News & Events
Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, Visits KIPP Jacksonville Schools
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, will preside over a ribbon-cutting ceremony for KIPP Jacksonville Schools. KIPP Jacksonville has the distinction of opening the first KIPP School in Florida, KIPP Impact Middle School. The event will begin at 10:50 a.m., Wednesday October 13, 2010, at KIPP Jacksonville Schools, 1440 McDuff Avenue North, Jacksonville, FL 32254 (formerly the Jacksonville Kennel Club.)
Joining Secretary Duncan will be The Honorable Corinne Brown, who has worked tirelessly for improvements in public education in Jacksonville.
Tom Majdanics, Executive Director of KIPP Jacksonville Schools envisions three KIPP Schools to be located at its McDuff Avenue facility. The recently renovated facility was donated by Jacksonville Greyhound Racing, Inc. last year. KIPP Jacksonville’s first school, KIPP Impact Middle School, opened this past August. KIPP Jacksonville anticipates opening an elementary school and a 2nd middle school in the facility by 2014. Overall, KIPP Jacksonville plans to open five schools in Jacksonville in the coming years.
Last month, Secretary Duncan announced 12 grants totaling $50 million to replicate and expand high-quality charter schools that have demonstrated success. The KIPP Foundation received $14,550,084 for 21 new schools – including KIPP Impact Middle School -- and 11 expanded schools serving an additional 15,000 students.
KIPP Impact Middle School gets $500,000 for its music program.
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Jacksonville’s KIPP Impact Middle School will receive $500,000 from the federal government to support its music program, the school’s national foundation announced Wednesday during a visit by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Duncan participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the state’s first Knowledge Is Power Program charter school. He gushed about the college preparatory charter school that features longer school days, Saturday classes twice a month and mandatory summer school. “I want every child in the country to have these kinds of opportunities, where there are such high expectations, where there’s a college-going culture from day one,” Duncan said. “This gives me real reason to hope.” The ceremony took place outside the KIPP facility with the words “there are no shortcuts” on the building and about 200 people in attendance. The federal grant was part of $14 million received by the national KIPP Foundation. The $500,000 will help pay for instruments and music books for the next two years, said Steve Mancini, national spokesman for KIPP. Duncan also visited Rutledge Pearson Elementary School, where he met with Duval County Public Schools officials and visited a third-grade classroom. He lauded Pearson for moving from an F to an A in two years and said great teaching is happening in both charter and public schools. “We just need more great schools in this country, and they come in all different forms and fashions, but I think the elements are identical,” he said. “It’s a lot of hard work, there are very high expectations, great principal leadership, passionate teachers.”
The nation’s top educator also reacted to the news of Washington, D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s resignation. Rhee became a star of the education reform movement and a lightning rod of controversy for her willingness to fire teachers and her blunt attitude. Duncan was asked if he’d offer Rhee a job. “I don’t know if I’m going to hire her,” Duncan said. “But she’s done a fantastic job. By any measure, D.C. public schools are better today than when she arrived.” KIPP is a national network of public college-preparatory charter schools that target underprivileged students. The network has 99 schools in 20 states with more than 26,000 students. The KIPP school is on McDuff Avenue, at the site of the former Jacksonville greyhound racing park.
Nation’s top educator to attend Jacksonville school’s grand opening
Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is scheduled to be in Jacksonville Wednesday for the grand opening of Florida’s first KIPP charter school. Duncan will cut the ribbon at the KIPP Impact Middle School about 10:50 a.m., said Tom Majdanics, executive director for KIPP Jacksonville Schools. The school opened in August with 90 fifth-graders. “It’s really exciting and humbling that we have secretary Duncan coming to see us as we begin our work,” said Robert Hawke, the school’s principal. “For our kids to see that somebody on the level of the secretary of education cares so much about their success in life is an amazing motivator.”