KIPP Texas families,
Happy New Year! February 1 was the start of many celebrations worldwide, including the Lunar New Year, which is rooted in Asian tradition. It is the Year of the Tiger, which represents bravery, courage, and strength. And if this proposed congressional bill passes, the Lunar New Year will become the 12th federally commemorated holiday in the United States.
As we approach the second week of Black History Month, I am so proud to see what our Little and Big KIPPsters are doing to celebrate. It is beautiful to see our community Champion Equity and celebrate Black History by reading books, hosting events, and celebrating online.
This week, we celebrate Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). There are 107 HBCUs across the country. They were founded and developed in the time of legal segregation to provide access to higher education for Black Americans when there were no other options. Today, they still provide a place of belonging and dynamic education for people across the world.
I am beyond proud that KIPP Texas alumni represent more than 35 HBCUs across the country, including Howard University, Hampton University, Fisk University, Spelman College, and Morehouse College, to name a few. We also have hundreds of proud HBCU alumni who teach and lead our students to success every day!
Deion Brown, Deputy Head of Schools in Houston, spoke of his HBCU experience and said, “I chose Morehouse for the full Black experience. I wanted to be engulfed in the Black male experience–an experience I couldn’t find anywhere else in the world. I knew it would change my life, refine my thinking, and provide clarity for what it meant to be a Black man in America.”
I was devastated to learn of the recent HBCU bomb threats across the country in the last 10 days. While I’m glad that everyone is reported safe, this news is beyond disturbing and heartbreaking. Please join me in standing up against this terrorism and racism. We must continue to promote and share our love for HBCUs at KIPP Texas because we believe in brave and belonging spaces for ALL students, free of discrimination.
Calendar Adjustments for the 2021-22 School Year
The pandemic, COVID community spikings, and information on new variants have taken their toll leaving neighboring districts, KIPP Texas school staff and student communities feeling the strain while grappling to remain resilient for our Little KIPPsters. We know you, as families, feel this, too.
KIPP Texas is determined to find a way to boost the resilience of our KIPP community. A line in our KIPP Credo states that “As a Team and Family, we will either find a way or make one.” With joy, we are excited to share that we found a way to care for our community while still living true to our promise of academic excellence.
KIPP Texas Public Schools is introducing Rest and Renew Days for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year. To strengthen staff resilience and wellness, we believe it is necessary to add wellness days to the calendar, as well as, extra “break” time by adding opportunities for an extended weekend for all KTX staff and students. Rest and Renew Days are days that school will be cancelled to provide opportunities for our Team and Family to rest at home and partake in activities that bring joy and relaxation.
In addition to the three student holidays, the last day of school is changed to Friday, May 27, 2022.*
*If we need days the following week due to bad weather and/or Covid-related closures during the remainder of the school year, we will communicate the extension in advance.
Please save the REVISED School Calendars and note the overview of the changes below. Please contact your school if you have specific questions.
No School for Little KIPPsters*
Austin, DFW, Houston:
- Friday, February 18, 2022
- Monday, March 21, 2022
- Monday, May 16, 2022
- Friday, February 18, 2022
- Monday, March 14, 2022
- Monday, May 16, 2022
Teacher Work Days- No School for Little KIPPsters the Monday after Spring Break*
March 14, 2022- Virtual PD for Staff /No School for Students (San Antonio)
March 21, 2022- Virtual PD for Staff / No School for Students ( Austin/DFW/Houston)
*Pending board approval
Pre-Lottery Student Applications Closing February 14
Our Team & Family is growing! February 28 is our Student Lottery for the 2022-23 school year. Do you know someone whose child should join the KIPP Texas Team & Family? Do you have another child who you would like to send to a KIPP school next year? You may not know this, but siblings of existing Little KIPPsters have priority in our lottery!
The deadline for student applicants to participate in the lottery for the 2022-23 school year is Monday, February 14. Our Student Lottery is on Monday, February 28.
I’m ending today’s note with a spark of joy! I recently watched a video of our KIPP Collegiate high school students playing an extraordinary rendition of “Dos Oruguitas,” a beautiful song from the hit Disney movie Encanto.
These students learned the music in less than a week! Their music teacher Brian Klenzendorf was so thoughtful and passionate about organizing this because of his love of our Little KIPPsters and music. As you start your week, please watch this video as our KIPPsters share their joy of music and highlight the school’s fantastic music program.
Have an amazing week!