UWDC and MMSD Meeting
Darrell Bazzell, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration for the University of Wisconsin Madison presents work on improving high school graduation rates to the team.

October 29th the Board of Directors at United Way of Dane County and the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) conducted a joint board meeting. In alignment with the on-going partnership, their Boards discussed the racial achievement gap, how they can deepen their community partnerships, the School District’s new Strategic Framework, and recommitted to a set of comprehensive strategies focused on closing the racial achievement gap.

“With the shift in new leadership at MMSD and a new strategic framework this gave us the perfect opportunity to check in on results, discuss emerging themes and research and the rest of our joint strategies and goals,” says Leslie Ann Howard, President & CEO of United Way of Dane County. “This meeting was a great chance to see partnership and community collaboration coming together with the goal to reduce and close the racial achievement gap so that EVERY student in our community has the ability to succeed academically and graduate from high school.”

MMSD and United Way agreed to continue their collaboration on several strategies. These include: keeping students engaged through academic support, early identification and treatment of behavioral health issues, providing parent support with parent engagement sessions, early education for children age 0-5 years, and mobilizing skilled tutors to work one-on-one in concert with the classroom teacher through United Way’s Schools of Hope program.

“United Way couldn’t be prouder to continue to work with Madison Metropolitan School District on this effort. Ensuring all students succeed academically and graduate from high school, regardless of race is one of our core goals in our community’s Agenda for Change,” says Michael E. Victorson, President & CEO, M3 Insurance. “MMSD has been such an incredible partner. It was inspiring to come together around accountability, prioritizing resources and building trust.”

Over the past sixteen years, United Way has invested over $10 million in specific research-backed strategies to close the achievement gap and has deployed over 14,000 skilled volunteer tutors who have supported 57,000 community students as part of the SOH program. As one of their key strategies, SOH uses an effective, one-on-one or one-on-two tutoring model that provides trained tutors to work in concert with the teacher’s curriculum helping students get the additional academic attention they may need. Centro Hispano, at the elementary level, and Urban League of Greater Madison, at the secondary level, remain key nonprofit partners in implementing this program.

The personal attention given to students by the Schools of Hope tutors allows for improved academic success, supporting our community’s Agenda for Change goal of helping all students succeed academically and graduate from high school, regardless of race/ethnicity, specifically in the crucial areas of 4th grade reading and 10th grade algebra.

To learn more about United Way’s work in  Education visit our website at https://www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/education/

Or watch Robert and Akeya’s story and learn how Schools of Hope is helping them achieve their academic dreams