In August of 2005, KIPP: TECH VALLEY opened its doors with the promise that hard work would lead to academic success and the road to college for underserved children in Albany. Eight years later, results continue to show that KIPP: TECH VALLEY students have made impressive academic gains, proving that KIPP's "no shortcuts" philosophy pays off.
The KIPP program of structure and high expectations combined with more time in the classroom has paid off. On last year's New York State math and ELA assessments, KIPP: TECH VALLEY eighth graders outperformed the Albany City School District average in English language arts, and outperformed the district in mathematics. Looking back in 2009, KIPP: TECH VALLEY was one of only 11 schools in the entire state to receive 100% passing results in both math and ELA on the New York State Exams. Like 2012, KIPP: TECH VALLEY outperformed all public middle schools in the Capital Region on the NYSTP math exam in 2011. Historically, the majority of students enrolling at KIPP: TECH VALLEY score in the lowest quartile on national tests. In the fall of 2012, only 13% of entering 5th graders passed the NYSTP ELA exam in the 4th grade at their previous school. Less than 1/3 of those same students passed their 4th grade NYSTP mathematics exam at their previous school.
In 2013, our founding class of students from 2005 graduated from a number of different high schools, and approximately 90% of those students were accepted to college.
KIPP: TECH VALLEY currently serves over 300 students in grades five through eight. 88 percent of students are African American, and approximately 80 percent qualify for the federally subsidized free and reduced-price meal program.
Students at KIPP: TECH VALLEY commit to a three-week summer session, attend school from 7:30am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, participate in academic and extracurricular classes up to two Saturdays per month, and complete up to two hours of homework each night. In addition to more time for core academic courses, the longer school day, week, and year also allow students to participate in extracurricular activities. Dedicated teachers are available by cell phone after hours for homework help and any questions from parents.
KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) is a national network of 141 free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools in 20 states and Washington, DC, that prepares underserved students for success in college and in life. Nationally, 80 percent of KIPP alumni have matriculated to college, as compared to a national average for low income students of 8 percent. In November 2006, Paul Tough wrote in The New York Times Magazine that "the most influential schools are the ones run by KIPP."
Extra Curricular Activities
The KIPP program of structure and high expectations applies to both academics and fun. Students begin each day in an advisory program designed to provide a holistic education. Self identify, diversity, and adversity are all covered within the year.
Additionally, the school provides students with the opportunity to participate in weekly activities on Friday, up to 10 Saturday school sessions each year, and over 30 clubs. The school also is a participating member of section II in the New York Public High School Athletic Association. This membership provides students with the option of joining up to 3 of the 5 official sports teams offered at KTV.
KIPP: TECH VALLEY utilizes a non traditional structure for ensuring that the program is both fun and challenging. Students have the potential to earn participation in a number of events held each Friday based on the school wide behavior management system known as Paychecks.
Saturday sessions are held each year to allow students with the opportunity to experience both typical and atypical activities including bowling, roller skating, and laser tag. The highlights of the Saturday school program also include several college visits to provide exposure to higher level academic settings and motivation to continue as the hardest working students in the area.
Teachers serve as the advisors to over thirty clubs throughout the year. Students apply for a variety of clubs such as "Danceversity", "Food for Thought", and the KTVN broadcasting club. The goal of the clubs is to provide students with exposure to numerous activities over their 4 years at KIPP. This idea runs parallel to the focus of preparing students for what is to come academically.