KIPP DC Lead Academy, a public charter school in the Shaw neighborhood of Ward 6, has been named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Lead Academy is the fourth KIPP DC school to earn this distinction, joining KIPP DC Heights Academy in 2019, KIPP DC Promise Academy in 2018 and KIPP DC KEY Academy in 2007. This year, Maury elementary and Oyster-Adams bilingual school were also named National Blue Ribbon Schools from the District of Columbia.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing the opportunity gap. More than 9,000 of America’s schools have received this prestigious award. Lead Academy joins 15 KIPP schools nationwide who have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools since 2003.
Cara Frye, principal of Lead Academy shared, “Lead Academy’s recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School is a testament to the outstanding work and dedication of the students and staff. The students show up each day ready to embrace the joys and challenges that come with learning, and our staff commits each day to ensuring they feel valued, heard, and empowered to be successful. I can’t think of a group more deserving of this recognition.”
KIPP DC Lead Academy was founded in 2012 and educates students grades 1-4. In addition to being named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2020, Lead Academy has ranked as a Tier 1 school as designated by the D.C. Public Charter School Board the last two years, and has also been named a Bold Performance Winner two years in a row.
“The Lead team is incredibly hardworking, diligent and inspiring. This award speaks to their commitment day in and day out to our kids, families, and community,” said Mekia Love, deputy chief academic officer and former Lead Academy principal. “The belief that this team has in our kids is palpable, and it propels us on the path to excellence each day. I’m honored to work alongside such an incredible team and I’m overjoyed that we have received the recognition of being named a National Blue Ribbon School; it means our feet are firmly planted on the path towards educational equity in our nation’s capital.”
At the heart of KIPP DC Lead Academy’s success is a commitment to instructional responsiveness and genuine care of students and classroom cultures. Teachers set a clear vision for students to achieve and exceed grade-level mastery using a deliberate cycle of internalization, planning, delivery, questioning, feedback, and reflection to move student mastery forward. Using a multitude of benchmarks and collaboration with students and families, teachers adapt content and processes to meet the needs of all students and their unique learning differences.
KIPP DC chief executive officer Susan Schaffeler shared, “I’m thrilled to see Lead Academy earn this distinction and continue to be impressed by the unwavering commitment of their school community to excellence and equity. Already among the top performers in the District of Columbia, I’m incredibly proud to see their hard work recognized nationally.”
KIPP DC, the largest public charter school network in Washington, D.C. and the second-largest system behind DCPS, has been operating high-quality schools in the District for 20 years and currently educates 6,900 students in grades PreK3 through 12 at 18 schools.
For more information, please contact Adam Rupe.