The York Early College Academy aims to ready middle school students for college-level courses by the 9th grade. YECA opened in the fall of 2006 with 81 sixth-graders and adds a grade each year growing to become a full 6th-12th-grade school.
About the School
Students who live in District 28 can submit an application to apply to YECA by the end of the the 5th grade. There are well over 400 applicants per year. 81 new students are chosen through a lottery system. Please see your school's guidance counselor for more information about how to apply.
By the time YECA students enter the college classroom they will have high academic efficacy, be autonomous learners and have the academic foundations to be successful. With such ambitious goals, a rigorous academic program is required. In addition to taking the traditional math, English, science, Spanish and social studies courses, all YECA students are offered prescribed, leveled reading classes to address weaknesses in literacy. Struggling students have an extended academic day where they receive additional instruction in reading comprehension and basic math (computation skills). The reading, math and English classes are supported by tutors who offer additional support in a small group setting.
The Saturday Academy is not mandatory, but about 80% of students attend to work on study and academic skills.
All YECA students are required to attend school eleven months (September through July), rather than ten. During the month of July, students participate in the Summer Academy program, designed to give them a “jump start” on the next year’s curriculum and to provide remedial support where needed.
The YECA teachers initiated the creation of after school clubs and take students on field trips. There is a culture club that celebrates ethnic diversity. Club members eat international foods, study different holidays, and give a holiday performance. There are also journalism, math, chess, and art clubs, which meet twice a week until 4:30 p.m.
Teachers and Staff
The York Early College Academy has a rich tradition of outstanding student achievement and provides a sound, standards-based education, while promoting high moral character of all students. The principal and her teachers demonstrate deep commitment to the success of the school and the academic, social and emotional growth of their students. Students feel known, respected and protected by their principal and teachers. Parents express confidence in the school’s capacity to provide their children with preparation for, and access to, higher education.
Collaboration with York College
The YECA planning committee is led by the Early College Liaison and is made up of a panel of YECA school staff and college faculty. The goal of this committee is to continuously reflect on the YECA curriculum and determine the required skills base and curricular structures necessary to ensure college readiness and success of YECA students.
The College Liaison also coordinates college events, enrichment workshops and immersion programs for the YECA students so that they can experience what it is like to attend college and become more prepared for their early college courses both mentally and emotionally.