KIPP, New York City

KIPP NYC is a non-profit network of free, public charter schools that prepare students for success in college and life. In 1995 we started our first middle school, KIPP Academy, in the south Bronx. We set a goal to graduate students with the strength of character and academic abilities needed to succeed in life – and in so doing, to prove what is possible in urban schools. We promised to do whatever was necessary to help our students succeed, and we asked them, and their families, to make the same commitment.

More than 20 years later, KIPP NYC is still making and keeping those promises to our current roster of students. Across 11 schools we serve 5,022 KIPPsters — roughly 90% are from low-income families and 95% are African American or Latino: All of them are selected by an open and random lottery .

Position Overview

The Teaching and Learning Support Team Intern will play a critical role on the team responsible for supporting the effective development, implementation and execution of the KIPP NYC Instructional Vision to ensure student growth and achievement, as well as teacher and leader development (K-12).  He/She will work closely with one of our regional content directors (e.g. Director of Elementary Academics) to prepare curricular materials, assessments, and resources for the 18-19 school year. Tasks may include developing, copy-editing and organizing materials. Example of projects are:

  • Create an assessment calendar for teachers and school leaders
  • Develop a handbook for student support services directors
  • Help edit professional development materials

In addition, this position will work on planning and executing our annual Summer Institute—a 3-4 week professional development program for new and returning teachers and school leaders. Working with the Summer Institute leadership team and other interns, intern will play a vital part in ensuring we reach our training objectives and run an effective conference. These duties and responsibilities could include:

•         Assist planning and coordinating logistics for 400+ participant trainings, including writing and maintaining a schedule and staff plan for the training

•         Organize and assemble materials for the summer training

•         Help with set-up and breakdown of events

•         Serve as a point of contact to help assist during trainings

•         Work with the Summer Institute team to evaluate training execution and think about ways to improve each day

•         Maintain the regional PD website to communicate summer institute information

•         Help plan and execute summer celebration events (games, happy hours)

•         Assist with other special projects as needed


•         A passion for the mission of KIPP NYC and commitment to being part of a team-oriented, mission-driven organizational culture

•         Exceptional organizational, planning and project management skills

•         Detail oriented self-starter

•         Ability to work with a sense of urgency and under pressure

•         Strong computer skills is a plus, including high level of proficiency in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint)

•         Ability to manage multiple priorities within established timeframes and demonstrates flexibility

•         Strong interpersonal skills that contribute to a collegial working environment and a healthy measure of the chracter traits we value: zest, grit, self-control, hope, love, social intelligence, gratitude, and a sense of humor.

2017 Intern Reflection:

My experience at KIPP NYC has been extremely positive. From day one, I felt completely integrated into the office; on our first day of work, all of the interns were brought to the Shared Services Team meeting that recapped the last year school year as well as outlined plans for KIPP NYC’s future. It was the kind of meeting that I never would have expected interns to be invited to, especially after having worked there for a grand total of four hours, but I think that the gesture is very illustrative of the collaborative atmosphere of the organization. One of their “KIPPisms” is that at KIPP, they are a “team and a family,” and that is exactly their culture. The internship program at KIPP also includes a weekly lunch series with senior members of the organization. Through the lunches, we’ve heard from KIPP NYC’s Managing Director of Development and their Chief Operating Officer, and we’re meeting with the Superintendent (effectively the CEO) next week. Everyone we’ve met with has been so excited to talk with the interns – they’ve thanked us for taking time out of our days to have lunch with them, and they’ve given really extensive recaps of their paths to their job positions and the work they do at KIPP. Each lunch has been a fascinating insight into not only KIPP, but also working in nonprofit organizations in general.

The work that I’ve done at KIPP has largely focused on helping to prepare for the Summer Institute, which is a three-week training program for KIPP NYC’s new and returning teachers, which is a cohort of around 700. As a result, most of my projects have been event planning based. I’ve been put in charge of a diverse array of tasks, including assessing how many supplies are needed for the program, making agendas and attendance materials, and managing and updating the Summer Institute website. In addition, the interns are collectively responsible for planning the end-of-summer “Fun Day” for all of the teachers, a field-day-esque competition between the faculties of the different KIPP NYC schools. Once Summer Institute starts, I’ll be on-site at the KIPP NYC College Preparatory High School in order to run the day-to-day of the training sessions. While the hours in my time at the office have been 9-5 every day, when I start working on-site at Summer Institute, they’ll be longer – around 7-6. Skills that I’ve honed at Harvard such as research and attention to detail have definitely been helpful in my work at KIPP, as well as the specific skills I’ve gained through my conference planning work as a member of Harvard Model Congress.

Overall, my time at KIPP NYC has been a very comprehensive introduction to the daily operations and structure of a nonprofit such as KIPP. Students who want such exposure should definitely apply, as should students who are specifically interested in education advocacy and charter schools.

Madeline Nam '18

2016 Intern Reflection:

As an intern at KIPP NYC, I work on two main tasks. So far my work has focused on curriculum design. In order to make more efficient use of its resources, KIPP NYC is moving to a uniform curriculum for all of its schools. For me this means designing lesson plans that will be used by more than 4,000 students across New York City. Specifically I’ve been working on the science curriculum, making sure students are learning through experiments, observations, and evidence rather than memorization from a book or a discussion. Toward the end of the summer we will switch gears to focus on Summer Institute, a several-week long training camp for all KIPP NYC teachers. Most of this work will be organizational: making sure every speaker has everything he or she needs, ordering enough chairs so that nobody is awkwardly standing in the back, and coordinating when lunch arrives. But there are also more exciting logistics such as coordinating the outdoor game day and the happy hour that concludes the final week.

The office atmosphere is really friendly. People work hard but will always take a few minutes to talk to you and see if you need anything. The best part of the internship so far has been the weekly lunches with people from all the different groups at KIPP. We heard from the head fundraiser about the how important private funding is to keep charter schools afloat and how closely connected education is with politics. We talked to the head of the data operations about how new technology is making it easier for teachers to receive instant feedback that they can then use to improve their lessons. Coming up next week we have a breakfast with the superintendent of the schools and a lunch with the head of recruiting for KIPP. And if those meetings aren’t already a good reason to be excited to come into the office in the morning, there is also a truly impeccably stocked snack drawer, which is somehow filled with different snacks every day.

Ben Griswold '18

I walked into my first day at KIPP NYC not really knowing what to expect. I’d worked for a non-profit before, but never a school system and my first impression was the email asking me to schedule a fingerprinting appointment. Since then, I’ve really enjoyed my experience at KIPP, and I’ve learned so much in terms of useful skills, familiarity with charter schools and how they run, and understanding of different office dynamics. As one of four interns, I was assigned to almost entirely assist with Summer Institute, KIPP’s teacher training program that was implemented just last year. It’s a hefty project since there is very little institutional memory concerning this program, and so it feels like organizing the project from the ground up. I am responsible for sitting in on all the meetings – from conference calls on scheduling to content/session programming breakfasts – in addition to organizing logistical aspects of the program – locations, schedules, furniture rentals, website updates. It’s a lot of responsibility and requires strong organizational/event planning skills as well as the interest in taking the initiative and being resourceful, which is another great thing about working at KIPP.

My supervisors are very focused on providing us with a good, valuable experience and are constantly checking in to make sure we feel like what we are doing is worthwhile and teaching us. They organize weekly lunches with heads of different departments in order to expose us to all the different areas KIPP is comprised of, and they trust us with a lot of responsibility from organizing events for several hundred people to helping write lesson plans to be distributed to all of their teachers. In all of the meetings I have sat in on, I am welcomed and encouraged to express my ideas and raise suggestions. They have assigned us a conference room to work in, and staff members will periodically drop by to work alongside us or to chat. There are ice cream days, an almost constant bevy of free food in the kitchen, and a Keurig machine. It’s a pretty great place to work.

Carolyn Yee '17

New York City, NY
Education, Research, Advocacy/Policy