About Us

About KIPP Columbus

KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of free, open enrollment college preparatory public schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and life. There are 200 KIPP schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia, serving more than 80,000 students (and will expand to 120,000 students by 2020). KIPP’s current national college completion rate for all of our alumni is 36 percent. This is comparable to the national average for all students, and approximately three times the national average for students from low-income families (about 12 percent).

Founded in 2008 with 50 students in 5th grade, KIPP Columbus currently serves over 1,100 students in grades K-3 and 5-9 at a new campus built on the grounds of a former golf course in Northeast Columbus. By 2020, KIPP Columbus will serve nearly 2,000 students in grades K-12. With a mission to create and sustain the highest quality school system for the children most underserved in Columbus, KIPP has maintained excellence in its growth, and will improve upon that standard – proving what is possible in public education.

Our standardized test results illustrate how we are closing the achievement gap- In 2011, KCO was the recipient of the National EPIC award, and was the only school in Ohio and one of 14 charter schools nationwide to be honored with the prestigious award. According to the Ohio Department of Education, in regards to the 2014 Value Added Designation, KIPP Columbus is ranked in the top five of ALL charter schools in Ohio and ranked third among schools of any type in Franklin County.

KIPP continues to serve the kids who need us most. Very few of our 5th graders (less than 5%), in each year of the school’s existence, were reading at grade level when they arrived to KIPP. Less than half of our first Kindergarten cohort came prepared for Kindergarten, and only 1 out of 5 first grade students came to us on grade level. 100% of our students receive free meals, over 90% are students of color, and just over 15% are special needs students. Currently, our capacity exceeds our demand for enrollment, and a lottery will be conducted in February 2017 for the open seats for the following school year. 

Within our mission is the charge that KIPP Columbus students will develop the knowledge, skills, and character necessary for success in college and life, giving them the freedom to shape their futures and positively affect their communities. Further, we are committed to raising expectations of public education in underserved communities by cultivating high-performing educational leaders, and by serving as a model of excellence. We have made great progress toward these driving principles, but we are duty-bound to do more. Continued growth is imperative – we have committed to expanding our growth to serve nearly 2,000 students by the end of the decade. With the addition of these new quality seats, we are positioned to raise the bar in a new and transformational way – by establishing KIPP Columbus schools as premiere, landmark, college-preparatory institutions that fulfill the promises in our mission statement and demonstrates to the city and the country that an urban, public school can be among the best.

All students in our community will have access to a transformational education that empowers them with the knowledge, skills, and character necessary for success in college and life.

KIPP Columbus will create a system of schools where students develop the intellectual, academic, and social skills needed to understand and take action on issues they encounter in everyday life. By establishing a rigorous, safe, and personalized learning environment, KIPP Columbus will foster a culture of responsibility and service and empower all students to become active and engaged citizens.