College-Ready Education for Younger Children Beginning August 2020
Since 1997, YES Prep has served students in grades 6-12 and increased the number of students from underserved communities who graduate from college prepared to lead. Recognized by U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post and others as having some of the best schools in the nation, we are proud to announce that beginning in August 2020, YES Prep will begin opening elementary schools to provide the same quality education to families with younger children.
The first two YES Prep elementary schools—feeding into YES Prep Southeast and YES Prep North Central—will serve students in kindergarten through second grade, with additional grade levels being added the following years, including pre-K up to fifth grade.
With every incoming class of sixth graders, our teachers see students with reading and math skills far behind grade level. These students are not alone. State officials report only one in three third-graders in Texas can read and do math on grade level, which leaves many to struggle throughout their school experience. Parents frequently tell us they wish their children could have had YES Prep’s level of rigor and attention sooner.
Under our plan, starting the 2020-2021 school year, families with children entering kindergarten through second grade will have the option of attending one of two YES Prep elementary schools, as space permits. The schools will add pre-K classes and grow students into third, fourth, and fifth grades in subsequent years.
It is our goal to have 10 elementary schools to serve 10,000 Houston children in pre-K through fifth grade by 2024.
At The Helm
Leading our elementary school efforts are Lance Menster, the managing director of elementary school programs and Elizabeth “Beth” Carlson-Young, elementary head of schools. Lance has a 25-year history of success in elementary education and comes to YES Prep from the largest school system in the state where he formerly served as the elementary curriculum and development officer. Beth began her career in education as an elementary school teacher and taught for five years in Colombia before joining HISD. Her education experience spans 14 years and includes serving as dean of students and teaching reading and English in both middle and high schools.
Serving as our founding principals are Michelle LaFlure, YES Prep North Central Elementary, and Diana Rios, YES Prep Southeast Elementary. Michelle has been passionately dedicated to the North Central Houston community for the past 18 years, including serving as the YES Prep North Central principal from 2014 to 2019. Diana has been a teacher for 16 years, having taught in Houston, Colombia, and Guatemala. She comes with experience as a grade-level chair, as well as teaching bilingual education at the elementary level and teaching adults and children in the Special Education program. To learn more about the founding principals, including fun facts, click here.
Steps to Join Our YES Prep Elementary Family
Students who enroll in YES Prep join a family-oriented culture and have access to a quality education that incorporates strong supports for the whole child from elementary to secondary! If you or a family you know is interested in having your elementary-aged child attend YES Prep, make sure to fill out our Early Interest List.
By filling out this form, you will receive monthly news and updates, including information on our Elementary Fall Festivals taking place on November 2 and 9, and, most importantly, you will receive a reminder when the Lottery Application window opens on November 1.
Our students and staff are ready and eager to support our new elementary families!