May 3, 2021
Dear KIPP Texas Families,
Can you believe it? May is here and with it come observances and holidays for us to celebrate and maybe even learn about. May is Asian american and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, Cinco de Mayo, when we’ll celebrate Mother’s and Mother Figures’ Day, National Charter School Week, Memorial Day, Eid al-Fitr, Shavuot, Ops Appreciation Week and so many more.
This first week of May is another one of my favorite weeks of the year – Teacher Appreciation Week!
Our teachers are heroes. They have gone above and beyond for our Little KIPPsters. Throughout the year, they have called students and families who were struggling to engage with virtual learning. They spend countless hours crafting lessons and work hard to create safe spaces to help our Little KIPPsters process the hate crimes and racial injustice we continue to experience across this country. This year especially, they have managed their classroom with extra care, ensuring your children stay healthy and safe. Time and time again, I have witnessed how they rise together to bring joy, care, and rigor into our classrooms, both virtual and in-person.
We are Rising Together
Because of our incredible teachers, we have much to celebrate!
In a year when districts around the country are reporting that only about nine percent of teachers are seeing “nearly all” of their students completing virtual learning activities, we have 95% of our Little KIPPsters engaged in either virtual or in person learning!
Last week, we learned that six KIPP Texas schools were named among the best by US News & World Report! These rankings evaluate over 24,000 public high schools across the country looking at six factors from the Class of 2019: college readiness, math and reading proficiency, math and reading performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth, and graduation rate.
Earlier today, the KIPP Foundation announced the recipients of the Dave Goldberg Scholarship Program. You can read about all the winners here, where you’ll find that four KIPP Texas graduating seniors – Michelle Leon-Clgarroa (KIPP Austin Collegiate), Diego Perez (KIPP Austin Collegiate), Maya Maldonado and Nayeli Ortiz from KIPP University Prep – were chosen as scholarship recipients because they exemplify qualities of leadership, resilience, achievement, character, and entrepreneurial spirit!
Josue Ruiz (KIPP Houston High School) and Karen Hernandez (KIPP Intrepid), two KIPP Texas KIPsters were also selected as Amplify Scholars for demonstrating the power of relationships through mentoring, community building and extracurricular activities, leadership, excellence, perseverance, and civic mindedness!
These wins and recognitions would not be possible without exceptional teachers. Teachers who show up and welcome their KIPPsters’ full selves every day; teachers who live out and model our core values; teachers who are creative, caring, and lead with empathy; and teachers who love their KIPPsters. Please join me in thanking all the KIPP Texas teachers by leaving a note, picture, or both to your KIPPster’s teachers on our Facebook and Instagram posts!
Student & Family Relationships Survey – Reminder
We are grateful for those of you who have already taken the time to complete the Student & Family Relationships Surveys for your KIPPster via Panorama Education. Your input & feedback helps our teachers grow.
Friendly reminder if you haven’t taken it yet: the survey is still available for Families with students in PK-2 and Families with students receiving Special Education services. If you have not yet completed your survey, you will receive an email reminder from Panorama Education with the survey link on 05/04. Thank you for your partnership!
Time is running out to make your voice heard at the Texas Capitol! The current legislative session will end in just four weeks, and lawmakers are debating major education proposals. Some of those are directly related to public charter schools like KIPP Texas.
It is so important that lawmakers hear from charter school families right in their communities. Consider sharing your story with your elected representatives here! You can learn more about some of the bills being considered here. Questions about how to stay engaged? Our Advocacy Team is here to help! You can find their contact information here.
As we get ready for STAAR next week, AP tests, and other end-of-year assessments soon after, let’s remember that our KIPPsters are so much more than a test score. While test scores are one of many important measures of our KIPPsters’ performance, our KIPPsters are beautiful, talented, and powerful leaders in so many different ways. And our teachers are opening such important and incredible doors of opportunity for them every day.
Saying “thank you” to our teachers cannot begin to show my overwhelming gratitude for them, so instead I’m going to let these precious voices give a special message of appreciation to them #WeLoveOurTeachers. Please feel free to share this video on your favorite social media platform.