Leadership & Decision Making
Power to Lead
As our name affirms, We believe that power derives from knowledge, not from titles. We trust the educators with the most knowledge of specific facets of our school community to be real leaders in those areas. Our grade level chairs have the freedom to make major decisions about schedules and student discipline on their grade levels. Our content leads have the freedom to make major decisions about curriculum and assessment. Our instructional coaches lead the evaluation process for the teachers they coach. We believe in this approach because it’s effective and it reflects the kind of world that we’d like to live in.
Literacy Circles are a dedicated time each day when students at the same literacy level are placed into small groups to work on their literacy skills. Over two dozen adults in the building help facilitate circles in which students read and annotate, mine for evidence that answers high level essential questions, and engage with each other in socratic seminars. Each thematic unit includes 3 to 4 weeks of nonfiction articles that help build content knowledge and 3 to 4 weeks of study of a thematically related novel. The daily exposure to textual analysis and academic discourse will build skillsets that we know will be invaluable in high school and college.
Acknowledging our Limitations
For nearly every year of its existence, KIPP Academy has had a white male in the school leader position. And for every year of its existence, over 95% the student body of KIPP Academy has been children of color. The current school leader, Andrew Rubin, serves in this role acknowledging his privilege as a white male in American society and recognizing that he cannot fully understand or appreciate the challenges faced by many of the school’s families. This gap cannot ever be fully closed, but it can be narrowed by ongoing personal development and education and by making sure to empower people of color in school leadership roles to make up for some of his own limitations.