Note: The information in this profile represents SY2010-11 unless otherwise indicated. To view KIPP Empower Academy’s SY2011-12 profiles, click here.
In 2010, KIPP Empower Academy opened its doors to kindergartners in South Los Angeles. The Founding Principal, Mike Kerr, along with many community and grant foundation supporters have helpedKIPP Empower Academy expand its capacity. In every year following 2010,KIPP Empower Academy has expanded to serve an additional grade. At the start of the 2014-15 school year, KIPP Empower Academy will reach capacity by providing instruction to students grades K-3.
Blended Learning Program
Program model: Station Rotation
Students rotate among individualized online-learning, teacher-led instruction, and collaborative activities and stations within each classroom.
At KIPP Empower, blended learning occurs within the core academic classroom. In its first year, the school has four classes, each serving 28 or 29 students. Each classroom is equipped with 15 computers. Throughout the day the teacher rotates students among the computers, small-group instruction, and individualized instruction. During teacher-led instruction, group size is under 14 students per group for reading, math, writing, and science. Students on the computer use iStation, Compass Learning, Learning.com, Study Island, and other adaptive learning programs. KIPP Empower’s leaders believe that this adaptive-technology approach, coupled with enhanced individualized attention from the classroom teacher, will result in academic results equal to or greater than those of the traditional KIPP model.
KIPP Empower is working with Anthony Kim of EdElements to develop a learning platform that will enable the following: (1) single sign-on capability for students and teachers; (2) efficient administration of online learning; and (3) actionable reporting of online learning data that can be used by teachers to inform future individualization.
Traditional KIPP LA elementary schools have student-to-teacher ratios of 20-to-1. Through its blended-learning model, KIPP Empower is able to increase this ratio by eight students and eliminate one classroom, resulting in additional revenue of $140,000 and reduced expenses of $100,000.
KIPP Empower is in its first year of operations, but has begun to experience promising results. At the start of the school year, only 9 percent of students tested as proficient or advanced on the STEP Literacy Assessment. Halfway through the year, 78 percent scored proficient or advanced. KIPP LA will make future results available as the program continues.
On the horizon
By 2012, KIPP LA plans to increase from five to seven schools and from 1,300 to 1,750 students served. After this phase of growth, the organization plans to open seven additional schools to reach a total of 14 schools servings 6,000 students.