KIPP Texas Families,
Last week many of our KIPP Texas leaders joined other KIPP leaders from around the country at the KIPP Foundation’s Annual School and Regional Leader Retreat (SRLR). There were nearly 400 Big KIPPsters representing the 155 KIPP schools and 25 KIPP regions across the country. And wow, did we represent KIPP Texas!!! Congratulations to Haley Simonton-Bonilla (KIPP Dream Prep, Houston), Tammy Butler (KIPP Legacy Preparatory, Houston), Dexter Chaney II (KIPP Destiny Elementary, Dallas), Cassandra Cotman (KIPP ZENITH Academy, Houston), and Amy Stabile (KIPP Explore Academy, Houston) for earning the KIPP 6 award for six years of excellent school leadership. They join an amazing group of KIPP 6 and 12 leaders who continue to make an ever-lasting impact on the lives of children.
Administrative Professionals’ Day
April 27 is National Administrative Professionals’ Day, a time when we recognize the work of receptionists, office managers, administrative assistants, executive assistants, and other administrative support professionals. Thank you to the more than 120 administrative professionals across KIPP Texas. They are among the heart of the work we do every day. They know the ins and outs of schools, with myriad schedules, work closely with our KIPP families, and are often the first person a family, a KIPPster, or a guest meets at KIPP.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my partner and teammate, Marie Allen who is also a KIPP parent, for all she does. She is always a step ahead of me, and I am so grateful for her today and every day.
Let’s all have an attitude of gratitude this week and always! Please join me in giving a joyful shoutout to any administrative professional you know this week. Happy Administrative Professionals’ Day!
Celebrating Our School Leaders
National School Principal’s Day is on Sunday, May 1! I admit that I’m biased, but I think we have the best school leaders in the country. Day in and day out, they support and guide our phenomenally brilliant teachers and staff, resulting in brave and belonging learning environments for our Little and Big KIPPsters. I honor and celebrate our KIPP Texas school leaders for their unwavering commitment to academic excellence and Championing Equity at our 59 schools. Thank you, school leaders, for bringing the rigor to our students but for Bringing Joy to our schools!
KIPP Texas High Schools Ranked Among Top in the Nation
The celebrations keep coming! I am honored to announce that four of our KIPP Texas high schools are ranked among the top in the nation by the Jay Mathews Challenge Index High School Rankings, formerly known as America’s Most Challenging High Schools published in The Washington Post. KIPP Generations, KIPP Houston High School, KIPP Austin Collegiate, and KIPP University Prep are all ranked in the Top 50 High Schools in Texas and among the top 1% of America’s 22,000 plus high schools. KIPP Austin Collegiate is the #1 high school in Austin!
The Challenge Index is the oldest high school ranking system in the country that ranks both private and public schools. Rankings are determined by the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or Cambridge tests administered at a school each year, divided by the number of graduates. By not relying on test scores to rank, the index demonstrates educational equity by allowing the opportunity for all KIPPsters to Chase Excellence through college-level courses.
Such a wonderful accomplishment. Congratulations to our student leaders and KIPPsters!
Persisting With Purpose at a New School
Although we are wrapping up the 2021-2022 school year, many Big KIPPsters are already hard at work behind the scenes for the upcoming school year. Our new and improved KIPP Journey Collegiate campus in Houston is nearly complete and will be well equipped for our KIPPsters this Fall! Little KIPPsters, Melany and Anjola from KIPP Journey Collegiate used their Dojo points to purchase a tour and sneak peek of their new school. They were excited to speak to the construction team, check out the science labs, and admire the view from the 3rd floor! I am just as excited to open a new school building for our Little KIPPsters to learn and thrive.
Chasing Academic Excellence
For most of our Little and Big KIPPsters, April is a busy season of preparing for testing, not only for the upcoming STAAR tests but also for college readiness exams.
Our high school KIPPsters are preparing and getting pumped up this month, ready for their upcoming ACT and SAT exams. In San Antonio, our KIPP Somos Collegiate High School students dedicated a Saturday morning for preparation and practice.
I am incredibly proud of their dedication to Chasing Excellence. As we get into the busy testing season, I want to thank each of our teachers for the guidance in preparing our KIPPsters for success in college, career, and beyond!
Each week we will share an update on where each of our KIPP region’s current levels stands according to the CDC Community Levels tool. As of 6 am on Tuesday, April 25, 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.
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.
Let’s close out the month with some joy by sending a note of appreciation to a Little or Big KIPPster who brought a smile to you last month.