KIPP DC

  www.kippdc.org
  www.kippdc.org

KIPP DC Reviews

Updated October 20, 2014
Updated October 20, 2014
9 Reviews
3.4
9 Reviews
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Susan Schaeffler
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Team & Family: Intern Perspective

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at KIPP DC as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    -Great work environment: flexible hours, supportive staff
    -A lot of interesting projects, and ability to explore different departments

    Cons

    I don't have any cons! Great place to work!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management is doing a really great job! Great organization to work for!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Terrible, tone-deaf leadership at Lead Academy, network seems otherwise healthy

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Former Employee - Teacher

    I worked at KIPP DC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing, smart, passionate teachers committed to the work they are doing. My coworkers were all people I liked and admired, and some are still among my closest friends. The work is rewarding in that the kids are wonderful.

    Salaries are extremely competitive, even among charter schools.

    My impression is that the most of the other schools in the network are healthier than the one where I worked, but I have no first hand experience there.

    Cons

    Can only speak for MY former school, Lead Academy: Extremely long hours, mandatory after school meetings adding to the extended day, meaning that we'd often get home around 8 with no planning for the next day done. No shared planning time built into schedule to facilitate teacher collaboration and cut down on out-of-school work hours. Minimal support for student behavioral issues, no consistent plan in place for responses to extreme or dangerous behavior. Leadership is reactive (and often reacts inappropriately, ie: picking a child up or shutting down a classroom for being "too loud"), and only responds when convenient or absolutely necessary. Expect curriculum/schedule to change multiple times per year with little to no notice. Teachers are treated as "weak" or "not committed" if they struggle, and "support" takes the shape of leadership taking over classrooms or demoting struggling teachers without coaching. Minimal observation and coaching. I could go on, but it's really more of the same. School lost 2/3 of its staff after year two (last year) and has already had a revolving door of teachers this year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Read the writing on the wall. This school leader is struggling and driving away strong, passionate teachers. Last year was not a fluke, and you will continue to lose great people until this is rectified.

    Do the right thing for the kids of this school and give them some consistency.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Shocking how staff screams at the kids and how the admin treats teachers like disposable diapers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC

    I worked at KIPP DC full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The pay is good. The benefits are outstanding.

    Cons

    Very narrow sense of what success is. If a student misbehaves, they get screamed at, punished for minor infractions by taking away things the student loved.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to foster a positive work environment. Learn and teach teachers how to correct negative behavior without having to constantly be punitive.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Hardwork

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Washington, DC

    I have been working at KIPP DC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The pay is amazing, the support is really good from your principal and administrative support.

    Cons

    There aren't a lot of open opportunities for growth. Opportunities for advancement are on a hand picked basis, administration hand selects whom they want to grow within the network. A work/life balance is almost non existent. It's difficult meeting all of the demands. You have no time for family or anything else. Less than 15% of the network employees are married and even less than that have kids. It's simply not sustainable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Diveristy

    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Awesome, passionate group of people who value constant feedback and improvement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern in Washington, DC

    I worked at KIPP DC as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    -the people--they value teamwork & support
    -always open to feedback and ensuring that the feedback will be implemented
    -attitude of always wanting to improve translates from schools to headquarters

    Cons

    -depending on one's expectations or assumptions, tasks may not seem satisfactory

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Excellent work environment for those who enjoy working hard

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Lead Teacher in Washington, DC

    I have been working at KIPP DC full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Comraderie: Fantastic support from other teachers, administration, struggling new teachers will receive vast amounts of mentorship, everyone will help you if you are actively trying to improve your craft

    Professional Development: As mentioned above, new teachers or teachers who struggle to fit will receive lots of mentorship. KIPP Foundation has annual conferences for PD, and

    Safety and learning environment: Safe environment for students and children. Calm and quiet, conducive to learning.

    Results: Most students come in several grade levels behind in reading and math in 5th grade and most leave 8th grade on grade level. They are not just

    Supplies: Adminstration will provide the supplies, money, etc. for anything you need to achieve success in your classroom - as long as you have a good reason for needing it. Teachers do not have trouble getting adequate supplies.

    High expectations: Everyone is the building is working very hard to ensure kids are learning, evaluate data, and make each day better. As such, it creates an environment where slacking is not allowed and the school is productive.

    Observation and feedback: Weekly observations and check-ins give teachers the ability to get constant feedback from administration and more experienced teachers.

    Autonomy: Administrators do not tell you what you need to teach. They allow you to set up your curriculum and continue to use it as long as it is working.

    Students: The school is strict, but that causes it to be efficient. Students are generally respectful and follow directions and do not cause huge disruptions in the classroom or hallways.

    Cons

    Work load: Long hours (10 hour mininimum standard work day from 7:30-5:30, with most teachers arriving around 7:00 and leaving between 6:00-7:00). There is also mandatory summer school for three weeks - Summer break is only a total of four weeks.

    High expectations: Teachers are expected to pitch in to help out however. You will not just teach your subject area, you will be expected to fill in to help out in other areas as well. There are many additional duties that you be required to fulfill. You will also be observed on a weekly basis, so if there is anything about your class that is not tight you will be expected to address it.

    No substitutes: When a teacher is out for sickness, other teacher sub in. No outside substitutes are used which means that teachers may have to give up planning time to cover if other teachers are out. It is also important to plan far ahead if you plan to go to a wedding or another major event since other teachers sub for you. Vacations are supposed to be planned during school breaks, not during school days.

    Flexibility required: You will be asked to do things that are inconvenient or cut into your planning time so that school runs smoothly.

    These type of teachers will not like the school:
    *Those who don't like to plan far ahead or don't like others to criticize their lesson plans
    *Those who don't like strict rules
    *Those who want to get out of work at a regular teacher time, or want to have summers off
    *Those who do not like to be told how they should teach
    *Those who would like to teach one subject and not be involved with classes or students outside their subject

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Smaller class sizes would greatly improve the schools.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    Fantastic schools, the right mission and a great team

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at KIPP DC full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    - Very mission-focused organization
    - Highly motivated, bright and dedicated team and co-workers
    - Strong leadership at the schools and at Headquarters
    - Sets the highest standards for students and staff

    Cons

    - Demanding schedule and long hours
    - Very high expectations, great for strong performers, challenging for others

    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    KIPP is a fraud

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC

    I have been working at KIPP DC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I made it out alive and regained my "sparkle" in the classroom, which had been extinguished at KIPP.

    Cons

    The principal had no idea how to lead and had a terrible effect on building morale (often noting that the "Be Nice" part of "Work Hard, Be Nice" was overrated). The hours were not sustainable and the staff often had to stay past 7pm for ineffective meetings and poor planning on the principal's part. Also, students that do not fit the "KIPP model" (Special Ed, low test scores, behavioral challenges, etc.) were forced out by unethical methods of suspension, expulsion and/or scapegoating. KIPP does not serve the children that need their resources the most. They are a disgusting organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop kicking out the students that need your services most and stop treating your teachers like they are replaceable cogs in a wheel that have no value as human beings, only workhorses to use until you burn them out. VERY SIMPLE.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10.  

    Rewarding, but it can't last forever

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC

    I worked at KIPP DC

    Pros

    -You ARE making a difference, there's no doubt about that
    -Professional development is top quality
    -I grew a ton, as a teacher and a person, as a result of this job

    Cons

    Two things, and really only two things:

    - It's simply not sustainable. The hours demand a lot. That being said, that may be the model it needs to function on right now as the PreK program takes off. Teachers may have to shuffle in and out, but the kids ARE getting what they need.

    - There's really no middle ground with administration. They're either great communicators who inspire great teaching, or terrible communicators who really don't know how to lead others. I guess every organization struggles with this though.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you put someone in as a vice principal, make sure they have respect of the staff, and that you'd be comfortable with him/her becoming principal one day. If that's not the case, it's a recipe for disaster.

    Doesn't Recommend

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