Creating the Vision
Community High School was founded by a small group of dedicated Milwaukee Public School teachers in search of another way to meet the needs of the student population. The group set out to explore various successful school models and pedagogical philosophies. After extensive research and site visits, the group developed a plan to incorporate best practices for teachers with innovative leadership techniques. In short, the teachers thought they should drive the bus - much like a small business - from curriculum, to budget, to discpline.
Through this research the staff also developed our educational philosophy, which is embodied in our mission statement:
Community High School is a small school with a social justice focus. Students become responsible citizens via a rigorous student-centered curriculum and genuine service-learning experiences.
The desire to have social justice at the heart of our mission became evident early on. The staff united around the idea of connecting curriculum with action, believing that students are more likely to be involved in learning if that learning is directly connected to the transformation of self and their community. The goal is to empower students with the skills to succeed not as mere academics, but as informed, responsible citizens, as well.
CHS believes that a rigorous, challenging curriculum - one that combines traditional, “back to basics” teaching methods with researched-based, innovative techniques - best prepares students for success.. This involves individualized instruction, building on the strength of each student, and setting clear, attainable goals. With this approach, CHS has been able to maintain a graduation rate of over 90%.
Participation in service-learning is required of all students. The fact that we value learning in and with the community is evident in the name of our school. Founded on the belief that a successful school is one that is directly connected to the community, CHS has built extensive partnerships throughout the city and offers students opportunities to attain valuable networking and employment skills and while serving the community in meaningful ways.
Developing the Vision
After creating our vision, the next step was to recruit dedicated qualified teachers and support staff to carry the vision forward. As a small, teacher-led school it is important that all staff share the core philosophy of the school. In a teacher-led environment, the teacher is empowered with the knowledge that the most important place in the school is the classroom. Teachers, along with parents, work as a team in all areas- from developing policies on discipline to deciding how the budget will be allocated to best serve the needs of the students. Along with this responsibility comes greater accountability, therefore, having the right team is vital. We are proud to say that at CHS, our staff welcomes challenge.
Community High School opened its doors in September 2004 in the MPS Professional Building, beginning with about ninety 9th grade students. CHS added 10th and 11th graders in the 2005-2006 school year and a 12th grade in the 2007-2008 school year when we relocated to the Sarah Scott campus. In 2009, along with our move to the Juneau campus, our enrollment increased to 230 students, grades 9th-12th. With our new location at 6700 N. 80th St. Milwaukee, WI 53223, our current enrollment is approximately 250 students.
CHS welcomes diversity in every sense of the world.
We are excited to finally have a building that we can settle in to, offering the opportunity to fulfill our dream of offering the full high school experience while maintaining our family feel. CHS students participate in many extra-curricular experiences such as sports, clubs, etc. We also look forward to developing our alliance and friendship with our new neighbors in the building, Milwaukee School of Entrepreneurship (MSE). The staff at CHS and MSE have worked together to make the transition to create a positive learning environment and we look forward to a strong partnership.. We also look forward to getting to know our neighbors in the Burroughs area. CHS hopes to be a hub of activity that invites and promotes lifelong learning and community building. We are excited about the road that lies ahead.