We are proud to be one of sixteen Community Schools in MPS where students, families, teachers, staff, neighbors and partners all come together to create an outstanding learning environment for students. As a Community School we strive to cultivate a climate and culture that enables students to develop cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and ethical competencies and the capacity to thrive in college, career, and life.
Our full-time Community School Coordinator, Samantha Garrett, is employed by our lead/partner agency United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County– Community Impact Division. Samantha’s main task is to strategically identify, recruit, engage and align multiple stakeholders around the school’s shared vision. Based upon the needs assessment of the school, she helps to align resources and find solutions to priorities identified by the school community (students, staff members, parents, neighbors and community partners).
Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership (MCSP)
In partnership with the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County the Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership (MCSP) is a collective strategy to transform schools into a place where students, families, staff, and the surrounding community can work together to ensure every student is successful.
Community Schools is a proven model to increase a school’s capacity to better engage and align partnerships centered on the self-identified, real-time priorities of schools and communities. Our strategy places the focus on the whole child by providing academic supports, social & emotional learning, health & wellness, family & community engagement, and a safe and supportive climate.
What is MCSP?
The Community School model has been implemented across the country showing that authentic engagement and shared leadership combined with the coordinated community partnerships focused on equity can improve educational outcomes, school climate and investment in local neighborhoods. The Cincinnati school district, which has turned every school into a hub of the community, has seen graduation rates rise from 51% to more than 80% while dramatically reducing the achievement gap between black and white students.
Each Community School may use different strategies and activities to improve its school and community, but each share these guiding principles:
- Shared Leadership that engages multiple voices in decision-making and implementation. A full-time Community School Coordinator that supports continuous communication between all stakeholders in the development of a strategic plan.
- A focus on Equity to ensure all activities are fair and just so that all can participate, prosper and reach their full potential.
- Cultural Relevance that builds on the assets of the entire community and responds to the self-identities of students, families, school staff and community members.
How it Works
Engage: A full-time Community School Coordinator increases capacity of the school to engage multiple stakeholders including community partners, families, staff, students and neighborhood residents.
Aspire: Schools collectively identify school and community aspirations and barriers to success by collecting diverse knowledge through Community Conversations, combine with additional school & community data
Prioritize: A site-based Community School Leadership Team analyzes data, develops a shared vision, key priorities and strategic plan through local-decision making
Align: Community partnerships, initiatives and policies are developed and/or aligned to support shared vision and key priorities reflected in School Improvement Plan to ensure collaboration and collective action