One City Elementary School (OCES) will maintain its commitment to build foundational skills and introduced project-based expeditionary learning program for our children in our Kindergarten to 5th grade.

Learning Expeditions

Teachers will construct learning expeditions that are of interests and importance to children and their future learning needs. Children will also have access to tools and resources in school and in the community that will enable them to build on their learning through self-discovery and play. It will be a fun time for your child and our teachers, alike.

Guided Learning

One City’s teachers currently engage children in teacher-guided learning activities and projects, at all age levels, every day. However, as children get older, the projects they engage in become more complex and involve more in-depth learning in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science (STEM).

The Pleasant T. Rowland Leadership Campus

A fully renovated 157,000 square-foot school facility, outdoor playgrounds and recreational space and a new 165,000 square-foot athletic center that will be open to community use beyond school hours.
Pleasant T. Rowland Leadership Campus Front Door

A Large Exploration Space for Learning and Innovation

Inside the building we are developing innovative spaces, including everything from a beauty/barber salon, to a student-run DJ booth, coffee shop, school store, and Summit Credit Union branch, to teacher training suites where new teachers can learn from seasoned professionals through one-way glass.

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There is no other place like One City!

Our Elementary School Programs

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Expeditionary Learning Program

EL Education, formerly known as “Expeditionary Learning”, is an exciting whole-school educational program that enables us to involve all learners in a dynamic, creative, project-based and student-centered learning program that keeps children excited, engaged and appropriately challenged in the learning process.

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Zearn Math

Zearn Math connects math to the real world in ways that take the fear out of math and build scholars confidence, helping them achieve true understanding lesson by lesson and year after year. Zearn was developed by a group of mathematics experts and New York City math teachers who came together to improve mathematics education in the city’s public schools.

Our Extra Mile

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Longer School Days

Scholars enrolled in One City Elementary School (OCES), in grades 5K and above, attend school for 219 days during their school year compared to scholars in other traditional public schools in Wisconsin that attend school for 180 days.

Our scholars begin school the first weekday in September and complete the last Friday in July of the following year, every year.

Our children typically attend school from 8:00 am to 4:30pm daily. Start and end times are staggered during the COVID-19 pandemic for the safety of the One City community.

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Student Support Services

One City Schools offers a broad set of support to both scholars and families as part of its two-generational model.

For scholars, this includes a full range of Special Education services that are coordinated by our Special Education Department including speech and language pathology, occupational therapy services, and IEP administration and support.

One City’s Vice President of Family and Community Initiatives and team strive to pair scholars and families with opportunities that are beyond the scope of a typical school program. This includes organizing Families and Schools Together, an 8-week family engagement program that runs multiple cohorts throughout the school year. The team also organizes One City’s Extended Learning Academies, which expose scholars to a range of extra-curricular offerings during the school day.

All One City scholars have access to daily free meals (breakfast, lunch and afternoon/afterschool snack) through One City’s participation in USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision.

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Extended Day Learning Academies

One City enhances its curriculum for children by offering 4 to 8-week co-curricular learning experiences that many parents without financial means cannot afford for their children.

We offer martial arts to support the development of strong character and positive self-discipline. We offer visual and performing arts, sports and fitness programs, and opportunities for children to engage in free-play with materials that inspire complex problem solving and group learning.

Our children will also learn to swim, ice skate and play soccer. They will learn yoga and mindfulness, and take field trips that build on their personal interests and learning in school.

Welcome to One City Elementary School


Dear Families

Mr. Faren D’Abell picture
Mr. Faren D’Abell

Welcome to One City Schools! Whether your family is new to One City or you’re a veteran Baby Badger, welcome to our continuing adventure for you and your child at One City Elementary School.

This is an exciting time as we venture into our final, permanent K-12 home where our scholars will have the opportunity to have a nurturing education with a worldview from preschool through high school and many scholars earning college degrees prior to graduation.

We owe this occasion to the hard work and passion of hundreds of community members who believe that quality early childhood experiences build the foundation for future success  for our children. Our donors, including anchor donor Pleasant Rowland, made the purchase of our new home a reality. We also need to recognize Kaleem Caire, founder and visionary of One City Schools, who planted the seed that has sprouted into our new beginnings and yet has much to grow.

Our new home at 1707 W Broadway, on the borders of Madison and Monona, includes large outdoor space that will be developed into usable exploration space. Inside the building we are developing innovative spaces including everything from a beauty/barber salon, to digital recording studios and full size indoor playgrounds, to a student-run Summit Credit union branch, to teacher training suites where new teachers can learn from seasoned professionals through one-way glass.

One City was one of the only public schools in Dane County to open for full day, five days a week in-person instruction for the 2020-21 school year. We feature a longer day – 8 ½ hours each day for scholars which includes a large amount of time utilizing our outdoor space for explorations tied to our curricula.

We utilize the EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning) curriculum for Reading/Language Arts (including integrated social science and science) as well as Zearn Math. We also have built into our day a 1 hour block of time where scholars get instruction in what they need most - whether that's math enrichment, reading support, or social emotional growth, 5 hours per week are dedicated to this. Another 5 hours per week are dedicated to reading instruction at each individual scholar's level during our Whole School Skills Block.

If you’re interested in enrolling, please contact our Vice President of Family Engagement, Marilyn Ruffin at

We’re looking forward to partnering with families, the community, businesses and philanthropists to make this a stellar year. Welcome aboard!

Mr. Faren D’Abell

A school like no other in Wisconsin!

Open For Enrollment

Excitement about learning starts 'before' our children enter kindergarten.
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