Our Story

KIPP New Orleans Schools began in 2004 as a collection of New Orleans residents – parents, teachers, business leaders, and civic leaders– dedicated to providing high quality educational options in New Orleans.

We believe that all students can learn and achieve at high levels if given the opportunity. Our mission is to help students develop the knowledge and skills they need to seize those opportunities. Great education transforms lives.

KIPP New Orleans Schools is a non-profit network of college-preparatory, public charter schools serving elementary, middle, and high school students. During the past 12 years, we have established a track record of preparing our students for success in both college and life.

Our schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. 

Preparing students for a bright future

The founding group of KIPP New Orleans was drawn together by a shared commitment to education and a belief that students are best prepared for their futures through a rigorous educational program. In the spring of 2005, the group was awarded a charter by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

KIPP New Orleans’s first school, KIPP Phillips Preparatory, opened its doors in July 2005 to a class of 120 eighth-grade students in the former E.H. Phillips Middle School building. After three weeks of summer school and two weeks of regular classes, the school was brought to an abrupt end by Hurricane Katrina.

The week after the hurricane, KIPP students who evacuated to Houston shelters called their teachers’ cell phones to ask for help enrolling in school in Houston. KIPP staff members traveled to Houston and spent several days walking through shelters at the Astrodome, Reliant Center, and George R. Brown Convention Center to search for their students. They quickly saw the need for education options for New Orleans children who had evacuated to Houston and KIPP NOW (New Orleans West) College Prep was born.

In 2017, twelve years after opening its doors, KIPP New Orleans Schools enrolls more than 4,700 students at 11 schools.

At KIPP, teachers, students, and families are all united around the same goal—college graduation. Through our collective hard work and commitment, KIPP’s four-year college graduation rate is above the national average for all students and four times higher than students from the same communities and economic backgrounds who did not attend a KIPP school. Our success is driven by:

• High Expectations: Clearly defined and measurable high expectations for academic achievement and conduct that creates and reinforces a culture of achievement and support. We know that every student is different and we personalize learning based on a student’s needs, skills, and interests.

• Strength of Character: Success in life depends on more than academic learning. We help students foster character traits that are essential for their own success. And we equip them with the skills to express their voice with power and to improve the world around them.

• Highly-Skilled Teachers and Leaders: Great schools require great teachers and school leaders. We empower our school teams and invest in leadership and training rather than in bureaucracy.

• Safe & Structured Environments: Physical and emotional safety is needed for students to take risks and learn from their successes and their mistakes. Our schools provide a safe, structured environment with minimal distractions so our students love school and maximize their learning.

 •KIPP Through College: Our counselors and advisors support students as they prepare for and select the right college for their needs and interests. Together, we help them navigate the social, academic, and financial challenges they might encounter while there.

As we look to the future, we have never been more optimistic. We recognize there is more work to be done, but our progress to date has clearly demonstrated what is possible. Today we stand in partnership with other organizations committed to educational excellence and equity—working together so that all children have the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills, character and habits necessary to lead choice-filled lives.