Our Approach

At KIPP Philadelphia, teachers, staff, students, and families are all united around the same goal—a choice-filled life for every student. In order to reach this goal, our K-12 schools are designed around a set of core operating principles. We believe deeply that by striving to reach each of these principles daily, we are honoring the promise we made to each KIPPster when they chose KIPP.

Rigorous Academic Culture

KIPP schools are places of high expectations, for both teachers and students. KIPP staff believe all KIPPsters have the potential for breakthrough academic success, demonstrating fundamental knowledge, strong critical thinking skills, and an academic mindset. We utilize high quality college-preparatory curricula to accomplish rigorous and measurable goals for student academic achievement and social-emotional learning. Because students have varied needs, our staff set student-specific goals and provide critical supports on the path to choice-filled lives.

Whole Child Approach

To effectively and independently navigate academic and life challenges, students must believe in their own potential and be motivated to reach that potential. We create thoughtful methods to affirm students’ racial and ethnic identity, increase and improve social emotional skills, and address non-instructional needs to ensure students build upon their character strengths to succeed in school and life. As a result, our students are empowered to express their voices, think critically, debate and create in order to challenge the world outside of their schools.

Joyful, Structured & Caring Environment

Students need physical and emotional safety in order to take risks and learn from their successes and mistakes. We ensure students are surrounded by a trusted, caring, and supportive community – adults and peers alike. Beyond basic feelings of safety and support, it’s critical for students to also experience joy in learning. Our teachers and staff engage, invest, and inspire our students through joy-filled lessons, routines, and traditions that build school pride and a positive learning environment.

Family & Community-Centric

Schools that successfully engage families and the community at large find that their students earn better grades, score higher on tests, develop stronger social skills, and are more likely to persist to and through college graduation. We consistently and creatively partner with families, ensuring they are informed and empowered to support their students’ academic and social growth. We partner with select community organizations to provide resources to students and families to help them reach their goals. These partnerships extend beyond a student’s time at KIPP, including navigating college and career.

Effective & Diverse Teams

School teams are most effective when they are comprised of individuals who are committed to our students and mission, have significant talent and potential, and are diverse, particularly in ways that reflect the communities we serve. Because our students deserve exceptional educators, we prioritize robust staff development and training in a shared school vision, curriculum, method and theory, culturally responsive practices, and instructional leadership. We believe that providing ongoing training, along with a strong staff culture, will allow teachers to gain fulfillment and meaningfully impact student achievement.

K-12 & Beyond

Students are most successful when educational content, courses, and approaches purposefully build upon each other year-to-year and evolve to meet students’ changing needs as they grow. We provide a cohesive educational experience from kindergarten through 12th grade across all of our schools. And our job isn’t over when students leave our classrooms – our KIPP Forward team supports students as they persist through college and choose a career. At KIPP, our mission isn’t fulfilled until each student has access to every opportunity they desire and is prepared to navigate the real world.