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January 5, 2023
To: One City Families
One City Schools to close its High School (9th & 10th Grades)
One City schools announced this evening are calibration moving forward. After a long and difficult debate, we have decided to close our high school classes (9 and 10th grades) later this month. The last day for students will be January 20, 2023.
The school grew rapidly over the last several years. The challenges of renovating a Monona office building in the midst of a pandemic, expanding our grade school and launching a high school have been many.
We do not have adequate staff to provide the quality education that our students deserve.
How we are helping our Students/Families transition?
Each student and family will have a case worker assigned to help ensure a smooth transition to the educational placement of the family’s choice. More information and further details regarding caseworker assignment and contact information will be provided in a separate communication.
One City has alerted every school district that our families reside in, asking for their assistance in making this transition in the best way possible. Madison Metropolitan School District as well as other surrounding districts have committed to working closely with us to ensure scholars and families have the support they need.
What we plan to do moving forward?
We will focus our efforts and additional resources on continuing and strengthening our high-quality 4K-6 grade educational program. We will retain some staff from OCPA high school to work primarily with our middle schoolers. We will add 7th grade next year, 8th grade the following year, and re-open high school with 9th grade in 2025. We will continue to build a strong elementary and middle school with the expectation that students will attend our high school when we are prepared to re-open. Due to this change, unfortunately, some staff will also be laid-off.
We will engage in advocacy efforts to increase funding for public charter schools. We can create great schools that will be successful, but we cannot do it with only $9,620.00 per student. To truly meet the needs of all kids, especially those One City serves, requires more resources. We cannot be great with less than half of the money that other public schools receive from public funding.
We must find and develop the best educators - individuals who really want to be a part of this work and who do not see any child as a failure or a problem to be solved, but who see working with all children as an opportunity.
We are Wisconsin's laboratory school for innovation. Part of what makes charter schools unique is the ability to try new things, pivot quickly when plans don’t work, and recalibrate to improve. We are poised and ready to advance the work and fulfill the mission of One City. Although our hearts are heavy because we will say goodbye to these scholars, families, educators and staff members, we are confident in what One City will become.
We have been privileged to work with the families and students who have been committed to One City through all of the challenges inherent in starting a new school and wish them great success in the future.
Founder and CEO
One City Schools.