Administrators have little control over the students. They seem intimidated by the parents and unable to make critical decisions involving the surrounding community and residents as they infringe upon the environment and safety of the students who are exposed to daily. Very undesirable neighborhood for the student population. Having to explain the presence of prostitutes who openly walk/work the neighborhood, police cars and other emergency vehicles daily witnessing arrests of illegal activity on the way to school, after school during the school day. Very distracting to the young scholars and way too much for 5-10 year olds to be exposed to. The 3 stars are for the caliber of some teachers who really make a difference under very adverse conditions and environment.
Some are stellar.. Ms. Yilpet, Mr. Magana, others are very marginal.. it seems the good ones move on to more challenging endeavors or are putting more into being effective than the others to get through to the students.
My daughter has been at this school 3 years now the entire staff knows her nsme and they all watch out for her and i could tell they have her best interest at heart. The neighborhood is awful but the school is one of the best around. My only complaint is that the teachers trnd not to take seriously the concerns of the children. My daughter seems to be picked on and shes told not to tattle tale which concerns me alot. Otherwise i love this school and after empower she will continue to be a kipp kid.
I am extremely disappointed in this school. The administrative staffers are rude and condescending to parents. They ask for parent input but have done NOTHING in the past two years to improve the conditions of their school. They are focused solely on high test schools to keep up their reputation but don't inspire the children to think for themselves. Anyone looking for a place to educate their is better off at their local public school. At least then their children will get out of school early enough to still gain exposure to enrichment and extracurricular studies. KIPP LA SCHOOLS ARE HORRIBLE. They fit the school to prison pipeline mold perfectly. This is our LAST year at this institution.
The teachers are GREAT! They are truly invested in what they do. Unfortunately the same can't be said about the administration, they actively deceive parents making them promises they don't intend on keeping. The administration and the KIPP L.A. organization ACT as if they are interested in parent involvement but the reality is far from that. KIPP L.A. basicly washes their hands when it comes to school issues and just refers you back to the school, which is what is broken in the first place! Our kids eat in overcrowded lunch tables, where they aren't even able to stretch. They are told to keep their voices down, sit up straight, knees forward, bottoms on the bench. I know of correctional institutions that have less strict lunch time rules! At the beginning of our Journey at KEA I was ecstatic that this established CMO had opened a school in South L.A. If I knew then what I know now this would not have been MY CHOICE in school.
KIPP Empower Academy has great potential but I question the underlying agenda. What I mean by that is, the teachers (at least those I've encountered) are caring and genuinely have a vested interest in the academic success of their students. But the administrative staff have to answer to the KIPP Board of Directors who seem to be the true decision makers. The agenda of the Board seems to be focussed on money. Ways in which they can open more schools and collect more public school funding but only spending the minimum required to operate a school. That being said, the children & the school doesn't have adequate funding or resources available to them. Their academic day consists of rigorous drilling of math, reading/comprehension skills. There is no project based, hand-on-learning AT ALL. The homework is too easy for my children and when I asked them to challenge them more the teachers said they couldn't and I'd have to talk to the principle if I wanted my children to be challenged academically. Why are they holding them back from greatness? Is their goal to produce mediocre children who will be good low wage workers? Not my children! They will be CEOs so this is our LAST YEAR HERE!
My daughter started KEA back in August of 2013 and my thoughts are a bit mixed. Pros: the instructors care; not every teacher is great. My daughter (Kinder) has excelled in her reading, comprehension and she's getting better in math; parent involvement is decent, they offer classes for parents regarding different aspects of raising your child/finances/etc. They teach the kids about oneness as well as diversity EVEN though the school is NOT diverse. The school does offer the surrounding area a sense of pride for kids who would not get this type of education in a public school; private school would be an expensive alternative. Cons: The school is not diverse, the location is HORRIBLE; basically it s on the prostitute stroll yet the curriculum and attitude remains stellar. I believe my daughter maybe better off in a school that is diverse; in my opinion it s the real world and I d rather see her in the immersion school that we re on the waiting list for. If you don t do your research and decipher for yourself in what s best for your child you can miss out on other educational possibilities - Yeah, the API score is high but environment within education plays a part to.
The staff at Kipp Empower are the best! Very resourceful and supportive. During PTO meetings the Teachers are very detailed, explaining levels of learning and classroom expectations. An abundance of material is provided to assist with learning needs and challenges. Very pleased!!