Submitted by Jelena Dobic, Director of Development
Note: The information in this profile represents SY2011-12 unless otherwise indicated.
History and context
KIPP LA Schools is a non-profit organization that operates high-performing elementary and middle public charter schools in South and East Los Angeles. KIPP LA operates KIPP Comienza Community Prep, which is a tuition-free public charter elementary school that opened in the summer of 2010 in Huntington Park, Los Angeles. KIPP Comienza serves roughly 310 K-2 students, and one grade will be added each year until we become a K–4 elementary school serving 520 students in 2014.
KIPP LA and KIPP Comienza are part of the KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) national network of public charter schools. There are currently 125 KIPP schools in the United States serving over 39,000 students and helping them “climb the mountain” to college.
Program model: Station Rotation
Students in KIPP Comienza’s blended-learning program rotate between small-group instruction and computer-based learning in both reading and math. Adaptive software programs like DreamBox and Accelerated Reader provide supplemental personalized instruction to students at their level.
At KIPP Comienza, our rotational blended learning model provides access to small-group instruction for all students in both reading and math. During the teacher-led instruction, group size is between 4-10 students. Each classroom is equipped with a combination of computers and iPads to share for both primary and supplemental instruction. Students receive differentiated, personalized instruction from their teacher and from adaptive software programs, including DreamBox during our math block as well as Accelerated Reader and a variety of English language arts-based websites during literacy center time. Teachers also incorporate Google applications and other educational web-based tools in an effort to share information and best practices, as well as solicit and provide constant feedback to students. KIPP Comienza also employs a flex-learning model for parents through a partnership with College Bound.
Academic results remained very strong for KIPP Comienza Community Prep in 2011-12. We are excited to report that 94% of kindergarteners scored at or above the national average in reading and 89% scored at that level in math on the national norm-referenced SAT-10 test. Kindergarten results were stronger in school year 2011-12 as compared with 2010-11 when 92% of students scored at or above the national average in reading and 79% at that level in math. Additionally, the percentage of kindergarteners scoring in the top quartile increased to 80% in reading from 77%, and 62% in math from 51%. Looking at first grade, 90% of students exceeded the national average in reading with 74% scoring in the top quartile, and 96% of students exceeded the national average in math with 86% scoring in the top quartile. Overall, we are very pleased with the significant gains recorded by the original cohort of students in the first grade.
We believe that KIPP Comienza’s blended learning model will become sustainable when it reaches full enrollment in 2015. Our cost per student fell 33% in year two compared with year one due in part to a doubling of the number of students and lower investment in blended learning infrastructure. We believe that the cost per student will fall approximately 19% in 2013 as we make prudent cuts to staffing and increase our student/teacher ratio.
Name: Jelena Dobic
Title: Director of Development
Email: [email protected]