Our Philosophy:
We believe in the process of inquiry-based learning in an experiential, hands on environment. Our integrated curriculum reaches across disciplines and age levels where students are motivated to achieve their highest potential, meet academic and social challenges with openness, and willingness to become productive citizens.



Click on the flyer below for more information about our kindergarten through fifth grade open houses in April and June. 


Ypsilanti International Elementary School (YIES) 

is a candidate school* for the PYP. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB World Schools share a common philosophy- a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education- that we believe is important for our students. 

* Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP), or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes visit http://www.ibo.org.  

IB Candidate Process

Our elementary school division at YIES offers Pre-K through 5th-grade classes. We offer a proven IB Curriculum for tomorrow's leaders. 

At YIES we differentiate instruction so that all students experience success. We create a safe and caring community where students can grow socially and emotionally, and academically.  Parents, teachers, students and community members are cooperating partners in this learning environment.

What is an IB PYP School?

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) is a curriculum framework designed for students 3 to 12 years of age.  The IB PYP is a unique programme and curriculum framework that is designed to nurture and develop the whole child as an inquirer; both in the classroom, and in the world outside. IB Primary Years Programme

The Mission of IB is:

• To develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people.
• To create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
• To work with schools, governments, and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.
• To encourage students worldwide to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. IB Mission Statement

Admission to YIES:

YIES is a Kindergarten through 5th grade free public school.  We also offer a tuition-based preschool program.

2019-20 YIES Enrollment and Lottery Update

As of April 30, 2019 the early enrollment notification window was closed. All applications received by April 30th for grades 1-5 have been forwarded onto the official enrollment acceptance process (No lottery is required). Families of these students will receive acceptance letters on May 31st with detailed information on how to complete the enrollment process. *Please remember that because slots remain in these grades, the enrollment application will remain open until August 16, 2019.

A lottery for students entering Young 5’s and Kindergarten will occur on Friday, May 17th, 3:30 pm at the YCS Administration Building, located at 1885 Packard Road. The lottery is only for students who do not currently attend YIES. This is a new date.  We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

YIES Lottery Priorities for Kindergarten:

The updated openings for 2019-20: Young 5’s=15, K=22

  1. Kindergarten - Siblings of current YIES students
  2. Kindergarten - School of Choice (SOC) siblings of current YIES students
  3. Current YCS Non-YIES students
  4. Kindergarten - Current YCS Residents
  5. Children of YCS staff
  6. Non-resident SOC

Questions regarding this process should be directed to Principal Cassandra Sheriff at csheriff6@ycschools.us or 734-221-2402

UPDATED of YIES Admissions Process 2019-20.  Review this document for important enrollment and application deadlines, and other important school information: /downloads/yies_19-20/update_of_yies_admissions_process_2019-20.pdf


YIES Preschool Enrollment Options


  • Option 1: FIVE DAY  (Monday through Friday)
  • Option 2: THREE DAY MINIMUM (select up to 3 days)  Mon  Tues  Wed  Thurs  Fri

Preschool Tuition


  • $40/daily | $200/weekly
  • YCS employee discount available

YIES Provides:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Snack (post naptime)

WHY YIES? We offer a variety of programs and activities for our students:

  • Pre-K through 12th grade continuum option for the International Baccalaureate Program (PYP at YIES, MYP at WIMA, & DP at WIHI).

  • World Language/Spanish Curriculum for students Preschool through Fifth Grade.

  • Science, Art, Music, P.E., Outdoor Recess, Field Trips and Engaging Assemblies.

  • Kids Clubs (Before and After School Spanish, Arts, Sports, and Academics Enrichment).

  • YMCA-Ann Arbor Before and After School child care onsite.

  • Special Education and Intervention Programs (Speech & Language, Social Work, Academic Support, OT, & PT).


Ypsilanti International Elementary School facilitates the development of lifelong learners who:

  • Are creative problem solvers with a broad perspective of the world around them
  • Are respectful, moral individuals who take pride in their national heritage
  • Are equipped to participate in the community as team players and effective leaders


The mission of Ypsilanti International Elementary School is to strive to create a peaceful world by empowering students to be compassionate, innovative and reflective lifelong learners.  We are a community that promotes, respects and values cultural diversity and open-mindedness.  Through exemplary International Baccalaureate instruction we ensure that every YIES student becomes a culturally literate, inquirer and knowledgeable citizen.  

Purpose Statement

At YIES we are committed to creating lifelong learners who are open-minded, caring, and responsible members of a global society.  Understanding that every student is unique, we offer diverse opportunities in academics to cultivate students who are inquiring and knowledgeable thinkers.  We demonstrate our passion for education through high expectations for our staff and students.  

Our purpose is to create a safe and caring community where ALL students can grow socially, emotionally and academically.  We work as a village of parents, teachers, students and community members to produce successful citizens.   

Core Values

Two essential concepts support Core Values and Beliefs: the Learner Profile and the IB Attitudes.

The IB-PYP Attitudes are a vital focus in the development of positive attitudes towards people, the environment, and learning.  These are the core values ascribed in the day to day IB attitudes we use:

  • Appreciation
  • Commitment
  • Confidence
  • Cooperation
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Empathy
  • Enthusiasm
  • Independence
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Tolerance

Core Beliefs

YIES believes that learning is an endless journey and focuses on making students lifelong learners.  Students are engaged meaningfully to develop thinking, research, communication, social and self management skills to build themselves as independent learners.

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-Minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-Takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective

Curriculum and Subjects at YIES:

The IB PYP is a curriculum framework, which is an organized set of standards or learning outcomes that define the content to be learned and taught. This program develops the youngest students to be inquisitive, thoughtful learners.  International Baccalaureate® (IB) programmes aim to do more than other curricula by developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed.

Beginning in preschool at YIES students benefit from a well-planned and individualized instruction in all core subjects:

  • Math

  • Language

  • Spanish

  • Social Studies

  • Visual Arts

  • Science

  • Music

  • Technology

  • and Physical Education

What is Inquiry-Based Learning?

The direct instruction approach used by IB PYP is Inquiry-based Learning.  Inquiry-based Learning is a process where students are involved in their learning, formulate questions, investigate widely and then build new understandings, meanings and knowledge.

What does a PYP classroom look like?

  • A PYP classroom is organized to encourage students to become internationally-minded learners. Displayed items are interactive for students (consider eye level placement) and reflect a PYP approach to learning that permeates the classroom.

  • The classroom is kid-friendly, engaging, and orderly. Everything posted has a clearly defined purpose relating to student learning.

  • Classroom setup allows students to move easily between small group, whole group and individual learning activities.

What does the IB require of Schools and Teachers?

  • A global perspective to content

  • The implementation of the Learner Profile (describes the attributes of an internationally-minded person)

  • Planning time for teachers at the same grade level AND different grade levels to write and reflect on their work

  • Interdisciplinary units (units that include content from more than one subject area)

  • Extensive training for ALL staff involved in the PYP Programme

  • The involvement of the parent community in supporting the programme

What does the research say?

  • Research suggests that using inquiry-based learning with students can help them become more creative, more positive and more independent (Kuhne, 1995). This is true for all students, including those with special needs who require more individual attention during the process.

  • Other academic research shows that inquiry-based learning improves student achievement (GLEF, 2001).

YIES International Peace Day Celebration 
September 25, 2019
Photo by Esatto View Photography 


YIES Peace Day 2019

A Bald Eagle Spotted at YIES

Dear parents and staff,
A bald eagle was spotted outside of YIES today, which was exciting for our staff and students to see!  One of our neighbors named him Freedom. This was a learning experience for our students.  We discussed that when an eagle has appeared, it bestows freedom and courage to look ahead. The eagle is symbolic of the importance of honesty and truthful principles. 

Check out the Channel 4 News posting




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2019-20 Preschool - 5th Grade Suggested Classroom Supply List



Before and After School Care at YIES

The Ann Arbor YMCA offers Before and After School Care to Ypsilanti Community School students at YIES, 503 Oak Street, Ypsilanti MI 48198 for Pre-K-5th grade students.  Before School Care is available 7:00am-9:15am, and After School Care is available 4:15pm-6:00pm.  YIES students are given priority registration.  If you have questions, please contact Regional Child Development Director Lee Anna Massey at:  lmassey@annarborymca.org or 734.661.8058.  New applicants are being accepted now for the Fall Semester.

Below is the link to the Ann Arbor YMCA webpage where all the registration forms can be found, and information about the Before and After Care program. https://www.annarborymca.org/ypsilanti-programs/yies-before-and-after-school-child-care/

Submitting Application: 
Drop off at: 400 West Washington Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103 
Fax to: 734-661-8060
Scan/E-mail to:  lmassey@annarborymca.org 

School Information

Ypsilanti International Elementary School

503 Oak Street
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Phone: 734-221-2400
Fax: 734-221-2403
Michelle Rose-Armstrong
Culture & Climate Coach
Profile Photo
Cassandra Sheriff
Kimberly Couch

Grade Levels

Preschool through 5th Grade 


Start and End Time

9:15 a.m.-4:15 p.m. 

Early Dismissal
9:15 a.m.-12:25 p.m.  

Tiffany Houston
Director of Dining Services