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Yates High School

Jack Yates Senior High School is a secondary school located at 3650 Alabama, very near Texas Southern University, in the historic Third Ward in Houston, Texas, United States. Yates High School handles grades nine through twelve and is part of the Houston Independent School District (HISD).

In June 2016, members of the Jack Yates and HISD communities held a ground-breaking ceremony for the new state-of-the-art campus. A $59.4 million brand new campus was completed next to the old campus in summer 2018.

Previously Houston had only one secondary school for black people, Colored High School. In 1925 the school board stated that it would build a new black high school due to the increasing black population. The Houston Informer stated that the schools need to be named after prominent black people from the city and/or other successful black persons. The new high school was to be named after Jack Yates, a prominent black Houstonian, and the original colored high school was renamed Booker T. Washington High School.

In 1955, as a new Allen Elementary School opened in a neighborhood far from its original location, the former Allen campus, in what is now Midtown, became the Yates Annex, a school for black 7th graders. In 1956, the annex was converted into J. Will Jones Elementary School.

In the 1990s superintendent Rod Paige recruited Robert Worthy, who was previously teaching in the Pasadena Independent School District, to revitalize the school. Worthy removed most of the administrators and 60 teachers, making up about half of the faculty, within a two-year period to remove any pre-existing negative cultural influences from Yates. Worthy also established additional Advanced Placement courses and removed a Cleaning and Pressing Program.

From 1998 through 2002 the school reported that 99% of students graduating from Yates planned to attend colleges and universities. In response a parent and alumnus of Yates quoted in a 2003 The New York Times article, Larry Blackmon, stated that "Absolutely, positively, no way. You'd get more of an accurate count asking elementary kids if they plan to go to college."

Yates, along with Sam Houston High School and Kashmere High School, was low-performing in test scores from 2001 to 2004. Because of this problem, there were movements to have the state or another organization take over the schools for a period so the test scores would be at acceptable levels. Yates received an "acceptable" rating from the Texas Education Agency in 2005.

In May 2015 Donetrus Hill, then the principal of Yates, resigned and took a settlement agreement. Kenneth Davis, who previously served as the principal of Dowling Middle School (now Lawson Middle School) and as a supervisor of HISD middle school principals, became the principal of Yates at that time.

Students at Yates are required to wear a school uniform. The Texas Education Agency specifies that the parents and/or guardians of students zoned to a school with uniforms may apply for a waiver to opt out of the uniform policy so their children do not have to wear the uniform; parents must specify "bona fide" reasons, such as religious reasons or philosophical objections.

In March 2010, Yates' boys basketball team was ranked number one in the nation by USA Today having defeated their opponents by margins of 135, 115, 99 (twice), 98, 90 and 88 points. On January 6, 2010, the basketball team defeated Class 4A District 21 opponent Lee High School 170-35, setting the state record for points in a game and sparking a debate in the process. Despite a 100-12 halftime lead, the Lions stayed true to their pressing and trapping style, which did not sit well with Lee head coach Jacques Armant.

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