KIPP STAR Harlem College Prep Elementary

625 W 133rd St, New York, NY 10027
Grades: K – 4
(212) 991-2655
Email: enroll@kippnyc.org
Principal: Brandi Vardiman

They welcome and involve you as a parent at KIPP. The love that is here for learning and the love they have for people from different cultures and education levels — there’s no better place to be than KIPP. – Stacy, Parent

We don’t think of SEL as a need only for students at KIPP STAR Harlem Elementary. It is a collective experience for students, families, teachers and staff, especially during a time where it has been challenging to be a helper emotionally. – Wilza, Social Worker

KIPP STAR Harlem College Prep Elementary School is a movement of learners who illuminate the power that resides within. We honor each authentic journey, and we champion the perseverance required to move beyond obstacles. Excellence is our expectation! Thus, we cultivate citizens of the world through the implementation of rigorous, culturally relevant, multimodal learning. We own the future of the Harlem community, therefore we tenaciously prepare our students to take charge of it. We stand in our choices and are unshakable in our commitment to ensuring that every student has the opportunity to attend the college of their choice.


KIPP STAR Harlem Elementary is the first and only KIPP elementary school in the nation to feature a gymnastics program! Our daily schedule is filled with excitement that fuses academic and arts curricula. We also offer targeted instruction in math, reading, and science.

Students in grades K-4 participate in weekly experiments that expand their understanding of phenomena and the world around them. One of the ways we bring learning to life is by structuring lessons that are based on real-world connections. Students grapple with scientific concepts and use new information to solve problems.

Chants, cheers, and joy are the ways in which students dive into the world of math each day. Our instruction develops strong numeracy skills, while student investigation provides opportunities to explore, test, and share math ideas.

We cultivate a sense of belonging by infusing arts classes into our academic program. As students navigate the world around them, they are able to express their learnings through visual arts, dance, music, and gymnastics.


There is a palpable sense of joy and a love of reading in our school. We have placed an intentional focus on phonics instruction to cultivate strong reading skills as students progress through our program. Our Guided Reading program, which we developed in-house, is particularly unique. Every day, students engage in robust learning experiences where they focus on decoding, reading fluency, and comprehension in a group of 10-12 students.

This group is based on their reading level, not their grade, and hones in on the specific areas where growth is needed, allowing opportunities for additional support as well as enrichment when appropriate. For example, if your student reads a book aloud and understands the story (comprehension), but their fluency (the number of words read aloud per minute) is low, they will work with other students with a similar skillset, so they can all progress together. An additional component of our literacy program is Shared Text (in 2nd grade and above). During this class, students analyze and annotate text, and engage in lively discussion in order to understand the deeper meaning of what they are reading.


Our families are an essential part of our community. We create many family events, including monthly Coffee & Conversations and Saturday School events, where families learn how to provide at-home support for their children in different subjects (and join in fun extracurriculars!). We also organize many annual events, like our Family Feast, end-of-year Carnival, and Staff-Family March Madness Basketball Game. Our parent association, the KIPP Family Leadership Council, organizes volunteering events, promotes advocacy in the Harlem community, and runs fundraisers (including book fairs, bake sales, and a Krispy Kreme fundraiser!). We’re so grateful for all of the partnerships with our families.

Parent Resources