Strategies for Student Success 2015 - Page 22

KIPP Academy Nashville Engages Families and StudentS Text messages. Emails. Fliers in the mail. Saturday meetings at coffee shops. When it comes to keeping lines of communication open with parents, 2015 SCORE Prize finalist KIPP Academy Nashville puts every possible channel to use, according to parent Debra Payne. “Their ability to be available is constant. The ability of them to be approachable and there for you is infinite and sincere. And that is the difference,” said Ms. Payne. “There is nothing that compares.” grades 5-8 within Metro Nashville Public Schools. KIPP Academy is part of a national network of charter schools. In Nashville, KIPP schools have been established that will ultimately serve students in grades kindergarten through 12. For Ms. Payne, KIPP exemplifies “compassion and old-school educational values.” The family’s strong educational priorities brought them to KIPP after trying numerous other options, both public and private. The discipline and academic focus of KIPP, combined with the constant availability of staff members, proved to be a winning combination for Ms. Payne and her daughter, Lexi. Now Lexi is a KIPP Academy alum attending a Metro Nashville high school, but relationships with KIPP staff remain significant. At KIPP Academy, which was also a SCORE Prize middle school finalist in 2014, staff believe that strong relationships between parents, kids, and teachers lead to fundamentally transformed outcomes. Families are deeply engaged from the very beginning of kids’ work at KIPP. And college “There are so many people there that I just love. conversations happen early and often at this They are literally part of my family now,” said Ms. public charter school, which serves 350 students in Payne. “I just cannot ever thank them enough.” 21