YES Prep provides Special Education, 504 and other support services to any student who needs it.
YES Prep Public Schools are open to all students in grades six through 12, and our teachers and staff are entrusted by families to provide special education services and any support that a student may need on their path to college or the career of their choice. We use a random, automated lottery for schools when there are more students interested in attending than available classroom space.
After a student enrolls at YES Prep, we work to proactively identify and evaluate those who may be eligible for special education and related services:
- After students accept a lottery seat at a YES Prep campus, they submit important information via our New Student Questionnaire. That survey includes questions that allow us to identify students who have received or may need special education services. These questions include:
- Has your student ever received Special Education services?
- Has your student been tested for Speech Therapy services?
- Has your student been served in the 504 program?
- Has your student received special tutoring at school?
- We also check state records to collect student program data in order to make appropriate placement decisions.
- Families come to register incoming students over the summer. We have robust efforts to help ensure that students who should have been identified earlier in their academic career are identified when they arrive at YES Prep and are given the supports that they need to be successful.
- YES Prep serves students beginning in the 6th grade, and as the state works on improving the identification of students with disabilities—most of whom are identified in elementary school— we are uniquely impacted if students are not identified when they enter a YES Prep school. This is why we have Special Education staff at registration and why we have clear procedures for requests for evaluation, whether from families, teachers or Response to Intervention committees on campuses. This year at registration, we fielded 21 requests for evaluation from families.
- At each of our campuses, we have a Special Education representative who helps welcome new families when they first register students and is on campus full time to share information about services available, answer any questions parents may have, and evaluate and support the needs of students year-round. Teachers and staff are in regular communication with parents regarding accommodations and services provided to their child, the student’s progress toward goals, and any issue that may affect their child’s success.
- In addition to school staff keeping an eye out for any student who may need additional support, parents are urged to request an evaluation at any time if they believe that their child needs special education or any other support services. We have extensive training and procedures to ensure that families who request a Special Education evaluation receive an answer within 15 school days.
- Our student handbook, which is provided to all families, includes information about special education and 504 services. The link to this year’s student handbook is here. The section on student support services starts on Page 32.
- We present specific information to families of students who are in the Response to Intervention (RTI) process, the 504 process, and in the special education evaluation process:
- RTI Intervention Notification – English
- RTI Intervention Notification – Spanish
- Section 504 Notice of Parent Rights
- Section 504 Fact Sheet
- Texas Transition and Employment Guide
- Guia de Transicion y Empleo de Texas
- Parent’s Guide to ARD Process
- Guia Para Padres del Proceso de ARD
- Notice of Procedural Safeguards
- Aviso Sobre Procedimientos de Proteccion
Building on our commitment to keep and help every student stay on a college-ready pathway, YES Prep strictly adheres to all requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and our teachers and staff embrace an inclusive approach to special education with instructional rigor, high expectations and caring support systems for all students.
- Students in special education at YES Prep improved performance from last year in every STAAR exam from 7th grade to 12th grade. Every cohort of students whose growth is measured by TEA also grew.
- YES Prep has doubled the state average for the percentage of graduates with disabilities who attend college. More than twice as many YES Prep seniors served by Special Education are enrolled in higher education (38% vs state average of 18% for the class of 2018). Last year, 65.9% of our students graduated on-track to attend a two- or four-year university. This fall, HCC VAST and Texas A&M PATHS were among the college recruiters at YES Prep’s College Fair. These are college-based transition programs that cater to students with disabilities and support them in gaining the skills they need to pursue a career.
- This school year, we launched Adult Community Transition for students older than 18 years. The goal of Adult Community Transition, or ACT, is to facilitate students’ successful transition to life after high school. Specially trained ACT staff develop individual transition plans, transition education and vocational training based on each student’s needs, abilities, independent living skills, personal interests and goals. ACT incorporates transition education in each Individual Education Plan to help students after traditional graduation age to identify career and life goals and work to achieve them.
- YES Prep creates accessible versions of our unit and common assessments so students with disabilities are able to demonstrate their knowledge and hard work on major assessments. Our curriculum writers also create supplemental aids, a critical tool in helping students recall information, for every core course and every unit. We train our teachers to further accommodate the curriculum in a way that aligns to their teaching methods and best serves student needs.
- YES Prep provides a continuum of services, including self-contained classrooms called Y-STEP. We currently have six Y-STEP classrooms located around the city to serve students with disabilities who need more support in the Special Education setting. Placement into all settings is determined by the ARD Committee.