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KIPP Delta Changes Start Time - Blytheville Announcement

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students, and Staff,
We hope this message finds you well and enjoying the final weeks of the first semester of the 2013-2014 school year. Based on recent academic results, accolades, and achievements, this year is shaping up to be another terrific learning experience for all.
KIPP Delta constantly strives to go “Beyond Z” in order to maximize student achievement as well as student and teacher retention. With this in mind, we are constantly evaluating our programs to see if there is a better way. While a long-standing pillar of KIPP schools around the nation is “More Time”, we have recently engaged in discussion on how best to use and maximize our time.
After much thought, feedback, and evaluation, KIPP Delta has decided to begin its school day at 8:00 a.m. starting on January 7, 2014. Several considerations helped sway our decision. First and foremost, there is significant research that suggests most children in our country are not receiving an adequate amount of sleep needed to function during a school day. Given that some of our students wake up as early as 5:00 a.m. to ride a bus to school, we determined a change was in order to provide more equitable service to our KIPPsters traveling from a distance. Furthermore, KIPP Delta wants to recruit and retain top instructional talent. As we all know, many of our teachers arrive well before the start of a school day and stay at school well afterwards. The extra thirty minutes of rest could go a long way in providing a more sustainable work-life balance for our teachers.
In surveying staff and parents on the topic, we received overwhelming feedback in support of a later start. Over 90% of respondents, including parents and staff, favored the 8:00 a.m. start. Additionally, more than 90% of parents and staff respondents indicated that they did not believe a later start would hurt academic performance.
We understand that this scheduling change may present logistical challenges for some of you. Given this, KIPP Delta does plan on initiating a no-cost transitional before-school academic program from 7:00 – 7:45 a.m. that will start on January 7, 2014 and continue until at least January 31. Students may have tutoring and remediation services available to them by request at this time and breakfast snacks and refreshments such as bananas, apples, and milk will be provided. 
All scheduled bus stops will pick up thirty minutes later each morning. For example, if your child was normally picked up at their bus stop at 6:30 a.m., the bus will now pick your child up at 7:00 a.m. Please find updated bus routes/times attached to this letter. KIPP Delta hopes to use the coming months to evaluate the effectiveness of a later start. We want to see if this schedule change helps us achieve our desired results in the areas of student achievement and retention as well as teacher retention. We will solicit feedback on the effectiveness of this change again in the spring and make adjustments if necessary.
If you have any questions or concerns as we transition to the new schedule in January,
please reach out to our schools and School Directors. The schools’ contact information
and School Director email addresses can be found below. We wish you and your family a
very happy upcoming winter holiday and New Year.
KIPP Delta Elementary Literacy Academy:
  • Main Office: 870-753-9800
  • School Director: Luke VanDeWalle,
KIPP Delta College Preparatory School:
  • Main Office: 870-753-9444
  • School Director: Heather Saunders,
KIPP Delta Collegiate High School:
  • Main Office: 870-338-8138
  • School Director: Todd Dixon,
KIPP Blytheville College Preparatory School
  • Main Office: 870-780-6333
  • School Director: Maisie Wright,
Scott Shirey
Executive Director
KIPP Delta Public Schools
PDF icon Late Start Notice.pdf

If you are a journalist or a member of the media and have an inquiry, please contact:

Carissa Godwin
Chief of External Affairs