On Thursday, April 11, the Aldine and Spring Branch ISD superintendents joined YES Prep CEO, Mark DiBella, for a Board of Trustees event at the home of Trustee members, Tamara and Carl Tricoli. Each year the Tricolis provide YES Prep 8th graders in need with calculators, donating over 1,100 calculators over the past two years alone.
Janet Clark, Board of Trustees chairwoman, welcomed attendees, including the evening’s special guests Superintendents, Dr. Scott Muri with Spring Branch Independent School District and Dr. LaTonya Goffney with Aldine Independent School District. Clark also shared two significant highlights of the 2018-2019 school year: first that in June 2019 over 1,300 YES Prep seniors will graduate, including YES Prep/Spring Branch ISD’s first graduating district-partnership class, and second that over 90% will matriculate to college, bringing YES Prep’s alumni base to over 6,000.
Conversation among Superintendents
Serving as moderator for the evening, Bibi Yasmin Katsev, Executive Director of the District Charter Alliance, welcomed our guest speakers, Dr. Muri and Dr. Goffney. Dr. Muri has been with Spring Branch since July 2015 and previously served as the Deputy Superintendent of Academics in Fulton County Schools (FCS) in Atlanta. Dr. Goffney, who took the helm as Aldine ISD’s Superintendent of Schools in July 2018, previously served as superintendent of schools for both Coldspring-Oakhurst ISD and Lufkin ISD.
Since the district-charter partnerships began before both present ISD superintendents were in their current roles, the conversation ranged from the benefits of the partnership they have seen during their tenure as well as potential opportunities for the future.
In regards to why YES Prep forms district-charter partnerships with its neighboring school districts, YES Prep CEO DiBella stated, “we share the belief that nothing is more important to the future of our children than providing a quality equitable education to every student.” He also shared that these partnerships are one way that YES Prep increases its impact and strives to achieve its vision that every child in Houston will have equitable access to a public school that delivers an excellent, college-ready education. Through these partnerships, DiBella explained, YES Prep provides a platform to share and replicate best practices with districts.
YES Prep District Partnership – Spring Branch
In 2011, Spring Branch ISD, KIPP Texas Public Schools, and YES Prep formed an innovative, three-way district-charter partnership called the SKY Partnership. The purpose of the SKY Partnership is to provide additional excellent choices for students in the Spring Branch ISD area, and to accelerate and support the culture of post-secondary success within Spring Branch. The partnership initiated with the opening of YES Prep Northbrook Middle School and expanded in 2015 with the addition of YES Prep Northbrook High School. As for KIPP, students from KIPP Courage at Spring Branch ISD’s Landrum Middle School have the opportunity to automatically transfer to YES Prep Northbrook High School.
Currently, our partnership with Spring Branch and KIPP Texas Public Schools – Houston is entering its ninth year with students who kicked off the partnership at both YES Prep Northbrook Middle School and KIPP Courage Middle School today being college bound seniors at YES Prep Northbrook High School.
YES Prep District Partnership – Aldine
In 2013, YES Prep entered its second district-charter partnership with Aldine ISD, with the opening of YES Prep Hoffman Middle School. In 2016, YES Prep opened its second partnership school with Aldine at Eisenhower High School. Together, Aldine and YES Prep are proving the idea that district-charter partnerships can and will enhance the performance of all students.
Next year, our partnership with Aldine ISD will expand when they become the newest partner of our Teaching Excellence program, YES Prep’s award-winning, state recognized alternative teacher certification program.
The purpose of the Board of Trustee’s event was to engage in meaningful dialogue with some of our most enduring advocates and supporters while learning about relevant topics related to YES Prep and the local education landscape and beyond.
To learn more about our district-charter partnerships, please visit http://www.yesprep.org/district-partnerships.