What is KIPP?

In 1994, two teachers, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, launched a fifth grade public school program in Houston, Texas after completing their work with Teach For America. Their goal: do “whatever it takes” to help students develop their character and academic skills for college and life.

They believed that high expectations coupled with creativity, rigor and sustained student, parent and teacher commitment could generate transformational results for kids in schools in underserved communities. Mike and Dave named their program KIPP – the Knowledge is Power Program.

KIPP Baltimore serves more than 1,500 students and 800 alumni. We operate an elementary school, KIPP Harmony Academy, and a middle school, KIPP Ujima Village Academy, in Northwest Baltimore and an alumni support program called KIPP Through College (KTC). Our schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students.

At KIPP, we are all united around the same goal, college graduation.

Our success is driven by:

  • High Expectations

    Clearly defined high expectations for academic achievement and conduct creates and reinforces a culture of achievement and support.

  • Strength of Character

    Success in life depends on more than academic learning. We foster the character strengths that are essential for student success.

  • Highly-skilled Teachers & Leaders

    Great schools require great teachers and student leaders. We empower our school teams and invest in leadership and training.

  • Safe & Structured Environments

    Our schools provide a safe, structured, and nurturing environment to maximize learning.

  • KIPP Through College

    KIPP counselors support students as they prepare for and select the right college and career based on their interests and passions.

This year is our 15th anniversary, and we remain optimistic.

We recognize there is more work to be done, but our progress to date has clearly demonstrated what is possible. Today we stand in partnership with other organizations committed to educational excellence and equity—working together so that all children have the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills, character and habits necessary to lead choice-filled lives.

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