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Miami Non-Profit Provides Families in Need with Laptops & School Supplies

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Hy-Lo News Staff Report

To ensure all of its students are prepared to log on to their first day of school, Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) hosted a supply drive for families to pick up Chromebooks, brand new bookbags filled with workbooks and school supplies, and school uniforms. In addition to providing free school supplies, KIPP is working with families to resolve WiFi connectivity issues by providing free WiFi hotspots, if needed.

KIPP Miami, part of a national nonprofit network of public charter schools with a successful track record of educating students in academically underserved areas, will expand its service for the 2020-2021 school year with the opening of its second middle school, KIPP Courage Academy. The organization’s new middle school will serve nearly fifty (50) fifth grade families and will begin the year through virtual instruction.

“KIPP Miami teachers and staff have been working diligently to make sure all of our families have everything they need to log onto their first day of school,” said Brett Kimmel, Executive Director of KIPP Miami. “We want to ensure our KIPPsters feel safe, known, and loved, and this promise is even more important today. KIPP is committed to offering our students a dynamic online experience that prioritizes both high-quality academics and support for character development to ensure they are prepared for college and future success.”

At the start of school building closures last April, KIPP worked to smoothly transition its families into an online learning environment, distributing hundreds of Chromebooks and supplies for virtual instruction. Over the summer, KIPP worked to further prepare for virtual instruction, partnering with the National Summer School Initiative (NSSI) to provide summer virtual school and hosting a series of trainings to ensure its teachers were prepared to provide high-quality education to students as the 2020-2021 school year kicked off virtually. Leading up to the start of school, KIPP Miami will also hold orientation sessions for parents and students, guiding them on how to use the new virtual learning platforms.

“We are so excited to welcome our new fifth grade KIPPsters to KIPP Courage Academy and provide families with an education alternative,” said Luis Nobriga, founding School Leader of KIPP Courage Academy. “At KIPP, we create strong connections with our families, which is especially important in this remote learning environment. Families meet teachers before the start of the school year, have access to their personal phone numbers, and can connect regularly to discuss student progress via office hours.”

KIPP Miami is working alongside Miami-Dade County Public Schools to ensure reopening plans are safe, in line with CDC guidelines, and reflective of family input. KIPP schools will remain fully virtual until MDCPS enters phase two of reopening. When traditional in-person learning is possible, KIPP will implement a hybrid model, which includes both virtual and in-person instruction. The organization will implement several safety procedures for KIPP campuses, which will include: conducting daily morning wellness and temperature checks, installing plexiglass partitions in KIPP classrooms, staggering arrival and dismissal times for each grade, and requiring teachers and staff to wear masks while in the school building.

Launched in 2018, KIPP Miami serves approximately 625 students in grades K-3, 5-7 across its three schools located in Greater Miami’s Urban Core communities. KIPP Sunrise Academy (grades K-3), KIPP Liberty Academy (grades 6-7), and KIPP Courage Academy (grade 5).

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The article was written by Janey Tate. Follow Hy-Lo News Editor-in-Chief on Twitter @Janey_TateFacebook, and Instagram.

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