YES Prep Public Schools opens first charter school Disciplinary Alternative Education Program in Texas
New program helping Houston students stay on college-ready pathway with one-on-one counseling and other intensive supports
Building on its commitment to help every student stay on a college-ready pathway, YES Prep opened the first public charter school program in Texas designed specifically to help students break through challenges affecting their behavior and provide intensive supports to help them thrive.
Students at YES Prep Public Schools who break the code of student conduct and may benefit from one-on-one counseling and other intensive supports can now attend YES Prep Thrive, the first Disciplinary Alternative Educational Program (DAEP) run by a public charter system in Texas.
“The safety and wellness of our students in and out of the classroom directly affect their capacity to excel academically and to strive for their limitless potential,” YES Prep CEO Mark DiBella said. “Humans, especially children, often act the way we feel on the inside, and it is our responsibility as educators to recognize these often-latent factors and provide effective supports to give our students every chance to thrive.”
YES Prep’s code of student conduct and disciplinary actions for infractions, such as those involving drugs, fully align with the state’s student behavior and discipline policies used in traditional school districts.
“We know that all behaviors have an underlying root, and it is our job to build safe spaces for students to explore their choices and needs so that they can advocate for themselves and navigate their own futures,” YES Prep Thrive Leader Amanda Rawlings said.
In addition to instructional lessons and other college and post-secondary preparations in small and personalized classes, students at Thrive get extra tutoring to catch up on any school work which they may need additional support in. Thrive students work through a personalized social-emotional plan, which includes one-on-one counseling, small group sessions, and family counseling. Through these services, students work with counselors to determine personalized goals and areas of support needed.
“Part of the social-emotional learning includes building confidence, self-awareness, and pride along with coping strategies to better navigate different situations and environments. Students focus on the unique strengths they bring into their school and the power they have to make their needs known,” Rawlings said.
Thrive students may spend between 15 and 45 days in the alternative program with counseling, restorative justice practices, and other support services continuing as needed.
About YES Prep Public Schools
For twenty-one years, YES Prep educators have increased the number of students from underserved communities who graduate from college prepared to lead. With 18 public charter schools serving more than 13,000 students in grades 6 through 12, YES Prep 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