Who We Are
The Youth Connection Charter School (YCCS) is on a serious mission. Executive Director Sheila Venson, YCCS staff, and principal leadership were concerned that while students were graduating high school with the necessary credits, many still lacked the reading, writing and math abilities to secure a good job or continue on to college. Venson and her team decided to adjust YCCS curriculum to upgrade the skill level accomplishment. The result began with the development of the YCCS Essential Skills Framework, which was implemented across all campuses. Currently, Ms. Venson, along with the New Teaching for New Learning department and campus leaders, is developing a Competency-Based Learning (CBL) system. The network has identified 4 Cross-Cutting Competencies that all YCCS students must master and be able to demonstrate as a result of their learning: Critical Thinkers, Effective Communicators, Creative Explorers, and Active Contributors.
Who We Are
The Youth Connection Charter School (YCCS) has served as the leading provider of alternative education programs in Chicago since 1997. YCCS is the first chartered alternative education system solely dedicated to serving the growing population of dropout and at-risk students in the State of Illinois.
What We Do
Youth Connection Charter School (YCCS) has collaborated with national organizations as they set policy for students who are deemed over-age and under-credited in the areas of college access, higher academic standards, and work readiness preparation. The fundamental design principles created by YCCS have been shared with administrators from school systems in Boston, Philadelphia, New York and others.
The purpose of the Fundamental Design Principles is to create solutions to meet the challenge of providing a school network with systems that maximize student learning opportunities:
- Adaptive structures that build on the strengths of students and the collective school organization
- Quality instruction that motivates at-risk students to learn and grow academically and personally
- Strong academic leadership that builds strong school teams
- An assessment driven instruction culture shared by all members of the school
- High expectations for all students
- A professional environment that has continuous professional development and career opportunities
- Continuous program improvement that leads to improved learning outcomes for all students
- Community-based programming that connects learning to the community
- Accountability for all aspects of the school program
- Organizational commitment to advancing alternative education under the umbrella of YCCS
How We Do It
Youth Connection Charter School (YCCS) has multiple campuses with unique education programs. Click on the following link to view videos that describe select campus models: YCCS Education Programs.