Welcome back from Thanksgiving break

KIPP Texas Families,

Welcome back from what I hope was an incredibly restful Thanksgiving break. My heart is full from seeing my nephews and cousins in California for the first time in nearly two years. There is nothing quite like family time. And, throw a pumpkin pie with whipped cream in the mix, and I’m in heaven.

I can’t forget to wish a Happy Hanukkah to our Team & Family who celebrate! Yesterday was the start of the beloved Jewish holiday also spelled as Chanukah,  meaning “dedication” in Hebrew. The holiday spans eight days (November 28 – December 6) and includes a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers, and traditional foods as a way to commemorate the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple.

In this recent CNN article  about the deep meaning of Hanukkah, the author, a New York City rabbi, mentioned that this year’s celebration is not without the remembrance of ongoing inequities in our country including the heartbreaking story of Ahmaud Arbery. During our Thanksgiving break, three men were found guilty of killing Mr. Arbery in February 2020.  While the justified convictions will not bring him back to his loved ones, it does exemplify to our students and the world that racism and killing of innocent black and brown lives is hateful and has no place in this world. It cannot and should never be without repercussions. KIPP Texas will continue to champion equity for all, and we stand firm as an anti-racist organization.

Also on my mind as we return is how, especially during typical cold and flu season, continued strong health and safety practices are going to continue to keep our KIPPsters well. Did you know that we have continued to implement cleaning protocols above and beyond CDC-recommendations? Last year, we invested in electrostatic disinfectant sprayers, hospital grade air filters and industrial cleaning machines, to ensure that our buildings and offices are as clean as can be for our Team & Family. In addition to our building cleanliness, we must continue to: 

  • #MaskUpForKIPPsters: We are standing firm on our mask mandate. Please continue to properly wear a facemask when in KIPP buildings! 
  • Vaccinate, If Eligible: Although not required, we strongly recommend all eligible KIPPsters get vaccinated. 
  • Follow Health and Safety Protocols: Please continue the diligent practices of hand hygiene, distancing where possible, and self-screening before entering KIPP buildings. 


KIPP Texas Academic Calendar Survey

Do you think our calendar should closely align with another ISD? Is there an observance that you think KIPPsters should have time off to celebrate? It’s time to weigh in! The KIPP Texas Academic Calendar Committee is hard at work planning the KTX academic calendar that we will follow for the next two school years.

We are seeking staff and family input so that, along with state and federal requirements, we can create calendars that allow our Little KIPPsters the time they deserve to learn and grow. Please keep in mind that this survey is exploratory, and all input will be reviewed and considered before final calendar decisions are made by the KIPP Texas Board. 

The survey is open from November 29 – December 7. Take the survey by clicking here.

It’s so good to be back. Have a great week!

With gratitude,

Sehba Ali

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