Dear Parents, Supporters and Community Members:
Twenty-five years ago, while I was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I made a commitment to spend the rest of my professional life working to expand important opportunities for disadvantaged youth in America. As part of this commitment, I have dedicated my career to seed, grow and support efforts that focus on reinventing, reinvigorating and recasting public education in ways that meet the current and future needs, aspirations and interests of our children, communities and country.
Founding One City Schools in my old neighborhood has provided me the opportunity to give back to the community that helped raise me, while also establishing a school that has been carefully designed to tackle and overcome one of the largest and most persistent school achievement and opportunity gaps in the nation.
In 2018, nearly 90% of African American and 80% of Latino students enrolled in the Madison Metropolitan School District were reading below grade level in elementary school. Most were significantly below grade level in reading and math. Conversely, in the fall of 2018 and 2019, 95%of One City's preschoolers entered kindergarten educationally ready to succeed. Similarly, in the fall of 2019, only 14% of our African American first graders were below basic in reading, meaning, most were on pace to develop the foundational skill necessary to become strong readers as they begin their educational journeys in middle school.
This does not mean we believe we are better than our traditional public school or preschool partners in Dane County. However, it does mean that we have the ability to set a new foundation for learning success with student populations who historically underachieved in our local schools, while also providing a model of education that will successfully prepare our young scholars to be effective and transformational leaders, innovators and problem solvers in their families, workplace and communities in the future. The progress of our students thus far has reinforced our beliefs that with engaged parents, great educational options and a community of support beginning in early childhood, our children can reach their full potential.
If you are a parent that is looking to enroll your child in a great preschool or elementary school, and wants your family to be a part of an engaging, diverse and welcoming school community, we hope you consider our schools for their education. If you are a community member, business, community-based organization or philanthropists looking to have a positive impact on the future of children and schools in our city, we hope you consider investing your time, talents and resources in our vision, our young scholars and their families.
Please enjoy reviewing the unique aspects of our school on this website. Our team looks forward to answering any questions you have. We are here to learn and serve.