Getting Ready for the New School Year

Getting Ready for the New School Year

Giselle and Ximena speak to the crowd at KSS.

Curiosity, grit, ganas, integrity, and love--that’s a small part of what August is all about at KIPP LA. Our schools celebrate many milestones throughout the month before the official first day of school. Learn more about what keeps our teachers and team members busy to ensure that our KIPPsters are ready for a successful start to the school year!

KIPP School Summit

The KIPP LA Team and Family was thrilled to host the national KIPP network in Anaheim for this year’s KIPP School Summit (KSS), our annual education conference. Teachers and leaders spent the time learning and sharing best practices, as well as celebrating our KIPPsters and some very special teachers.

Our KIPPsters from KIPP Scholar Academy and KIPP Empower Academy kicked off the week as emcees at the KSS Opening Ceremonies. Watch the video of them getting to the show on time!

Giselle and Ximena of KIPP Iluminar Academy inspired the crowd with their visions for the future and their community. Listen to their moving speech!

We were thrilled to celebrate and honor Martha and Bruce Karsh with the prestigious Giving Tree Award. The Karshes, our longtime champion supporters, were given the award in recognition of their incredible generosity and commitment to KIPP LA and to KIPP nationally.

Later in the week, we also celebrated two teachers with the Harriett Ball Excellence in Teaching Award. The award is given to 10 teachers across the national KIPP network who have shown excellence in the classroom. We were excited that Rachel Petoyan of KIPP Comienza Community Prep and Rachel Cashmere of KIPP Iluminar Academy were two of this year’s winners. Both teachers have integrated innovative and student-focused instructional practices in their respective first grade and kindergarten classrooms.

Our KIPP LA Prep students were featured in Pencils Up!, an innovative session that demonstrated a conceptual math lesson in action. KIPPsters were paired with KIPP supporters, including KIPP LA champion Bruce Karsh, to solve math problems and participate in a discussion with KIPP LA Prep Assistant Principal Elizabeth Petrey.

Parent Academies

Our schools recognize that parents and guardians play an important role in students’ success and happiness throughout the school year. KIPP LA’s Parent Academies are a chance for families to get to know our teachers and leaders, align around expectations, and become immersed in the school culture. “I love that parents get to meet every single teacher their child will have for the entire year,” said KIPP Academy of Innovation Founding School Leader Alice Lai. “I love that parents are empowered with the necessary information and practice to help their children be successful from the first day of school. It also sets up parents as the experts at home so that they can reinforce school expectations.”

For KIPP LA schools new and old, the Parent Academies are a critical time for relationship- and trust-building. “I loved the feeling of our founding families walking into our new building,” said KIPP Iluminar Academy Founding School Leader Mara Bond. “It felt like I truly have built something made to last.”

Summer School

Far from its less than inspiring connotations, summer school is a time of joy at KIPP LA. It’s an exciting time for students to get to know each other, their teachers, and their school. They’re also introduced to their school’s values in fun ways, as KIPP Ignite Academy Founding School Leader Cassie Cope explains... “Our students watch values skits acted out by their teachers during Ignite the Light, receive values lessons in their classrooms, and read values read-a-louds.”

At KIPP Raíces Academy, “We spend time team building in class, deepening students’ understanding of our school values through fun assemblies, and reinforcing behavioral expectations by aiming for perfect practice of the routines and procedures,” said Principal Chelsea Zegarski.

Summer school is the chance to lay the foundation for the rigorous instruction and character focus happening at each KIPP LA school all year long. “Routinizing systems, strengthening structures, and establishing school culture are the critical elements necessary to driving student achievement once the regular school year starts,” said KIPP Philosophers Academy School Leader Heidi Kunkel.

As KIPP Scholar Academy Founding School Leader Tiffany Moore put it, “Our KIPPsters get a fresh start with new teachers and a more mature attitude. They are further up the mountain and can now help the little KIPPsters climb.”