MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Opportunity Schools Partnership Program Commissioner Dr. Demond Means are making a commitment to implement a community schools model through OSPP and are asking Milwaukee Public Schools to say “Yes” to a partnership that would preserve resources and support for MPS schools, students, teachers, and families.
The partnership proposal submitted by Abele and Means to Milwaukee Public Schools on April 19th is guided by a commitment to the following core values: 1) we care about our public schools and will protect their students, employees, and funding; 2) we believe the entire community plays a part in helping our schools, children, and educators succeed; and 3) high rates of poverty and other factors outside the home have a substantial impact on our children and our schools.
Abele and Means believe a community schools model represents these core values, which is why that is a key component of the partnership proposal. This model engages families and community members as integral pieces of the puzzle in setting high goals for educational performance, providing support for educators, and in achieving success in school and in life. This model can also address issues outside of the classroom that impact performance in the classroom, such as mental health, public safety, transit, housing, and economic security, by wrapping services around children and their families.
Some schools within MPS are already utilizing a community schools model, in partnership with the United Way. OSPP plans to use this same model to learn best practices from these schools and others around the country that have been successful in improving outcomes, raising standards, and making their school the center of a thriving community. A recent report from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee highlighted Dr. George Washington Carver Academy’s gains in student test scores and attendance utilizing a community schools model that included partnerships with outside organizations.
“Kids who come to school tired, hungry, and vulnerable aren’t able to thrive, even with the best, most dedicated teachers, like the ones we have in Milwaukee Public Schools,” County Executive Chris Abele said. “A community schools model allows us to support educators and set high academic achievement goals, while also adding resources that help children and their families outside of the classroom.”