After opening our doors to 65 fifth graders in 2002, KIPP Delta now serves over 1,400 students in grades Pre K through 12. Critical to our growth and success is the enduring belief that zip code does not define destiny. Our students have consistently invalidated statistics suggesting those living in lower income communities are somehow less capable. Eighty-three percent college and military persistence rates from our first four graduating classes suggest quite the opposite.
Since the early 2000s, the charter movement has exploded nationwide and proliferated especially in urban areas. There are more than 130 public charter schools in New York City’s five boroughs alone. However, sometimes forgotten in this rapid expansion of educational choice are rural regions, which often feature the same dire circumstances of educational inequity.
While recent trends suggest rural charters are the fastest growing segment of the sector, research also posits more high quality public charters are needed to meet the educational demands of students in these rural communities.
The story of KIPP Delta is one of an educational institution breathing new life in a rural community. In a town which has seen its population diminish in recent years, KIPP Delta has expanded employment opportunities with the simultaneous expansion of schools. Our staff has grown from four employees in 2002 to over 200 today. There is also evidence we are helping establish Helena and Blytheville as epicenters for neighboring and even smaller communities—nearly a quarter of our students commute from towns surrounding ours.
We have invested in infrastructure, building a state-of-the-art gymnasium to house our athletic programs and renovated a once abandoned theatre building downtown into a facility which now hosts our school’s drama productions. Our academic results have helped establish a sense of pride that students from our communities are just as capable as those from anywhere else—recently, KIPP Delta Collegiate High School was named the number two high school in Arkansas for academics by U.S. News & World Report. Learn More about our Academic Results