KIPP Texas Families,
It was beautiful to see the KIPP Texas – Austin Team and Family come together this month to kick off the semester at their Spring Team and Family Gathering for the first time in over two years. From student performances to staff testimonials, the team exuded happy tears and pride.
The in-person connections and collaboration are what I hope all of our Big KIPPsters can experience this semester.
At about 4,000 Big KIPPsters strong across four regions, it’s challenging to get together in one space (what a party that would be!), but I am thankful to connect during virtual Team and Family Town Halls with all of our staff.
Little KIPPster Re-enrollment Time is Here
We are now officially in the spring semester and the weather sure does feel like it! Let’s continue the joyful learning we accomplished in the fall semester and commit to excellence by completing the re-enrollment process now through January 31.
We want ALL of our Little KIPPsters to return to KIPP year after year and stay connected after graduation with us through KIPP Forward. Check out the re-enrollment webpage to learn more about the re-enrollment process.
Share the Love during the New-to-KIPP Application Season
While the re-enrollment season is upon us, we are also in the new-to-KIPP application season. We aim to educate over 100,000 KIPPsters statewide by 2035 who need a high-quality school option.
During the application season, you may see KIPP Texas ads on TV, on the radio or during your morning scroll session on Facebook; please share on your social media and give us a like while you’re there. You might also see some dedicated Big KIPPsters out in the community spreading the word about KIPP Texas by sharing our mission of creating joyful, academically excellent schools. If you see them, say hello and snap a selfie to share with us!
Supporting Our Teammate and Big KIPPster
Here’s a beautiful picture of Cynthia Rubio, KIPP Texas’ Director of Transportation, at a community event in Austin last semester. She brings many smiles to our community, always sharing the joy of KIPP Texas. And just a couple of weeks ago she won the Legacy Award during the Austin Team & Family event. Her beautiful smile and commitment to all KIPPsters also bring me joy.
Recently, she shared the news of a cancer relapse, and it was heartbreaking to hear that she is re-starting her fight against cancer. She is starting chemotherapy and will need a stem cell transplant. She has approved for us to ask for people to become stem cell donors. It’s easy to sign up, and if you’re a match, no surgery is required.
If you’re interested and willing, and between the ages of 18 and 40, please consider registering at bethematch.org to register for a quick swab that can be mailed to your house so that we can help save lives. We are here for you, Cynthia, supporting and sending our love to you during this fight as you approach this journey ahead with positivity and ganas!
The KIPP Austin staff shared compelling whys during their Team and Family gathering in early January and shared their stories on what motivates them to continue Persisting with Purpose at KIPP Texas. Sharing our stories is what not only inspires others to dig deeper into their work but also allows others to see through a different perspective. It is important to share our stories, our KIPP stories.
As a Board Member for the Texas Charter School Association, I know how impactful it is to share our stories with our lawmakers who are making decisions about charter school growth and governance. It is important now to advocate for public charter schools, so that we may educate and continue building a more just world through our students.
The Legislative session began last week, and you will receive updates in my note throughout the session, which ends on May 29, 2023. Here is the latest information from the 88th Session:
- Lawmakers have been “pre-filing” bills since mid-November, and already, we have seen major education proposals. Some of these bills aim to slow or halt the growth of new and existing public charter schools; one proposal actually seeks to cut public education funding only for charter schools like KIPP Texas.
- In my conversations with policy makers, I am struck by how many myths about schools like ours persist. 25 years after Texas’ charter law was passed, many still believe we “cherry pick” our students, when in fact state law requires our admission process to be open to all students and free from discrimination or academic requirements. Some say our schools hurt other public ISD schools, when the facts show the exact opposite is true.
- It is up to all of us as a KIPP Texas community to share our stories with the elected leaders who are on the verge of making major decisions that could impact the students we educate today and in the future. Make sure you have signed up for alerts from our Community Impact team, and select “Share My Story” if you want to be contacted for future advocacy opportunities.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In honor of the great Martin Luther King Jr., I share one of my favorite quotes that constantly drives me and inspires me to do more for our KIPPsters. Together, you, me, your school leaders, our team, create joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare our students to pursue any path they choose — college, career, and beyond — so they can lead fulfilling lives and build a more just world. This is an incredible mission we are on together.
CEO of KIPP Texas