Going Beyond Z

by Ariel Reynolds on May 04, 2016

Go beyond Z. Coined from Dr. Seuss’ book, On Beyond Zebra, this phrase is often used around KIPP. Seuss not only writes about the 26 letters of the conventional English alphabet but additional letters, including yazamatuzz. At KIPP, we love to think “beyond Z,” meaning that we want to stretch our minds and think innovatively to provide the best education for all students!

KIPP co-founder, Mike Feinberg, started a grant to recognize and encourage innovation in teaching and learning. The Feinberg Beyond Z Innovation Grant exemplifies Beyond Z thinking, directly impacts students or faculty, results in improved student outcomes, and aligns closely with KIPP values.

We love seeing our Team & Family think innovatively and care for their KIPPsters and push teaching and learning. Read the list below to learn more about the Beyond Z grant winners for the 2015-16 school year.

Maggie Wertz, Dean of Instruction at Generations, and Olvin Carias, Instructional Coach at Generations, for their “AP Success: An Intensive Preparation Program” proposal

  • This grant will improve student achievement, create lifelines among students and teachers across the region, and build students’ awareness around their academic preparedness through a series of 2-day retreats that pair community building with AP prep sessions.

Avital Stolar, Theater Teacher at CONNECT Middle for her “Summer STEAM Camp 1.0: Black Box Performance Space” proposal

  • With this grant, students will apply science and math skills to plan and build their very own Black Box performance space.

Andrew Rubin, School Leader at KIPP Academy, for his “Beyond Z Recording Studio” proposal

  • This grant focuses on helping students develop their academic speaking skills and take a more active role in learning about and discussing what is happening in their communities by creating high level audio projects that will give students a new way to think critically about a wide range of topics and disciplines. Andrew will develop a recording studio as well as utilize filed recording “sets” to mobilize students and teachers.

Sarah Mayberry, RST, Susan Shenker, Intrepid, Shequelle Foster-Gims, Spirit, and Robbie Gill, PRIME, for their “The Circle Project: Communities Inspiring and Restoring the Class Environment” proposal

  • The Circle Project is centered on Restorative Discipline and the associative practices that positively impact school communities.

Rebekah Stone, RST, for her “KIPP Mindfulness Ambassadors Training” proposal

  • This grant will work to build a community of mental and emotional wellness ambassadors from each KIPP school that are equipped with mindfulness tools to lead their schools’ staff and students in supporting a culture of wellness.

Drew Hodges, KIPP Academy, Lauren Koehler & Andreya Sampy, RST for their “Special Education Acceleration Elective” proposal

  • This grant will pilot a new special education project to boost student achievement based on the successful results of IDEA charter school in the Rio Grande Valley, whose special education students perform at a very high level compared to special education students at high-performing charter schools across the state.

We are so excited to see these projects come to fruition over the next few years. Keep going Beyond Z!