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KIPP plans 10 percent enrollment hike; vows to uphold Common Core even if state sacks it

KIPP New Orleans Schools plans to grow its student body by 10 percent in the year ahead, bringing total enrollment to 4,166 in the charter management group’s 10 schools.

Ninety-one percent of the newcomers have already been assigned seats through the OneApp process, director of advocacy Jonathan Bertsch said. Bertsch said KIPP Renaissance High School is currently at 125 percent of capacity but that the number should drop to a more manageable level over the course of the summer.

Bertsch also reported that suspensions at Renaissance are down 80 percent, to a total of  360 this year.

Chief academic officer Todd Purvis said that over the past several years KIPP has gradually implemented a curriculum aligned with Common Core standards and will continue to do so regardless of the state’s final decision on Common Core.

“That’s the right thing for kids. That’s a bar we want to set for our kids. We want our kids to write like that; we want our kids to read like that, and we want them to understand math like that. We’re going full steam ahead at this and if we need to make adjustments otherwise, we will,” Purvis said.

Jennifer Walcott Goldstein, KIPP’s chief of staff, told the board that the organization has surpassed its $2 million fundraising goal for the fiscal year, with $2,157,874 in support, including a four-year, $2.2 million grant from the Charter School Growth Fund. Walcott Goldstein reported that the Power to Lead Gala, KIPP’s annual fundraising event, brought in $80,000 this year.

The board did not have a quorum and did not vote on any agenda items. Walcott Goldstein announced that the board will release the draft budget for the coming fiscal year at the next board meeting, June 19. The board will vote on that agenda at the August meeting.

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