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KIPP gets $945,000 grant for expansion this fall

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia School Partnership announced it will award $945,000 to KIPP Philadelphia for the startup of the organization’s latest school, set to open this fall in North Philadelphia.

KIPP North will contain an elementary and middle school, though KIPP Philadelphia treats those as separate schools to get access to an additional $300,000 grant from the national KIPP Foundation — grants awarded by the foundation to any local KIPP operator for every elementary, middle, and high school that’s approved to open through 2019.

It will open with an enrollment of 200 students in kindergarten through 1st grade and expand to 860 students in K-8 by the time it reaches full capacity in the 2022-23 school year. The school will share space with KIPP Philadelphia’s original elementary and middle school at 2539 N. 16th St. — the former school building of M.H. Stanton Elementary, which the School Reform Commission voted to close in 2013.

The elementary school was approved by the SRC, and the middle grades were approved “with conditions.”

“KIPP North is an answer to calls from hundreds of families in North Philadelphia for further access to KIPP’s high-quality educational network,” said Ben Speicher, founder of KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy, who will open and lead KIPP North. “We are thankful for the support from PSP, which will ensure the successful opening of our new school.”

Opening KIPP North is part of KIPP’s massive expansion plan over the next few years, which will more than double the 1,700 students it now serves, to more than 4,400 students, once every approved school opens and reaches full enrollment. Some of these charters were approved by the SRC with conditions.

In the end, expansion will leave KIPP with two K-12 networks of schools — one in North Philadelphia and the other in West Philadelphia.

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