KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, founded by Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin in 1994, is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. There are currently 109 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia serving more than 32,000 students.
KIPP builds a partnership among parents, students, and teachers that puts learning first. By providing outstanding educators, more time in school learning, and a strong culture of achievement, KIPP is helping all students climb the mountain to and through college.
Every day, KIPP students across the nation are proving that demographics do not define destiny. Over 80 percent of our students are from low-income families and eligible for the federal free or reduced-price meals program, and 95 percent are African American or Latino. Nationally, more than 90 percent of KIPP middle school students have gone on to college-preparatory high schools, and over 85 percent of KIPP alumni have gone on to college.
There are 61 KIPP middle schools (grades 5-8), 30 elementary schools (grades Pre-K-4), and 18 high schools (grades 9-12). Students are accepted regardless of prior academic record, conduct, or socioeconomic background.
KIPP Reach College Preparatory, a part of the national KIPP network, was founded in 2002 in northeast Oklahoma City by Tracy McDaniel. KIPP Reach is a public charter school serving students in grades five through eight. By providing parents and students a school of choice as an alternative to many of the low performing neighborhood schools in northeast Oklahoma City, KIPP Reach has demonstrated a great deal of success in turning around the academic achievement of the students it serves and has produced students who have gone on to attend and excel in college-preparatory high schools, boarding schools, and now into some of the best colleges and universities in the country.
KIPP Credo and Values
If there is a problem, we look for a solution.
If there is a better way, we find it.
If a teammate needs help, we give.
If we need help, we ask.
At KIPP Reach, we hold strong to our school values in order to create a culture of optimal learning.
These values are modeled by teachers and staff so that students can reflect on and act upon KIPP’s standards of conduct and behavior.
Adhering to KIPP’s high expectations is essential in order to achieve an optimal culture of learning.
Students are taught to be considerate toward each other. All expectations of respect are modeled and simulated by teachers and other staff members.
Teamwork Students are taught to work together to accomplish daily goals. Teachers model this expected teamwork behavior through daily team meetings and effective communication.
Commitment Students are taught to value their commitments which include longer days and Saturday School. Teachers also adhere to these standards and continue to strive for excellence in their classrooms.
Organization Students are taught how to plan and organize daily assignments and homework agendas. Teachers reinforce this by prioritizing their time and meeting organizational objectives.
Initiative Students are taught to proactively go beyond what is expected academically, behaviorally, and personally. Teachers also practice this initiative when working with students and parents.
Balance Students and faculty value the importance of a strong education and the significance of family relationships. Their education and experiences will help produce healthy relationships with family and friends.
KIPP schools share a core set of operating principles known as the Five Pillars, which have brought outstanding results to KIPP students. The Five Pillars include: High Expectations, Choice and Commitment, More Time, Power to Lead, and Focus on Results.
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.
Choice and 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.
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.
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.
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.
KIPP Reach College Preparatory had an enrollment of 277 students during the 2010 – 2011 academic year. Demographics are as follows:
2.17% American Indian or Alaska Native
78.70% Black or African American
6.50% Hispanic or Latino
81% Eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch
KIPP Reach College Preparatory has an enrollment of 272 students during the 2011 – 2012 academic year. Demographics are as follows:
1.1%American Indian or Alaska Native 1.1%Asian
81.99% Black or African American
7.35% Hispanic or Latino
83% Eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch
KIPP Reach students:
• Attend school from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily, with an additional one hour of tutoring each day until 4:30 p.m., resulting in an 8 ½ hours school day.
• Spend approximately 30% more time in a classroom setting than the state requires.
• Receive 1,479 instructional hours per year, as opposed to most traditional schools that choose to meet only the state’s minimum requirement of 1,080 hours of instruction per year.
As of November 2011, this is what we know about our KIPP Reach alumni:
• 98% of eligible KIPP Reach alumni have graduated from high school.
• 74% of KIPP Reach alumni who graduated from high school are currently enrolled in and persisting through a 2 or 4 year college.
• 70% of students who graduated from high school in 2010 are currently enrolled in and persisting through a 2 or 4 year college.
• 78% of students who graduated from high school in 2011 are currently enrolled in and persisting through a 2 or 4 year college.
• Earn an average of 20% more annually than their counterparts in the local school district, in order to accommodate for the longer school day.
What is a charter school?
The term charter school means that the state has granted a contract to a group or organization to run a school using state funds. The school offers innovative learning opportunities with greater flexibility than traditional public schools and is accountable to the charter holder. The Oklahoma City Public School District sponsors the charter for KIPP Reach. Charter school students are eligible for the same state and federal programs (including free or reduced lunch) that are available in other school districts.
When did KIPP begin?
The first KIPP school in the nation was founded in Houston, TX in1994 when Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin started a public school program for 50 fifth graders. Doris and Donald Fisher, co-founders of The Gap, Inc., formed a unique partnership with Feinberg and Levin to replicate KIPP’s success nationwide. Established in 2000 with a $15 million grant from the Fishers, the not-for-profit KIPP Foundation was formed to recruit, train and support outstanding teachers in opening and leading high performing, college preparatory, public schools in educationally underserved communities. Thus, KIPP Reach in Oklahoma City was founded in 2002 by Tracy McDaniel.
Do I have to pay to send my child to a KIPP?
KIPP Reach is free, as are all KIPP schools around the country. Children do not have to pay to attend.
How do I enroll my child at KIPP Reach? How are students selected? Is there an entrance exam?
KIPP Reach is an open-enrollment, public school. There is no entrance exam to be accepted at KIPP. However, upon completion of a KIPP enrollment application students are selected through a lottery system and those remaining are placed on a waiting list until an available spot is open. Click here (Visitors are sent to Enrollment Page of KIPP Website) to learn more about the enrollment process.
What are the school hours?
Classes during the school year operate Monday – Friday, 7:25 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Saturday school sessions are held throughout the year.
What grades does KIPP Reach serve?
The grade configuration is 5th through 8th, serving up to 300 students.
Is transportation provided?
KIPP Reach does not provide transportation at this time. Families must provide their own transportation for students attending KIPP.
Are uniforms required?
Yes, students are expected to conform to the uniform expectations every day.
Why is there an extended school day?
With an extended school day, students have more time in the classroom which allows teachers the time to develop and deliver challenging and stimulating lessons and focus on the needs of each student. Students also have more time to devote to their class work and are able to attain additional help when needed. More time in school means a greater capacity to acquire the academic knowledge and skills that will prepare each student for competitive high schools and colleges, as well as more opportunities to engage in diverse, extracurricular experiences.
What is a Commitment to Excellence contract? What is its purpose?
KIPP Reach shares a commitment with its teachers, students and parents. This commitment is documented in the signed “Commitment to Excellence” contract. This contract highlights each group's shared responsibility and accountability for achievement. All parties agree to actions that will lead to the student's personal and academic growth - be it consistent and prompt attendance over an extended school session, learning to work effectively in teams, or taking charge of a class project. This commitment means that neither party will allow obstacles that may have stopped students from achieving in the past, stand in the way.