YES Prep West
Principal: Ellen Winstead
A+ Coach: Cicely Greene
422 Students, Grades 6-8
|Limited English Proficient||19%|
YES Prep West News
The percentage of students attaining college-track performance in reading and writing was higher at YES Prep West than at any other middle school in the consistently high-performing YES Prep district.
What We've Accomplished
- Unlike at other Challenge Network schools, the A+ Coach at YES Prep West taught classes each day (for 80 of 146 students) while also providing mentorship and coaching for the rest of the literacy teacher team.
- The relative inexperience of the literacy team allowed the A+ Coach to have maximum impact, cultivating a group of naturally enthusiastic, hard-working individuals into a strategic, highly effective teaching team.
- Students developed deeper comprehension and became strong, confident readers and writers, as the literacy team built classroom libraries and used a readers/writers workshop model to interest and challenge students of all incoming ability levels.
What We've Learned
- Houston A+ Challenge’s strategies can have maximum impact when the culture and conditions of a campus are set up to embrace a college-ready focus.
- The benefits of more “time on task” are clear and significant – and compounded when that time is spent with a highly effective teacher. YES Prep West devotes 165 minutes per day to reading and writing, compared to 110 to 90 minutes per day at other CN schools.
- When expectations for academic persistence and scholarly behaviors are so clear and pervasive that they become part of the fabric of the school culture, students will rise to the occasion.
Since its founding, the core mission of YES Prep Public Schools (a public charter district) has been to prepare all of its students for post-secondary success. So it’s no surprise that YES Prep West, which opened in 2009, recruited its staff, students and families based on their support of this mission.
Though only in her third year as a principal, Ellen Winstead enjoys a long and strong affiliation with both YES, where she previously served as curriculum director, and Houston A+ Challenge, where she received training as an aspiring principal.
These ingredients have proven to be key advantages to implementing The Challenge Network initiative at YES Prep West, and the collaboration and knowledge sharing with other schools in the Network has been fruitful for all.
YES Prep West Results
|Number of A+ Scholars||147||146|
|Number of A+ scholars scoring Commended (2009-2010)||50||N/A|
|Number of A+ scholars scoring Commended (2010-2011)||79||98|
|Number of A+ scholars missing Commended by 1 or 2 questions||27||15|
|Number of A+ scholars missing Commended by 3 or 4 questions||10||8|
|A+ Commended goal at end of Year 2 (2011-2012)||100||100|
Click here for year one results