KIPP Colorado Principal Joins call for End of Suspensions for Young Students

Posted Monday, June 19, 2017

Elementary students gather around an instructor.
Elementary students gather around an instructor.

Lindsey Lorehn, School Leader at KIPP Northeast Elementary, joined five other Denver principals calling for an end to suspensions for students in third grade and younger in an op-ed that appeared in Education Post. Citing the growing research that suspensions, even at a young age, can lead to academic failure and negative attitudes toward school, the principals applauded the work that Denver Public Schools is doing to reduce suspensions, and urged the state legislature to follow suit.

Joining Ms. Lorehn to co-author the piece are Jennifer Reese, Principal of Rocky Mountain Prep Southwest; Alexa Mason, Principal of STRIVE Prep Ruby Hill; Sara Gips Goodall, Principal of McGlone Academy; Jennifer Jackson, Principal of Cole Arts & Science Academy; and Alex Magaña, Executive Principal of Grant Beacon Middle School.

Click here to read the full piece at Education Post. 


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New Campus, New Names for Two KIPP Colorado Schools in Far Northeast Denver

Posted Thursday, June 15, 2017

For the 2017-18 school year, KIPP Montbello Elementary and KIPP Montbello College Prep will move into a brand new shared campus in Green Valley Ranch. The move will provide a bright, vibrant learning environment for students, as well as a single, convenient location for parents who drop off and pick up students at both schools. 

With the move to the new campus, both schools will update their names and logos. KIPP Montbello Elementary will become KIPP Northeast Elementary, and KIPP Montbello College Prep will become KIPP Northeast Denver Middle School. 

“The new names for our Far Northeast elementary and middle schools reflect the broad and diverse community from which our students and families come to KIPP Colorado,” said Kimberlee Sia, KIPP Colorado Schools Chief Executive Officer. “We have proudly called the Montbello community home since KIPP Montbello College Prep opened in 2011, and our schools will continue to provide a high quality public education choice for families in Montbello and throughout Far Northeast Denver.”

The new names will also align with KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy, the KIPP Colorado high school in Far Northeast Denver that opened in 2015. As our high school and elementary school continue to add grades until full enrollment, KIPP Colorado Schools will provide a strong pre-k to college continuum for families in Far Northeast Denver. 

One thing that will not change for the upcoming school year is KIPP Colorado Schools’ mission to equip our students with the academic skills and character strengths necessary to succeed in college and the competitive world beyond. 

We’re already looking forward to the 2017-18 school year!


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KIPP Colorado Schools Welcomes Stephani Olson to the KIPP Colorado Team and Family

Posted Friday, June 09, 2017

The 2016-17 school year may have just ended, but we’re already looking forward to some exciting developments for the 2017-18 school year at KIPP Colorado Schools!

In Far Northeast Denver, KIPP Montbello Elementary and KIPP Montbello College Prep will move from their current locations to a brand new shared building at 4635 Walden Street in Denver. With the new campus, the schools will also change their names to KIPP Northeast Elementary and KIPP Northeast Denver Middle School to reflect the broad community from where our students come. 

At KIPP Northeast Denver Middle School, Stephani Olson will take the helm as school leader for the 2017-18 school year.  We are excited to introduce Ms. Olson to the KIPP Colorado Schools community!

Ms. Olson comes to KNDMS from Arizona Charter Academy in Surprise, Arizona, where she spent the last 10 years as Principal. 

Her interest in education came about well before she ever started teaching. The daughter of a teacher and single mother, Ms. Olson grew up around schools and in after-school programs. To her, school felt like another home. 

Her teachers continued to inspire her love of learning throughout her education. Ms. Olson credits Mrs. Woodruff—her 3rd and 4th grade teacher—for sparking her love of reading when she gave Ms. Olson a copy of the Chronicles of Narnia to take home. The story was so captivating that she forced herself to become a better reader, and to this day is never without a good book.

At Grand Canyon University, Ms. Olson earned a liberal arts degree, while working as a professional flamenco dancer. She continues to love to dance, and is a certified Zumba instructor (we have a feeling school dances just got a lot more fun). 

In making the decision to join the KIPP Northeast Denver Middle School team and family, Ms. Olson says she was drawn to KIPP’s culture of continually innovating to promote student achievement and our commitment to a rigorous academic curriculum while fostering joy and excitement in the classroom. 

Looking forward to the coming year, she is especially excited for the diverse and dynamic team that she will be leading at KIPP Northeast Denver Middle School, and getting to know students and families. 

Asked what KNDMS students and families should know about her, Ms. Olson says, “I love to laugh! I love to truly hear people's stories and their hopes for the future.”

We are excited for the future and so thrilled that Ms. Olson will be leading KNDMS starting this fall. 

Welcome, Ms. Olson!



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KIPPsters at the Capitol

Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On Thursday, a group of KIPPsters from KIPP Denver Collegiate High School and KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy attended the 2017 Colorado League of Charter School Advocacy Day. Students spent the morning learning about how bills become law in Colorado, and how they can make their voices heard on issues that are important to them. 

While at the Capitol, KIPPsters spent time on the floor of the State Senate, where they heard arguments about bills that dealt with taxes, healthcare, and privacy rights. Senator Angela Williams spoke to the students about what the Senate was working on that day, and about her support for charter public schools. Senator Owen Hill also joined the group to talk about the business of the day. 

After a tour of the Capitol, KIPPsters heard from the people who work in the Office of Legislative Legal Services about their role in drafting legislation. Observing the State House of Representatives and chatting with State Representative James Coleman rounded out the morning before KIPPsters headed back to school. 

Throughout, KIPPsters discussed the importance of Senate Bill 61—a measure that would ensure equal funding for charter public schools along with all public school choices. That measure had recently passed the Senate, and was waiting for a committee assignment in the House. 

For more photos of KIPPsters at the Capitol, click here



Tags: KIPP Denver Collegiate High School , KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy

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Grit, zest, and a little love: KIPPsters learn to grow their own food

Posted Friday, April 07, 2017


For most high school students, springtime means warmer weather and the anticipation of summer vacation. 

But for students in Mr. Finch’s Outdoor Leadership class at KIPP Denver Collegiate High School, springtime means getting into the dirt and planting seeds that will turn into summertime vegetables. 

On Friday, KIPPsters took to the KDCHS garden armed with radish, spinach, lettuce, and pea seeds. Although the ground was blanketed in snow just three days earlier, students said they felt confident the time was right to plant the seeds.

“We’re not too worried because we made sure these plants are hearty and can survive some cold weather,” said Karla, a junior at KDCHS. “I’m excited to cook them, but I’m most excited about seeing them go from a seed to a whole plant.”

Emelyn, also a junior at KDCHS, said the garden project has impacted her in two ways. 

“This has made me think about how I could grow food and turn that into a business. But I also like to cook and am now thinking about how I can use these ingredients over the summer to help me be at my best for next basketball season.”

The garden is part of KIPP Colorado’s health and wellness initiative to improve the health and wellness of students, families, and the community. 

Mr. Finch believes the garden offers multiple benefits for the students.

“My students have been really interested in learning more about eating healthy and learning to cook using healthy ingredients,” said Mr. Finch. “They’re excited about the garden project and the sense of accomplishment from growing their own food.”

Other schools in the KIPP Colorado region are offering their own health and wellness activities and resources, including a cooking class for middle school students, a no-cost grocery program in Far Northeast Denver, and Zumba classes for parents. 

Andrea Rougé is the Director of Health and Wellness at KIPP Colorado Schools. She says programs like this are important for not just the physical health benefits from eating healthy food, but also for the mental health benefits from spending time outside nurturing a living plant.

“The vegetables that students grow themselves not only taste better, but they also get students excited about cooking and eating healthy foods and give the students a sense of pride and accomplishment.”

The vegetables are set to be ready for harvest before the end of the school year. Students from Mr. Finch’s class will be able to take home the bounty and use the vegetables however they choose. Many of the students said they were planning to find recipes that they cook using their fresh produce. 

For now, Mr. Finch’s class is just hoping there isn’t any more snow in the forecast. 

Tags: KIPP Denver Collegiate High School

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