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Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College

In 2015 the Michigan Department of Education endorsed the Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College as one of a small number of Middle College High Schools in the State of Michigan.

The Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College is working with the Michigan Early/Middle College Association (MEMCA), the Michigan Department of Education and Washtenaw Community College to significantly increase the high school, collegiate and post-secondary success and completion rate of Ypsilanti youth.

The Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College was granted MEMCA Accreditation on Dec. 1, 2016. 

The Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College


The mission of Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College is to prepare students to excel in a diverse, information-based technologically advanced and ever changing society. 


The Ypsilanti STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Manufacturing) Middle College offers a rigorous, relevant and technologically advanced learning experience for all students. Businesses, community partnerships, and STEMM-based electives are used to create and incorporate real-world experiences in the learning process. Inquiry and project-based instructional best practices are implemented to ensure every student accomplishes their goals. In order to create a meaningful educational experience, we have established a system of shared responsibilities and collaboration, supported by the trust and respect of students, staff, and the community. The culminating learning experience for STEMM will be a Senior Capstone project. 


Our Middle College High School blurs the border between high school and college. This 5-year blended institution program combines 3-4 years in the YSMC (onsite at YCHS) with 1-2 years in the Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College (offsite at our partner college, Washtenaw Community College). We offer students a chance to begin college work while still in high school. All STEMM students will take a mixture of high school and college courses where they advance, earning a high school diploma and up to 60 college credits.

Students will earn MEMCA approved College Readiness Certification, and either a Certification in one of a number of MEMCA Technical Certification programs (see below) or an associate’s degree upon graduation from the STEMM Middle College. Students are enrolled in an intensive STEMM–based Michigan Merit Curriculum, where they are intensively supported and guided as they experience themselves as successful college-level learners.

Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College Curriculum and Standards

Common Core Standards

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. Teachers in the STEMM small learning community rely on the Common Core State Standards when they are deciding what to teach in each of their classes.

Understanding by Design

When teachers employ Understanding by Design, they see themselves as coaches whose purpose is to lead each student to mastery through continuous improvement. Students are provided with opportunities to learn and grow in a variety of ways, such as explaining, interpreting, applying, shifting perspectives, empathizing and self-assessing. The teacher uses the results of the student’s performance to inform future curriculum and instruction.  The teacher and students are engaged in a focused and sustained conversation to apply new knowledge to long-term problem solving.

Challenge Based Learning

Challenge Based Learning is an engaging, multidisciplinary approach that starts with standards-based content and lets students leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve complex, real-world problems. Challenge Based Learning is collaborative and hands on, asking students to work with other students, their teachers, and experts in their communities and around the world to develop deeper knowledge of the subjects they are studying. Teachers in the STEMM small learning community apply Challenge Based Learning in order to provide students with authentic experiences that will lead them to mastery of course content and real world skills.

FIRST Robotics Engineering Principles

The idea for the Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College grew out of work with our FIRST Robotics Team, Team 66. Using FIRST Principles, engaging our students in Engineering principles to design and compete in FIRST Robotic Competitions allowed us to design a highly competitive robotics program, from which our drive to build a STEMM Community arose. FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science and Technology) is the backbone of this Middle College. FIRST’s mission is to show students of every age that science, technology, and problem solving are not only fun and rewarding, but are proven paths to successful careers and a bright future for us all.

Calendar and Upcoming Events

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Upcoming Events

Program Benefits

  • Up to 84 college credits from Washtenaw Community College
  • Data-driven Inquiry-based Engineering and Manufacturing experiences as part of the Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College Curriculum
  • Michigan High School Merit Curriculum
  • MEMCA College Readiness Certification
  • Development of an Educational Development Plan used to guide the students through the 5 year blended institutional experience.
  • Two world-class FIRST FRC Robotics Teams (Team 66 and 470)
  • Students and parent program orientation
  • MEMCA Technical Certifications Offered Through the Academy
    • Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)
    • Computer systems technology
    • Construction technology
    • Engineering design & technology
    • Aviation technology

YCS Traditional Calendar

Middle College Application, Information and Media Links

Application Information

Application: We are now accepting applications.

Application Link.

2017-18 Course Guidebook

2017-18 Course Guidebook

Graduation Requirements / Curriculum Guide

STEMM Graduation Requirements - adopted 2017

Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College Graduation Requirements

Link to STEMM graduation requirements

Grizzly Robotics Live Stream at Belleville District (March 23-24)

Live Stream Link will be posted here at the time of the event


Lincoln District Event Article - Ann Arbor News


Grizzly Robotics and STEMM Middle College showcased on PBS' American Graduate Day


FIRST Robotics National Pulications:

Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College Case Study 

FIRST Robotics case study on the Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College and the impact of Grizzly Robotics on the students.

Order your own Grizzly STEMM Middle College Sportswear!

Start the school year off with some new STEMM Middle College Grizzly Apparal! Prepsports has a STEMM Middle College Section - follow the link above.

EdNews Daily Article

How One Teacher Founded A Whole New High School- Inspired by FIRST Robotics. Published in the August 14, 2017, EdNews Daily Educational Journal. Mr. Heister sat down to answer a few questions about how he was able to get institutional buy-in for a new program like this (STEMM Middle College), and lessons learned on the journey.

Grizzly Robotics 2017 State Championship Chairman's Video

Grizzly Robotics, FIRST FRC Team 66 - Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College Won the Chairman's Award at the St. Joseph District March 11, 2017. This video documents how the Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College was opened in the fall of 2013 using the principles of FIRST Robotics and it's impact on the students of Ypsilanti.

Grizzly Robotics 2016 State Championship Chairman's Video

State Championship Winning Version of the 2016 Chairman's Video - Grizzly Robotics, FIRST FRC Team 66 - Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College.This video documents how the Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College was opened in the fall of 2013 using the principles of FIRST Robotics and it's impact on the students of Ypsilanti.

TEDx Talk from 2016: Robots in the Classroom

This unique two-person talk explores the story of an educator who founded a middle college high school, based on the principles of F.I.R.S.T. Robotics, and one of the students who has been impacted by this unique approach to urban, at-risk education. Hands-on design and manufacturing courses form the backbone of the curriculum in the Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College. In an educational era where manufacturing classes are seen as relics of the past, a student’s story of her transformed life suggests that hands on technical engagement may be the future of education.

STEMM Middle College / FIRST Robotics Students Interviewed on the The Lucy Ann Lance Show  - Podcast of the Interview (2/10/17)

Scholarship Information

Scholarship information page


YCS Tentative Traditional Calendar 2017-18
Subject to change based on union negotiations

Dress Code Policy for Ypsilanti Community Schools

Dress code policy.

Important Links




School Information

Ypsilanti STEMM Middle College

2095 Packard Rd.
Phone: 734-221-1000
Fax: 734-221-1103


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Cory Gildersleeve

Assistant Principal/Special Education Supervisor

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Amanda Rawsky
Assistant Principal/Special Education Supervisor


Kelle Williams

Assistant Principal

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Raymond Alvarado
Assistant Principal

Academic Leader

D. Scott Heister
Academic Leader

Dean of Students

Fred Jackson
Dean of Students


Keisha Alexander
Chrisena Orr

Athletic Office

Athletic Director/Assistant Principal

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Lawrence Reeves
Athletic Director/Assistant Principal

Counseling Department

WCC Admission Specialist

Julie Hane
WCC Admission Specialist


Brianna Jackson


Ted Booker

Grade Levels

9th - 13th Grades

School Hours

Full Day
8:15 a.m.-3:15 p.m.
1/2 Day Early Dismissal
8:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m.