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Notes from the Delta - December 2014 Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Dear Team & Family,

As we dive back into work and school after the Thanksgiving holiday and make one more strong push before the winter break, we have much for which to be thankful. Each of us at KIPP Delta has the privilege of working, each and every day, towards a goal that will change the course of our students’ lives. Our mission is to create and support schools that empower students from underserved communities to develop the knowledge, skills, and character traits necessary to pursue a college education and a life of value, joy, and integrity. Even on the hardest days, as we approach the half-way point of the school year and the daylight continues to disappear, we can return to the simple but powerful words of our mission and know that what we are doing matters. It matters to students, to families, and the Arkansas Delta. I am amazed by and incredibly grateful for the KIPP Delta Team & Family. Thank you, to our staff, our families, and our donors, for all you do to make college completion a reality for more students.

In addition to sharing gratitude, I am also excited to share two important announcements with you this month. First, KIPP Delta Public Schools has been fully approved to open our sixth school in Forrest City next summer! We are honored to be able to bring school choice to more families in the Forrest City area. We will open KIPP Forrest City College Preparatory School with a class of 85 fifth graders in the summer of 2015. To learn more about our expansion or enroll a student for the 2015-2016 school year, click here.

Secondly, our 2013-2014 Annual Report has now been published and we are very proud of the finished product. This year’s report shares data centered around our Six Essential Questions. These questions, which are used by every KIPP school and region in the country, are the yardstick by which we measure our success and determine our areas for growth. In the newest annual report, we also highlight KIPP Delta’s many strengths and discuss how we will build on them in the coming years. Many of you will be receiving a hard copy of the annual report in the mail soon, and you can also read it online here. I encourage you to dive into the report, and then share it with your family, friends, and colleagues.

Thank you for your continued support of our schools and our mission. I hope you have a restful and joyous holiday!

Scott Shirey
Executive Director


Enroll at KIPP Forrest City Today!

KIPP Delta is coming to the Forrest City community in the 2015-2016 school year! After recently receiving approval from the Arkansas Department of Education, we are thrilled to announce that our newest middle school will open in the summer of 2015 with 85 fifth grade students. KIPP Forrest City College Preparatory School will grow to serve grades five through eight by 2018.

“We’re excited to continue to serve the students of this area and excited to be able to provide an additional choice for parents in St. Francis County and the surrounding areas. We’re looking forward to making Forrest City our new home,” said Executive Director, Scott Shirey.

The location of KIPP Forrest City College Preparatory School has not yet been determined, as KIPP Delta is currently in the process of site selection. Students from Forrest City, Palestine-Wheatley, Brinkley, DeValls Bluff, Wynne, and other surrounding communities may attend, as the only requirement for KIPP Delta students is that they reside in Arkansas.  KIPP Delta will provide transportation to and from Forrest City and the surrounding areas based on the number and location of enrolled students.

If more there are more than 85 applicants, a lottery will be held in April to randomly select students. Parents and guardians may enroll students at any time between now and April 15 by visiting  

Marcus Nelson, former school director of KIPP Delta College Preparatory School, will be the founding school director of KIPP Forrest City College Preparatory School. Marcus is currently completing a year-long Fisher Fellowship through the KIPP Foundation, during which he spends a great deal of time with current founding school directors around the country. With guidance and critical collaboration, Marcus will design his school and make plans to open in the summer of 2015 with a class of 5th grade students.

The Forrest City campus will employ six to seven full-time staff members when the school opens, along with several part-time employees. As positions become available, they will be posted on our Careers page.

Watch this video to learn more!



2013-2014 Annual Report

2013-2014 was a great year for KIPP Delta Public Schools. Even while increasing our enrollment to the highest it has ever been, we continued to provide a high-quality education for the children who need us most, significantly increased our student and parent satisfaction rates, kept more of our teachers, and met our financial targets.

This year’s annual report shares key statistics around these successes, as well as plans to build on our strengths to continue to grow. We encourage you to dive in and learn more about where we have been and where we are going! 


Raise Money for KIPP Delta by Shopping on Amazon

Looking for a quick and easy way to support KIPP Delta while doing your online holiday shopping?  If you shop on Amazon, 5% of your purchase will go directly back to KIPP Delta.  All you have to do is use this link. There is no additional cost to shopping on Amazon and, anytime you shop from this link, 5% of your total will automatically be donated to KIPP Delta! Save the link to your favorites and then forward this message on to friends and family to share the good news! Thank you for supporting KIPP Delta, at no extra cost to you, while shopping for the holidays!


KIPP Delta College Preparatory School Earns $10,000 from Monsanto

KIPP Delta Public Schools has received a $10,000 grant from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The district will use the money to purchase Chromebooks and the Spatial-Temporal (ST) Math program for fifth through eighth grade students at KIPP Delta College Preparatory School.

Students struggling in math courses often benefit from blended learning. To make blended learning a reality in more classrooms, KIPP Delta Public Schools decided to purchase Chromebooks, allowing students to receive both traditional teacher instruction and differentiated instruction through the technology. The ST Math program on the laptops allows for students who are not engaged in direct teacher instruction to work with math content in an individualized manner. ST Math is game-based instructional software that uses interactive animations to represent math concepts. While students are working on the Chromebooks, teachers are able to do small-group instruction and give more one-on-one attention. In many classrooms, all students rotate between using technology and receiving traditional teacher instruction.

KIPP Delta Public Schools celebrated receiving the grant on November 21, during a basketball game. Nominating farmers, school representatives, and local Monsanto representative Jammy Turner attended the event. Thank you to the Monsanto Fund and the many local farmers who nominated KIPP Delta!


Thanksgiving Celebrations Abound!

During the last week of classes in November, our KIPP campuses celebrated Thanksgiving by having their annual Thanksgiving lunch. Both lunches together brought in over 700 guests, including students and their family members! Delicious meals were prepared and many students performed. A wonderful time was had by all!

KIPP Blytheville College Preparatory School celebrated their Thanksgiving Feast on November 18, 2014. More than 500 students and family members celebrated this day together. Chef Clark Huff prepared a delicious meal, with the help of Ms. Coleman, Ms. Carter, and the KIPP Blytheville Culinary Club. Freshmen John Ball and Fredaysia Estell spoke about their personal experiences at KIPP over the past five years. Guests enjoyed performances by 7th grade and 9th grade percussion groups, along with two wonderful routines performed by Young Generation, the BCPS step team.

KIPP Delta Elementary Literacy Academy celebrated their Thanksgiving Feast on November 20, 2014.  More than 200 parents attended the concert and lunch afterwards.  Mrs. Dockery and her team cooked up a delicious meal that was enjoyed by all.  Ms. Gilles put together a remarkable program with a wide variety of fall-themed music, and each grade level performed a song. It was an exciting day for the KIPP Delta ELA Community! 

View pictures from the Blytheville and Helena events. 


Upcoming Events

  • MAP Testing - December 1-5, 2014
  • Students Dismiss at Noon - December 19, 2014
  • Winter Break - December 20-January 5, 2014
  • Beyond Z Event in Blytheville - February 7, 2015
  • Little Bites. Big Impact. Event in Helena - April 9, 2015

View the e-newsletter online


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

Carissa Godwin
Chief of External Affairs