The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the educational landscape, but our core belief – that all students have the ability to access and master grade level concepts – remains steadfast. Our recovery plan goes far beyond academics: with the help of ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funding, KIPP Texas has implemented a robust strategy that increases support for our teachers, elevates mental health services and social-emotional learning, and closes the achievement gap.
KIPP Texas’ Academic Recovery Plan has five core anchors to our strategy.
Brave and Belonging Spaces
It is vital that our schools provide a safe, warm, and consistent environment for our students. Many of our students need a little extra support processing the events of the last two years, and we are working to bolster our mental health services. This year alone, KIPP Texas has added 28 mental health counselors to our schools in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
Foundational Literacy and Writing
We will provide on-grade level learning experiences. We believe that exposure to rigor is the best path to address unfinished learning. Through mini-lessons and pre-assessments, we identify the precise skills students need to access grade-level material, and put every Little KIPPster on an accelerated path back to grade-level work.
In addition to brief pauses in instruction to pre-teach or re-teach necessary skills, we conduct regular, targeted small-group interventions during the school day, designed to keep students on grade level. Our High-Impact Tutoring program delivers high quality, data-driven instruction to students in small-group settings (no greater than 1:5) for at least three hours per week. Pairing acceleration and intervention are proven methods of increasing student achievement.
Acceleration Academies and Summer School
For our most academically vulnerable students, we extend learning time by offering small-group summer school and in-year Saturday instruction to a targeted group of students. These lessons incorporate both academic and social-emotional lessons, and help students gain the skills and confidence they need to access material and be successful.
High School: Secondary Writing
It is vital that our students grow in their writing abilities and engage in rich writing experiences across content areas in our high schools. We added college counselors to each of our high schools so that our students feel supported in making post-secondary decisions.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world, KIPP Texas has used this unprecedented moment to re-envision how we can best prepare our students for success. We are determined, now more than ever, to get every KIPPster to college, career, and beyond.