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What is KIPP?

The Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) is a non-profit network of college-preparatory, public charter schools serving elementary, middle, and high school students. We have a 24-year track record of preparing our students in underserved communities for success in college and life. 

What is a public charter school?

The term public charter school means that the state has granted a contract to a group or organization to run a school using state funds. The school offers innovative learning opportunities with greater flexibility than traditional public schools and is accountable to the charter holder. In KIPP Houston’s case, the Texas Education Agency is the charter authorizer. Charter school students are eligible for the same state and federal programs (including free or reduced meals) that are available in other school districts.

What makes KIPP different?

KIPP has five main differentiators that truly make a difference in the lives of our KIPPsters.

  • High Expectations: KIPP has clearly defined and measurable high expectations for academic achievement and conduct that creates and reinforces a culture of achievement and support.
  • Strength of Character: Success in life depends on more than academics. We help students foster character strengths that are essential for their own success. We empower our students to express their voice with power and to improve the world around them. 
  • Highly-Skilled Teachers and Leaders: Great schools require great teachers and school leaders. We empower our school teams and invest in leadership and training.  
  • Safe Environments: Physical and emotional safety is needed for students to take risks and learn from their successes and their mistakes. Our schools provide a safe, structured, and nurturing environment so our students love school and maximize their learning.
  • KIPP Through College: Our counselors and advisors support students as they prepare for and select the right college and path for them. After high school, we help KIPP alumni navigate the social, academic, and financial challenges they might encounter while in college and life.
What percentage of KIPP students graduate college?

Nearly 50% of our KIPP Houston 8th graders go on to graduate from college; comparatively, only 10.6% of Harris County’s low-income 8th graders have graduated from college. KIPP is committed to college completion and has undertaken deliberate, relationship based work to achieve this goal. Read more about Houston’s KIPP Through College model here and access more KIPP resources here. 

How is KIPP funded?

Charter schools receive state funds based on the average daily attendance of students (same as traditional public schools); however, they do not receive funds from local tax revenue and the majority, including Texas charters, do not receive state facilities funding. A recent independent analysis of revenue differences between charter school districts and traditional independent school districts reveals that there is a $1,000 gap per student. (Foundation School Program, 5-year average).

What is KIPP’s relation to the public school system?

KIPP believes that it is only through partnership and collaboration with traditional public schools that educational opportunity for all children will truly ever exist in Houston. We are thankful to partner with Spring Branch ISD (SBISD) and YES Prep to serve children in Spring Branch. The SKY Partnership (SBISD, KIPP, and YES Prep) proves that when districts and charters partner together and are aligned under one vision, students benefit in many ways, especially through increased college graduation rates.The model is a simple, yet powerful one: open KIPP and YES Prep programs in two existing SBISD middle schools and their feeder high school and offer these college-preparatory programs as an option to all. KIPP and YES Prep access resources and extracurricular activities and share public buildings. For SBISD, the presence of KIPP and YES Prep within its schools supports the college-going climate the district is nurturing while giving the district's students more educational options. The partnership values innovative programs that support choice within public school systems. We believe that the diverse and growing population of Texas needs our collective efforts to create more cutting-edge partnerships like SKY in order to best serve our students and their futures.

How do I enroll my child?

KIPP Houston schools are open-enrollment, public schools. Click here to learn more about the enrollment process.

Do I have to pay to send my child to a KIPP Houston school?

KIPP schools are free, public schools, and children do not have to pay to attend.

Is transportation provided?

We have several bus routes provided at no cost to our students' families. Families outside of these busing zones may need to provide their own transportation. 

Are uniforms required?

Yes, students are expected to follow the school’s uniform expectations every day.