COVID-19 has created an unprecedented national education crisis that will have implications for an entire generation of students.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made a devastating impact on education. Thousands of Houston students have “gone missing” from school over the course of online learning and will require significant resources to re-engage. Experts predict that it could take up to four years to recover, especially in at-risk populations.
In recognition of this crisis, Yellowstone’s Board of Directors and school leadership team began a strategic planning process in September 2020 to address the impact of the pandemic on our school program. This process culminated in a comprehensive strategic plan to define Yellowstone’s priorities over the next five years.
To finance this strategic plan, the board approved a $30 million fundraising campaign. Click here to read more about the campaign »
Focus on Educational Excellence
We must create an exceptional educational experience for every student in every grade level we serve.
Recover from COVID-19
We must address the academic, spiritual, and social-emotional needs that our students face after two years of disruption caused by the pandemic.
Develop Our Unique
Using our hybrid (public/private) approach, we must create an aligned model that can provide a distinct school program for the students in our community.
Build a Comprehensive Campus
We must expand and renovate our facilities, outdoor spaces, and common areas to accommodate our growth and ensure our model can thrive.
Focus on Educational Excellence
Rooted in our Christian faith since our founding, Yellowstone is committed to providing an excellent education.
We believe all students are born with purpose and destined for success, and we are committed to building an exceptional educational experience for every student in every grade we serve.
Unfortunately, students in the communities we serve:
Do not have access to excellent educational opportunities.
For generations, families have not had access to schools that prepare them for future success.
Suffer from the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”
Students have not had the opportunity to be held to a higher standard and understand the capacity they possess to dream big and pursue their goals.
Have limited opportunities for “whole child” experiences.
Students have not had access to experiences that promote spiritual growth and social-emotional learning, and expose them to career and college programming.
Recover from the Devastating Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic
At Yellowstone, our data suggests we succeeded in 2020-21 in keeping our students from regressing but made no forward progress in improving academic benchmarks during the pandemic. Since many of our students enroll at Yellowstone two years behind, a large percentage of our students are now at least three years behind grade level. This translates to some of our middle school students still performing at an elementary school level.
For the 2021-2022 school year, our campus leadership is implementing a comprehensive plan to ensure our students receive the supports they need to recover from this academic slide:
Develop Our Unique PreK3-12 Program
We remain committed to our long-term goal to offer an exceptional PreK-12 experience on one campus. Over the next five years, we will continue to build a unified experience across our campus that ensures our students are prepared to thrive in college and career.
By 2026, Yellowstone Schools will provide a Life-Changing Experience to 750 students in PK3-12th grade on one campus.
Build a Comprehensive Campus
Over the next five years, we expect our enrollment to nearly double as we grow to serve students through 12th grade. To accommodate this expanded student body, however, we must expand and improve our facilities.
We completed renovations on our existing building in 2021, and we expect to complete our new construction in 2023.
The first phase of our plan is under way and calls for facilities improvements that will create space to incorporate Yellowstone’s expansion, upgrade classroom and program space for students, and lay the groundwork for subsequent phases. Specifically, we are:
We look forward to opening the doors of our completed campus in 2023. Yellowstone will welcome students to this brand new campus and prepare thousands of students for future success.
THE CAMPAIGN FOR YELLOWSTONE SCHOOLS
The board of directors has approved a $30 million campaign to fund Yellowstone’s growth.
This comprehensive campaign is driven by our mission to advance our students, strengthen academic outcomes, plan for fiscal stability, and activate faith throughout the community. In launching this campaign, Yellowstone will create a purpose-built campus with updated and expanded facilities to provide high-quality education and support programs to a projected 750 economically disadvantaged students annually in PreK-12.
Our campaign goals are as follows:
Existing Building Renovations
New Building Construction
Road Closure/Abatement, Outdoor Improvements, and Future Land Acquisition
Academic Response to COVID-19 and Program Support as we grow
Celebrate our growth!
Thank you to everyone who came out to help us bless the foundation of our expanding campus on the beautiful morning of January 27, 2022!
Over 100 supporters and friends of Yellowstone Schools gathered to “Bless the Foundation” of our new building before this significant construction project goes into fast forward phase.
The Senior Pastor at Trinity East United Methodist Church, Reverend Marilyn White, gave a beautiful invocation to start the blessing ceremony. Third-grade teacher Mrs. Marlena Smith, and third-grade student Autumn Houston, shared heart-warming messages about how special being a part of the Yellowstone family has meant to them.
Ryan Dolibois, Executive Director and Superintendent of Yellowstone Schools, shared the history and an update about the Yellowstone. Forever. campaign. He reported that we are nearing our fundraising goal and are currently on track to complete the school expansion by early 2023.
Adrianne Davis, Yellowstone parent, Clark Thompson, Yellowstone Academy Board Chair, Lionel Jellins, Yellowstone College Prep Board Chair, and David Lumpkins, Yellowstone Schools Co-Founder, read scriptures from the letter to the Ephesians, the Gospel of Matthew, and the letter to the church in Corinth as part of blessing the foundation.
Thank you, again, for supporting our scholars and making a difference. You are a part of the Yellowstone family now and forever!
If you are interested in helping to reach our Yellowstone. Forever. campaign goal, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Missed the blessing ceremony? You can view it here.
Yellowstone Schools educate nearly 500 majority Black children. Located in Houston’s historic Third Ward, Yellowstone is committed to partnering with students and families, regardless of financial means, to provide an excellent education, to develop faith and character, and to prepare scholars for life beyond high school. At Yellowstone, we inspire, empower, and invest in students to achieve their highest potential and fulfill their intended purpose.
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