At Community High School, an instrumentality chartered school of the Milwaukee Public Schools, the teacher “cooperative” members have elected to offer a conventional learning program with a social justice emphasis to engage its students as they become strong, active citizens. A strong service-learning component sets CHS apart from other conventional programs. Each student chooses an internship in a field that they are interested in learning about, and commit to this on-the-job learning one day per week. Students have worked in law firms, in government offices, news stations, schools and colleges, private businesses and more across Milwaukee.
About Roxane Mayeur
Roxane Mayeur graduated with honors from Alverno College with a double major in Art Education and Art Therapy in 1995 and has been teaching in the Milwaukee Public Schools ever since. She is a founding member of Community High School “Cooperative” and the school it serves. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Roxane serves two other roles: co-Lead Teacher and Special Education Administrator. As an educator, she emphasizes the need to integrate art and creative problem-solving throughout the curriculum. CHS Cooperative does this via investigation, imagination and hands-on design activities. Roxane is also an active professional visual artist and performance artist in the community.
Roxane is co-lead teacher, with Jason O’Brien, at CHS. As lead teacher, she is able to remain in the classroom to teach and also take care of necessary administrative duties. Roxane carries out the decisions-made by all the teacher-members of the CHS “coop”. They determine the learning program, make financial decisions, and set the culture of the school including a high level of collaboration among teachers and students.
When teachers make all the decisions, they create a very different kind of school
CHS students are working with Students Speak Out, Milwaukee to talk about school/ing in Milwaukee Public Schools. They produce informal videos and have online forum discussions addressing: What environments, people, or experiences have helped them succeed? Which ones have stood in your way? What motivates you (and does not motivate you) to attend school and learn? We’ve selected the following three videos in which students describe CHS in this context. For more, visit Students Speak Out, Milwaukee, a project co-run by Education|Evolving.