At KIPP Truth Academy, students are treated as full stakeholders in school culture, instilling pride, ownership, and responsibility for their school. “Students are at the center of every school, and we would be remiss not to allow them the opportunity to leverage their voices,” says Christopher Hendricks, Assistant Principal. Recently, for example, after students voiced concern about policing, a KIPP Truth teacher began a series called “Difficult Conversations” and brought together members of the community to speak on the subject and answer student questions. After further student input, the series continued with moderated discussions on women’s rights and financial planning. “That’s one of the most important things we’ve done at our school,” Hendricks says, “to allow kids to use their voice and feel a sense of ownership for their education.”
This sense of ownership extends to all aspects of student and staff life, and the team at KIPP Truth strongly believes that the academic success of students is built on recognizing that they are part of a team. KIPP Truth educators, as well as its full-time parent engagement coordinator, maintain constant communication with KIPP families – sometimes to brainstorm and align on strategies for success, but often just to give a positive update. Hendricks says, “it’s really important we all feel connected.” This feeling of connection is apparent to anyone who steps foot in KIPP Truth Academy. “Relationships are everything here, and we have built a community where even if a student doesn’t love a particular subject, they probably love the teacher and are most definitely committed to the process, to growing,” says Hendricks. Students at Truth Academy agree. “Even at lunch,” 7th grade student Anadiya observes, “we all want to sit with our teachers. We can talk about anything with them! I feel cared for at this school, and everyone here is treated equally.” Students themselves have a role in the education of their fellow students: KIPP Truth is proud of their mentoring program in which older students help the younger ones along.
Anadiya, a 7th grade student at KIPP Truth Academy, helps a teammate with a probability lesson in math class.
In addition to strong academic programs, KIPP Truth offers its students a number of clubs, including Student Government Association, Art Club, Book Club, Dance/Cheer, Yearbook, and a Step Team. Their growing athletic programs include flag football, basketball, soccer, track, and girls volleyball.
KIPP Truth Academy students receive small group instruction every day to develop skills in core content areas.
KIPP Truth offers students a full educational experience that prepares them for whatever future they choose. As Christopher Hendricks says, “Every parent, every student, and every teacher has as much stake in this school as anybody else. It’s about all of us, and in a place like this, where everyone trusts each other and works together, we can get great results.”
Truth Academy is KIPP’s flagship school in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Located in the South Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, Truth Academy educates KIPPsters in grades five through eight. Truth Academy’s campus is also home to Truth Elementary School, attended by students in pre-K through 4th grades. Upon completion of eighth grade, Truth Academy KIPPsters may attend high school at KIPP Oak Cliff Academy.
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