Submitted by James Sanders, Innovation Manager
Note: The information in this profile represents SY2011-12 unless otherwise indicated.

School/organization overview

Name KIPP Heartwood Academy
Type Charter School
Locale Urban
Headquarters San Jose, California
First year of operation SY2004-05
Grades served 5-8
Enrollment 400
% FRL 100%
% Black or Hispanic 82%
Per-pupil funding $6600

School/organization background

History and context
To achieve its mission, KIPP Heartwood Academy opened its doors to 73 fifth grade students in July 2004, becoming the first public charter school in Alum Rock. KIPP Heartwood Academy provides 5th through 8th grade students in Alum Rock and East San Jose with a rigorous, college-preparatory education that prepares them for success in the nation’s most rigorous high schools, colleges, and universities. By partnering with parents, teachers, community members, and the Alum Rock Elementary School District, KIPP Heartwood Academy proves that with the necessary desire, discipline, and dedication, East San Jose children can perform at the same high levels as other students in Santa Clara County and be on a solid track to success in high-school, college, and the competitive world beyond. In September of 2010, KIPP Heartwood Academy was named a Blue Ribbon school by the United States Department of Education. Today the school serves 400 students.

Blended-learning program

Name N/A
Focus General
Year launched SY2011-12
Outside investments/grants $50,000
Enrollment 400
Blended grades 5-8
Blended subjects Math
Content Khan Academy
SIS PowerSchool
Independent LMS None
Independent gradebook PowerSchool
Independent assessment  MAP (NWEA)
Professional development None

Program model

Program model: Station Rotation

Model description
Though each teacher implements the blended-learning program slightly differently, the program can best be described as a Station Rotation. For the most part, students rotate to working online as an entire class. Each classroom either has a set of computers (Chromebooks) or a laptop cart is brought in.

Program description

How much time do students spend on campus in this blended-learning program? How much of this time do students spend learning online or with educational software?
The time that students engage with the blended-learning content solution varies from classroom to classroom. On average, students spend 2 hours a week working online with the Khan Academy.

Briefly describe the offline components of this blended-learning program.
When the students are not using Khan Academy in their math classroom, they are participating in more of a traditional math class where the teacher has a scope and sequence and breaks content up into sequential units.

How does this blended-learning program fit into the rest of the students’ school day?
The students participate in the blended-learning program during the math block of their academy day. Some students, however, also use the program after school or at home.

What are the teachers’ roles and responsibilities in both the online and offline components of this blended-learning program?
During the offline component of the blended-learning program the teacher delivers a lesson through direct instruction and typically facilitates guided practice with the class as a whole. During the online portion of the lesson the teacher uses the data dashboard provided by the Khan Academy to determine which students needed small group or individual intervention.

What other adults are involved in this blended-learning program (e.g., paraprofessionals, learning coaches, counselors) and what are their roles and responsibilities?
The primary adult for this blended-learning program was the math instructor. For students with IEPs or 504 plans, a resource specialist or SPED teacher was also actively involved in the program.

Briefly describe the set-up of physical space for this blended-learning program.
The teachers using Khan Academy in their math classrooms configure their classrooms in a variety of ways. Some teachers have students sitting at tables where students at certain tables are engaged in the online experience while students at others are working offline independently or with the instructor. Other classrooms have students sitting in traditional rows, each with a laptop that they use to work on their individual Khan Academy modules.

How are students grouped within this blended-learning program?
In some classrooms, students are grouped based on mastery level. By grouping students based with similar academic levels, teachers can better target remediation activities. In other classrooms, students are not grouped and each works on Khan Academy modules at the individual mastery level.

Do students have some element of control over the pacing of their learning? Are students tied to a semester-based course schedule or can they complete courses at any time? Briefly describe any requirements or benchmarks in place to ensure student progress.
In the majority of classes using the Khan Academy, the students are given a list of modules that they are expected to master that are associated with the skills being taught that day in class or ones to be assessed on upcoming summative assessments. The teachers then work with individual students to determine which modules they need to remediate essential foundational skills they are lacking or to allow students who have already proven mastery to move beyond the current skill being taught in class.

Describe the academic results of the program, using quantitative data where possible.
Though we are still waiting for the quantitative results from the SRI study that was done on the program, students in the blended-learning program demonstrated solid academic growth in math. Led by strong scores in math, the school scored a 906 on the Academic Performance Index.

Describe any financial impact this blended-learning program has had on your cost of operations. Use numbers when possible.
Based on numbers available from other independent schools, we know that we are able to run our program for approximately 20% less per student than other similar programs in the Los Angeles area.

What have been the biggest obstacles in implementing this blended-learning program? What has needed adjustment along the way?
The biggest hurdle our school faced was access to high quality bandwidth. Poor Internet speeds and weak wireless signals led to lost instructional time. Before expanding our blended-learning programs this year we spent a great deal of time building our Internet infrastructure.

Contact information

Name: James Sanders
Title: Innovation Manager
Phone: n/a


  • ccinstitutedev