La Escuela Fratney is a bilingual (english and spanish) K-4 school on Fratney St in Milwaukee,WI. The school was founded by the negotiations of both local politics and a grass roots community groups (like the NNF, Neighbors for New Fratney). Central to the theme of the school lies a deep commitment to fostering unity among a diverse intercultural neighborhood school by valuing the individual value of the students and parents while instituting collaborative governance that deeply involves the local families.
A number of specific items impressed me:
- Two part-time, later one full time staff, were hired for the express purpose of recruiting parents to get involved.
- Use the whole language learning method results in exceptionally high interest in reading and writing including the formation of a section of the library dedicated to student authored books.
- Agility and time given to school strategy and initiatives such as the no-TV week challenge (and resulting critical media literacy projects to understand the hidden messages in media) and the clever idea to start school 10 minutes early every day so once a week student can go home early and give teachers a half-day to strategize together.
- The dedication of the staff to mentor students into mature responsible individuals by taking the time to process things like discipline issues in class and through discussion.
I suggest to get the book even if just for this one chapter.