YES Prep Launches New Project to Empower Parents and Students With Real-Time Data

Newly awarded grant funds the creation of a portal to support college readiness

Mother with two children holding YES Prep banner

August 2018 (Houston, TX) - YES Prep Public Schools is pleased to announce the launch of its new family portal project which will provide real-time data to students and their families to support college readiness efforts. Through a one-year collaboration grant with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, YES Prep will develop a new parent-facing data system architecture that will dramatically improve engagement and ultimately boost student achievement outcomes. By building the new portal on the Ed-Fi Data Standard YES Prep will have an architecture that can securely access accurate, complete and robust data sets. YES Prep will now have the capability to put valuable data into the hands of parents and students who can make more informed decisions about their student’s college and career path.

The grant and support will fund the development of a student and parent college guidance portal to promote parent engagement, assist students in assessing and tracking their graduation readiness, and provide dynamic reports to help students and their families understand their post-graduation options and take specific actions to achieve their goals. Currently, YES Prep houses important student data in multiple formats and vehicles, including online and physical copies, making real-time data delivery to educators and families incredibly challenging.

Specifically, the new data system architecture will allow YES Prep to:

  • Create a parent portal that visualizes student data and promotes parent engagement.
  • Develop a mobile application that assists students in assessing and tracking their graduation readiness.
  • Automatically generated, student-specific narrative and video reports to help students and their parents understand their post-graduation options and take specific actions to reach higher-level goals
  • More effectively manage YES Prep's early warning systems which can alert educators to student needs as it relates to attendance, intervention and progress.
  • Monitor academically vulnerable students to ensure that appropriate interventions are being made and that individual outcomes are improved.

"One of our strategic priorities is to harness technology and operating systems that promote efficiency and accountability," said Mark DiBella, chief executive officer, YES Prep. "This investment will enable us to leverage our existing data systems and elevate our family engagement and student achievement efforts by incorporating and providing access to crucial data for both teachers and parents alike. We want to ensure our educators and caregivers are able to make informed decisions to support the continued success of our students in their pursuit of college readiness."

The new secure, user-friendly, family-facing portal will pull data from different source systems and present a full-view snapshot of a student’s progress. The portal will not only report on grade history and assessment information but also behavior, attendance, and benchmark information. Families will be able to set alerts for grades, attendance and behavior, and be able to take specific actions along with educators to support student achievement.

“The mission of the foundation is to transform the lives of children living in urban poverty. One of the most impactful ways to address this global problem is through education, specifically data-driven education. What that means in practice is that we look for opportunities to get critical data into the hands of educators, parents and administrators so they can best support the students that need it most,” said Lyria Zeh, program manager, Data Driven Education, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “YES Prep has a dedicated staff of visionaries that deeply understand the importance of family engagement on student outcomes, and with the development of a family portal, we have the opportunity to fund important work that will have a lasting impact on the students and community of Houston.”

 “This transformational student and parent college guidance portal continues our commitment to improving access to information technology for the entire YES Prep community to further the support of our learners,” said Recy Dunn, chief operations officer, YES Prep. “With the help of our Community Engagement team and campus staff we will create a training and communication plan to help parents and students with the adoption and proper utilization of the parent portal, moving us that much further in engaging and empowering the families and communities we serve.”

ABOUT YES PREP PUBLIC SCHOOLS, INC.
For twenty-one years, YES Prep has increased the number of students from underserved communities who graduate from college prepared to lead. With 18 schools serving 13,300 students, YES Prep leads Houston forward by redefining what is possible in public education when children have access to excellent schools. YES Prep received the inaugural Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, is nationally ranked by the U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Post, and others, and has consistently been named one of Houston’s “Best Places to Work” by the Houston Business Journal. To learn more, visit: www.yesprep.org.

ABOUT THE MICHAEL & SUSAN DELL FOUNDATION
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (www.msdf.org) is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. Headquartered in Austin, TX with additional offices in New Delhi, India and Cape Town, South Africa, the Dell foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood wellness, and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. The foundation has committed more than $1.5 billion to global children's issues and community initiatives to date.

ABOUT ED-FI
Ed-Fi securely and seamlessly connects educational data systems. A not-for-profit organization fully funded by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Ed-Fi aims to boost student achievement by empowering educators with comprehensive insight into their students.
Founded in 2012, Ed-Fi streamlines data management in school districts and states across the country. By allowing schools to integrate the data previously siloed within disconnected tools and software—and organizing it through a single, secure data standard —Ed-Fi finally solves one of the country’s most perplexing educational challenges: how to get a complete, accurate view of individual student achievement.