Kanye West opens private Christian school: Families must sign NDAs for unaccredited institution

Kanye West has opened a private Christian prep school in Simi Valley, California, called the Donda Academy.

A rolling stone probe of the Donda Academy — which is named after West’s late mother, Professor Donda West — revealed a number of anomalies, including the lack of curriculum detail compared to similar schools — as well as information from two sources showing that families of those who have enrolled in the school are required to sign nondisclosure agreements.

A school counselor told the outlet that only parents are asked to sign the NDAs, describing them as an “informal agreement.”

The school focuses on children aged 5 to 18 years.

The latest: Kanye West, 45, has opened a private Christian prep school in California’s Simi Valley, called the Donda Academy. He was pictured in November 2019 in Houston

The school has not yet received accreditation, according to the outlet, and was looking for teachers for the school year.

Information about who includes the school’s faculty and student body is unclear, as the outlet has not received responses to multiple attempts to contact the listed administrators and heads of the sports programs.

A West manager did not respond to a request for comment about the school, nor did parents sending their children there, according to the outlet.

The mission of the educational institution, according to his websiteis to “build the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators by providing them with a world-class education with a rigorous core curriculum and an emphasis on sustainability, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving… using an ethic of integrity and care.” ‘

In a post on Instagram earlier this month, West shared images of children in school uniforms

West was photographed at an event in Los Angeles last November

It details a daily schedule which is of ‘full school worship’ and consists of ‘core classes of language arts, mathematics and science, lunch and break’, as well as ‘enrichment courses, including world language, fine arts, film, choir and parkour’.

A big selling point for the school is the choral program, which appeared to be tied in with West’s exclusive Sunday Service gatherings, and auditions were held last spring. A few sources told the outlet that the school accepted seven children from nearby youth programs, for what is a “life-changing” experience for students, especially those who couldn’t afford private tuition.

A source who worked with a culinary department at the school said it was focused on creating and “elevated” high-concept coffee, tea and fruit-focused beverages for children, parents and teachers.

“Think distilled chicory coffee, shaved ice with milk syrup,” said the source. ‘We also provided a food science class for the students where the kids can learn [the] basic principles of cooking.’

The ‘head of the school’ is listed as Brianne Campbell, according to the California Department of Education

. Rolling Stone reported that Campbell, 28, “has never held a formal educator position,” with her most notable correlating experience coming with a music teaching company she runs from her home.

Campbell, who did not respond to an interview request from the publication, enrolled in a master’s degree in education at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles earlier this year and is expected to complete the course in just under a year.

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A producer and employee of West named Malik Yusef told the outlet that West is taking the project very seriously and has a five-year plan to open multiple campuses across the country.

“I want to make it clear that there was never a time when Kanye West didn’t want to do this,” Yusef told Rolling Stone. ‘I don’t think people understand the seriousness of that. This man always wanted to start a school in the name of his mother.

“Look at what we’re doing with the choir and fashion in school — I don’t think there’s a venture capitalist or anyone out there who has such a clear vision of what education could look like for you.”

According to the CDE, the school has a basketball team called Donda Doves.

At the end of last month, the school enrolled about 100 students, and many parents posted images of their children in all-black school uniforms on social media.

Elsewhere, footage of the students in an empty warehouse, dining at meals and meeting NBA star Jaylen Brown, Rolling Stone reported.

Yusef said the children enrolled in the school are those of West’s employees, as well as people in the entertainment industry and other high-profile jobs.

Yusef said public facts about the school were probably meant to be vague, because West doesn’t have to explain himself and parents prefer privacy themselves.

“People choose to bring their children to Donda Academy for a sense of privacy,” Yusef said. “A sense of care, a sense of concern, a sense of love, an environment of health and an environment of wealth, an environment of learning, and putting God first.”

He added: “I don’t think Kanye needs to tell the world what he’s doing so he can be more controlled.”

West is taking the project very seriously and has a five-year plan to open multiple campuses across the country, his collaborator Malik Yusef told Rolling Stone

Donda consultant Tamar Andrews told Rolling Stone that parents sign an “informal agreement” when asked about confidentiality agreements at enrollment.

Publicity was not an urgent priority for the school, Andrews said.

“Honestly, we don’t care if people know the school,” she told the outlet. “The people who want to come to the school look for a good Christian school in that area and they know we’re there … there’s also a certain notoriety if you’re affiliated with Donda.”

She added: “So I don’t know if we should advertise, which is a blessing and a curse.”

Andrews told the outlet that the school has a student body of less than 100 students with 15 teachers and an annual enrollment fee of $15,000; she added that about half of students are sent to the school through financial aid or scholarships funded by West’s “personal network.”

Andrews said the school is not currently accredited but has registered with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and a meeting is planned for the future. The WASC focuses on the school’s staff—namely, the principal administrator and instructors—when determining whether the school is accredited.

The 45-year-old rapper had previously floated the idea of ​​opening a school called the Yeezy Christian Academy in October 2020, according to the outlet.

In posts on Instagram earlier this month, West shared images of children in school uniforms in designs under his Yeezy label and the Gap label. West also grumbled that his four children with ex-wife Kim Kardashian are not enrolled in the school.


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