MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – A new initiative to close the learning gap in Madison is rapidly expanding.
One City Schools is an independent, tuition-free charter school located in a former WPS building on Broadway in Madison.
The school is the subject of an expansion and renovation project which will add a college and a high school to the 2nd and 3rd floors of the current school building.
Founder Kaleem Cairo says preschools and elementary schools have laid the groundwork in recent years.
âIt’s good that we have generated momentum towards what we believe is what public education should do for children,â Cairo said. âIt means a lot that this community believes in what we do. “
He wanted to create a learning environment that didn’t exist when he was a student at Madison.
âThe majority of the young men and women I grew up with did not pursue higher education,â Cairo said. “No child should leave high school without being ready to succeed as an adult.”
In recent years, Kacia Stevenson has enrolled her children in One City Schools. Her daughter Karis is now in grade 3 and her son Jayce is in grade 1.
âWe really like him here,â Stevenson said. “They both like going to school, which I don’t think everyone can say.”
Stevenson says the education and the opportunities it can provide are important.
âBeing able to learn with other kids who look like them and teachers who look like them too,â Stevenson said. “They are really focused on examining the achievement gap and making sure black and brown students are learning and being well taken care of.”
Cairo says he believes this renovation project is a sign of progress.
âWe can accomplish great things for young people,â Cairo said. âWe just need to go beyond the borders and barriers that we have created for ourselves. “
The goal is to open in the fall of 2022 and gradually offer school levels.
On October 1, One City Schools will launch its fundraiser collect the remaining funds to cover the renovation project.
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