Frequently Asked Questions

Enrollment

How do I enroll my child?

KIPP schools are public charter schools and are open to all students. There is no application or selection process to enroll at KIPP. Any student can attend a local KIPP school as long as he or she meets the residency requirements of the local school district and there is space available at his or her grade level.

The enrollment process is relatively simple and is managed at the local level, so the process is different depending on where you live. Use our School Directory to find a KIPP school near you, and learn more about how to enroll.

New KIPP schools start with a single grade level and then admit one additional grade level each year until reaching full enrollment. New KIPP middle schools open with just a fifth grade, then admit fifth and sixth graders in year two, then admit fifth, sixth, and seventh graders in year three, and fifth through eighth graders in year four.

Can anyone attend KIPP? Are there admissions requirements?

Yes, anyone can attend KIPP! There are no admissions requirements. KIPP schools are tuition-free, public schools open to all students, including English Language Learners and students with special education needs. 17 percent of KIPP students are designated ELL and 10 percent receive special education services.

There is no application required for enrollment

What is the daily schedule and school calendar for KIPP schools?

All KIPP schools have their own calendars and bell schedules.

What happens if there are not enough available spaces to admit all students that apply?

When parent demand exceeds enrollment capacity at the school, students are admitted based upon on a lottery. Lotteries are typically held in the late winter or early spring.

If students apply after the date of the lottery, they will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, as spaces become available.

What does "more time" or "extended school day" really mean?

KIPP schools provide a safe, structured, and nurturing environment with minimal distractions and more time for both academics and extracurriculars, so our students love school and maximize their learning.

To gain this extra time, KIPP schools feature a longer school day (typically from 7:30am until 4:00pm), as well as summer school. This extra time allows KIPP schools to offer a strong academic program along with art, music and other extracurriculars as part of the school day.

Are KIPP teachers credentialed? How are they trained?

KIPP was started by two teachers and we know that quality teaching is the single most influential factor in a student’s success. KIPP teachers share one unifying characteristic: an unyielding belief that all children can and will learn. KIPP schools employ mission-driven teachers from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds and constantly help them improve their craft with supportive professional development programs and personal coaching.

KIPP schools comply with any applicable state and federal laws, and certification requirements for public charter school teachers vary by state. While many KIPP schools look for candidates with at least two years of prior teaching experience, several schools offer programs designed specifically for new teachers. Visit the KIPP.org page on Highly Effective Teachers to learn more.

To apply to teach at KIPP Baltimore, start here.

Employment

How do I apply to work at KIPP?

The application process for all jobs is handled locally by individual KIPP schools, regions, or by the KIPP Foundation, depending on the position. To learn more about what it’s like teaching at a KIPP school, click here.

What is the experience and background of a typical KIPP teacher or school leader?

KIPP teachers are a diverse group, including experienced teachers who have worked in schools serving educationally underserved students, new teachers who are just beginning their careers, and career changers who are entering the classroom after succeeding in another profession.

Across our network, more than 40 percent of our teachers are African American or Latino, a quarter of our teachers have graduate degrees or higher, and a fifth are Teach For America alumni.

KIPP school leaders have experience and backgrounds that are similar to our teachers, but they have typically spent a longer time in the classroom. As of July 2016, nearly 80 percent of KIPP school leaders were former KIPP teachers and two thirds of our leaders held graduate’s degrees or higher.

What are the requirements to teach at a KIPP school?

The primary requirement for teaching at a KIPP school is a simple one: that you share a belief to do whatever it takes to help each and every student develop the character and academic skills necessary for them to lead self-sufficient, successful, and happy lives.

Additionally, KIPP schools comply with any applicable state and federal laws, and certification requirements for charter school teachers vary by state. While many KIPP schools look for candidates with at least two years of prior teaching experience, several schools offer programs designed specifically for new teachers. Visit the KIPP.org Teachers page to learn more.

Each KIPP school is managed locally, and hiring decisions are made at the level of the individual school.

Please note: to be considered for a teaching position at a KIPP school, you must have legal authorization to work in the United States.

What makes working at KIPP unique?

At KIPP, you never stop learning. You’re part of a national network that’s leading the way in getting students to and through college, and your work makes an impact on the community every day.

What are the requirements to be a school leader at KIPP?

KIPP school leader candidates must possess the unyielding belief in every child’s potential to succeed in top-quality high schools, colleges, and in the competitive world beyond.

Additionally, all candidates should have:

  • Instructional expertise in a K-12 classroom
  • At least two years of teaching and/or leadership experience in a low-income school with demonstrated exemplary student results (“low-income school” is a school in which over 50 percent of the student population qualifies for the federal free and reduced meals program)
  • A record of success in leading adults
  • The capacity to define a vision, build a team, and achieve results despite tremendous obstacles
  • Broad experience as an instructional leader to teachers of all subjects

The KIPP Foundation recruits school leaders through two, year-long fellowship programs. For more information, visit Fisher Fellowship or Miles Family Fellowship.

What support roles exist within KIPP regions or at the KIPP Foundation?

Many opportunities exist to join KIPP as part of a national, regional, or school-based support team. Here are just a few roles that KIPP team members play to support excellence in KIPP schools:

  • National and regional experts in communications, technology, curriculum development, organizational management, and more
  • Counselors and mentors for KIPP Through College
  • School site social workers
  • Bus drivers and food service managers
  • Accountants, business managers, and human resources professionals

What types of candidates are you looking to hire for these support roles?

We look for candidates that have both professional expertise as well as a belief and commitment to KIPP’s mission of helping every child succeed in top-quality high schools, colleges, and the competitive world beyond. Individual job opportunities and requirements vary by role and are specified in the job description.

What professional development is available to KIPP Baltimore staff?

Continuous learning is one of KIPP’s core values and we believe there is always room to learn, grow, and improve at each stage of your KIPP career. That’s why we prioritize and invest in unparalleled professional development for all of our staff, from on-going coaching and school-wide trainings, to national conferences and retreats.

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Organizational Structure

Are KIPP schools public schools?

Yes. KIPP schools are tuition-free, public charter schools open to all students. There are 200 KIPP schools across the country educating early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school students.

Every KIPP school is approved to operate by a charter school authorizer—typically a district school board, university, or state department of education—that makes sure the school is living up to the commitments in its charter and is in compliance with relevant federal, state, and local requirements. KIPP schools are primarily funded through public federal, state, and local dollars, along with supplemental funding through charitable donations from foundations and individuals

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are tuition-free public schools and enrollment is open to all students. They are independently operated schools that run with more flexibility than traditional public schools in exchange for increased accountability.

The “charter” that establishes each school is a contract detailing the school’s mission, program, performance goals, and methods of assessment. Every public charter school has an authorizer which, subject to state law, may be a district school board, university, Mayor’s office, or non-profit organization. Authorizers are responsible for holding charter schools accountable for compliance with their operating agreements or “charters.”

Like all public schools, charter schools are:

  • Tuition-free and part of the free public school system
  • Held to state and federal academic standards
  • Open to all students, including those with disabilities
  • Funded primarily through a combination of federal, state, and local tax dollars
  • Not affiliated with or restricted to a particular religious group

What is the role of the KIPP Foundation?

KIPP schools are part of a national network of schools that operate with support from the KIPP Foundation. The non-profit KIPP Foundation trains and develops outstanding educators to lead KIPP schools, provides tools, resources and training for excellent teaching and learning, promotes innovation, and facilitates the exchange of insights and ideas within the KIPP network and with district schools, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations across the country.

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What is a KIPP Region?

Each KIPP regional organization is a separate non-profit that oversees their local KIPP schools and provides those schools with shared services in areas such as alumni support, teacher training, leadership development, advocacy, operations, and data analysis.

KIPP regions are embedded within their communities and they partner with neighboring schools and community-based organizations to best support their students. All KIPP regional organizations are governed by a local board of directors and led by an executive director or superintendent.

Find a KIPP Region

What is the history of KIPP?

KIPP, or the Knowledge Is Power Program, began in 1994 when two former Teach For America teachers, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, launched a fifth-grade program with 47 fifth-graders within a Houston, Texas, public middle school.

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How are KIPP schools funded?

KIPP schools are public charter schools that are primarily funded by local and state dollars, along with some funding from the federal government.

Local and state per-pupil funding covers the vast majority of KIPP’s operational costs. To fund KIPP’s expansion and ensure the sustainability of KIPP schools, KIPP regions raise additional funding from local donors and foundations.

To learn the ways you can support KIPP Baltimore, click here.

General

Why does KIPP focus on character development?

KIPP believes that our students need both a strong academic foundation and well-developed character strengths to succeed in college and the world beyond.

Our approach to character is grounded in the development of seven character strengths that are found to be highly predictive of success in life. Our character framework was developed by KIPP NYC in collaboration with Dr. Angela Duckworth, Dr. Martin Seligman, the late Dr. Chris Peterson, and in partnership with Riverdale Country School.

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What is KIPP's curriculum?

A high-quality curriculum is one of the most influential factors on student achievement (Marzano, 2003), and plays a critical role in unlocking the potential of both students and teachers.

KIPP recognizes that it is essential, for student success, to carefully select what students learn and provide the time needed to learn it. That’s why KIPP schools’ curricula are rigorous, standards-based, and carefully designed to prepare our students to succeed in college, career, and the world beyond.

At a national level, The KIPP Foundation recommends the following college-prep curricula. Each KIPP school and region creates a unique learning environment to meet the needs of its students, so check with your local KIPP school for more specifics:

Literacy

English Language Arts is taught through the KIPP Wheatley curriculum in grades K-8. KIPP Wheatley curriculum provides opportunities for close reading, writing, and speaking based on high-quality, diverse, and culturally relevant texts to students within a comprehensive, college-ready curriculum.

Math

Math is taught through Eureka Math, a nationally-recognized curriculum for alignment to college ready standards in grades PK-12. Published by Great minds, Eureka Math presents mathematics in a logical progression crafted to reduce learning gaps, develop persistence in problem solving, and prepare students to understand advanced mathematical concepts.

Learn more

How can I volunteer at KIPP Baltimore?

Many opportunities exist to volunteer at KIPP Baltimore, from painting elementary school classrooms to tutoring high school students. Contact us directly about volunteer opportunities.

How can I partner with KIPP?

Click here to start the conversation!

We also have national partnerships with colleges and universities to support our alumni all the way through college graduation.

Learn more about KIPP Through College.

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