Kanye West reportedly opened Donda Academy as a private religious school, parents must sign NDAs
Kanye West is said to have opened a private school based on the teachings of Christianity.
The school – Donda Academy – is based in Simi Valley, California.
The school’s website states that Donda Academy’s mission is to “preparing students to become the next generation of leaders” Passing by “an ethic of integrity and care.”
As of this writing, the school is not accredited and Brianne Campbell, Executive Director of the Main Program and Choir at Donda Academy, has never held a formal teaching position.
via Rolling Stone:
West returned to Instagram earlier this month to share photos of students dressed in school uniforms made entirely of his Yeezy and Gap designs. He also complained about his four children not attending school, apparently suggesting to his ex-wife Kim Kardashian that the children should divide their time between Donda and their current school.
But despite its famous founder, curiosity around the school, flashy celebrity visits and West’s plans to open campuses across the country alongside a Donda University, the school has shared little information. about its academics beyond what is on its sparse website – an anomaly when compared to the top private schools in the region that detail their staff, classes, and other programs. The academy’s website simply notes that the students’ daily schedule includes “full school worship; basic courses in language arts, mathematics and science; lunch and recreation; enrichment classes including world language, visual arts, film, choir and parkour.
Two sources tell Rolling Stone that families are required to sign nondisclosure agreements; a school consultant says only parents sign and described it as an “informal agreement”.
Additionally, the school is not yet accredited and was still looking to hire instructors shortly before the start of the school year. It has been difficult to determine exactly who attends and works at the school. Donda’s listed administrators and athletic program management did not respond to Rolling Stone’s multiple inquiries about the school. A representative for West also did not respond to requests for comment. Many people associated with the school have been reluctant to respond to interview requests, as have parents whose children attend the school. Even attempts by the local Simi Valley newspaper noted in a June article that it could not reach anyone.
The school’s ostensible leader listed on its website is Principal and Executive Director Brianne Campbell, who also runs the school’s choir program. But Rolling Stone learned that Campbell had never held an official position as an educator. According to her resume, Campbell’s closest brush with a teaching job appears to run her own piano, guitar and vocal tutoring business headquartered in her apartment. The 28-year-old only enrolled in a Masters of Education program at Pepperdine University in January and is expected to complete the course by next August. (Campbell did not respond to an interview request.)
Malik Yusef, a longtime West producer and collaborator who says he helped shape the concept of the school, tells Rolling Stone that West is serious about Donda Academy, and that the school is not being done in any way. case on a whim. It’s part of West’s long-term vision, with Yusef saying the rapper’s five-year plan is to have multiple campuses across the country.
“I want to emphasize that there was never a time when Kanye West didn’t want to do this,” he says. “I think people don’t understand the seriousness of this. This man always wanted to start a school in his mum’s name… Look what we’re doing with the choir and fashion at school – I don’t think there’s a venture capitalist or anyone who had such a clear vision of what education can look like to you.
With plans for national schools and a college, Donda Academy will serve as a test of whether West and his team can succeed in forming a successful celebrity-backed college institution. Otherwise, they risk jeopardizing the education of the children entrusted to their care.
For the 2021-2022 school year, Donda Academy launched its All-Star Donda Doves basketball team alongside 21 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, according to the California Department of Education. At the end of August, the institution opened its doors to around 100 students, with the proud parents posting images of their children heading to class in their all-black uniforms.
Yusef described some of the students as the children of West collaborators, designers and other celebrities, while Keyshia Cole posted a photo of her son in a Donda uniform and a popular YouTube family also posted a photo. photo of their child on the first day of school in an all-black uniform.
Elsewhere, footage circulated of children gathered in an empty warehouse, eating a nutritious meal on folding tables and meeting Celtics player Jaylen Brown, who said three children gave him their autographs. “[They] says they will be famous,” he wrote on Instagram after his visit. “I believe them.”
Is it a school or is it a sect? Only time will tell…