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Just in time for the school year, charter school network KIPP DC opens three new schools

The Webb campus's playground

In time for the 2014-2015 academic year, charter school KIPP DC has opened three new schools: an early childhood school and an elementary school in Capitol View, east of the Benning Road metro, and a middle school in Trinidad.
In Capitol View, KIPP DC Arts & Technology Academy is an early-childhood school for Pre-K for three-year-olds, Pre-K for four-year-olds, and kindergarten. 
Just next door is KIPP DC Quest Academy, an elementary school currently serving grades first through fifth. KIPP took over both buildings from a charter school facing non-renewal this year. The board of the charter school asked KIPP DC to take over the building. "We did and offered enrollment to the existing students," says Amanda Borden, managing director of external affairs for KIPP DC. The campus, now known as the Blaine Campus for its location at 5300 Blaine St NE, currently enrolls about 500 students, mainly from the former charter school. 

The Blaine campus is a mile and a half from KIPP DC's Benning Campus, for pre-K through 8th grade, where there is a waiting list.

KIPP plans to add a middle school to the building for the 2015-2016 academic year. The middle school will start with grades fifth and sixth, adding a grade per year up to eighth grade. When completed, the campus will enroll about 1,000 students.
“The school was in good condition. It didn’t require a lot of renovation this year. But construction is necessary” to expand for a middle school, she said.
The third school to open this summer is KIPP DC’s Northeast Academy, at 1375 Mt. Olivet Road NE, on the Webb Campus, which was once the Webb Elementary School, a former District of Columbia public school that closed in 2008.
The building was heavily damaged in a fire. It was renovated in two phases, at a cost of approximately $29 million. The first phase was the opening in summer of 2013 of two KIPP DC schools: the early childhood school, Connect Academy, and the elementary school, Spring Academy. Opening the middle school, KIPP DC Northeast Academy, makes up the second phase of renovation and construction. It opens this fall with grades 5 and 6, with plans to add a grade per year up to 8th.
Despite the costly renovation, Borden said KIPP DC acquired the building from the District because, at 100,000 square feet, it was big enough to accommodate plans for the Webb Campus.
The location was also a factor. “There is a high need for quality education in the Trinidad neighborhood,” she said. “It’s a good distance from our other campuses. It was an area we weren’t serving at the time.”

Read more articles by Barbara Pash.

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