News

KIPP to open new charter high school in East Palo Alto next year

Sequoia school board approves petition after addressing concerns with charter organization

Despite initial concerns that "could have justified denial" of KIPP Bay Area Public School's request to open a new charter high school, the Sequoia Union High School board of trustees ultimately gave the green light for the campus to open on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Earlier this month, district staff recommended conditional rather than full approval of KIPP's petition, citing concerns including "overinflated" enrollment projections and uncertainty about the school's location. Board members had also expressed reservations about the potential threat a charter high school could pose to the health of district schools. KIPP ultimately agreed to postpone the board's vote in order to reach agreement on several conditions.

District staff, along with attorneys, evaluated additional information provided by KIPP and met with the charter organization's representatives several times, according to a staff report. KIPP "addressed primary concerns expressed by district administration and trustees that could have justified denial by providing additional information and making revisions to the charter petition," the report states.

On Wednesday night, the school board unanimously approved KIPP Peninsula High School's petition, which will run from July 2020 through June 2025. The school is expected to be located at 1039 Garden St. in East Palo Alto, the current site of Aspire East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, according to KIPP's petition documents.

"We recognize that a public charter organization and a traditional district working together to open a new school is easier said than done, and I want to thank the district staff and board for engaging with us throughout the chartering process," Joel Portillo, the future principal of the high school, said in a statement. "Ultimately, we all have the same goal: for students to be ready to live lives full of choice and opportunity when they graduate from our high schools."

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The tuition-free charter school expects to enroll 180 freshmen in its first year and grow by grade level to full enrollment, about 650 students, in the 2024-25 school year. KIPP is "confident we can meet these enrollment targets based on parent demand." The charter school will be open to both students enrolled at KIPP and Sequoia Union schools, though KIPP students and their siblings will be given preference in the case of a lottery drawing.

KIPP leadership have said they're committed to partnering with Sequoia, including through a potential high school match program that would help both charter and noncharter eighth graders choose a local high school or an East Palo Alto-wide school music program.

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KIPP to open new charter high school in East Palo Alto next year

Sequoia school board approves petition after addressing concerns with charter organization

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Sep 27, 2019, 8:47 am

Despite initial concerns that "could have justified denial" of KIPP Bay Area Public School's request to open a new charter high school, the Sequoia Union High School board of trustees ultimately gave the green light for the campus to open on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Earlier this month, district staff recommended conditional rather than full approval of KIPP's petition, citing concerns including "overinflated" enrollment projections and uncertainty about the school's location. Board members had also expressed reservations about the potential threat a charter high school could pose to the health of district schools. KIPP ultimately agreed to postpone the board's vote in order to reach agreement on several conditions.

District staff, along with attorneys, evaluated additional information provided by KIPP and met with the charter organization's representatives several times, according to a staff report. KIPP "addressed primary concerns expressed by district administration and trustees that could have justified denial by providing additional information and making revisions to the charter petition," the report states.

On Wednesday night, the school board unanimously approved KIPP Peninsula High School's petition, which will run from July 2020 through June 2025. The school is expected to be located at 1039 Garden St. in East Palo Alto, the current site of Aspire East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, according to KIPP's petition documents.

"We recognize that a public charter organization and a traditional district working together to open a new school is easier said than done, and I want to thank the district staff and board for engaging with us throughout the chartering process," Joel Portillo, the future principal of the high school, said in a statement. "Ultimately, we all have the same goal: for students to be ready to live lives full of choice and opportunity when they graduate from our high schools."

The tuition-free charter school expects to enroll 180 freshmen in its first year and grow by grade level to full enrollment, about 650 students, in the 2024-25 school year. KIPP is "confident we can meet these enrollment targets based on parent demand." The charter school will be open to both students enrolled at KIPP and Sequoia Union schools, though KIPP students and their siblings will be given preference in the case of a lottery drawing.

KIPP leadership have said they're committed to partnering with Sequoia, including through a potential high school match program that would help both charter and noncharter eighth graders choose a local high school or an East Palo Alto-wide school music program.

Comments

whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2019 at 10:36 am
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2019 at 10:36 am
2 people like this

I've read that KIPP has a habit of preference to students and families whom they believe have a greater chance of academic success. One would think this is detrimental to the public high schools and students where the KIPP students would've attended.


MPer
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2019 at 12:18 pm
MPer, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2019 at 12:18 pm
2 people like this

Awesome

Let's drain even more resources from MA.

where does it end


Kevin
Registered user
Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Sep 27, 2019 at 1:30 pm
Kevin, Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
Registered user
on Sep 27, 2019 at 1:30 pm
Like this comment

Many people highlight the efficacy of charter schools, but unfortunately:
* There have never done any studies done with true randomized admissions. Random lotteries of motivated families are not the same as real randomized studies.
* Most studies of charter experiments show mixed results. Some schools and students do better. many do not, which is troubling given that typical charter school enrollment comes from much more education engaged families.


MP Resident
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 27, 2019 at 2:38 pm
MP Resident, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 27, 2019 at 2:38 pm
2 people like this

@MPer, given all of the doom and gloom about M-A overcrowding, shouldn't this help?

KIPP targets a pretty specific demographic. I don't think you will see a massive drain from M-A given things like the extended school day.

KIPP also seems to be pretty successful with their target demographic.


whatever
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2019 at 3:10 pm
whatever, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2019 at 3:10 pm
2 people like this

MP Resident
If MA receives funds based upon the number of students in attendance then yes MA would suffer loss of funds.

And KIPP's target student for admission is the student with the best chance of success and the best family support. So yes this will hurt the public schools they would've been attending. And this in turn skews the KIPP results in KIPPs favor.


pogo
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Sep 28, 2019 at 7:49 am
pogo, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2019 at 7:49 am
5 people like this

If charter schools - which are PUBLIC schools and NOT ALLOWED to discriminate - are really no different in terms of results, then why do people fear giving families that choice? Eventually the truth will win out and they will disappear.

But the truth is that the number of charter schools is growing, not diminishing because there IS a difference. That's why there's a waiting list to get into charter schools and why there are increasing numbers of empty seats in traditional schools.

Students are voting with their feet.


pogo
Registered user
Woodside: other
on Sep 28, 2019 at 7:56 am
pogo, Woodside: other
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2019 at 7:56 am
5 people like this

Those who claim that charter schools "steal" funds from public schools ignore the FACT that charter schools ARE public schools.

Imagine a traditional school with 500 students which rightfully gets funding for all 500 students. If 250 of those students opt for the charter school next door, do you really think that traditional school should still get funding for 500 students when it's enrollment is just 250? That would be absurd. The funding should be split between the two schools.

No one is stealing funds. The funds stay in PUBLIC schools. It's just that one of those schools is now a charter.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Sep 28, 2019 at 8:27 am
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Sep 28, 2019 at 8:27 am
2 people like this

" It's just that one of those schools is now a charter."

And one of those schools actually produces results.


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