Yellowstone College Prep Pioneers A New Model for School Success

Style Magazine Newswire | 8/13/2018, 12:03 p.m.
On Wednesday, August 15, Yellowstone College Prep will open its doors for the first time in what is a new, …

Houston, TX (August 13, 2018) – On Wednesday, August 15, Yellowstone College Prep will open its doors for the first time in what is a new, Texas Education Agency- approved public/private model designed to expand quality educational opportunities in Houston’s Third Ward. In the midst of a national dialogue over struggling school finances and failing schools, Yellowstone College Prep, nearly seven years in the making, will have strong operational efficiencies and educational leadership from day one.

Yellowstone College Prep is an open-enrollment public charter school co-located on the same campus with Yellowstone Academy, a private school that has operated in Houston’s Third Ward for more than fifteen years. The school will open with 250 students in 5th-8th grade and already has a waiting list of students hoping to attend. Yellowstone College Prep will add a grade level each year, ultimately serving students through high school. On Wednesday—the first day of school-- to celebrate this launch, the school year will begin with staff, volunteers, families, board members, and community leaders lining the halls to cheer the inaugural class of students as they make their way to homeroom for the first time.

This innovative educational approach is being led by Ryan Dolibois, Executive Director, who brings with him more than 20 years of experience in educational work in Houston, including teaching, fundraising, strategic planning, and executive leadership in both public and private schools.

“We are excited to build on Yellowstone Academy’s legacy of success and also be able to serve additional deserving students and families,” said Dolibois. “Within five years, the two schools will serve nearly 1,000 students as we inspire, empower, and invest in our students to achieve their highest potential and fulfill their intended purpose. We can’t wait to get started.”

Among Yellowstone College Prep’s experienced and diverse leadership, Head of Schools Deidra Lawson also has a demonstrated history of positive results working in public education. With 15 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in Houston, she has helped recruit a seasoned team of educators to join in this work.

“At Yellowstone College Prep, we know that no significant learning can occur without significant relationships. In that spirit, we will show our students that all of us—parents, staff, and community supporters—are committed to their success,” said Lawson.

Next week’s school opening will be the first of many big milestones planned for the Yellowstone schools. In the coming years, the boards for both schools have a vision to open a dormitory on campus where high school students could live during the week. Dolibois added, “We are poised to have an incredible impact on not just our students and families, but on the city of Houston for decades to come.”