What do you know about KIPP schools?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by schoolteacher, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 26, 2009

    I just read an article in Philadelphia Magazine about KIPP schools.

    http://www.kipp.org/

    Does anyone here have knowledge of these schools, or work there? I am curious to know who would be willing to teach there considering all of the hours that you must put in:

    Students and teachers are in school from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, for four hours on Saturdays, and for three to four weeks during the summer.

    These schools apparently are achieving great results.
     
  2.  
  3. KateL

    KateL Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    2

    Aug 26, 2009

    It is a lot of work, but it's very rewarding. The teachers definitely make a difference for students who wouldn't have much of a chance otherwise. It's not a sustainable schedule, though. Most KIPP teachers are young, single, childless, and only stay for a few years. (Of course there are exceptions.) It looks like this is what it might take to close the achievement gap, though. Most KIPP schools are middle schools, but they are starting to build elementary and high schools.
     
  4. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 27, 2009

    I worked for KIPP for a year. I did not have the best experience, but it had nothing to do the with the organization or idea of KIPP....I had a bad school leader. Great things happen at KIPP schools! I worked at another school that was similar as well--same hours, very good results. I have seen teachers with children working at KIPP schools. Sometimes teachers have staggered schedules/part time. You make more money.

    It is a great way to help kids that are a part of the achievement gap. Many kids come to see KIPP as home, with their unstable home lives.
     
  5. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 27, 2009

    Yes, I was thinking that having a family and working at KIPP would not mesh well.

    Rachaelski, did you find it difficult to work such a long day? Did the students find it difficult to focus? I can imagine that by the end of the day, I and the students would be dragging.
     
  6. KateL

    KateL Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    2

    Aug 27, 2009

    Working such a long day is exhausting. There wasn't time for much of anything outside of KIPP, although I figured out the balance better by the spring. I didn't teach that much more than other teachers, though - I had 3 hours of prep every day. I taught for 4-5 hours, and I had duty for another 1 hour or so. There were lots of meetings outside school hours, though, and the students were allowed to call me for help on their homework until 9:00 pm.

    The students generally did ok. They had 1 hour for lunch and recess, and many of them were in the band, so it wasn't like they were sitting still all day. Also, KIPP teachers tend to keep things lively, so the kids weren't bored although they did work hard.

    Are you thinking of teaching at KIPP?
     
  7. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 27, 2009

    Wow, three hours of prep. That's great. But meetings after school hours and students calling for help on homework until 9 - it's almost like it's an all day affair, plus Saturdays.

    I admire what they are trying to do here. I was reading on the website that they want to seriously expand this, but I was wondering how they were going to find teachers to work for them.

    I would never be able to commit that kind of time, having three children at home.
     
  8. KateL

    KateL Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    2

    Aug 27, 2009

    Yeah, I'm married but I don't have any kids. As rachaelski said, many KIPP schools have teachers that job share, which makes the time spent less than that of a teacher at a traditional school, which is good for parents with small children.
     
  9. nothermanda

    nothermanda Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 27, 2009

    KIPP has the highest scores by far in our area, but we get a lot of kids who are "counseled out" for behavior/academic reasons.

    We also get a lot of kids who can't handle the school's incredibly strict rules. KIPP is good for some kids, but it's not for everyone!
     
  10. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 30, 2009

    i taught part-time at a KIPP school... definitely a great experience for some, but it's not for everyone. some kids greatly benefited from the interactive instruction, extra help (we had "Wall Street" homework help from 5-7:30 Mon-Thurs, and kids stayed as long as they needed to) and longer hours, but i knew a few for which the behavioral demands and strictness were way too much. There's essentially a demerit system, where students who get too many demerits get placed on "Bench"... they're isolated physically from the rest of the "Team" and even have to wear different shirts. I've read several articles raving about KIPP but they rarely mention things like that. A recent report on NPR described how some people think that KIPP schools under-enroll students who are ELLs and special education, so they're not necessarily serving the most traditionally "difficult" kids.
     
  11. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Messages:
    631
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 30, 2009

    rereading my previous post, i feel i should mention... my behavior problems teaching 7th and 8th graders were MINIMAL. i doubt i would have as easy a time focusing on academics in any regular public middle school. i strongly believed in KIPP's teaching philosophy and think that generally their programs are excellent - but nontraditional, and certainly not without a few things that I wish were different. Some teachers are still at KIPP since I left 6 years ago, but the vast majority of the staff are new. It's just not realistic to keep teachers for long with so many time and energy demands.
     
  12. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 30, 2009

    I did NOT have 3 hours of prep! I had 90 minutes...and we ate breakfast and lunch with the kids.
     
  13. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 30, 2009

    Just make sure you like the school climate. I had a terrible school leader, who made everyone miserable, and I left working crying most day.
     
  14. ambritlit

    ambritlit Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 30, 2009

    I am working in a program modeled after KIPP schools. It's a regular public school, but some kids have extended day. I don't know how it will be, we start after Labor Day with the longer hours.

    I'm excited about the program, but worried about how I'll get it all done and still have time to do grading and lesson planning, etc. (much of which I normally do in the evenings and weekends).
     
  15. KateL

    KateL Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    2

    Aug 30, 2009

    We didn't have the "bench" system at my KIPP school. They tried it the first year the school was open, but none of the teachers liked it and it didn't work with our students, so they stopped doing it. I've heard that many of the other KIPP schools have moved away from it as well.

    We did enroll fewer ELLs and special ed students. Most just couldn't keep up with the rigorous academics. KIPP can't cure all our educational system's ills. The increase in test scores were real, though. We tested the students at the beginning of 5th grade, and the gains they made during the year and throughout their time at KIPP were phenomenal.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Alice Mark,
  2. williampartin,
  3. mrsf70
Total: 422 (members: 4, guests: 403, robots: 15)
test