At KIPP Believe, we empower our young scholars with academic knowledge and community support while cultivating strong character and values. Our scholars gain the tools needed to advocate for themselves, their friends and families in order to become respectful leaders who ultimately succeed in ending generational poverty within their community.
KIPP Believe creates a school environment where all children are safe, successful and free to take risks in order to become their best selves. Highly trained and compassionate teachers provide our scholars the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to become not only academic achievers, but also artists, scientists, authors, athletes, community organizers and agents of change.
We believe that having a strong classroom isn’t enough: We need every classroom to be strong and culturally relevant; we need the hallways to scream joy and pride; we need all spaces to be honored as we have future lawyers, doctors, business owners, presidents, and everything in between walking our halls.
Our culture is rooted in inclusivity and self-pride. Our students are proud of themselves. They are proud of each other. They are proud of their teachers. They are proud of their families and backgrounds.
As a school, we believe that our students are precious human beings; they have needs and wants beyond test scores and academic achievement. We also believe that if we do not address many of the basic needs they have, they cannot be successful in the classroom. As such, we focus on building incredible relationships with our kids, providing them the specialized support they need in interventions, and believe in trauma-informed teaching methods. We know that love is an incredibly powerful and healing thing, but we have to put concrete supports in place for our kids to flourish.
As a school, we believe that the purpose of consequences, positive and negative, are to be teachable moments that help to build character. We believe that consequences are ineffective when we focus on them as punitive measures in themselves and when they come without relationships. We believe in restorative justice and the power of communicating how behaviors hurt others – and then allowing for those who have done wrong to make amends. We believe this approach builds pride in our teams, our community, and ourselves. It also empowers all of us to own our actions and make great decisions on how to be powerful, positive forces.
We believe that a school with great school culture has the following characteristics:
- A deeply committed staff that puts children’s needs above all other things.
- A set of systems and procedures that provide clarity and efficiency to allow for children’s safety, security, and learning.
- A discipline and positive incentive system based upon helping kids to cope with trauma, accept responsibilities, and remain in their classes.
- Team members who approach behavioral breaches with the mindset of “what happened here?” (as opposed to “what did this child do wrong?”)
- Hallways that reflect the pride of the school and are meaningfully decorated.
- A robust set of arts and athletics programs, along with a variety of clubs, which allow every single student an opportunity to participate in something they truly love, every single day.