DESE Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of KIPP MA

KIPP MA – April 13th, 2021-

During the week of May 10, 2021 the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of KIPP Boston and Lynn Charter Schools. The Office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process, and IEP development and implementation. Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint, and equal access to school programs for all students.

In addition to the onsite visit, parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Public School Monitoring will send all parents of students with disabilities an online survey that focuses on key areas of their child’s special education program. Survey results will contribute to the development of a report. During the onsite review, the Office of Public School Monitoring will interview the chairperson(s) of the charter’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Other onsite activities may include interviews of district staff and administrators, reviews of student records, and onsite observations.

Parents and other individuals may contact Erin VandeVeer, Public School Monitoring Chairperson, at (781) 338- 3735 or erin.vandeveer@mass.gov to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, the Department will make the necessary arrangements.

Within approximately 60 business days after the onsite visit, the review chairperson will provide the charter with a report with information about areas in which the district meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which the district requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The public will be able to access the report at http://www.doe.mass.edu/psm/tfm/reports/.

Four KALC Football Players off to Compete in the NESCAC This Fall

For the first time in program history, four KALC seniors were actively recruited to play collegiate football. Mike Brice (#54), Taj White-King (#5), Daniel Oluwasuyi (#3), and Dave Filias (#10) helped establish the panther football program in 2017 and because of their success the group is now heading off to college next fall to compete in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). 

Mike and Taj were recruited by several NESCAC schools, but ultimately decided on Trinity because of how they felt during their recruitment conversations with the coaching staff. Mike is a four year captain and someone head coach James Rabbitt describes as a natural leader on and off the field, and especially throughout the KIPP community. Mike explains, “because of KIPP I’m more mentally prepared, I’m mentally stronger- I’m able to take feedback, setbacks, and push forward.” While KIPP has been a huge influence over the past four years, Mike also credits his support system to his teammates and fellow captains for pushing him on the field and in the classroom. 

One of those teammates is Taj, who will be joining him at Trinity this fall. Coach Rabbitt describes Taj as “charismatic” and knows he will be successful at Trinity because he is extremely coachable. Taj, who claims he used to not be coachable, credits his development over the past four years to coach Rabbitt and his teammates. He explains, “Rabbitt and my teammates saw leadership qualities in me that I didn’t see in myself and they pushed me as much as they could – they stuck with me.”

Similar to Taj and Mike, Dave and Daniel were also recruited by a number of NESCAC schools, but the open environment and coaching staff drew them both to Middlebury. Dave, who coach Rabbitt describes as “the best player to coach on and off the field,” says he became more driven to play football at the collegiate level because of the support from coach O’Connor and fellow captain Mike Brice. Dave goes on to say that “my coaches helped build up my mental toughness, but KIPP taught me a lot about managing my work and managing my free time,” which will help prepare him to be a student athlete at Middlebury. 

Daniel will also be stepping foot on Middlebury’s campus this fall, and is a player that developed the most under coach Rabbitt’s leadership. Coach Rabbitt describes Daniel as someone who “doesn’t have a lot to say, but when he does people always listen- his teammates respect him immensely.” A quiet leader, Daniel says his biggest motivator has been his mom, “I just wanted to go to a good college so I could make her proud.”

Coach James Rabbitt reflects on the leadership of his departing seniors and the future of the program: “one thing I have to say is that all four of them have been incredible on and off the field-especially in the classroom. In football, one of the major things a coach has to do is make sure grades are up, and this group we’ve never had an issue with that. Even though we’re losing a lot of talent this year, I’m hopeful for the program. I’m hopeful that the imprint this group left on the team will be pervasive throughout the program, and that our younger players will follow in their footsteps and see what is possible for them.”

Mike, Taj, Dave, and Daniel left some words of advice to their younger teammates who are hoping to play at the collegiate level. The key points: Trust your teammates, make sacrifices, work hard on the field and in the classroom, and don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. 

We cannot wait to see what Mike, Dave, Daniel, and Taj accomplish at Middlebury and Trinity. Their excitement to start their next athletic and academic chapter is palpable – they are eager to step foot on campus, meet their new teammates, and make an impact. We’ll all have to tune in for the Middlebury versus Trinity showdown next season!

If you’re a Trinity, Middlebury, or NESCAC alum and are interested in connecting with our players or supporting our athletic program please email Rebecca Hazlett at rhazlett@kippma.org.

About Trinity College

Trinity is a private liberal arts college located in Hartford, CT. Trinity enrolls 2,235 students and offers 41 majors and 28 interdisciplinary minors. The college is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

About Middlebury College

Middlebury is a private liberal arts college located in Middlebury, VT. Middlebury College currently enrolls 2,526 undergraduates from all 50 states and 74 countries and offers 44 majors. The college is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

About KIPP Massachusetts

KIPP Massachusetts is part of a non-profit network of college preparatory, public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. KIPP MA operates five public charter schools across Boston and Lynn, serving more than 2,000 students in grades K-12. KIPP MA has a 15-year track record of preparing students in educationally under-served communities for success in college and life.

About KIPP

KIPP is a non-profit network of college-preparatory public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. There are 242 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia educating over 100,000 students on their path to and through college, careers, and life. KIPP believes that great teachers and school leaders, a supportive learning environment, and an emphasis on both academics and character are the foundation for student success. KIPP students complete college at a rate that is above the national average for all students and four times higher than that of students from similar economic backgrounds.

KALC Football Stays Undefeated Heading Into Lynn Tech Game

March 21st, 2021- As featured in the Lynn Item by Mike Alongi below:

LYNN — The KIPP football team overcame a slow start and had a huge second half Saturday afternoon, eventually rolling to a 33-6 win over Greater Lowell Tech at Manning Field. The defense was the story for KIPP, as the Panthers allowed less than 100 yards of total offense for the entire game.

“To be honest, we didn’t have the greatest week of practice and it definitely translated into the start of this game,” said KIPP coach Jim Rabbitt. “We came out with a sloppy start and made plenty of mistakes, and we needed our defense to bail us out a bit at the start. Eventually we were able to get back to our style of football and I was happy with the way the guys responded.”

Quarterback Piero Canales got into a great passing rhythm, completing 10-of-17 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for one touchdown. Running back Dave Filias stepped into the backfield after Daniel Oluwasuyi went down with an injury, and Filias finished with 117 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Victor Mafo had four receptions for 57 yards and one touchdown, while Joseph Tolentino had two receptions for 35 yards and one touchdown.

After a three-and-out on their first offensive possession of the game, KIPP forced a three-and-out on defense to get the ball right back. The Panthers capitalized this time around, running a seven-play drive that was capped off with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Canales to Tolentino to make it 6-0.

KIPP’s offense couldn’t get on the scoreboard for the rest of the first half, but the Panthers’ defense made sure that initial score held up. KIPP held Greater Lowell to -17 yards of total offense in the first half, never allowing a play of more than five yards at any point.

“I think we have one of the best defenses in the North Shore, and our guys have really rallied around the idea of not giving the other team an inch,” said Rabbitt. “Our guys really fly around on defense, they’re ball-hawks and they make plays. I’m really proud of the way those guys have stepped up.”

Despite having been in control for the entire first half, KIPP was in danger of throwing that all away early in the second half when Greater Lowell connected for a 73-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 6-6. But the veteran KIPP group never wavered, as the Panthers responded with an eight-play, 70-yard drive of their own and retook the lead after a 16-yard touchdown run by Filias.

From there, it was all KIPP. The Panthers’ defense held strong for the rest of the game, while Canales rushed for a touchdown and threw another to Mafo. Filias also rushed for another touchdown in the offensive barrage to close out the game.

KIPP (2-0) takes on cross-town rival Tech Friday night (7:30).

“We didn’t even need to tell the guys who we’re playing next week, they already know and they’re excited for it,” said Rabbitt. “This is a Thanksgiving rivalry game even though it’s not Thanksgiving, so we know everyone is going to be pumped up to play. We’re expecting our guys to rise to the occasion.”

Three KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate Students Chosen as Posse Scholars

Lynn, MA – February 2nd, 20201 – Three KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate students from the class of 2021 have been chosen as Posse Scholars, which awards full scholarships to students with extraordinary leadership and academic potential, and places them at highly selective colleges and universities as part of a group of 10 students from the same city. This “posse” of students receives support and development from their senior year of high school through their time on campus. Posse is one of the most successful college scholarship and support systems in the country, with a 90% graduation rate and over 9,000 alumni.

Emma Njigua will attend Centre College, Serena Porte will attend Bucknell University, and Bhenzel Cadet will also attend Bucknell University.

Serena Porte

Serena Porte decided to apply “because college is very expensive and this scholarship would help with that. I also never really considered going out of state of college, but the idea that I would be going with a posse that would soon become my friends, made me comfortable going out of state.” Serena went on to say that she chose Bucknell “because it has a strong engineering program, fun clubs and a lot to do on and off campus.”

Emma Njigua

Emma Njigua, who first found out about the Posse Scholarship her freshman year from her teacher Mr. Peters, said she decided to apply because “the Posse mission aligned with what I wanted for my future. The support and guidance that Posse offers during the college years and beyond is an exciting opportunity for me.” Emma says she chose Centre College because of Centre’s “commitment to its students, particularly the commitment to having all students have the opportunity to study abroad. Studying abroad is very meaningful to me as it will allow me to expand my worldview and broaden my connections.”

Bhenzel decided to apply to Posse because of all the benefits he would receive, such as its career program which allows him to have access to direct career counseling. Bhenzel elaborates, “this is especially important to me because I am first generation and I don’t have the familial or institutional knowledge of navigating through the college campus.”

Bhenzel Cadet

When asked why Bucknell, Bhenzel said, “I’m really interested in accounting and financial management at Bucknell because it allows me to participate in its SMIF (Student Managed Investment Fund) program, I also believe Bucknell will set me up for my entrepreneurial interests. I started my sneaker business about 4 months ago and in the progress of creating my own brand. I am already engaged in marketing and accounting behind starting my own business and the business and development center is where I could be an incubator and learn more about entrepreneurship more formally.”

Congratulations to all three of our Posse Scholars!

 

About the Posse Foundation:

Since 1989, The Posse Foundation has identified, recruited and trained more than 9,200 public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership. These students have received a total of $1.4 billion in full-tuition leadership scholarships from Posse’s partner colleges since the program’s inception. Most important, Posse Scholars persist and graduate at a rate of 90 percent and make a visible difference on campus and throughout their professional careers. Posse’s ultimate goal is to build a leadership network that better represents the country’s rich diversity.

About KIPP Massachusetts

KIPP Massachusetts is part of a non-profit network of college preparatory, public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. KIPP MA operates five public charter schools across Boston and Lynn, serving more than 2,000 students in grades K-12. KIPP MA has a 15-year track record of preparing students in educationally under-served communities for success in college and life.

About KIPP

KIPP is a non-profit network of college-preparatory public charter schools educating elementary, middle, and high school students. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. There are 242 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia educating over 100,000 students on their path to and through college, careers, and life. KIPP believes that great teachers and school leaders, a supportive learning environment, and an emphasis on both academics and character are the foundation for student success. KIPP students complete college at a rate that is above the national average for all students and four times higher than that of students from similar economic backgrounds.