KIPP Stand Academy is on the move.
The school has decided to move into Minneapolis’ Shingle Creek Elementary School. KIPP’s current location is behind the Basilica of St. Mary at 1601 Laurel Ave. in Minneapolis.
KIPP Stand Academy is a charter school that prepares middle schools students for college. KIPP is an acronym for Knowledge is Power Program. KIPP as an organization is a national group of open-enrollment public charter schools that emphasize college prep.
KIPP Stand Academy principal Alvin Abraham said the move would allow growth.
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“We have been here for six years at the Basilica,” said Abraham. “We love location and we love the building, but we are growing out of it.”
The school currently serves students entering grades five through eight, but KIPP plans on expanding to more grade levels. “Ultimately our goal is to be a community of schools that serves children from pre-K all the way up to the 12th grade.”
Currently, just over 200 children attend KIPP and the goal is to have enrollment near 400.
The next immediate step after the transition will be the development of an elementary school that is set to open in fall 2016.
Left: L-R: Cornelius and Jayon (Photo credit: KIPP Stand Academy) Above: KIPP Stand Academy – Shingle Creek
“It is an actual school. There is something cool about revitalizing that space and utilizing it for what it was built for,” said Abraham.
Abraham said more than 50 locations were considered but the Shingle Creek School location will provide better access for KIPP families. Abraham said the school is more centrally located to north Minneapolis. Eighty percent of KIPP students live in north Minneapolis.
“We had to stay close to the community we currently serve which is the Northside,” said Abraham. “The Basilica is a great space and everyone knows where it is, but it is not that easy to get to.”
Another opportunity the new location provides is what Abraham (left) called green space and more space for the students to be active.
“This space has a huge beautiful gym. We are going to be able to have two P.E. (physical education) classes,” said Abraham. “We know kids have to be active and in engaged in order to lead healthy lifestyles.”
Green space includes places including parks, bike trails and softball fields. “We will have access to the outdoors,” said Abraham.
At the Basilica, there is little space for the students to be active and enjoy the outdoors. When the weather was nice, Abraham said students would take a walk to Loring Park, but it significantly cut into class time.
“The fact that we can open the door and be at a soccer field or the bike trail is huge,” said Abraham. “We even discussed ideas of creating a community garden and understanding where food comes from.”