Meetings Set on Possible KIPP Charter School

October 10, 2003
Plans to open a KIPP college preparatory public school for middle school students in the Wheaton area beginning in July 2005 will be discussed at informational meetings for parents and the community on Monday, October 20, at Wheaton High School beginning at 7:30 p.m. and at recruitment sessions the following week for educators who may want to teach and lead the school.

The school would be the first public charter school in Montgomery County, with KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) operating it as an independent school within the former Belt middle school facility, if facility and charter plans are approved. The Belt facility is planned to reopen for the 2005-2006 school year as both a middle school and as the site of the KIPP school.

Efforts are under way to recruit interested educators who want to apply for instructional and leadership positions—including the job as the school leader who will receive a yearlong paid training fellowship to prepare to open the school. The first informational meetings for interested educators will be held on Monday, October 27, at Carver Educational Services Center in Rockville from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. and again from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m.

Details of the operational design and structure of the KIPP school are being worked out, including student enrollment procedures, as transition planning and preparation continues. The KIPP school is envisioned as including Grades 5-8 when fully operational, with the first class of fifth grade students enrolling for programs beginning the summer of 2005.

KIPP began in 1994 in Texas and now has schools in major cities throughout the United States, including locally in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The KIPP initiative in Montgomery County will be the first in a non-city school district that nonetheless faces many of the same challenges of other urbanized areas, including increased poverty, limited English proficiency, and high mobility among students and families.

All KIPP schools feature an intense academic program, a variety of instructional strategies, and extended day and weekend activities to support student success in meeting standards for knowledge, skills, and character development. Typical features also include a considerably longer school day, up to three hours of homework each night, Saturday school, a monthlong summer program, extracurricular activities, field trips, and active parent involvement. Students, parents, and teachers pledge their commitment to achieve excellence by signing a ”commitment to excellence” form.

Information about KIPP is available at the link below.

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