The Latest from our Superintendent
Friday, October 10th, 2020
Dear KIPP Chicago Families,
While hard to believe, this letter finds us already over half way through the first quarter. I have had the opportunity to “zoom” into many of your children’s classrooms and in every instance I leave feeling so incredibly proud of and inspired by your children and their teachers and leaders. On average, 92% of KIPPsters are attending school everyday. Please continue to work with your child’s school to ensure your child can log in, be marked present, and learn on a daily basis.
As we partner with you in providing the best remote school we can offer, we will continue to put the safety and voices of our families above all else. We had nearly 1000 families complete our last survey. This helps us make decisions that include you even though we are not physically together in our schools. Thank you. We remain committed to communicating as proactively as we can so that you are able to plan ahead for your children’s care. As we near Quarter 2, I hope you find some clarity in knowing where we are headed.
We will continue to operate school remotely until at least January. We know that more of you are feeling comfortable considering on-site school. We also know that the majority of you would prefer to continue with remote learning. As previously shared, if health metrics and city authorities indicate that staff and students can safely be in buildings prior to January, we may decide to open our schools to students in a limited capacity. Should this become a possibility, you will hear from us with plenty of runway to make a decision that is right for your family.
Finally, I have provided just a few updates and reminders.
- November 3rd is now a day off for all KIPP Chicago staff and students. This day is off so that staff and families can vote and/or volunteer as part of local voting efforts. We hope this day off helps remove some barriers in this process.
- Because November 3rd is a day off, November 6th will now be a regular remote learning day for students. Students should plan to attend remote school on November 6th.
- Please also join us in celebrating Latinx Heritage Month by following us on Facebook and Instagram at @KIPPChicago. Here you can learn more about the cultures, contributions and resilience of Latinx, Hispanic and Latino-identified communities within KIPP Chicago, our city and around the world and participate in our first ever KIPP Chicago Loteria event which launches on Tuesday, October 6th. Check your email for more information on how to pick up your game board and play.
July 17th, 2020
I am writing today with an update about KIPP Chicago’s plan for the school year. As you may know, we decided weeks ago to prioritize the safety of our staff and students by deciding to start school remotely. I’m grateful for this early decision as it allowed our leaders and teachers to thoughtfully focus on preparing to be the best remote classroom teachers this city has to offer. KIPP Chicago will keep its promise of providing an excellent education to our students and communities regardless of our setting.
In light of Mayor Lightfoot’s recent announcement that CPS district led schools will be operating a remote teaching model through the end of the first quarter, I wanted to reach out to our families. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will remain consistent in making decisions that center the health and safety of your children and their teachers. As a result, our new tentative on-site start date will be Tuesday, November 10th. This means our entire first quarter of learning will take place remotely. We do not take the impact this decision has on our families lightly. We know how hard it is to wear the hat of a parent and teacher while navigating the realities of this time.
If it becomes safe enough, we will pursue ways for our buildings to provide space for students to complete their remote learning.
As a parent myself, I know how much it means when caring leaders and teachers greet our children with a supportive online classroom and engaging learning opportunities. Below are a few highlights of KIPP’s remote schooling model this Fall:
- Access. KIPP will work with every single child to ensure that they can access our technology platforms for online school.
- As close to normal school experience, given the circumstance. KIPPsters will be in Live Zoom classes every single day with their teachers and classmates. KIPPsters will have many hours of grade level instruction to complete outside of Live Zoom classes. KIPPsters will have access to fun Zoom activities so they can connect with their classmates on Wednesdays.
- The Best Online Education Programs. KIPP has purchased licenses for the top online education platforms for every student.
- Communication. Every parent/student will receive a one-on-one conference before the year starts to ensure they have everything needed to be successful. Once the year starts on August 24th, KIPP staff will contact students/families at least twice a week, and families will receive progress reports each week that show student grades and online attendance.
- Small group attention. KIPPsters will also have access to Zoom small groups with less than 10 students. KIPPsters may also be in small group Zooms with their teachers if they are struggling to understand a concept.
- Follow us on Facebook and Instagram! Schools will recognize students with pictures, prizes, and celebrations on social media accounts.
In closing, I want every parent to know that our Principals began planning way back in May for the possibility of remote school this Fall. As I write this letter, teachers are receiving professional development with the aim of becoming the best remote instructors this city has to offer. In other words, you can count on KIPP right now. We can’t wait to see your children online for our first day of remote school on Monday, August 24th. Please be on the lookout for communication from your specific school in the next two weeks. Also, I ask that you check your email and complete our family survey if you have not already done so. Your voice matters to us.