KIPP moves into unused Tulsa Public School building

Wednesday, July 5th 2006, 4:07 pm
By: News On 6

It's moving day for one Tulsa Public School. The Knowledge is Power Program just opened last year at Lindsey Elementary.

Now thanks to $2 million of bond money, they'll start this year in a new building.

News on 6 education reporter Ashli Sims says they have more to celebrate than just a new home.

The building named for the first principal of Booker T. Washington High School has been dormant for three years. Now, it's alive with activity, once again.

The Knowledge is Power Program or KIPP is taking up residence in the old Woods building.

The district invested $2 million in the building to spruce it up and students couldn't be more impressed.

"[It has] all the new paint, floor tiling, new lockers, heating and air," says KIPP principal Millard House. "Everything is top quality from A to Z in this facility."

KIPP's new home still has a long way to go, but KIPP has also come along way when it comes to boosting student achievement.

Principal House says the formula, longer school days, sessions on Saturdays, and summer school, is paying off.

He says the average KIPP student made almost two year's worth of gains in one year.

House says, "We doubled the number of kids in math, reading, language arts that are on grade level at the school. We tripled the number of kids that are on grade level in social studies and science."

House says his staff is pleased, but not satisfied. And they're trying to hurry along the move so they can get back to the business of learning and start KIPP's required summer school on Monday.

Woods actually has more room than KIPP needs right now.

But the school plans to add a class of 90 students every year, for the next two years, to end up with 360 kids in grades five through eight.

The school has a sizable waiting list already, so if the trend holds, they'll definitely grow into their new home.