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YES Prep Public Schools

Hear from Ricca Dickens about the fight for quality education at YES Prep.

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Meet Ricca Dickens

Teacher Ambassador

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YES is filled with like-minded, driven and fun individuals who want to do right by kids. Some of my coworkers are also like family. I love coming to work because everyone is uncompromising in the fight to ensure that every student gets access to a quality education.

Teaching

  • 7th Grade Writing Teacher

Education

Awards

  • Started “Excuse My FRO” Club
  • Cheer Coach
  • Track Coach
  • Teacher Consultant

Teacher Certification Program

    Why I Teach

    I teach because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Kids deserve advocates despite circumstances they may face. They deserve love, hope and safe spaces to dream. Every day, I get the privilege to influence children that have so much to look forward to.

    I get the opportunity to empower and liberate through literature, discussions, extracurricular activities like cheer and track, and mentorship through my after-school club Excuse My FRO. When I first began teaching, I knew I wanted to do things outside of the classroom. My goal was to build relationships and create an outlet for youth.

    YES Prep Public Schools by the numbers

    • 820

      Dedicated Teachers

    • 13,502

      Dedicated Engaged Learners

    • 18:1

      Average Student to Teacher Ratio

    • $56,000

      New Teacher Starting Salary

    About YES Prep Public Schools

    • About

      With a focus squarely on advancing equity, we are committed to having an inclusive environment where teammates and students can show up every day, be their authentic selves and work hard. Since we opened our doors in 1998, YES Prep Public Schools has worked to transform educational opportunities in Houston. Today, with 18 campuses in operation, serving over 13,000 students throughout Houston’s most underserved neighborhoods, YES Prep Public Schools is living proof that different outcomes are possible when students from low-income communities are given access to high-quality educational opportunities. By 2020, we plan to quadruple the number of students from underserved communities who graduate from college prepared to lead. In fact, 86 percent of our students matriculate to college—far exceeding the national average of 62.6 percent.

      With a laser focus on increasing academic outcomes for students, all eight YES Prep high schools were ranked within the Top 50 Best High Schools in Texas by U.S. News & World Report, including four high schools in the Top 20. Additionally, every year since 2007, we have been listed by U.S. News & World Report as having some of the top 100 high schools in the Nation. Not only are we seeing extraordinary things with our students, we are having fun at the same time. We were voted as one of the Best Places to Work in Houston by the Houston Business Journal in 2012 and 2018.

    • Teaching in YES Prep

      We recognize and embrace that people become better by receiving targeted feedback and support. Every teacher at YES Prep Public Schools has a Dean of Instruction at their campus to provide regular classroom observations and coaching around targeted areas for growth. Teachers are also supported through Content Teams where they receive help with planning and implementing the course curriculum. This support allows our teachers to grow effectively over time and ensures that students are learning the most critical skills and knowledge to become college ready. 

      Whether you’re looking for leadership opportunities within the classroom or outside it, we pride ourselves on offering leadership pathways for our team. YES Prep offers in-house leadership development through our Leading Excellence program and School Director Residency. Teachers can develop their leadership skills and growth in roles such as Grade Level Chair or Content Specialist.

      In 2011, Spring Branch ISD, KIPP Public Schools and YES Prep Public Schools formed an innovative partnership called the SKY Partnership. The purpose of the SKY Partnership is to provide additional educational options for students in the Spring Branch ISD area and to accelerate and support the culture of post-secondary success within Spring Branch. The Gates Foundation rewarded the partnership with the honor of being a Bill and Melinda Gates Compact City for District-Charter Collaboration. Together we are proving the idea that district-charter partnerships can and will enhance the performance of all students. In addition to our unique partnership with Spring Branch and KIPP Public Schools, we are honored to partner with Aldine ISD at Hoffman Middle School and Eisenhower High School.

    • Salary, Compensation & Benefits

      YES Prep Public Schools offers a comprehensive compensation package that includes a competitive salary, full benefits package and many perks. With a starting salary for teachers of $50,000, we align compensation and career progression to performance in the classroom. High performing teachers will see a sharper increase in salary over their years with YES Prep compared to other districts. Additionally, teachers can earn up to $3,000 in stipends when teaching a STAAR or AP tested course. 

      At YES Prep, we know that staying healthy matters, so we offer a free employee medical program with a $600 employer contribution to a Health Savings Account. Two other medical plans are available at an additional cost, as well. Likewise, YES Prep offers up to six weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave after working at YES Prep for 60 days, vision and dental insurance coverage, a 457(b) plan and much more.   

      Lastly, if you are seeking certification through YES Prep’s in-house certification pathway, Teaching Excellence, we offer payroll deductions for certification so that you can pay the cost over the course of a year. New YES Prep teachers who attend summer professional development will also receive a $100/day stipend.

    • Pathways to Teaching in YES Prep

      YES Prep Public Schools is able to support teachers in their first year of teaching while also becoming certified through our Teaching Excellence Alternative Certification Pathway. Teaching Excellence is the highest rated alternative certification program in the State of Texas and is a 2018 Top Ranked Teacher Preparation program by the National Council on Teacher Quality. 

      During their first year, new teachers receive transformational support through high-impact instructional coaching and strategically timed professional learning.  When new teachers seek certification through Teaching Excellence, they kick-off the year with a three-week intensive summer training to ensure they are first-day ready. Additional components of the program include: a dedicated Instructional Coach to support learning and growth, monthly professional learning events, professional learning modules and content exam test preparation.

      When teachers are hired at YES Prep, they will be enrolled in the Teaching Excellence program. Teaching Excellence also has a scholarship program for those seeking certification through a generous grant from the Walton Family Foundation.

    • Applying to YES Prep

      For the majority of positions, YES Prep offers an efficient, three-step application and interview process that can be completed in as few as 30 days. The Talent Acquisition Team responds with an update to every single application that is submitted. Selected candidates are then invited to complete a one-way video interview that they can record on their own time. Finally, exceptional teaching candidates are invited to come to a campus and teach a sample lesson in front of actual YES Prep students and complete a technical interview with a member of the school’s leadership team. 

      Our selective hiring process is designed to give candidates an idea of what it's really like to work at YES Prep. As a mission-based organization, we look for candidates who have a passion for teaching all students and a commitment to ensuring that every student receives an excellent education. 

      Teaching candidates who are not already certified must meet admissions requirements such as GPA and college credit hours outlined by the Texas Education Agency. All candidates, regardless of certification status, must be eligible to work in the United States and hold a conferred bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or international equivalent. 

      Visit Careers At YES Prep Public Schools to view current openings.

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