About KIPP Bay Area Schools

What is KIPP?

KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. By opening schools in the neighborhoods that need them most, KIPP schools are showing that something very different is possible for students in low-income neighborhoods. In 2013-14, 141 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia serve more than 50,000 students. Nationally, KIPP students are enrolling in college at a rate of more than 80 percent, which is double the national average for low-income students.

Read KIPP’s blog here.

What is the KIPP Foundation?

In 2000, Doris and Don Fisher, co-founders of Gap Inc., formed a unique partnership with Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, the founders of the original KIPP academies, to replicate the schools’ success through the non-profit KIPP Foundation. The KIPP Foundation focuses its efforts on recruiting, training, and supporting outstanding leaders to open new, locally run KIPP schools in high-need communities. The KIPP Foundation does not manage KIPP schools, but is responsible for supporting and monitoring school quality across the network. To learn more, click here.

To read a Q&A with Richard Barth, CEO of KIPP Foundation, click here.

What is a charter school?

Charter schools operate with fewer regulations than regular public schools in exchange for accountability for their results. Like all public schools, charter schools must be nonreligious and nondiscriminatory and are often focused on a particular approach to educating students. Charter schools are seen as an alternative to regular public schools and a way to provide choice and innovation (from www.greatschools.net). Public charter schools may not charge tuition and may not discriminate against any pupil on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability.

Mission:

The mission of KIPP Bay Area Schools is to operate high-achieving public schools in educationally underserved communities, developing in our students the knowledge, skills, and character essential to thrive in college, shape their futures, and positively impact the world.

Our Unifying Beliefs:

We believe demography does not define destiny.

We believe with high expectations and no excuses, all students will successfully climb the mountain to college.

We believe closing the achievement gap begins with this generation of KIPP Bay Area Schools students.

We believe, together, we are revolutionizing public education in the Bay Area.

The Five Pillars

KIPP schools share a core set of operating principles known as the Five Pillars:

1. High Expectations

KIPP schools have clearly defined and measurable high expectations for academic achievement and conduct that make no excuses based on the students’ backgrounds. Students, parents, teachers, and staff create and reinforce a culture of achievement and support through a range of formal and informal rewards and consequences for academic performance and behavior.

2. Choice & Commitment

Students, their parents, and the faculty of each KIPP school choose to participate in the program. No one is assigned or forced to attend a KIPP school. Everyone must make and uphold a commitment to the school and to each other to put in the time and effort required to achieve success.

3. More Time

KIPP schools know that there are no shortcuts when it comes to success in academics and life. With an extended school day, week, and year, students have more time in the classroom to acquire the academic knowledge and skills that will prepare them for competitive high schools and colleges, as well as more opportunities to engage in diverse extracurricular experiences.

4. Power to Lead

The principals of KIPP schools are effective academic and organizational leaders who understand that great schools require great school leaders. They have control over their school budget and personnel. They are free to swiftly move dollars or make staffing changes, allowing them maximum effectiveness in helping students learn.

5. Focus on Results

KIPP schools relentlessly focus on high student performance on standardized tests and other objective measures. Just as there are no shortcuts, there are no excuses. Students are expected to achieve a level of academic performance that will enable them to succeed at the nation’s best high schools and colleges.