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.




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 Kindergarten 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. 

YIES 2020-2021 Application and Admissions Process

The new student application is only for students, including new siblings, who are NOT currently enrolled at YIES. If your child currently attends YIES, DO NOT submit a new student application form. Your child’s 20-21 enrollment information was processed with the re-enrollment survey each family completed in February. 

Ypsilanti Community Schools are currently operating remotely in accordance to Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order #2020-35 closing schools for the remainder of the school year. If you have any questions, do not have access to a computer/WIFI, or need assistance completing the application, please contact 734-221-2402. Leave a detailed message, including your name and contact number, and a YIES staff will return your call from a remote location to support. 

YIES 20-21 K-5 Application: The admissions application opens May 5th, and closes on August 14th. Early application notification closes on June 5th. 

Click here for the K-5 Application


YIES Admissions Process 2020-2021

Click here for details about the YIES Admissions Process 2020-2021

Enrollment Priority:

I. Sibling Priority-Scholars whose siblings are currently enrolled at YIES, and has a confirmed placement for the requested school year, pending space availability.

II. Resident Priority-Scholars who live within the boundaries of Ypsilanti Community Schools (a lottery will be held if necessary).

III. YCS Employee Priority-Scholars whose legal guardian is currently employed by Ypsilanti Community Schools (a lottery will be held if necessary). 

IV. School of Choice (SOC)- Scholars who live outside of the boundaries of Ypsilanti Community Schools (a lottery will be held if necessary).

Lottery Process:If there are more applications submitted than enrollment slots available, a lottery will be processed for that grade level. Carefully read the YIES Admissions Process for important dates and events regarding the 20-21 enrollment and admissions process. 

Lottery Date: June 15th at 1:00pm: Lottery (if necessary) for all slots available. 

A live streamed lottery will be held due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. A link to view the live streaming is below.

Live Stream Link: https://bit.ly/2020_YEIS_Lottery

When prompted to log in to view the stream, public users may use any of these accounts, which were created specifically for viewing live streams of YCS virtual public meetings:

Usernames: public00@ycschools.us through public99@ycschools.us

Password: ycspublic

YIES Grade Level and Classroom Structure 2020-21

Click here for the YIES structure for 2020-2021


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

  • 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.   

Click below to view the K-5 supply list for remote and in person learning (2020-2021 school year).


YIES K-5 Supply List

Click below to view the YIES Online Art Gallery, created by Mrs. Fisk. This is an extensive collection of artwork created by students during distance learning. 


YIES Online Art Gallery

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).

Please click below for information on how the Ypsilanti District Library is supporting the community through this time of Covid19: 


YDL services

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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2020-21 School Year Calendar

PDF DocumentYCS 2020-21 Traditional Calendar

Please remember the first day of school for students K-12 is Monday, September 8, 2020. Pre-school students start after the Labor Day holiday on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. 

Kindergarten-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 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 



Link to: YIES Facebook Page 


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

Kindergarten 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