April 20, 2021
Dear President Wilkerson and Board Members of the Board,
We are writing in reference to Item 4 on the April 22 2021 Action Item agenda, the amendment request from KIPP charter schools. KIPP is requesting numerous changes, including name, location, grade and enrollment expansion, recruitment area expansion, and the official beginning and end dates for the 5-year term of “KIPP Parkside Charter School”. There are a number of inconsistencies in the Item’s description along with a number of issues that should be addressed before the Board considers this Item.
First, the District’s webpage lists no KIPP Parkside Charter School. There is a KIPP West Philadelphia and a KIPP West Philadelphia Preparatory. The address of the first is 5070 Parkside, so we assume that the Item refers to that school.
The District website lists KIPP West Philadelphia Charter as a K-3 schools. However, the 2017 SRC resolution linked in Item 4 states that this school would not include Grade 3 until the 2021-22 school year. When was KIPP granted an amendment for grade expansion after its initial approval?
The SRC resolution also indicates that “KIPP Parkside…shall not open until the 2019-20 school year.” Why would a school in its second year of operation need to move? KIPP’s operators told the SRC that the Parkside community needed a KIPP charter school. Item 4 gives no explanation of why KIPP’s operators changed their mind so quickly or whether they had actually intended to stay in that community.