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Notes from the Delta - June 2015 Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Dear Team & Family,

The 2015-2016 school year has officially come to a close. High school graduation has come and gone. Students are no longer sitting in classrooms in front of our teachers. Busses are no longer traveling their normal 1,000 miles a day. As you read this, many of our students are traveling far and wide to destinations across the country for their end-of-year field lessons.

A few days ago, KIPP Delta had the distinct honor of having Rosalind Brewer, President and CEO of Sam’s Club, speak to our graduating seniors as our keynote speaker. While she directed her remarks towards our seniors, it struck me that most of her words of advice were relevant for not only our graduating class, but the entirety of our team and family. I’d like to share some of her words with you today in hopes that you might find meaning and encouragement in them as well.

“Look out, look up, and look around you. Always set big goals and aim high. Continue to be avid learners. Embrace the challenges which come your way. Mistakes are learning opportunities and it is what you do next that counts. Life favors persistence. Always be ready for change. Be genuine and lift others up with you.”

Enjoy your summer.


Scott Shirey
Executive Director


The Next Chapter

KIPP Delta Collegiate High School students are buzzing with excitement this month. While our younger KIPPsters are busy with end-of-year tests and summer break, our seniors are celebrating college acceptances and scholarship awards as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives.

With the support of KIPP Delta’s KIPP Through College program, each of KIPP Delta’s seniors has been challenged to apply to “match schools.” Match schools are schools at which applicants have an academic profile that fits that of the undergraduate population and also where students have a high probability of graduating. Students have also been encouraged to apply to “reach schools” as well. These schools are more competitive and have more stringent acceptance requirements. With a bit of optimism and grit, the Class of 2015 rounded out the school year with over 60 college acceptances, many of which include identified individual match and reach schools.

These acceptances* include: Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Alcorn State University, Arkansas State University, Arkansas Tech University, Austin College, Belmont University, Beloit College, Berea College, Birmingham Southern College, Centre College, Christian Brothers University, Clark Atlanta University, Colby College, Delta State University, DePauw University, Emory University, Grinnell College, Hampton University, Hawaii Pacific University, Henderson State University, Hendrix College, Howard University, Jackson State University, Kentucky State University, Loyola University: New Orleans, Millsaps College, Mississippi State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Morehouse College, Notre Dame de Namur University, Oglethorpe University, Ouachita Baptist University, Philander Smith College, Roanoke College, Rust College, Sewanee: The University of the South, Southern Arkansas University, Southern Arkansas University Tech, Southern Illinois University: Carbondale, Spelman College, Tennessee State University, Texas Southern University, The University of Alabama, The University of Tampa, Tougaloo College, Transylvania University, Trinity College, Trinity University, Tuskegee University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, University of Central Arkansas, University of Denver, University of Kansas, University of Kentucky, University of Memphis , University of Mississippi, University of the Ozarks, University of Tulsa, William Carey University, Williams Baptist College, Xavier University, Xavier University of Louisiana

*College matriculations are in bold.

Click here to see photos from KIPP Delta Collegiate High School’s Commencement Ceremony on May 21.


Forrest City Campus Updates

KIPP Delta Public Schools hosted an open house for KIPP Forrest City College Preparatory School on May 28. Over 80 interested community members listened to presentations given by Marcus Nelson, Founding School Leader, and Scott Shirey, Executive Director of KIPP Delta Public Schools. Attendees met several members of the founding staff and participated in tours of the campus.

The next month will be a busy one for everyone on the KIPP Forrest City Campus. Classrooms will be added to the campus and readied for our first class of students, final staffing decisions will be finalized, and student recruitment and enrollment will continue. Admission applications for upcoming 5th graders are still being accepted. It is free to apply and transportation will be provided to students residing in Forrest City.  To enroll, visit or contact Marcus Nelson at 870-817-9135. School will begin on July 20th.

KIPP Forrest City College Preparatory founding staff are:

  • School Leader: Marcus Nelson
  • Dean of Students: Allecyn Gay
  • Teachers: Rachel Marx, Viva Davis, DaVida Pegues
  • Business Operations: Jonathan Bailey

Photos from the Open House can be viewed here!


To AND Through College

KIPP Delta was proud to watch several KIPP Delta Collegiate High School alumni walk across college stages to receive their degrees this month. Congratulations to all of our 2015 College Graduates:

  • David Bibbs, Johnson and Wales University
  • Eri’Neikeya Bibbs, Phillips County Community College
  • Ciera Daniels, University of Memphis
  • Joseph Whitfield, Colby College
  • Roquel Williams, University of Central Arkansas

Roquel Williams, 2015 Graduate of the University of Central Arkansas

We are also excited to see one of our graduates, Joseph Whitfield, join Teach for America this summer. Mr. Whitfield plans to return to KIPP Delta Collegiate High School in the 2015-2016 school year to teach the next generation of KIPPsters. We look forward to seeing even more of our former students return to the Delta to invest new life into our communities.

Each of these graduates benefited from our KIPP Through College program, designed to help expose our students to multiple college options early, guide students and their families through the admissions and financial aid process, and work to eliminate barriers to college matriculation. For more information on the KIPP Through College program, please visit:


Midnight Madness

KIPP Blytheville College Preparatory School’s tradition of the 24-hour school day – aptly named Midnight Madness – is alive and well. On Friday, May 15, after a full day of school, 130 students earned an invitation to stay until 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. After a grade-level activity and dinner provided by the PTO, students broke into mixed grade level groups and began their rotations. Teachers and staff members were paired up in classrooms across campus, each hosting a different activity for one-hour sessions. Activities this year included trivia, a murder mystery, relay races, tie-dye, jewelry making, a bonfire behind the school, and much more. At midnight, everyone came together for an energetic dance party in the cafeteria, as well as some late night smoothies and popcorn. As usual, the night was filled with pranks and hijinks. Water guns ensured no one fell asleep, silly string was ubiquitous, and several teachers discovered in the morning that their cars had been sealed with plastic wrap. Despite Midnight Madness being a middle school event, 16 ninth-grade students were eager to volunteer and continue to build this tradition for their younger teammates. Thanks to the support from our high school students, our many parent volunteers, and our incredible staff, Midnight Madness was surely a highlight of the year for many KIPPsters!


2015-2016 Enrollment is Open

KIPP Delta is now accepting applications for prekindergarten through twelfth grade students for the 2015-2016 school year. Your student must be three by August 1, 2015, to enroll in preschool and five by August 1, 2015, to enroll in Kindergarten. Start the journey to and through college by enrolling your student today!

Seats are available at the following sites and grade levels:

  • Helena Campus: Pre-K – 12
  • Blytheville Campus: Grades 4-10
  • Forrest City Campus: Grade 5


Upcoming Events

  • July 20 – First Day of Summer School
  • August 11 – First Day of Fall Semester

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