Educational Institutions

YES Prep Public Schools, Inc.

  • Houston, TX
  • http://www.yesprep.org

Mission Statement

YES Prep Public School's (YES Prep's) mission is to dramatically increase the number of low-income students who graduate from four-year colleges prepared to compete in the global marketplace and give back to their communities.

Main Programs

  1. Small and Integrated 6th-12th Grade Schools
  2. Rigorous Academic Curriculum and Assessment
  3. Student Interventions
  4. Enrichment Opportunities
  5. Personalized College Counseling and Support Through College
Service Areas

Self-reported

Texas

The school system currently operates 13 schools in Houston: Southeast, North Central, Southwest, East End, Gulfton, West, Brays Oaks, North Forest, Northside, Fifth Ward, Northbrook, Hoffman, and White Oak. All YES Prep schools are located in low income neighborhoods where the school district feeder pattern is underperforming. In YES Prep's next stage of growth, we will open six new schools in Houston and expand to Memphis.

ruling year

1998

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Mr. Jason Bernal

Keywords

Self-reported

college low-income leadership school service

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EIN

76-0563835

 Number

3385840722

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Youth Community Service Clubs (O51)

Leadership Development (W70)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Small and Integrated 6th-12th Grade Schools

We operate small, integrated, 6th-12th grade schools that enable our teachers and school leaders to build transformative relationships with students. By creating a family-oriented culture on every campus, our students feel valued and supported throughout their middle and high school careers.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

Program 2

Rigorous Academic Curriculum and Assessment

From Day One, our students are held to higher academic standards than students in traditional public schools across the country. YES Prep uses the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards (TEKS) as a floor rather than a ceiling when setting the bar for student achievement. Students are assessed multiple times during the school year to identify gaps in learning, and interventions are implemented based on the results. Additionally, all of our students are required to take the SAT exam and at least one Advanced Placement (AP) course in high school.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

Program 3

Student Interventions

In order to ensure that every student is college-ready by the end of 12th grade, YES Prep requires all students to attend an extended school day and school year. Because most of our 6th graders come to YES Prep performing below grade-level, additional time during the school day is dedicated to strategic interventions in order to guarantee that students are able to meet academic standards.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

Program 4

Enrichment Opportunities

YES Prep students have access to a variety of life-changing extracurricular activities that enhance their middle and high school experiences. For example, annual spring trips give most students their first opportunity to travel outside of Houston and visit colleges around the country. By graduation, on average, YES Prep students have visited 20 schools. Moreover, service learning is an important pillar of our program. Students have the opportunity to volunteer and give back to their communities through Saturday service days and other projects. Finally, students who are interested in participating in rigorous academic summer programming have the opportunity to apply for Duke TIP, Breakthrough Houston, and a variety of study abroad opportunities.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

Program 5

Personalized College Counseling and Support Through College

YES Prep has developed one of the most innovative college counseling programs in the country with a single focus - college graduation. Our unwavering commitment to this goal begins in 6th grade and continues on well after students leave YES Prep. Our alumni receive ongoing support throughout college to ensure they persist and earn a degree.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    The Redefine Possible Campaign is the next stage of YES Prep's growth and impact – and a direct response to the demand for high-quality charter schools in Houston that can replace failing or underperforming seats with high-performing seats. We have 5,739 students on the wait list. Between now and 2018, YES Prep will open six new schools in Houston's most disadvantaged neighborhoods, increasing our Houston enrollment capacity from 11,000 to 18,000 seats. True to our model, we will focus exclusively on Grades 6-12, where the need for quality school operators is particularly acute.

    - This expansion is the equivalent of giving every family currently on our wait list a chance for their child to earn a YES Prep education.

    - This expansion is the equivalent of replacing 80% of the seats in the lowest-performing middle and high schools with a YES Prep seat.

    - This expansion will make YES Prep a comparable size to the Grade 6-12 enrollment of traditional school districts, refuting the claim that charter school practices cannot work at scale.

    Ultimately, this work has national significance:

    - With continued focus on replacing low-performing seats with high-performing seats, Houston can reestablish its position as a national leader in transforming education, joining cities like New Orleans and Memphis. YES Prep's projected growth is nearly the same size as the entire Apollo 20 middle school and high school effort – meaning that we have the opportunity to make a radical improvement in those lowest-performing schools.

    - YES Prep's model is now in the national spotlight following our selection as the inaugural winner of the Broad Prize. The volume of inquiries that YES Prep has received to share details about our “secret sauce" – specifically, our curriculum and assessments; our teacher selection, training, evaluation, and compensation model; and our college counseling program – has risen precipitously. We intend to leverage this position of strength to drive practice and create impact beyond the students we serve directly.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The work of the campaign spans a five-year period. Each of our six new schools will open with Grade 6 and then add one grade level per year through Grade 12. The projected total seat capacity at each school will be 950 to 1,000. We will open 2 new schools in Houston in 2015; 2 new schools in 2017, and 2 new schools in 2018. We have already identified four of the neighborhoods within which we will open the first four new schools.

    We recently purchased a facility (once used as a Levitz Furniture Store) in Sunnyside that will house Schools 14 and 15, as well as the Home Office. The facility has 173,854 square feet of vacant space on five acres, an additional five acres of green space, ample parking, and freeway visibility (a first for YES Prep). Renovations will be completed in time for a Summer 2015 opening.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    YES Prep was founded on the premise that educationally disadvantaged students can achieve at the same academic levels as their peers in more affluent neighborhoods when given access to similar support, resources, and opportunities. Research has shown that the single most important factor determining student achievement is the quality of his/her teacher. With this in mind, YES Prep has invested a significant amount of time, energy, and resources into recruiting and training teachers of the highest quality. The internally-developed Teaching Excellence program is so effective, it has been adopted by other schools.

    We have also created an educational model that guarantees success:
    1. Small and Integrated Grade 6-12 Schools: The structure of our schools enables our teachers to build transformative relationships with students. By creating a family-oriented culture on every campus, our students feel valued and supported throughout their school careers. A fully grown out school serves no more than 1,000 students in order to maintain a small school environment and foster personalized learning.

    2. Rigorous Curriculum and Assessment: We use state standards as a floor rather than a ceiling; our curriculum is Advanced Placement (AP)-aligned at all grade levels. Academic interventions – differentiated and personalized learning strategies – are implemented with students individually based on common assessment results. Additionally, all students are required to take the SAT test and at least one AP course.

    3. Extended Time and Academic Interventions: We require an extended school day (nine hours compared to state average of seven and a half hours) and school year (11 months compared to state average of nine months). The majority of our sixth graders enter YES Prep performing below grade-level, so additional time is dedicated to strategic interventions in order to guarantee that students are able to meet academic standards.

    4. Enrichment Opportunities: Our students have access to a variety of life-changing extracurricular activities that enhance their school experiences. For example, annual spring trips give most students their first opportunity to travel out-of-state and visit colleges around the country. By graduation, YES Prep students have visited numerous colleges and universities. Students also have opportunities to give back to their communities through service learning.

    5. Personalized College Counseling: We have developed one of the most innovative college counseling programs in the country with a single focus – college graduation. Our commitment to this goal begins in Grade 6 and continues after students graduate. Our college counselor-to-student ratio is no more than 40:1 compared to the national average of 471:1.Our alumni receive ongoing support throughout college.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    YES Prep is committed to promoting a culture of exemplary performance and sustaining our impressive results – even as we grow. Every school is held to the same ambitious, measurable standard of excellence and evaluated throughout the year. The following metrics will help us to evaluate our success:

    1. 90% of students will persist from fall of the prior school year to fall of the current school year
    2. 100% of students will take at least one AP course
    3. 100% of seniors will take the SAT
    4. 100% of graduating seniors will be accepted to a four-year college
    5. 90% of graduating seniors will matriculate to a four-year college
    6. 90% of alumni have graduated or are enrolled in a post-secondary institution

    In broad terms, we will evaluate our success according to three major criteria:

    1. Quality – The absolute performance measures of YES Prep students, particularly on nationally normed and/or widely accepted measures of college readiness, such as MAP, SAT, and AP exams.
    2. Consistency – The relative performance of each YES Prep school against others in the district, as well as the performance of sub-populations of students.
    3. Scale – The ability to show that our model holds up even as we approach the size of a traditional school district, and show that YES Prep outcomes can be accomplished with equivalent financial resources and similar student populations as traditional school districts.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Ability to Secure Capital for Facilities
    Establishing a new school in Houston requires approximately $10-11 million for land acquisition and construction/renovation. Given that there is no facilities allotment for charter schools in Texas, every school that YES Prep opens requires that we divert monies away from operations, increases the amount we need to fundraise, or forces us to take on new debt. We have been fortunate enough to secure very attractive low interest loans and bonds, and are fortunate to have an outstanding Board Finance Committee, and these individuals continue to contribute their time and expertise to help us identify attractive debt vehicles. We also remain optimistic that the track record of high-performing charters will continue to put pressure on lawmakers and other civic leaders to scale up successful charters and create access to facilities.

    High-Quality Teachers
    We are fortunate to have a strong induction model, both for novice and veteran teachers, in our Teaching Excellence and New to Blue teacher training programs. We are also fortunate to have a pioneering compensation and career pathways program, which, in its first year, reduced our regrettable attrition rates by nearly five percentage points. These programs are tremendous sources of strength to us, as they allow us to build and retain great teachers. At the same time, the competition for talent is fierce, and YES Prep will bolster our marketing efforts to ensure that we attract a sufficient applicant pool each year to meet the growing demand.

    Competition for Students
    Demand for a YES Prep education remains robust, as evidenced by our wait list of over 5,700 students. Still, in the coming years, YES Prep expects to face intensified competitive pressure to attract students in our current and prospective markets. In Houston, the recent passage of the Houston ISD bond package will soon lead to the construction of new, well-equipped school facilities in neighborhoods where YES Prep operates or plans to operate. Although there is no meaningful correlation between facilities and academic outcomes, many families use facilities as a perceived indicator of a school's quality and safety. YES Prep will mitigate this increased competitive pressure by investing in outreach efforts to families in target neighborhoods, including strengthening partnerships with organizations like Families Empowered.

    Sustaining District-Charter Partnerships
    For true education reform to take hold, it is going to take collaboration, not competition, across the larger education community. In an effort to best serve the students of Houston, YES Prep has entered into district-charter partnerships with traditional school districts to share best practices and forge strong relationships in order to expand our collective impact. We are considering expanding existing and adding new partnerships as we open new schools.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Texas

The school system currently operates 13 schools in Houston: Southeast, North Central, Southwest, East End, Gulfton, West, Brays Oaks, North Forest, Northside, Fifth Ward, Northbrook, Hoffman, and White Oak. All YES Prep schools are located in low income neighborhoods where the school district feeder pattern is underperforming. In YES Prep's next stage of growth, we will open six new schools in Houston and expand to Memphis.

Social Media

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

YES PREP PUBLIC SCHOOLS INC
Fiscal year: Sep 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

YES Prep Public Schools, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Mr. Jason Bernal

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"When we all pull together, we can move mountains. YES Prep adopted this organizational affirmation when we received our original charter in 1998. We understood that, though our mission was novel and ambitious, our collective efforts would make it a reality. Now, 16 years later, YES Prep's reality is compelling: 13 high-performing schools in low-income neighborhoods, over 9,000 students working towards college graduation, and a Phase III Redefine Possible Campaign underway that will support the opening of six new schools in Houston and our expansion to two new regions: Memphis and New Orleans. All of this has been accomplished through the collective efforts of YES Prep's unwavering network of students, staff, parents, families, board members, donors, volunteers, community leaders, partnership organizations, and school districts. This is how we move mountains. In addition to being honored by the Broad Foundation in 2012 as the most outstanding charter system in the country, in 2013, every eligible YES Prep school has appeared on at least one Best Of list released by The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, New Leaders, and Children At Risk."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Joseph Greenberg

Alta Resources, LLC

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?