More About YES Prep

Campus Facilities Model
Our charter with the state calls for 6 – 12 grades. By operating middle and high schools together, we are able to reach some staffing and facilities efficiencies. Limited facilities funding means that we have to maximize the use of our school buildings 

We prioritize deferred maintenance on our existing buildings in a five year outlook to create to a capital improvement plan. Even with the passage of HB 21, which will provide charter schools in Texas with some facilities funding for the time, we will have to continue prioritizing maintenance on some school buildings while deferring maintenance on others. Additionally, we will continue to advocate for equitable school facilities funding and to fundraise to help bridge the current gap in our funding.   

Campus Locations & Community Engagement 
In order to meet the demand for high quality public school options, YES Prep must grow. We start researching new campus locations based on contact from potential applicant families, community members, and internal review of demand data and demographic information. For example, we began researching locations for Northline based on the large number of families in the area on internal waitlists for North Central and Northside. 
 
We begin engaging local community leaders and organizations after we determine there is a combination of existing demand, socio-economic need, and/or under-performing schools. These have included local pastors in Sunnyside and 3rd Ward prior to opening Southside, elected officials ahead of opening Northline, and social service agencies in Cypress-Fairbanks prior to opening Northwest. 

We collaborate with community leaders to identify 1) active parents in the community and 2) places and events where we can engage families. We leverage this information and the relationships we forge with active parents and community leaders to attend activities where we can share information about YES Prep, to host information sessions, and to learn more about the community.  

Student Admissions
To determine the number of students we can serve, we primarily consider three factors – facility occupancy, class size, and lottery admissions.
The City or County certifies our buildings for a maximum occupancy that we cannot exceed. In some buildings we are restricted to a certain number of students and adults at any one time for safety reasons.
With maximum occupancy in mind, we use the information on the ideal class size from the Schools and Program teams to create the number of new seats we will open each year for a given grade and location. For 7th grade and higher, we also account for returning students and their siblings for lower grades, who have priority in our lottery.

Teacher Assignments
To determine the number of teachers needed per subject, we consider three different factors – master schedule, talent availability, and our new staffing model.

Developing the master schedule requires us to first consider what classes students need to graduate on time. Then, we must match talent to the courses students need and determine if we need to make critical hires to fill any gaps. Under the new staffing model, all campuses will be allocated a certain number of “units” or staff count based on student enrollment and percentage of Special Education and Limited English Proficiency students. School directors can trade back some of these units for different staff that best meet their individual campus needs. Additionally, 2% of all money allocated for staff will be reserved for campuses whose needs exceed their unit allotment. This model affords school leaders flexibility to staff creatively and ensures that they do not have to cut non-salary campus expenses to afford necessary staff for high-needs students. It also means campuses with more high-salaried, experienced teachers can still afford the additional staff or resources they need. All campuses can simply ask: “What’s best for my students?”