A: No. YSMCS is a public school and operates under the State of Pennsylvania’s Charter School Act 22. As such, we are under the supervision of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Mckeesport School District.
Q: Is there any tuition?
A: No. YSMCS is a tuition-free public school. We bill each enrolled students’ school district for our allocation of funding as established by state law.
Q: How is YSMCS different from a traditional public school?
A: There will be many environmental and intellectual differences between YSMCS and a traditional public school, but the biggest points are:
More one-on-one instruction: Our class size to 20 students per classroom.
Multi-cultural focus: YSMCS is a multi-cultural school that focuses on rigorous academics for reading, science and math, but also integrates world cultures into our curriculum.Two languages are taught in all grades.
Exceptional and energetic teachers: We hire only the best teachers who are totally committed to teaching. We strive to hire teachers who are not only good instructors, but also have the personality and drive to make them the best at what they do.
Integrated computer learning: Computers are an essential part of the daily curriculum; portable laptops area available to all teachers or students may use computers in our computer-learning areas.
Parents love being involved at our school: We offer many opportunities for parents to get involved, from volunteering for field trips and classroom help, to assisting with our extended-day clubs.
We select our own curriculum: Our curriculum is not dictated by the school district. The teachers select the accredited curriculum and recommend changes as needed.
Extended-day clubs: All students are invited to choose their own extended-day clubs; Clubs include scouts, cooking, international dance or arts, technology, and many others.
Q: Is YSMCS under the direction of the McKeesport School District?
A: The only involvement that YSMCS has with the school district is that the school district approves the award of the school’s charter, the documents that established our school under the direction of the PA Department of Education. YSMCS elects its own Board of Trustees, hires its own staff and administrators and establishes its own policies and curriculum which adhere to established guidelines.
Q: Are your teachers certified?
A: Per state law, we are required to abide by the teacher certification laws of the PA Department of Education that apply to charter schools. In addition, our teachers are considered state public school employees and are also enrolled in the state teachers retirement program.
Q: What types of teachers and staff are there at YSMCS?
A: Our staff is comprised of one certified teacher for each classroom of students in kindergarten to 4th grade. Kindergarten classes also have an assistant teacher and there is one floater assistant teacher for grades 1-4. In addition, we have specialty teachers for music, art, physical education/health, character education, technology, and foreign languages.
Q: Who can enroll in YSMCS?
A: Any student from any school district in Pennsylvania is allowed to enroll in our school. However, busing is currently provided at no cost to the student.
Q: What types of extra-curricular activities does YSMCS provide?
A: We have a FREE Extended Day program in which we run close to 20 different clubs. Some of the clubs may include: Foreign Language, Homework, Technology, Drama and Theatre, Cooking, World Culture, History of the world, Choir, Sports, Origami, Journalism….
Q: How does YSMCS evaluate academic achievement?
A: YSMCS tests all children twice a year through standardized testing. This ranks all children against their peers nationally and identifies areas where students need improvement. Students are assessed in reading and math multiple times throughout the year. Report cards are also issued at the end of each marking period that include both standardized and classroom curriculum assessments.
Q: Does YSCP have a school nurse?
A: Yes, we have a part-time school nurse.
YSCP ENROLLMENT INFORMATION
Q: How are children enrolled in YSCP?
A: Children who already attend the school, will automatically move to the next grade if they meet the academic requirements. For new students wishing to enroll, the Charter School Law (PA ACT 22 of 1997) gives resident students of the school district the Charter School resides in (SCASD) preference in the Open Enrollment process and possible Lottery. Siblings of existing students are also given preference. After Open Enrollment closes, any PA resident student desiring to enroll in Young Scholars of Mckeesport Charter School will still be allowed to do so, but will be placed in next order in the desired grade or if a lottery is necessary, at the end of the entire waiting list for that grade.
Q: Will there be a lottery to determine placement in YSMCS? If so, how will it work?
A: Per the Charter School Law, if during Open Enrollment, it is determined that any grade is over enrolled, there will be a lottery for that grade. Preference during the lottery is given to McKeesport students, siblings of existing students and employee children. During the lottery, grades will be filled first by siblings of existing students, employee children and students of the McKeesport, then by non-resident students and a waiting list will be maintained.