Strengthening ‘academics first’ at Yates before construction begins at school

Close to 40 Yates High School parents, alumni, educators, and students attended a special community meeting Thursday to discuss strengthening academic programs at the school before construction begins on a new facility for Yates.

Yates is one of 40 schools HISD will rebuild or renovate under the district’s 2012 $1.89 billion bond program. Construction on Yates is scheduled to begin mid- to late 2015.

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At the meeting, attendees shared ideas and voiced concerns on what academic programs to expand on or include in the new building, including offering more advanced courses for students.

“It’s important to have the academics first and be clear about the academics before we move forward with the new building,” said HISD Chief School Support Officer Dr. Shonda Huery Hardman.

Yates currently offers students a communications magnet program with classes in audio and visual production, graphic design, journalism, and creative writing. The school also has specialty programming in health sciences, construction technology, and maritime logistics.

The district’s Office of School Support recently surveyed more than 200 9th graders at Yates and 8th graders of surrounding middle schools to gain a better sense of their academic interests and factors that influence the high school they decide to attend.  According to the survey, the top three areas of study students are interested in are nursing, entrepreneurship, and film and sound production (For more on the survey and the meeting, view the HISD PowerPoint presentation listed below).

The Office of School Support plans to hold additional meetings in the coming months with Yates students, educators, alumni, and community members on how to strengthen the academic programming at Yates.

Yates HS meeting materials from Thursday, Oct. 23