Frequently Asked Questions

Use the links below to navigate our FAQ categories.
I. Applying to YES Prep and the Interview Process
II. Teacher Certification and Professional Development Opportunities
III. Compensation and Benefits
IV. Teaching at YES Prep


I. Applying to YES Prep and the Interview Process

How can I get in touch with a recruiter about working at YES Prep?
Our recruiters are happy to set time to connect with you and help you explore opportunities at YES Prep. Click here to connect with our recruitment team.

Should I apply for multiple positions in order to increase my chances of being hired? 
Our Talent Acquisition Team reviews all instructional applications and ask that you submit only one application. On the application, you have the opportunity to list any and all subjects you are interested in and qualified to teach. As such, please only apply to your most highly preferred position. YES Prep determines the positions you are being considered for by reviewing the subject areas you listed on the application and your geographic preferences. We do our best to match candidates to campuses that have positions open in the content area(s) they are most interested in and at a preferred campus or region. If you are interested in non-instructional roles, you should submit an application for any positions that are of interest and for which you meet the qualifications. 

Why wasn’t I selected to move forward after submitting my application?
At YES Prep, the application is a very important piece of the interview and selection process. Each application is read in its entirety by staff members and closely evaluated for position fit. Applications that do not meet the required criteria are not moved forward.

How long does the interview process take or what is the interview timeline?
We strive to ensure that the hiring process is as quick as possible and are committed to sending application updates regularly. Typically, the process from application to video interview takes one week. This, of course, depends on how quickly the candidate completes the video interview.

What should I expect of the final interview?
The final interview is commonly referred to as a Finalist Day. While they do vary by campus and position, a typical Finalist Day for a teaching position involves a campus visit where you will have the opportunity to plan and teach a sample lesson in the content area for which you are being considered. You will also participate in a reflection and final interview after your sample lesson. If you move forward for a final interview, a campus representative will reach out to you directly with an objective to teach as well as resources and instructions on what to prepare and bring to campus. If you are interviewing for a non-instructional role, the hiring manager will reach out to set up an in-person final interview.  

I don’t live in Houston. How will my final interview work?
Almost half of the employees we hire annually are from outside of Texas. If you are an out-of-state candidate and you move forward for a final interview, a hiring manager will reach out to you directly to set up an initial time to talk via phone or Skype. From there, you can discuss travel accommodations and plans with the hiring manager. More information on travel arrangements and compensation will be available from the hiring team. Please feel free to inquire during your initial communication.
 
Can I reapply if I am not offered an interview/position?
For non-instructional positions, you may apply to new positions. For teaching positions, your application materials and status will be retained for the full school year. You can begin reapplying when the next school year application opens, which is typically in October.

Will YES Prep provide me with feedback if I am not selected for an interview?
YES Prep's selection process has become increasingly competitive each year, and this year is no different. We review all information contained in a candidate's application before making a decision, including education, GPA, previous work experience and essay responses to determine whether your application matches our rigorous selection criteria. Given the large volume of candidates who apply for roles at YES Prep, we are unable to provide individualized feedback. 
 
Does YES sponsor H1B and other work visas?
At this time, YES Prep is unable to sponsor visas.

If I am currently under contract with another district, what would it look like for me to make the transition to YES?
Many districts have the ability to sanction your certification if you break contract. The only way to be released from contract early is to secure a position that is considered a promotion or a pay increase. We encourage you to look at openings for future school years in order to honor the commitment to your current school while also looking forward to new opportunities.

May I reach out to YES Prep School Directors directly in order to apply for positions on their campuses?
We only consider applications that have been submitted online and ask that you not reach out to school-based staff regarding employment. If you have specific questions about an opening prior to applying, you may reach out to us via email at talent@yesprep.org.

Knowing that the student body of YES Prep is 96% students of color, what is the makeup of the staff?
We believe that there is a transformative academic and social benefit for students when their teachers/leaders share their backgrounds and reflect a diversity of backgrounds. We are proud of the diverse make-up of our staff.
Staff demographic pie charts which show that YES Prep staff is 63% people of color and YES Prep teachers are 64% people of color.

What are the future plans for YES Prep Public Schools?
YES Prep is a growing system, and we are striving to ensure that all students in Houston have access to quality education. We will open two campuses in 2018-- one traditional campus and one restorative campus in partnership with KIPP Public Schools. Following that, we have plans to open two additional campuses by 2020 with the capacity to serve 20,000 students in the city of Houston.

​II. Teacher Certification and Professional Development Opportunities

Do I need to be certified in order to teach at YES Prep?
Although a certification is not required in order to be hired, you must receive your certification within one year of being hired. Additionally, you will need to take and pass a content test prior to the first day of the school year to be eligible to begin your teaching assignment.

How do I become a certified teacher while working at YES Prep?
At YES Prep, we have our very own Alternative Certification Program called Teaching Excellence. Teaching Excellence provides rigorous and relevant training and individualized support that accelerates the development of new teachers.

  • Enrollment Requirements:
  1. Gain employment at YES Prep Public Schools
  2. Meet the minimum GPA requirement of 2.5, content semester credit hour requirements, and/or pass the PACT exam.
  • Time Commitment:
  1. Attend an intensive 2.5 week training program in July to be Day One ready
  2. Participate in bi-weekly coaching sessions with an instructional coach to receive feedback and support
  3. Attend a monthly Professional Learning Saturday, and (4) complete online Professional Learning modules.
  • Cost Commitment: Exact cost varies based on year and the teacher's track (ACP or non-ACP). In 2016-2017, TE ACP teachers committed $4,750, automatically deducted through paychecks bi-monthly for 20 pay periods.

If I receive my certification through Teaching Excellence, is it valid in the state of Texas? How long does it take to get certified?
Yes, it is valid in the state of Texas. Upon successful completion of the Teaching Excellence program, you will hold a standard teaching certification. This can typically be completed within one school year and is the type of certificate that could be eligible to transfer to another state, if necessary.

What professional development opportunities do you offer to experienced teachers?
If you are an experienced teacher new to YES Prep, we have a 'New to Blue' program that is designed to help you successfully transition to your new environment and integrate your skills into the YES Prep culture and curriculum. For current staff members-- both in the central office and on campuses-- who are developing their leadership skills, we offer the Leading Excellence program. Find out more about campus leadership opportunities.

III. Compensation and Benefits

How is teacher salary determined at YES Prep? How can I learn more about my potential starting salary?
Our Teacher Continuum rewards sustained excellence over time. Based on your performance in the classroom, your salary will increase over time. The teacher salary scale can be found here, and the starting salary for a novice teacher is $50,000.

Where can I learn more about benefits at YES Prep?
YES Prep offers a comprehensive benefits plan, including but not limited to, medical, dental, vision, discounts for services and a 401k. Learn more about YES Prep's benefits

Does YES Prep participate in TRS? 
Yes, YES Prep participates in TRS.

IV. Teaching at YES Prep

What are the hours in the school day?
While all of our campuses focus on preparing students for college, each campus provides a unique experience. Most campuses have a longer school day and classes are held, on average, from 7:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. and vary by campus. You can find the hours of the school day on the Map & Contact section of each campus.
 
What is a typical teacher schedule?
It is action-packed! Typically, you will have two planning periods and six teaching periods. You may have lunch duty where you will supervise students and build transformative relationships. You also may need to check in with your Dean of Instruction, Dean of Students, and Instructional Coach during an off-period to improve your craft as an educator, which in turn maximizes student achievement. It is recommended that you typically arrive 30 minutes before the start time of your campus to prep for the day-- ensuring the lesson plan and materials are printed for the day, the lesson plan is posted, your inbox is cleared, and your classroom is set up for students. You may have morning or afternoon duty for your campus, which means you would come to school earlier/stay later to be on duty for 15-20 minutes to ensure students’ safety as they are arriving to or leaving campus. You may need to stay after school to print materials for the next school day or week, grade assignments, hold tutorials, attend professional development, meet with parents, attend an open house or report card night, etc.
 
What is the length of the school year?
Our school year begins in August and goes until the first week of June. All YES Prep employees also have a week of vacation for Thanksgiving, two weeks of Winter Break, and a week off for Spring Break. In addition, YES Prep staff members receive federal and state holidays. You can learn more about the calendar year at YES Prep here.

What curriculum does YES Prep use?
Each course is based on the TEKS or AP standards with the end goal of ensuring that our students are being prepared for the SAT and leave college-ready.
 
Is there a lesson plan template that teachers can use?
As a district, the first page of the lesson planning template is the same for every core subject. Templates vary by content area to best meet the needs of the specific content. 
 
What are lesson plan expectations? 
We truly believe that excellent instruction every single day is created through four things:

  1. Thoughtful lesson planning;
  2. Safe and nurturing environment;
  3. Solid grading practices;
  4. And high touch-point coaching.

 Our lesson planning template was created to reflect the research-based elements of effective planning, and the posting of lesson plans is a requirement every single day. 

What does collaboration look like?
We credit collaboration to be a huge part of our success as an organization.

  • Teaching Excellence: For our first-year teachers, we offer our Teaching Excellence program and an Instructional Coach. You will also collaborate with teachers going through Teaching Excellence and share best practices.
  • New to Blue Academy: For teacher who have taught before in a different district, this academy is designed to leverage the experiences of veteran teachers while providing tailored professional development on YES Prep methods and curriculum. We also encourage collaborating with veteran teachers at our YES Prep campuses to learn routines, systems, procedures, and how they build relationships with students and families.
  • Content Day: This unique opportunity fosters a collaborative environment where you meet with all the teachers in your subject in the district to discuss the upcoming unit plan and unit tests, share best practices, and attend professional development that is facilitated by Content Specialists and Course Facilitators. Content Days happen once every six weeks. 

What are the class sizes?
It varies depending on the needs of the campus. All campuses meet the legal teacher-to-student ratio requirement.
 
After 5 years of teaching, how do I renew my teaching certification?
If you hold a standard teaching certificate in Texas, you must renew it every five years. Follow the steps provided in this link to renew it.

Do you offer stipends to teachers?
Yes, campuses offer stipends to teachers who take on additional responsibilities on their campuses, such as serving as a Grade Level Chair or coaching a sport. These are campus-by-campus decisions, and a School Director may answer any question you have about stipend opportunities.

Can teachers coach sports, or start/lead extracurricular activities on their campus?
Yes, interested teachers may explore opportunities to coach or start/lead extracurricular activities after school. Specific sports may differ by campus.
 

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