The Intro Issue

What is the Whole Child?

The Whole Child Initiative (WCI) is KIPP Chicago’s next iteration of growth. It embraces a whole child ethos, which ensures each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. It will also focus on supporting staff, family, and community health and wellbeing.

KIPP Chicago’s mission has always been to create joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare students with the skills and confidence to pursue the paths they choose, from college to career, and beyond, so they can lead fulfilling lives and create a more just world.

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The Roots of our Whole Child Initiative

Over the last five years, we have been driving several pilots, programs, and committees at some or all of our schools to begin defining how we approach a Whole Child education. We want to share the roots of our Whole Child Initiative in order to celebrate our stories and offer resources to other educators.

Subtracting the anxiety and adding some fun to testing!

Spring testing can create a lot of stress and anxiety for both students and teachers. We know how important these tests are in measuring our effectiveness as educators, but we are also committed to creating an environment that fosters joy.


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Social and Emotional Learning, Mindfulness, and Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Student practising mindfulness

Four years ago we committed to hiring more social workers to ensure students have the support they deserve. We have also invested in mindfulness training for all of our teachers so they can begin to lead these practices in their classrooms. 

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Amplifying inquiry and evidence through Science

More students using Amplify at KAC

While Science, Technology, and Engineering programming has always been an important part of the KIPP Chicago experience, our efforts in fostering a love of inquiry and scientific thinking have grown over the last 3 years.

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Passion Projects

Actress in the Lion King at KIPP Bloom College Prep

A ‘Passion Project’ is anything that allows for student curiosity, creativity, and collaborative experiences. According to research for an article in The Atlantic, children living in under-resourced areas are more likely to thrive in school when they find a project suited to their interests and curiosity.

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Children’s Museum of Art and Social Justice

Three years ago we turned the front half of our regional office into our Children’s Museum of Art and Social Justice. The mission of the museum is to offer a space for the voices of KIPP Chicago students to be heard and to infuse a social justice curriculum into the arts at our eight schools.

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10 years of Arts Programming at KIPP Ascend Primary

The lead performers in The Wiz.

KIPP Ascend Primary began an arts program during its founding year in 2010 with musical theater. With the addition of visual arts and dance in the following years, a collaborative program evolved.


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Harriett Ball Excellence in Teaching

We know that we couldn’t drive the Whole Child Initiative without excellent teachers. The Harriett Ball Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes outstanding teachers from across the 200+ schools in the national KIPP network.

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Blooming Gardens

Four years ago, the Common Ground Foundation, led by Academy Award winning artist, actor, and author, Common, partnered with the Gardeneers to bring a garden project to KIPP Bloom College Prep 

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In Other Exciting News

Hallway at KIPP Academy Chicago Primary

The doors to KIPP Academy Chicago Primary (KACP) opened on August 19th to eager and excited new kindergartners and 4th graders. Founded by school leader, Jarell Lee alongside 4th grade school leader, Marquita Curry, KACP is our 8th school.

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All KIPP Chicago schools are closed through 4/20.Click here for more on KIPP Chicago's response to the Coronavirus.