In 2011, the Milwaukee Teacher Education Center (MTEC) Board of Directors commissioned a team of accomplished former principals and staff members to design an innovative charter school proposal. The resulting school, Milwaukee Environmental Sciences Academy (MESA), adopted the Expeditionary Learning (EL) Education model which supports teachers in designing learning projects that combine academic rigor and character development. Milwaukee Environmental Sciences Academy is a school that upholds consistency of EL (expeditionary learning) practices and professional collaboration amongst staff to ensure the achievement and engagement of every scholar.
MESA opened its doors in 2013 as a year-round school serving grades K4 - 5th grade. MESA is currently K4 - 8th grade and serves 400+ students. MESA is authorized by Milwaukee Public Schools as a “non-instrumentality” charter school.
Milwaukee Environmental Sciences Academy also serves as a training and professional development facility to fulfill MTEC’s mission of transforming learning through effective teaching. MTEC is working with MESA teachers and its community partners to develop a teacher residency program, or Teacher Training Lab, at the school to provide a unique pathway for teacher professional development, preparation, and certification that advances MTEC toward its goal of providing highly qualified teachers in the Milwaukee area.
Reading and writing literacy is met through the use of the Journeys reading series with an integrated approach to writing. A variety of reading and writing genres are read and practiced with a whole and small group approach to instruction. Writing is further supported using the Writer’s Workshop approach. Milwaukee Environmental Sciences Academy also provides a reading interventionist to support the language arts curriculum.
Mathematics literacy provides a solid foundation with the use of manipulatives, problem solving, and multiple strategies integrated into the daily instruction of mathematics. Technology devices along with a plethora of software programs are also used to enhance the understanding of basic and complex math concepts.
Science literacy is enhanced through hands on projects, expeditions and field experiences, with an emphasis on our environment and community. Students are further challenged by “experts” and documented through their required expeditions.
Our social studies curriculum delves into culture, history, geography, and current events and follows required Common Core Standards. Students also are provided with opportunities to better their understanding of cultural differences through programming, field experiences and research.
Our humanities programming includes a well-rounded arts program, which emphasizes music appreciation and performances, and the use of technology. Dance is explored through a partnership with Danceworks. Milwaukee Environmental Sciences Academy is also fortunate to work with Arts at Large which provides artists in residence, along with working with teachers to integrate various forms of art into the everyday curriculum.
Physical activity is an integral part of the growth cycle as well as overall health and well-being; therefore, students are encouraged to participate in physical play daily, as well as weekly instruction that incorporates health and fitness concepts and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Students also have the opportunity to attend college and professional team competitions.
Students of all ages are provided with daily library opportunities and technology through the use of laptop carts, hand held devices (such as Moby Max & Chromebooks) and software that compliments the curriculum. Students integrate topics that require research and exploration of various sources to challenge students with higher level thinking skills.
Standards-based Report Cards
All schools are now participating in the use of the Standards-based Report Card. This report card is different than report cards you might be used to. Students in grades K–8 do not receive a letter grade for each subject. The Standards-based Report Card:
• Clarifies and reinforces consistent high expectations for students and schools.
• Helps teachers, students and families focus on standards throughout the year.
• Provides specific feedback on progress to the standards so students, families and teachers can work together to set meaningful goals for improvement.
Click below to view the Standards-based Report Cards Guide:
Department of Public Instruction (DPI) - Report Card
Our DPI Report Card provides data on multiple indicators for four Priority Areas:
• Student Achievement – performance on the WKCE and WAA-SwD in reading and mathematics
• Student Growth – improvement over time on the WKCE in reading and mathematics
• Closing Gaps – progress of student subgroups in closing gaps in reading and mathematics performance and/or graduation rates
• On-track and Postsecondary Readiness – performance on key indicators of readiness for graduation and postsecondary pursuits, whether college or career
Click below to view our latest DPI Report Card: