WDBSCW to partner with Madison Schools with $400K Joyce Foundation grant

High School Pathways Helps Students Create Roadmap to Success

MADISON / April 15, 2016–The Madison School District, together with Madison College, the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and the City of Madison, announced today that the partnership has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation for the creation of personalized pathways to graduation in high schools.

“Personalized pathways in our high schools can provide all of our students with opportunities to explore who they are and what they are passionate about through their learning,” Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said. “Through this grant and the work of our school communities and partners, we will be able to develop pathways that put students in the driver’s seat and help them graduate with multiple options for their future. We believe that this work has tremendous potential to close opportunity gaps for our students.”

The school district is working with partners to develop a model for personalized pathways in Madison, to give students the chance to explore potential college and career options through their high school experience. Pathways will be student driven, developed together with individual school communities and will give students more opportunities to attain college credit while in high school as well as opportunities to learn about career options through things like job shadowing and internships.

“We’re excited to work with the Madison School District and other partners to develop pathways for young people. Students will participate in applied learning experiences related to specific industries. It will be possible for students to earn college and high school academic credit as well as obtain specific industry credentials through a pathway, preparing the student for higher education and the workforce,” President Jack E. Daniels, III said.

Together with partners, the district is continuing the planning process with the goal of launching the first pathway in the 2017-18 school year. The Joyce Foundation grant will support the planning process going forward.

“This grant, and the access to top national talent and resources it provides, will bolster this important community endeavor to ensure all of our students graduate with the opportunity to choose the right post-secondary option to make a career and make a difference here in Greater Madison,” said Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce President Zach Brandon.

Through the partnership, businesses and the community will become more engaged in the lives of youth by helping students explore and learn about possible college and career options while gaining experience.

“The City of Madison is honored to partner with the Madison School District on this very important initiative,” Mayor Paul Soglin said. “Personalized pathways provide our students options and allows for creativity as they explore their interest in a supportive environment while preparing our students for the workforce. We want to thank the Joyce Foundation for the opportunity to advance the educational experience for our youth.”

“When students are actively engaged in personalized college and career pathways, they are customizing their education and skill development to be more marketable for their future education, industry needs and the economy,” says Pat Schramm, CEO for the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin. “We really see this project as a practical way for education and workforce partners to better prepare students for career opportunities that improve our regional economy.”

###