One City to Establish Elementary School in South Madison

Kaleem Caire, via a kind email:

Madison, WI – One City Schools Founder and CEO Kaleem Caire — with support from One City parents, Board of Directors, and partners — is pleased to announce that One City’s plan to establish One City Expeditionary Elementary School in South Madison has been approved.

Last Friday, One City received notice from the University of Wisconsin System that its proposal to add grades one through six to its existing public charter school was authorized. One City will add first grade next school year and will begin enrolling children in grades 4K, 5K and first grade for the 2019-20 school year during its upcoming enrollment period: March 4 – 22, 2019.

With this expansion, next year, One City will enroll up to 116 students at its elementary school and 28 children in its 5-star, accredited preschool that currently serves children ages 1 to 3. At full capacity, the elementary school will enroll a maximum of 316 students.

Reviewers called the proposal “superior” and said the proposal “is very well developed and can contribute to school reform efforts to improve the quality of education for all students, especially those that are traditionally underserved.”

Kaleem Caire hailed the decision. “We took this proposal very seriously because we know the incredible stakes for our children and their families, and we are dedicated to establishing a new model of public education that holistically prepares children for a globalized economy and complex future. While our plans to grow vertically included consultation with a wide range of community partners, including the leadership of the Madison Metropolitan School District, our plans for our elementary school primarily grew out of a strong desire among our parents to continue their children’s enrollment in One City. They are 100 percent behind us, and we are honored to extend our commitment to their kids’ future.”

In January 2019, One City was accepted into the Expeditionary Learning Network of Schools by EL Education, pioneers of personalized and project-based learning. For over 25 years, EL has been bringing to life a three-dimensional vision of student achievement that includes mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality student work. EL promotes active classrooms that are alive with discovery, problem-solving, challenge, and collaboration.

One City is proud that is has kept its commitment to families and to the City of Madison. “We said we would open a school in South Madison, we said we would renovate a building, we said we would start kindergarten, and we have done it all in four years. Now, we are honored to meet this next commitment by allowing students to stay enrolled continuously,” said Caire.

One City has also partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s new Center for Research on Early Childhood Education (CRECE), UW Research Collaborative and the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) to launch a longitudinal evaluation of One City’s student outcomes. This research will inform the field of early childhood and K-12 education and provide valuable insight into the impact that preschool has on children’s outcomes as they persist through elementary and secondary school. A copy of the Evaluation Plan can be accessed by clicking here.

One City is supported by a Board of prominent leaders including:

Marcus Allen, PhD, Senior Pastor, Mount Zion Baptist Church
Robert Beckman, CPA, CEO, Wicab, Inc.
Bethe Bonk, One City Parent and Mental Health Therapist, Pathway to Wellness Community Clinic
Gordon Derzon, Retired President & CEO, UW Hospitals & Clinics
Carola Gaines, Badger Care Outreach Coordinator, UW Health/Unity and Past President, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
Joseph Krupp, Owner, Prime Urban Properties and Food Fight Restaurant Group; Founder and former owner, Krupp General Contractors
Gloria Ladson-Billings, PhD,Retired Professor of Education and Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education, UW-Madison
Lynn McDonald, PhD, Retired Professor of Social Work at UW-Madison and Middlesex University in London, and founder of the internationally acclaimed FAST (Families and Schools Together) Program
Jodie Pope Williams, One City Parent and Academic Advisor, Madison College
Noble Wray, Retired Chief, City of Madison Police Department

Note: Questions have been raised about One City’s fiscal impact on the Madison Metropolitan School District. Click here to review a memo that One City has prepared that explains its fiscal impact on MMSD, and the impact of other programs that MMSD supports financially.

Logan Wroge:

According to the One City expansion application:

One City will phase the new grades in over four years, adding first grade in 2019-20, second and third grade in 2020-21, fourth and fifth grade in 2021-2022, and sixth grade in 2022-23.

By the end of the expansion, One City plans to enroll 316 students across 4-year-old kindergarten through sixth grade. This school year, there are 63 children in the 4K and kindergarten programs covered under the current independent charter agreement, the majority low-income and students of color.

“As One City Elementary school is built out, we are committed to recruiting, reaching and serving a diverse population of families that reflect the demographics of immediate neighborhoods that we serve,” the application said.

Class sizes for 4K through first grade would average around 10 students, while grades two through six would average about 15 students

Related: Madison spends far more than most taxpayer supported K-12 school districts, despite tolerating long term, disastrous reading results.

“The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”.

A majority of the Madison School Board rejected the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter School (2011).

Much more on Kaleem Caire, here.