Aldine School District, Yes Prep Charter Win Gates Foundation Grant

Usually, traditional public schools and charter schools find themselves at odds. But increasingly here in Houston, public schools and charters call each other partners, even friends. Now one of those partnerships is getting money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to expand.

Already the Aldine Independent School District and the Yes Prep charter network are working together closely.

So close that they share the same roof at Hoffman Middle School in North Houston. There they have two separate schools on the same campus.

Now they are going to develop their partnership further since they’ve won $100,000 from the Gates Foundation.

Wanda Bamberg is Aldine’s Superintendent.

“So we’re very excited about the prospect of working together, getting our faculties together and getting not just that competitive environment but collaborative environment to meet the needs of our kids.”

Bamberg says she hopes to copy how Yes Prep gets students ready for college.

“They’ve been very successful in getting kids enrolled in college and attending college and that’s an area in Aldine that we want to learn from Yes and we are working to partner in that collaboration.”

Mark DiBella with Yes Prep says they have the same ultimate goal.

“We ultimately want to get to a place where student achievement goes up in both schools and we know that a stepping stone towards that to ensure the culture between the schools is strong.”

Aldine is the second Houston-area school district to win this kind of grant from the Gates Foundation.

Previously, Spring Branch received $2 million to partner with Yes Prep and KIPP charter schools.

Bio photo of Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for KUHF, including K-12 and higher education.

Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and regularly contributed to WLRN, the local NPR affiliate and Miami Herald news partner...