KIPP Academy Charter Elementary School
BRONX NY 10451 Map
KIPP Academy Charter Elementary School
KIPP Academy Elementary School, opened in 2009, has quickly become a sought-after school known for academic success and strong core values. Students chosen in KIPP Academy’s annual lottery land a spot in a demanding yet nurturing environment where teachers challenge students’ minds and build good character.
“We have a very rigorous approach here,” said Founding Principal Carolyn Petruzzielo. The school day is longer, classes begin in August, once-a-month Saturday classes are mandatory, and an hour of daily homework is assigned even on weekends and over holiday breaks. Yet Petruzzielo said she strives for “a serene and joyful atmosphere” in which kids can excel as they enjoy themselves. “Our No. 1 goal is that kids love school,” she said.
That goal seems within reach. When we visited on a drizzly fall day, students across all grades seemed to be focused on their work, paying attention to teachers and enjoying their lessons. The school moved into its new building in 2010, a modern, clean, brightly decorated space equipped with the latest technology.
“The school is phenomenal,” said Thomas Kirby, the father of a 1st-grader. Kirby admits the heavy homework load and occasional Saturday classes can be a strain, but “the positives outweigh the negatives,” he said. “At the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
KIPP Academy is located in the southwest corner of the sprawling Mott Haven Educational Campus. The elementary school takes up all five floors of a wing that has its own cafeteria and gym, so KIPP’s youngsters have little contact with high school students elsewhere in the campus. (The exception is at recess, when the football field becomes a shared play space because the campus has no playground equipment. Cones placed at the 50 yard line keep high school kids on their half of the field, but young ears inevitably hear the teens’ curse words.)
During our visit, classrooms were typically busy places where students sat in assigned floor spots quietly listening to teachers, or huddled in small groups completing assignments. All kindergarten and 1st-grade classes have two teachers. Students also learn music, dance and yoga from a diverse faculty that includes a number of male teachers.
The school enforces a strict discipline policy based on values that spell out SPROUT: serenity, pride, respect, optimism, understand and “take a risk.” (The latter touches everything from trying new foods to making new friends.) “Their character is essential for them to be successful academically,” Petruzzielo said. What Petruzzielo describes as a “combination of love and logic” keeps classrooms orderly. Students who act out are often placed in a “thinking chair,” where they are asked to think about their behavior and choices. Obstinate students might sit for hours in the principal’s office reconsidering disruptive actions. “It’s a place where they reflect. It’s not a place for punishment,” Petruzzielo said. “Our real push is for the kids to do the thinking themselves.”
KIPP Academy is part of the nationwide KIPP network. Students selected to attend KIPP Academy may attend the KIPP Academy middle school (which starts in 5th grade) and then on to KIPP NYC College Prep High School.
Special education: The two-teacher system for kindergarten and 1st grade is designed to make extra help available for young students with special needs. In the other grades, students can get occupational therapy, physical therapy and other support services as needed, both inside and outside the classroom.
Admissions: KIPP enrolls approximately 90 kindergartners each year. Younger siblings of enrolled KIPP students get priority. Second priority goes to students in District 7 who qualify for free or reduced lunch. In recent years, more than 300 students met this second criteria, so a lottery is held every April to determine which students may attend. (Skip Card, December 2012)
At a glance
Number of Students 985
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?18% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?93% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten classNA 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?89% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?90% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?10% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Does the school encourage family involvement?
How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?79% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?99% 94% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:11% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:13% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:7% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:29% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:6% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?
How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?
How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?