KIPP BEYOND MIDDLE SCHOOL
147 St. Nicholas Ave.
(Between 117th and 118th St.)
NY, NY 10026
(Between 117th and 118th St.)
NY, NY 10026
Subway (6 minute walk to B/C, 7 minute walk to 2/3)
Bus (3 minute walk to M10, 6 minute walk to M7)
We believe that we are better together.
In our increasingly diverse, but deeply divided city and country, we need a way to move forward together. We believe that there are no better people than our city’s children to lead the way, and no better place to bring together children of different backgrounds than in school.
A rigorous body of research has demonstrated the significant benefits to all students educated in racially and socioeconomically integrated settings.
Students in racially and socioeconomically integrated schools:
- exhibit higher academic achievement and higher academic growth;
- become more critical and flexible thinkers by being exposed to different perspectives;
- are more likely to enroll in college, report higher earnings, and demonstrate better long-term health outcomes; and
- can increase empathy and reduce racial bias.
And yet, New York City’s school system remains among the country’s most segregated. While District 3 is racially and socioeconomically diverse, it is the most segregated school district in the city, and has the largest student performance gap along socioeconomic status lines. Its public middle schools also have the highest level of screened admissions, meaning that factors like students’ state test scores, behavior, attendance, and school-specific exam scores can be used to select students for admissions.
We want to help change this reality.
We believe that children of different backgrounds should be in school together, and that the diversity created in an unscreened environment benefits all students in profound ways.
KIPP has an extensive track record of running successful schools with an unscreened student population. We aim to combine this experience with the research base on adolescent learning to create an academically rigorous, intentionally integrated and unscreened school that represents the diversity of District 3, where all students can thrive, no matter their backgrounds.
We believe kids deserve an academically rigorous school that nurtures their minds, bodies, and hearts.
Adolescence today is undergoing rapid change. Academically, middle school has increasingly been focused on narrow test preparation skills, leading to less creative, critical, and flexible thinking. Physically, with the decline of consistent physical education, kids in school are more sedentary than ever. Emotionally, rates of teen anxiety, depression, and suicide are growing dramatically as adolescents report profound feelings of disconnection in a connected age.
We are designing a school that incorporates rich, rigorous, and relevant academics; a robust enrichment program; consistent physical conditioning; a focus on identity, relationships, and belonging; and regular practice of meditation – all informed by the research base on adolescent development.
We believe students should be leaders in their own education.
As educators who have worked with middle school students for a combined 30+ years, we believe that adolescents are given too few opportunities for leadership. In classrooms, we will encourage students to co-lead and co-create both the systems and routines of the classroom and the learning of content, leading to deeper learning and ownership. Across the school, we will amplify student leadership through peer mentorship and student government. Beyond the school’s walls, we envision our students critically analyzing and civically engaging in important issues facing our communities.
Our academic programming is based on 25 years of proven results in KIPP NYC middle schools, and includes:
Hands-on, inquiry-based curriculum empowering students to analyze and approach problems like scientists and engineers
English Language Arts
Reading, analyzing, and writing based on high-quality diverse texts
Rigorous, college preparatory math curriculum, including Algebra I Regents offered in 8th grade
A combination of history, social studies, and civic action where students grapple with major topics in US History and current events through discourse, writing, and debate
Small group reading instruction at each student’s instructional reading level
Differentiated instruction in the least restrictive environment by certified learning specialists, including ICT, SETSS and all mandated services as indicated on a student’s IEP
Our “Beyond Block” occurs 4 times per week during the school day and includes:
- Music theory and performance
- STEM (science projects and robotics)
- Speech, Debate, and Rhetoric
- Social entrepreneurship
- Spanish (in 7th and 8th grade)
- Independent Study (opportunities to pursue individual passions)
We will partner with external organizations to help each student develop a personalized portfolio of out-of-school activities (art, sports, music, debate, theater, dance, robotics, coding, etc.). We will invest in and prioritize students’ exposure to the unparalleled resources of NYC.
Spending dedicated time quieting the mind can have tremendous benefits for students. At the beginning of the school year, each student will receive instruction in meditation by a trained professional. This practice is not linked to religious affiliation, and it will be optional for students to participate.
Physical conditioning will occur 4 times per week. This class will not be sport-specific, but will instead be a consistent strength, conditioning, and movement program that sets the foundation for increased athleticism, injury and obesity prevention, and healthy self-care and body image. Formal sports teams will be offered after school.
Social Emotional Learning
Students will have dedicated time to engage in powerful individual, relationship-, and community-building experiences, which emphasize self-reflection, identity development, and character growth. Each week, students will then gather in groups of 16-18 to collectively reflect on those experiences in a Community Circle. KIPP Beyond faculty will also engage in their own regular Faculty Circles as part of our Wednesday professional development.
We aim for our enrollment to reflect that of District 3, one of NYC’s most diverse districts in terms of race and socioeconomic status.
We know, both from our experience and from research, the power of a diverse staff in cultivating the potential of students. KIPP Beyond’s staff will broadly reflect the rich diversity of our students and families.
Restorative practices are foundational to creating a school where the dignity of each individual and of the broader community are affirmed. With the voices of students, staff, and families at the table, we will jointly create a school social contract: a set of agreements made to help our community thrive. We will recognize and celebrate when those agreements are upheld, and we will work collaboratively to repair harm when choices are made that are not aligned with our social contract.
Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education
Student diversity alone is not enough. Our students must simultaneously see themselves and their rich heritages reflected in what they study and be challenged to learn about cultures and narratives different from their own. From the texts we analyze to the staff professional development we run, we aim to be culturally responsive and relevant in our curriculum and our teaching approaches. Not only is this good for students – research has shown positive benefits for student engagement, grades, and graduation rates – it also reflects the values of true integration.
We enroll families, not just students. We partner with families to build community and share joy, explore identity and issues of equity, deepen connection to what students are learning, and share their expertise with each other. Our school aspires to be a place where families can come together across lines of difference in the same way our students will.
A Day in the Life
Below is a sample day in the life of a KIPP Beyond student.
School Hours: Our school day runs from 7:55AM to 4:15PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 7:55AM to 1:30PM on Wednesdays (in order to provide time for staff professional development).
Optional Breakfast: On all days, breakfast is served at 7:25AM and is free for all students.
Free Afterschool Programming: Families have the option of enrolling their child in our after school program, which will run until 6PM every day, including Wednesday. We plan to offer a variety of activities during this time, such as visual arts, dance, chess, robotics, and homework help, along with athletics such as flag football, basketball, volleyball, and soccer.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
- 7:55AM English Language Arts
- 9:25AM Meditation
- 9:40AM Science
- 10:40AM Guided Reading
- 11:10AM Snack / Break
- 11:25AM Civics
- 12:25PM Physical Conditioning
- 12:55PM Lunch & Recess
- 1:40PM Meditation
- 1:55PM Mathematics
- 3:30PM Beyond Block (enrichment)
- 4:15PM Dismissal Start of After School (until 6PM)
- 7:55AM Whole School Community Meeting
- 8:30AM Community Circle Work
- 9:15AM *English Language Arts
- 10:10AM *Mathematics
- 11:05AM *Science
- 12:00PM Meditation and Community Circle
- 1:00PM Lunch
- 1:30PM Dismissal Start of After School (until 6PM)
*Note: Given the shortened school schedule, we will offer three academic blocks on a rotating basis each Wednesday. The above schedule outlines a day where Civics would not be offered, for example.
Joseph Negron, KIPP Beyond Principal
In 2001, Joe graduated from Harvard University and joined Teach for America, where he taught middle school math and science in Washington Heights. He was named one of five nationwide finalists for the Sue Lehmann Award for Excellence in Teaching based on the achievement of his students. Joe earned his M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2003.
In 2005, Joe became the founding principal of KIPP Infinity Middle School, which currently educates approximately 360 students in Harlem. KIPP Infinity Middle School was named the #1 public middle school in all of New York City as measured by its DOE Report Card in 2009. For both its academics and revolutionary approach to character development, KIPP Infinity has been featured in Wendy Kopp’s A Chance to Make History, Paul Tough’s book How Children Succeed, and Dan Coyle’s The Culture Code. Joe has been honored with both the Harriett Ball Award for Excellence in Teaching, KIPP’s highest teaching honor, and the award for service to KIPP, voted by our most important constituents – KIPP students and alumni themselves – for his advocacy and support beyond the classroom walls.
After seven years as principal at KIPP Infinity, Joe has taken on various roles within the organization, most currently as a Managing Director of Middle Schools for KIPP NYC. Currently living in New York City’s District 3, he and his wife recently welcomed their third son on October 9, 2019.
Jeff Li, KIPP Beyond Teacher
A graduate of Stanford University, Jeff is entering his 17th year in education after switching careers following 5 years at the Boston Consulting Group. As the son of immigrants who never felt fully American, he has worked in communities across New York City to help empower students who have traditionally been marginalized in American society. He has been recognized as an American Star of Teaching by the US Department of Education, and his students have gone on to attend some of the nation’s most selective institutions, including Columbia, Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, and Howard, as well as the well-regarded public CUNY/SUNY colleges in New York.
Jeff most recently taught 8th grade math at KIPP Infinity in Harlem. In 2016, Jeff’s students were the highest performing 8th grade math cohort from any non-selective public charter or district school in New York City. For five consecutive years, 8th grade students at KIPP Infinity outperformed students in the affluent community of Scarsdale on the NYS math exam, and have earned high school credit on the Algebra I Regents exam, putting them on a path to take AP Calculus.
His work at KIPP Infinity on emphasizing character and social justice was recently featured in the book Natural Born Learners by Alex Beard. Jeff has also engaged in education projects overseas, working with Teach For Thailand, Education Changemakers in Australia, and the African Leadership Academy in South Africa. Jeff earned his M.A. from the Bank Street College of Education, and lives in Manhattan with his wife and their young daughter.