Why does education matter to my family and community? As a parent, our children must have better high schools and safe campuses. Most students do not have the opportunity to have an excellent education. After all, districts put more obstacles to charter schools than traditional public schools. Our children study hard; parents across the state only ask for a permanent place for our children to learn. This is the story of how parent leaders came together to advocate for a new high school where our children can learn and thrive. At KIPP, I have experienced high quality curriculum and fantastic teachers that support their students when they need it.
When my son finished middle school at KIPP Heritage in San Jose; I started to look for great high school options in my community. I was worried because at the time KIPP had only one high school, which was not large enough for all the 8th graders from their 3 middle schools to attend. I was worried about the children who would not have a space. However, the teachers were concerned too because they wanted to continue providing an excellent KIPP experience in high school for their students. The teachers and staff started working to open another high school. In a petition to the district – parents, teachers, and students joined forces to advocate opening another KIPP High School. Unfortunately our request was not accepted at our local district, and was denied again at the county level. As a result, we had to go to Sacramento to continue to advocate. We finally felt like our voices were heard when the State Board of Education accepted the petition. Although we won a new high school, we still did not have a permanent building or space.
The local district gave us a permit to collocate for two years on a campus in South San Jose, but two years was a short time and the building was 7 miles away from East Side San Jose, which is where many families lived. Our children needed a permanent and safe place for their education. Once again, we went back to the district to see what would be done for the future of our children. Luckily we had a great response, and they gave us space on a campus in East San Jose.
Thank you, East Side Union High School District, the superintendent, and all the board members who listened to us. I am a parent of KIPP Navigate. I am grateful for KIPP Navigate because this school provides our children the opportunity to have a home. I hear my children talking enthusiastically about the new campus and their school, which shows the impact that this space is already having on them. During the pandemic I have been thinking about the excellent teachers my children have; they try their best to support all students when they need it. When I see my children frustrated because they don’t understand an online lesson is when I miss my children’s school the most. Unfortunately, I can’t always help them. KIPP high schools teach their students the skills and knowledge to be successful in their classes. I value the good things the school has to offer, and the teachers too. Once again, thank you for allowing us to make our school a place of excellence. I know that students, teachers, and parents will make it a beautiful home.
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