KIPP in the Community – November 2017 Edition

Happy Holidays! This month, we’ve been showing gratitude for KIPP DC students, families, and our entire community. From honoring KIPP DC Champions to coat drives and potlucks, the KIPP DC community relations team has been busy this November.  Take a look at what happened last month with KIPP in the Community.

20171130_KIPP_Champions_Dinner_379Dr. Charlene Drew Jarvis Honored at KIPP DC Champions Dinner – On November 30, Dr. Charlene Drew Jarvis, a trusted KIPP DC advisor and former board member, was honored at KIPP DC’s Champions Dinner. Dr. Jarvis has been incredibly influential in our efforts to increase family and community engagement and collaboration with District education leaders. We’re so thankful to have true champions like Dr. Jarvis, and so many others, paving the way for KIPP DC students and a brighter and more equitable District of Columbia.

WorkmanKIPP DC Parents Work with DC Public Charter School Board and DC PAVE – We’re excited to have two KIPP DC parents be selected to begin working with the D.C. charter and education communities to bring about important initiatives for students. Mr. Reggie Workman will join DC PAVE’s team as a Ward 8 parent leader and Ms. Shaniola Arowalaju will represent KIPP DC as a member of the DC Public Charter School Board’s Parent and Alumni Leadership Council. Congratulations! 

Ward 7 Community Coat Drive – Alongside KIPP DC parent Ms. Veda Rasheed, the KIPP DC community relations team spent the day volunteering at the Ward 7 Community Coat Drive Giveaway! In conjunction with other community partners, coaches, and families, the event provided families with warm coats and hats for the winter months! If you would like to donate or learn more, please contact community relations manager Nathan Woods.

Girls on the run 5K 3Girls on the Run 5K – On November 19, students and staff from KIPP DC Quest Academy attended and completed the ‘Girls on the Run‘ 5K race! Over the course of ten long weeks, students worked and trained with the D.C. based organization to develop essential skills to help them navigate the world and establish a long-term appreciation for health and fitness!

PotluckThanksgiving at KIPP DC –  We’re showing gratitude! Throughout the month our schools showed their gratitude for one another through potlucks, gratitude walls, and holiday decorating. Special thanks to volunteers from Setty & Associates who helped our staff distribute turkeys at the KIPP DC Webb Campus! 


We’re thankful to work alongside so many terrific students, families, staff, and community partners toward the common goal of college and lives of choice. Together, we are stronger.  Check back next month to see what the community relations team has been up to across D.C. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to Althea HolfordBrandon Best, or Nathan Woods with questions or to learn more about where KIPP DC is in the community.

College Application Season is in Full Swing

National College Application Month is upon us! We recently visited KIPP DC College Preparatory’s College Counseling office to get an inside look at all things college. From creating wish lists, to visiting colleges, and submitting applications, our students have college on the brain. Read a short Q&A with college counseling director Ms. Caitlin Domagal to learn all you need to know about college counseling at KCP.

When do you and the College Counseling team at KCP begin working with students around the college process?
Ms. Domagal: We truly begin your first day of 9
th grade. However, we encourage students to make a ‘wish list’ for schools they’re interested in during spring semester of their junior year. When they get back in the fall as seniors, they’re solidifying their list, writing personal statements and essays, and they really begin applying and submitting from late September to early October. All our seniors take a College Counseling seminar class. During this course, we assist students with everything from researching schools, scholarships, reviewing essays, and even doing the last check before they hit submit. We meet with juniors about once a month during their advisory time. KCPCounseling1

You mentioned you work with students as early as junior year, is there a reason for this?
Ms. Domagal: Well, we begin as early as possible because the process can be tricky. We encourage all our students to apply early action (which is a non-binding agreement). Typically, early action students find out decisions earlier and often receive substantial financial aid packages. While final deadlines are in January, we have all students complete and submit applications before they leave for the Thanksgiving holiday. This allows us to double and triple check applications and really focus on scholarships and financial aid in the winter months.

What is the process for acquiring scholarships and financial aid? How do you work with students to ensure they’re able to afford college?
Ms. Domagal: I try to explain it in terms of a pie. The largest piece of the pie, or amount of money that students will get, comes directly from the college or university itself. Having a strong application is the best way to make sure you’re eligible for scholarship money. The second piece is the need-based aid. We push all students to apply for federal aid and have a goal of 100% of FASFA applications completed by January! The last piece is community or private scholarships. We tend to see organizations like fraternities and sororities begin to roll these out somewhere between November and the spring months.

CollegeFairThe 6th Annual KIPP DC College Fair recently passed. Each year the event seems to grow larger, with more attendees and college partners. What are the benefits of having the college fair at KCP?
Ms. Domagal: The KIPP DC College Fair is beneficial for so many reasons. First, I really like that we open it up to all of our students, families, and community members, not just KCP students. It’s an excellent way to get students and families exposed and engaged with colleges and universities early.  The biggest benefit, of course, is for our seniors. During the college fair, many of them are finalizing their college list and have an idea of which schools they’re applying to. For seniors who have already applied, it’s a good time to personally meet the admissions representative. Believe it or not, for many schools the person who attends the fair is often the person reviewing applications. 

We’re approaching Thanksgiving break, how many applications have students submitted so far?
Ms. Domagal: I knew this was coming! As of October 25, we have had about 170 applications completed and submitted – which is on par with previous years. We encourage students to apply to at least nine schools. I anticipate this number increasing significantly during November.

I know you get this often but, what tips do you have for students and families who are preparing to navigate the college process?KCPCounseling1
Ms. Domagal: I actually don’t get this question enough. The #1 thing students can do is make sure grades and GPAs are high and that they’re taking challenging courses. If your grades weren’t previously high, you should be working to show improvement. Second, would be to give yourself enough time. Spend enough time getting essays and personal stories edited and reviewed. Take time to research schools. This could mean anything from looking online, stopping by a college fair, or even visiting a local college. The process is easier to navigate when you have some direction of where you’d like to attend.

Special thanks to Ms. Domagal and the whole team at KIPP DC College Preparatory for the work they are doing to prepare students for college and careers. Check back this winter to see where the Class of 2018 has been accepted! 


KIPP in the Community – October 2017 Edition

Happy November! The temperatures are dropping and the KIPP DC community relations team is out and about engaging students, families, and community members. From celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month to visiting Capitol Hill, October was filled with many exciting highlights. Take a look at what we’ve been up to this month!


6th Annual KIPP DC College Fair – At the end of September, more than 200 KIPPsters and countless community members joined us at the 6th annual KIPP DC College Fair! Similar to past years, it was great to see so many students & families come out on a Saturday to meet representatives from 75+ colleges and universities. We’re eager to continue our working with our terrific college partners as well as supporting KIPPsters on their journey through college & career.

IMG_1212Parent & Community Meetings  In October we completed the first round of Parent Community Meetings at each KIPP DC campus! It was a pleasure to meet with hundreds of students and families regarding a potential second KIPP DC high school. On Monday, October 23, our community relations team attended the Deputy Mayor for Education’s Fletcher Johnson Community meeting. It was a great opportunity for community members, including KIPP DC parents, to voice their opinions on the needs of the community. You may also have seen the community relations team at monthly  ANC meeting in Wards 7 and 8 or at civic association meetings throughout the city. We’re eager to continue conversations with families and community members around #FutureFletcher and education in our community. Keep an eye out for more information on community meetings in November!


Teacher Recognition in the Community – This month, two KIPP DC educators were recognized for their excellence! KIPP DC Discover Academy principal, Dr. Wynn was named a Washingtonian 35 under 35 by our friends at City First Bank! Dr. Wynn has been an integral part of the D.C. community and IMG_1213we’re proud to have her guiding our youngest KIPPsters to choice-filled lives. In addition, KIPP DC Heights Academy science educator, Ms. Ramsey was named a 2017 School Ambassador Fellow by the U.S. Department of Education! Ms. Ramsey joins a cohort of excellent educators working together to inform education policy. Congratulations!

Ty Chung ‘13 Speaks at Accenture Day of Service – On October 9, KIPP DC College Preparatory alumnus Ty Chung ‘13  spoke at the Accenture Day of Service. Ty spoke to more than 2,500 people about the partnership between KIPP Schools and Accenture and the important work of the Future Focus program. Ty, who was an inaugural member of the program, is now employed full-time at Accenture and encouraged mentorship amongst his colleagues. We’re proud to have many KIPPsters benefit from the Future Focus program and this fruitful partnership.

TyChungKIPP on Capitol Hill – On October 16, KIPP DC, other KIPP regions, and charter schools from across the country convened on Capitol Hill to advocate for Dreamers and for critical funding streams that support our schools, students, and alumni. KIPP DC alumni had the opportunity to speak with their member of Congress and provide context on why we need to support Dreamers. It is always great to see KIPP alumni advocating for themselves and others in our community.P1070353

Hispanic Heritage Month – Throughout the month of October, we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month across our schools. KIPP DC Promise & Lead Academies’ students spent the month learning about Hispanic countries, traditions, foods, and even dance! Students also had the opportunity to showcase their work and perform during the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration! Check out a clip from their electrifying performance.


East of the River Book Festival On October 14th, our KIPP DC team supported local and aspiring writers and storytellers at the East of the River Book Festival in Ward 8! We’re always happy to work alongside community organizations to support the advancement of literacy and a love of reading in our community.



KIND Comments Mural at Union Market – On October 11, two KIPP DC College Preparatory students and art teacher Mr. Zulu participated in the creation and unveiling of Instagram’s #KindComments Mural at Union Market DC! The event, sponsored by friends at Union Market and Instagram, brought together local artists, photographers, and creatives together from all over D.C. to create the colorful masterpiece.  Our students were extremely proud to have a part in bringing joy and more #KindComments to our community. Read more.

What an exciting month! Check back next month to see what the community relations team has been up to across the District. As always, and don’t hesitate to reach out to Althea Holford, Brandon Best, or Nathan Woods with questions or to learn more about where KIPP DC is in the community.

KCP students pitch in to create #KindComments Mural

On Wednesday, October 11 two KIPP DC College Preparatory students and art teacher Mr. Zulu participated in the painting and unveiling of Instagram’s #KindComments Mural at Union Market DC.

Created by Instagram, the #KindComments campaign is a global initiative intended to transform walls around the world into colorful beacons of kindness! Over the course of a few days, artist Dallas Clayton led a team of local artists, students, and community members to create the D.C. mural. Check out the mural for yourself at Union Market on 6th street – just steps from KIPP DC College Preparatory High School. 

The unveiling attended by Congressman Scott Peters, Councilmember McDuffie, Instagram’s COO Marne Levine, and recording artist Jewel was one to remember! We’re proud to support the arts and our students, who were able to have a hand in bringing kindness and joy to Ward 5!

 Photos by local photographer Gary Williams

KIPP in the Community – September 2017 Edition

Happy September! The leaves are beginning to fall, and our students have officially reached their 40th day of school. While students and families are quickly getting acclimated to the new school year, our community relations team has also been out and engaging members of the KIPP DC family and entire D.C. community. Take a look at what’s been up this month with the team at KIPP DC.


Joyful Food Market comes to Benning and Smilow Campus –  Since 2015 we’ve partnered with Martha’s Table and local nonprofits to bring healthy pop-up grocery markets to our Douglass Campus in Ward 8. This year, we’re proud to kick off the first of many Joyful Food Markets at Benning and Smilow Campuses in Ward 7.  It was a pleasure to see so many students and families, neighbors, and community members come together to shop for fresh, healthy produce, pantry items, and sample new products – all at no cost! Learn more and mark your calendars for the next Joyful Food Markets at Benning and Smilow Campus.GrossoKEY

Councilmember David Grosso & Restorative Justice at KEY Academy  –  Councilmember David Grosso and staff member Darby Hicks visited KEY Academy school leaders at Benning campus in Ward 7. Councilmember Grosso stopped in to get an in depth look at some of the restorative justice practices and learn how they are positively changing the way our staff, students, and families approach discipline and student-staff relationships!

Smilow Parent Community Meeting – We’d like to extend huge thanks to all of the families that joined us at the Smilow Community and Parent Meeting on September 14. Your open and honest conversation regarding a potential KIPP DC high school location, course offerings, and culture was invaluable! We look forward to many continued conversations, across all our campuses, with our families on the future of our students’ education! Be sure to join us for upcoming October meetings at Douglass Campus (10/3), Webb Campus (10/11), and Shaw Campus (10/18). More information to come.


Breanna Bledsoe visits KIPP DC Douglass Campus – Breanna Bledsoe, Legislative Counsel to Councilmember Robert White, visited KIPPsters at our Douglass campus on September 12. Ms. Bledsoe visited the Douglass Campus to get an inside look at the early childhood and elementary educational design at our tier 1 Discover and Heights Academies. Learn more about the quality of KIPP DC early childhood schools here.

Back to School Nights at KIPP DC – This month we continued to meet new and reconnect with returning students and families at Back to School Nights across KIPP DC campuses. Our teachers and leaders were eager to meet their students’ families and are excited to build sustaining partnerships to ensure an excellent year. If you need a copy of the 2017-18 handbook, your school’s lunch menu, or additional resources, head to our Family Resources page!


KIPP DC College Preparatory Students Attend Women’s Leadership Summit – On Friday, September 15 KIPP DC College Preparatory students attended the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Leadership Summit! As part of the summit, students got the opportunity to sit in on the Women Inspiring Design, Equity in Architecture lecture featuring renowned architect Dina Griffin. Dina gave inspiring remarks on women in architecture and even discussed her most recent journey to becoming one of the architects of the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago!

What an exciting September! Check back next month to see what the community relations team has been up to across the District. As always, and don’t hesitate to reach out to Althea Holford or Nathan Woods with questions or to learn more about where KIPP DC is in the community. Excited to see what October has in store!