Frequently Asked Questions

What is the history of KIPP?

KIPP began in 1994 when two teachers, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, launched a fifth-grade public school program in inner-city Houston, TX, after completing their commitment to Teach For America. In 1995, Feinberg established KIPP Academy Middle School in Houston, while Levin returned home to New York City to establish KIPP Academy Middle School in the South Bronx. These two original KIPP Academies quickly became among the highest performing public schools in their communities.

In 2000, Feinberg and Levin partnered with Doris and Don Fisher, the founders of The Gap, to establish the KIPP Foundation, focused on replicating the success of the original KIPP Academies on a national scale.

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are publicly funded, independently operated schools that are allowed to operate with more autonomy than traditional public schools in exchange for increased accountability. Some charter schools are stand-alone institutions, while others operate as part of larger school networks. Every charter school has an authorizer which, subject to state law, may be a local school or state board, local university, or other entity. Authorizers are responsible for holding charter schools accountable for compliance with their operating agreements (“charters”).

Like all public schools, charter schools are:

  • Tuition-free and open-enrollment
  • Non-sectarian and non-discriminatory
  • Funded primarily through a combination of federal, state and local tax dollars
  • Held to state and federal academic standards
Who attends KIPP schools?

KIPP schools are open-enrollment public schools, serving primarily low-income and minority students. Nationally, more than 88 percent of KIPP students are eligible for the federal free or reduced-price meals program, and 95 percent are African-American or Latino.

What is KIPP's curriculum?

KIPP schools follow the same state and federal curriculum standards as other public schools. Each KIPP region operates autonomously, so teachers and principals have the freedom to adapt the curriculum to create customized, innovative lessons that best meet students’ needs. With its extended school day, there is more time for rich learning experiences, extracurricular activities, and field lessons.

What do we know about the gains that students make at KIPP?

The 2010 Mathematica report concluded that that KIPP schools typically have a positive, statistically significant, and educationally substantial impact on student achievement.

Over a three-year period, researchers found that academic impacts were equivalent to 1.2 and 0.9 years of additional instruction in math and reading, respectively.

Are KIPP students going on to earn college degrees?

According to U.S. Census data, only 30 percent of all Americans aged 25-29 have earned a four-year college degree. For students whose families are in the bottom economic quartile, only 8 percent hold a four-year college degree by their mid-20s.

By contrast, 43 percent of KIPP students who finished eighth grade at KIPP ten or more years ago have completed a four-year college degree. This rate is higher than the average for all students across all income levels nationwide, and five times the college completion rate of students from low-income communities.

Are there admissions requirements at KIPP schools?

There is no application or selection process to enroll at KIPP. Any student can attend a local KIPP school, as long as they meet the residency requirements of the local school district and there is space available at their grade level.

Each school holds a random lottery to determine admission if the number of student applicants is greater than the number of spaces available. All students who apply after the date of the lottery are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, regardless of socioeconomic background or academic record.

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

KIPP teachers are the heart and soul of KIPP schools. There are currently more than 4,800 KIPP teachers nationwide, and each shares the fundamental belief that all children can and will learn. KIPP teachers are a diverse group, including experienced teachers who have worked in schools serving 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, nearly 40 percent of our teachers are African-American or Latino, about 33 percent are Teach For America alumni, and more than 32 percent hold master's degrees.

Contact Information

Central Office
415 Ohio Street
Helena-West Helena, AR 72342
Main Office: 870-753-9035
Fax: 870-753-9440

KIPP Delta Elementary Literacy Academy
215 Cherry Street
Helena-West Helena, AR 72342
Main Office: 870-753-9800
Fax: 870-753-9801

KIPP Delta College Preparatory
514 Missouri Street
Helena-West Helena, AR, 72342
Main Office: 870-753-9444
Fax: 870-753-9450

KIPP Delta Collegiate High School
320 Missouri
Helena-West Helena, AR 72342
Main Office: 870-338-8138
Fax: 870-338-8623

KIPP Blytheville College Preparatory School
1200 Byrum Road
Blytheville, Arkansas, 72315
Main Office: 870-780-6333
Fax: 870-780-6310