Glenny Perdomo, Parent of Kaylee (3rd grade) and Jaden (6th grade), KIPP Washington Heights Charter School
Hericka Jordan, Social Worker, KIPP Washington Heights Elementary School
In a year marred by the impact of the COVID pandemic and systemic racism, the relationship between KIPP NYC families and educators reminds us of what’s most important in our school communities. Our “team and family,” as we call the KIPP community, is exemplified by Hericka and Glenny and her children. Their mutual admiration and appreciation are what makes KIPP such a special place for all of us.
“I’m so blessed to have Ms. Jordan. It’s like another family member who’s watching your kids; I know they are in good hands. If something isn’t working I can text the teacher and they will respond right away. KIPP is where people love their child and really want to collaborate and work together.” – Glenny
As a social worker, Hericka’s first step is to meet children where they are, helping them to identify their own goals. She coaches her students to become self-aware, identify the root of the problem, and own the solutions they develop collaboratively.
“I operate from a place of love. Children are with us K-16 and beyond so the partnership between families, teachers, and students are aligned around a mission for students to achieve maximum success. We offer workshops every month for families to implement strategies at home, such as navigating big emotions during this time, and setting limits on social media and Internet usage.” – Hericka
Remote instruction is no replacement for traditional school. Like all of us, they miss the human connection – the hugs and high fives. Despite the physical distance, this experience has actually brought Hericka, Glenny, and her family closer. Zoom therapy sessions remain intimate and they provide Hericka with an opportunity to experience Kaylee’s home life. Hericka is also able to “meet” other family members who are caring for students at home. Kaylee’s independence and agency have grown throughout the year. She’s more comfortable and open during their therapy sessions since they are in her home environment.
As far as results, Glenny is thrilled with the transformation she sees in her daughter. At the start of the pandemic, Kaylee immediately needed Hericka’s support. Instinctively, Glenny reached out and within 24 hours Hericka and Kaylee were meeting together:
“Kaylee’s more confident; she’s grown so much. When we did the remote transition, we left on a Friday, and on Monday my kids were in school. Friends with kids in private school would say, ‘Your school is doing all that?!’ They are always there for you – you always have a whole team working for you.” – Glenny
For any family considering KIPP, Hericka tells them that this is a place “where people love their child and really want to collaborate and work together. When we say ‘team and family’, we really mean team and family; we’ll be there until the end and beyond.”