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KIPP Academy holds five-year charter hearing

KIPP Academy Charter School held its mandatory five-year charter renewal hearing on Wednesday, November 18.

Two parents testified to the merits of the free college preparatory school, which has applied for a renewal of its Department of Education charter. KIPP Academy hopes to continue its fifth through eighth grade program and expand to include younger and older students.

Parent Association president Lakisha Walker testified that KIPP Academy’s extended school day and academic year offer students extra educational opportunities.

“Having my child here has been a great experience,” Walker said. “I like the fact that the teachers work hard with the students. There is more of a family atmosphere [than at other schools]. The school makes the children responsible individuals and more independent as they reach the seventh and eighth grades.”

Walker also likes the fact that the school has a first-rate basketball program and orchestra, which has played venues around the country, she said. KIPP Academy develops sound minds and bodies through extracurricular activities, she explained.

A former parent praised the school’s “KIPP through College” program, which offers personal and academic support for students who graduate eighth grade. The program helps high school juniors and seniors gain admission to college and secure financial aid.

KIPP Academy, founded by David Levin and Mike Feinberg, has operated at 250 E.156  Street since 1995. In 2000, it became a Department of Education charter school. There are KIPP schools throughout country.

KIPP schools boast extended school days: 7:25 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:25 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. Students also attend school for four hours every other Saturday and for three weeks during the summer. The extra hours amount to more than 50 percent more class time, KIPP administrators contend. For more information on KIPP Academy, visit www.kippny.org.

Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at 718 742-3393 or procchio@cnglocal.com

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