Today, the US Department of Education named KIPP Raíces Academy in East Los Angeles a National Blue Ribbon School. KIPP Raíces Academy was one of only 33 Blue Ribbon Schools in California and the only school in the Los Angeles Unified School District to receive this distinction. The school was chosen as an “Exemplary High Performing School” based on state assessments and high school graduation rates, according to the DOE.
“We could not be more thrilled,” said Amber Young Medina, Founding Principal of KIPP Raíces Academy and current KIPP LA Managing Director of Schools. “Our students and teachers are working hard every day to prove what is possible in public education, and I am so proud to see the school achieve this great honor.”
This year’s National Blue Ribbon Schools were selected based on their overall academic excellence and their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. These schools demonstrate that all students can achieve at high levels.
Current KIPP Raíces Academy Principal Chelsea Zegarski said: “This award is a testament to the power of high expectations and all that can be accomplished by believing in children's limitless potential. I am so proud of our students, families, and teachers for their unwavering commitment to our mission. Every day, they make our school a more joyful place where learning is celebrated and the possibilities are endless.”
“The entire KIPP Raíces team has raised the bar of excellence and provided high quality education so that our Raíces Achievers can truly get on the path to and through college,” said Marcia Aaron, KIPP LA Executive Director. “I couldn't be more pleased with this honor and what it means for our students, families, and team.”
The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates private schools. A total of 420 schools nationwide may be nominated, with allocations determined by the numbers of K-12 students
About KIPP Raíces Academy & KIPP LA Schools
Founded in 2008, KIPP Raíces Academy is a free, open enrollment, college-preparatory public charter school in East Los Angeles that serves roughly 550 K-4 students from underserved backgrounds. KIPP Raíces is part of KIPP LA Schools, a nonprofit organization that operates 13 public charter schools in South and East Los Angeles. KIPP LA’s students are 99% African-American or Latino, and 90% qualify for the federal free and reduced price meal program. KIPP LA’s schools are among the highest-performing schools in LAUSD serving a majority of students from low-income communities. Over 75% of KIPP LA’s alumni are persisting in college.