favorites. The smiling faces of our Little KIPPsters paired with the excitement of our Big KIPPsters further fuels the love for what I do every day. I’m sure our Big KIPPsters will feel the same after spending a morning in classes, learning more about the Little KIPPster experience and the Big KIPPsters in our schools. And who knows, our staff may also get a Physics or Computer Science refresher, take a challenging practice AP test, sing a song in PK-3, or run a mile in PE along the way!
KIPP Texas Celebrates School Board Recognition Month
January is School Board Recognition Month, and I want to highlight our 86 community volunteers who serve as board members across our four KIPP Texas regions. As the governing body and advisory boards who make important decisions for the success of our KIPPsters and promote KIPP’s mission in our communities, I am immensely thankful for their commitment and dedication to all KIPPsters we educate and the communities we serve. They are Champions of Equity!
KIPP Texas board member Jennefer Canales-Pelaez is a true inspiration. A fellow KIPP Texas – Houston Alumna, Texas activist and attorney, she lives out our KIPP Texas mission – building a more just world. Recently, she shared her KIPP Why as a board member.
“As a former student, I have experienced first-hand what a KIPP education can do for our students. KIPP opened doors and opportunities for me that I never thought possible. Every child deserves to excel. I’m proud to be a part of this Team and Family!” – Jennefer Canales-Pelaez
Thank you, to all of our board members.
Join Us Again Next Year! The Little KIPPster Re-enrollment Deadline is Tomorrow!
We know through our data that our Little KIPPsters achieve better academic outcomes the longer they are with us. A friendly reminder that tomorrow is the last day to re-enroll your Little KIPPster! Thank you to our KIPP families who have already completed the re-enrollment process. For our families that have not yet completed it, please log into SchoolMint by tomorrow’s deadline. We would love for our families to continue choosing KIPP Texas and bringing our Little KIPPsters to school every day, every year, on their way to college, career and beyond.
Student Application Deadline for Lottery is Fast Approaching!
It’s a busy season! Our current students are re-enrolling, and new-to-KIPP families are applying for the 2023-24 school year. Although we accept applications year-round, families need to apply by February 17, 2023, to participate in the student lottery. Share the love and refer a family today before the deadline. We will have the privilege of educating more than 34,000 Little KIPPsters in our schools across the state next year!.
As we continuously work to “Lift Every Voice” of our KIPPsters in our shared mission to build a more just world, KIPP Texas is also working to continue lifting the voices of our KIPPsters at the Texas Capitol at the forefront of lawmakers. Here is the latest information from the 88th Session:
- Two major bills that would have a positive impact on public charter schools like KIPP Texas have been filed in the last few days:
- SB 472 by Senator Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) would prohibit local municipalities from discriminating against public charter schools in zoning, permitting, and fee decisions.
- HB 1572 by Representative Harold Dutton (D-Houston) would fully fund the state’s facility funding program for public charter schools. This per-pupil allotment has been capped in state law since 2017, driving a persistent funding gap for our students compared to their ISD peers.
- Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, we continue to also see proposals filed to limit public charter school options for students. These include restrictions on growth and cuts in funding for our students. There will be many opportunities between now and the end of May for us to share our stories and help educate lawmakers on the myths and facts about charter schools. Make sure to let the Community Impact team know if you want to join in our efforts.
- Check out this newly launched resource hub where you can track the progress of key bills and sign up for action alerts.
CEO of KIPP Texas