DALLAS, Texas – Hundreds of high school students will be exposed to college through a cooperation between KIPP Charter Schools and Paul Quinn College.
By cutting the ribbon on Friday, Kipp Oak Cliff Academy became the first school of its sort to be housed within a historically black institution or university.
The high school students will attend classes in a completely distinct building than the Paul Quinn College students, however they will share campus facilities such as a new artificial turf field.
KIPP kids and staff are ecstatic about their new school, but the relocation was first met with opposition from some inside Dallas ISD.
It took two years to plan this move.
The new and renovated KIPP Oak Cliff Academy building is officially open on the Paul Quinn College campus.
Sebha Ali, CEO of KIPP Texas, stated, “It has been a long road to get here.”
A travel that was initially opposed by the Dallas ISD trustee whose district encompasses a significant portion of southern and western Dallas.
In 2020, Maxie Johnson declared, “Academically, we are outperforming KIPP.”
In 2020, Johnson came out against the intended relocation to the college campus.
At the time, KIPP received a D grade from the state, which raised concerns about the impact on DISD schools as a whole.
Johnson stated in 2020, “We do not need any more failed universities in our region.”
However, this is no longer the case.
In the accountability ratings for 2022 provided by the TEA last month, KIPP Oak Cliff Academy received a grade of B.
KIPP Texas Public Schools is a network of 59 public, tuition-free charter schools serving roughly 34,000 pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade students across the state.
Eric Coleman, KIPP Texas Regional Superintendent for DFW, stated, “With 97% of them graduating from high school, which is 23% higher than the national average.”
Kipp Oak Cliff Academy enrolls 290 students in grades 9 through 12.
Separate from the college students, the high school is housed in an own, remodeled building on campus.
A significant improvement over their former school, which was housed in a strip mall.
“It’s like moving from a studio apartment to a five-bedroom mansion,” remarked the principal of Kipp Oak Cliff Academy, Wauneta Vann.
Vann feels that students will continue to thrive now that they have space to expand both inside and outside the building.
This structure ensures that students receive the finest education and have access to the best education, as stated by Vann.
We reached out to Johnson to determine if his opinion of KIPP Academy has changed now that their rating has improved, but he has not responded.