by Georgia Charter Schools Association
By KIPP Metro Atlanta
KIPP Atlanta Collegiate’s founding class graduated from high school on Friday, May 22. Ninety-two percent of the seniors have been accepted to college, and an additional three percent will join the military.
“I am so proud to see our students achieve this tremendous milestone, and excited that they each have the opportunity to lead choice-filled lives,” said Dave Howland, founding principal of KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. “The accomplishments of this class are proof of what is possible in public education. If you have motivated teachers united by a singular, unapologetic vision, each with the flexibility to do what is right for their students, greatness is possible.”
The class of 2015 has been offered a combined $12 million in scholarship dollars and received a total of 395 college acceptances from 126 different colleges and universities. The graduates have gained acceptances to leading colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Spelman College, Duke University, and Emory University.
Part of the national network of KIPP public charter schools, KIPP Atlanta Collegiate was founded in 2011 and serves more than 500 students in grades 9 through 12. Ninety-seven percent of its students are African-American, and 87 percent qualify for free- or reduced-price meals. More than two thirds of the students who started at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate as ninth graders four years ago received their diplomas in the ceremony.
Graduate Elizabeth Shelby values the college preparatory education KIPP Atlanta Collegiate provided. “My teachers continually encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone,” said Shelby. “As a result of their encouragement and KIPP’s national partnerships with leading college and universities, I had the opportunity to attend summer leadership programs at Brown University and Georgetown University that opened doors for me that I didn’t even know existed.” This fall, Elizabeth will attend The College of Wooster as a Posse Scholar with a four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarship worth approximately $100,000; she plans to major in neuroscience, and hopes to become a surgeon.
KIPP Atlanta Collegiate has a track record of high student achievement. In 2014, KIPP Atlanta Collegiate outperformed the district average for each of the End-of-Course tests that its students took. Additionally, KIPP Atlanta Collegiate students outperformed the state average and all but one district school on the 2013 Georgia High School Writing Test.
“It’s terrific to see our students on their way to becoming future leaders in the community,” said Kinnari Patel-Smyth, executive director of KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools. “They have worked so hard to achieve this milestone, and I’m excited to see what the future has in store for this remarkable group of students.”
About KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools: KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools is part of the growing network of KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) schools across the nation. KIPP is a network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. In Metro Atlanta, there are currently eight KIPP schools—three elementary schools, four middle schools, and one high school—as well as the KIPP Through College Program, which supports students on their journeys “to and through” college. KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools currently serves 2,500 students and will serve more each year as it grows into a full K-12 network. To learn more visit www.kippmetroatlanta.org.
The views and opinions expressed on CharterConfidential are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.