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Education News

Aldine School District and YES Prep Charter Network Start To Put Partnership In Place

About two decades ago, charter schools began as an experiment in public education. Since then, some have grown into national networks. While some critics view charter schools as an attack on traditional public schools, more charters and school districts are partnering here in Houston.


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The partnership between Aldine Independent School District and YES Prep charter schools has been in the works for about eight months. Now it’s taking shape on campus.

Ellen Winstead and Wanda Bamberg
Ellen Winstead, director of strategic initiatives at YES Prep Public Schools, and Wanda Bamberg, superintendent of Aldine ISD. They have been working out more logistical details on the partnership. They say details, from transportation to custodial work, is important to make the partnership successful.

Aldine Superintendent Wanda Bamberg says there was space in the building at Hoffman Middle School. At the same time YES Prep was expanding in the area.

“Instead of it being who’s going to get the kids in this neighborhood, we’re all going to have the kids in this neighborhood and we’re going to work together.”

She says they plan to work together in areas like professional development for teachers.

But there will be two separate schools under one roof. One with 750 students in Aldine ISD. Another with 140 students with YES Prep.

Amy Aviles is 11 years old. She’ll be part of the first YES Prep Hoffman sixth grade class.

“The teachers told us it might be complicated for the first few days but once we get used to it, we’ll love it.”

YES Prep students like Amy will join Hoffman students in certain activities, says Melanie Singleton.

She’s the principal for the YES Prep school. And she’s a YES Prep alum herself.

“We plan on starting with the student council, if you will, with students from both sides, to make sure that we are hearing the concerns and making sure that we are strengthening their relationships, because they do share a roof, if not a classroom.

As the partnership grows, students might even take electives together in the future. 

YES Prep Hoffman students eat lunch in the cafeteria. The cafeteria, gym and library will be shared spaces for the two schools.

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