Charter school takes extra steps to fight racism, pandemic

Charter school KIPP Miami has distributed more than 355 Chrome Books laptops to students, provided wi-fi hot-spots to families without internet access, hand-delivered 185 learning kits filled with school supplies and hosted a series of trainings for teachers, parents and students as part of its remote learning platform.

KIPP students were given learning packages to take home during the pandemic

“At KIPP Miami we have always been committed to going the extra mile for our students and families and at no time is this more important than right now,” says Brett Kimmel, executive director of KIPP Miami. “We are proud to work together to ensure that our students stay curious and on-track with their learning, while providing our families with the support needed to navigate these challenging times.”

Amongst the resources and support KIPP Miami is providing its students and families are:

  • Learning kits: Students received a range of school supplies in a drawstring book bag, including notebooks, crayons, glue sticks, scissors and a pencil box with pencils and pens, to assist with online learning and for free choice time.
  • Meal assistance: Thanks to a partnership with Caring for Miami, more than 30 families struggling with food insecurity are receiving hand-delivered groceries by KIPP Miami staff, enough for three meals a day—all seven days a week. These meals are being provided for all children in the family, regardless if they are KIPP students.
  • Bi-weekly teacher check-ins: Teachers at all grade levels are conducting phone calls, twice a week, with families to check-in on education and overall wellness needs.
  • Virtual wellness and counseling: Teleservices have been set up for students to receive mental health support and family counseling. Additionally, speech pathology services are also being offered online for students.
  • Family helpline: KIPP Miami has set-up a 24/7 hotline for families and students to reach out regarding any personal and/or educational need.

Launched in 2018, KIPP Miami is part of the KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) national nonprofit network of college preparatory public charter schools serving elementary, middle and high school students. It is one of 28 networks across KIPP’s national portfolio and its first new region in more than eight years. KIPP Miami serves approximately 500 students in grades K, 1, 2, 5 and 6 via two schools: KIPP Sunrise Academy, an elementary school in Liberty City, and KIPP Liberty, a middle school in West Little River.

There are 242 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia educating more than 100,000 students. The organization is based in San Francisco.

KIPP began in 1994 with 47 fifth-graders within a public middle school in Houston. The following year, two new public charter middle schools began in Houston and New York City. By 1999, these original KIPP schools were among the highest-performing schools in their respective communities, the organization reports.

In 2000, Doris and Donald Fisher, founders of the Gap, committed philanthropic support to replicate the success of the original KIPP schools. The non-profit KIPP Foundation was originally established to recruit and train outstanding school leaders to open and run new KIPP schools. Today, the KIPP Foundation also develops tools to support excellent teaching and facilitates the exchange of ideas across the KIPP network.

For the past three years, KIPP”s senior leaders have been participating in a program called Leading for Racial Equity whose goal is to train its leaders and teachers on anti-racist practices, culturally relevant classrooms,and effective school cultures.  “We are committing to provide our equity team with more resources and staffing to ensure that all our leaders and teachers can participate.  And we commit to creating a structure that invites Black and Latinx leaders to hold us accountable on our work and progress,” KIPP’s website says. Latinx is the gender neutral term for Latinos and Latinas.

Kipp says 95 percent of its students are Black or Latinx.





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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.