On July 20, YES Prep closed out its largest summer program in its history!
From June 1 through July 20 each of YES Prep’s 23 elementary and secondary schools held summer programming inviting upwards of 5,000 students from across the district.
#SayYEStoSummer offered enrichment and academic support programs to increase student achievement, increase campus persistence and to provide a successful launch for students in the next school year.
Our programs included: ACE & ASPIRE, compensatory services and extended school year for our Special Education students, summer credit recovery, Camp Chispas for elementary English language learners, elementary core enrichment, and summer accelerated learning.
ACE & ASPIRE summer programs
In its inaugural year, ASPIRE is a new YES Prep after-school program that complements our Texas Education Agency funded ACE program. This summer, ASPIRE was offered at Northline Secondary, North Central Secondary, Northwest Secondary, Hobby Secondary and Southeast Secondary. The program served over 500 students and over 100 parents and the programs included more than 20 student clubs such as, dance, art, sports camps, English Language Arts, STEM activities, drumline, PSAT prep, social justice, visual arts and more.
ACE programming was offered at ten of our secondary campuses: Brays Oak, East End, Southwest, Southside, Gulfton, North Forest, Northside, Fifth Ward, White Oak, and West. Also offering more than 20 student clubs such as Money Matters 101, SAT prep, Literacy Buddies, Young Adult Book Club, athletic conditioning camps, STEM activities, Fanime and music camp, ACE served over 600 students this summer.
Summer school at YES Prep elementary
This summer was a very special time for our elementary school students, who participated in accelerated learning, Camp Chispas, enrichment programming and Special Populations. First-time Summer Program Directors Amanda Jones at Southside Elementary and Aisha Masuku at North Forest Elementary took the time to share their #SayYEStoSummer experience with us.
What is #SayYEStoSummer? What is it intended to achieve?
Jones: “Say YES to Summer” is a YES Prep summer program that offers enrichment and academic support leading to increased student achievement for the next school year. The program allows for students that need more time to build the necessary skills to do so during an extended school schedule. It is intended to achieve increased campus persistence and a successful launch for students in the next school year!
Masuku: #SayYEStoSummer is broken up into different parts: accelerated learning, Campus Chispas, extended school year/compensatory services and our new core enrichment which was offered to our first graders this year. I would say it was one of our shining moments for the students. Ultimately, our YES Prep summer program is meant to provide an opportunity during the summer to build on students’ skills and continue with their education throughout the school year.
What makes #SayYEStoSummer so special?
Jones: What makes it so special is the extremely dedicated teachers and staff that make the program happen each day. These individuals know how important it is for our SPARKS to be successful and their dedication to making it happen is unmatched. I'll say this, I have been in education for 10 years and I have never worked summers. This is the first summer program that I've ever worked and I’ll likely participate next year. I really enjoyed it and so did the kids.
What was your favorite #SayYEStoSummer moment?
Masuku: I think because the class sizes were smaller, students didn’t feel as intimidated to go in front of classrooms and present. They boldly volunteered to show their work, especially in the accelerated learning classes. In core enrichment, we had STEM and PE and they absolutely loved it! When all the first graders left the accelerated learning classes they just presented in, they went into their STEM core enrichment and remained engaged in every STEM activity we ran. It was just cool to see those wheels turning and observing them be creative and apply knowledge in real-time.
What is your outlook for the future of our summer programs?
Masuku: We will continue building this sense of community for our students. Yes, there is that sense of community throughout the school year, but to be outside of the regular schedule you could see that it really brought the students together. It brought the teacher and staff together. You really see a lot of students’ creative juices flowing and a lot of critical thinking skills being used. Because of how the program is set up, there isn’t a lot of pressure which allows our kids to think outside of the box or do things they may not normally do. We want to continue to build upon those successes and roll out new programs for students.
What would you say to a family considering #SayYEStoSummer?
Jones: I would say that if they want their child to continue to learn and grow over the summer, then our program is just what they need!
Masuku: I say, “why not?” I would love to create events for future families to join us, engage with our staff and see the activities we’re doing and how engaged our students are. We want to share those visuals to our parents and see what the summer program is about.
We would like to thank every summer teacher and summer leader for their extended commitment to our YES Prep students and families in June and July!
Click here to view images from our elementary summer programs gallery.