Project Lead the Way/Gateway to Technology is an innovative and rigorous pre-engineering program that all middle school students take during the 6th, 7th and 8th grades at Vieau School. Project Lead the Way incorporates project-based learning while incorporating national standards in Engineering, Mathematics, Science and Technology. This program is made possible for Vieau students through the generosity of Rockwell Automation, a valued business partner.
Global to Local Environmental Commitment Program
This program provides 5th grade and 7th grade students with lessons on Environmental Engineering and teaches them to recognize the importance of becoming environmental stewards. By identifying, analyzing and developing their skills, students become better citizens and learn to respect and care for their environment. This program is a partnership with Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and Rockwell Automation.
First Lego League
The First Lego League introduces children around the world to the fun and experience of solving real-world problems by applying Math, Science and Technology. Rockwell Automation makes it possible for students in 4th and 5th grade to form a team that is led by an MATC engineering student and eventually enter their creations into a competition held annually in the fall. This program serves to better prepare Vieau students for the material they will be introduced to in Project Lead the Way classes, which are offered to students in 6th-8th grade.
Learning for Life
Vieau School is an MPS model school for Learning for Life, a research-based character education program. This school-wide program teaches and empowers students to become responsible individuals by modeling positive character traits, career development, social skills, leadership and life skills. The program is funded through the United Way and is implemented by classroom teachers and a mentoring partnership with GE Healthcare. Volunteers from GE Healthcare visit classrooms once a month to teach the Learning for Life character trait of the month and to make important connections with Vieau students regarding the importance of integrity and personal development in the workplace.
Through a partnership with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, selected third and fourth grade students participate in MYSO Progressions, an introductory string training program that is directed toward minority elementary students. Second grade students are eligible for nomination to the program and then are selected by a MYSO committee. During third and fourth grade, these selected students receive private lessons on a string instrument of their choice three times per week. Lessons take place after school at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. After successful completion of the program, these students are then invited to audition for a seat in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. Instruments are provided for the students free of charge through the generosity of VH-1 Save the Music.
Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom (MHB) is a ground-breaking arts education program modeled after New York City Schools’ dance program, which was featured in the hit documentary film, “Mad Hot Ballroom.” In the fall of 2006, Vieau School was one of three MPS schools to participate in this pilot program. During this time, 4th and 6th grade students received 10 weeks of instruction in tap and ballroom dancing from teachers at Danceworks. The pilot program was so successful that it expanded in the spring and continues to this day. Vieau students continue to compete at the Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap Competition in the spring and fall, exhibiting their skills performing the Cha-Cha, Fox Trot and Swing dances. Sixth graders who participated in competition in spring of 2007 were featured in the November/December 2007 issue of American Girl magazine.
Instructional Practices Inventory (IPI)
In a detailed Action Plan to improve Milwaukee Public Schools, Instructional Practices Inventory, a data collection profile system established to accurately measure the nature of instructional practices across each school, is implemented. Such information provides a valid picture of instruction across a school. IPI data collection is a way of measuring levels of student engagement and classroom instruction in a non-evaluative manner.
The First Stage Children’s Theater is a nationally acclaimed company drawing annual audiences of more than 145,000 people. In addition to providing opportunities for Vieau students to experience theater first-hand, First Stage has now entered into a partnership that provides scholarships for Theater Academy classes to select 2nd and 3rd grade students. Through a program offered once a week by the Community Learning Center, students are taught “Life Skills Through Stage Skills.” These classes develop imagination, concentration, voice, movement and improvisation skills. First Stage Theater Academy helps Vieau students take the next step towards becoming actors, but more importantly, as confident individuals.
The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music provides musical education and performance opportunities for students who desire a means of cultural enrichment and self-fulfillment. The Conservatory offers private lessons, class instruction, performances, a nationally recognized music library and programs that serve the entire Milwaukee community. The Conservatory demonstrates its commitment to the community by providing scholarships and financial aid to the musically talented, to the economically disadvantaged and to children and adults with disabilities. In this new partnership, Vieau School students are exposed to a variety of music styles through in-school concerts performed by professional musicians.
The Peace Program encourages children to consider the consequences of their actions and teaches them alternatives to acting, or reacting, with anger. Through weekly classroom lessons, Peace Program therapists and counselors provide Vieau School middle school students with the necessary tools to help them gain self-confidence, effectively manage difficult situations in their lives and build constructive, healthy relationships. The Peace Program is made possible through the generosity of Rockwell Automation.
Junior Achievement of Wisconsin inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy. The mission of this program is to ensure that every child in the state has an opportunity to obtain an understanding of the free enterprise system. Lessons are organized according to the MPS Social Studies curriculum.
Students from Marquette University provide one-on-one tutoring to Vieau students. Through this program, Vieau students gain self-confidence and develop strong bonds with their tutors, leading to success in the classroom.
Vieau School’s partnership with Swallow School, located in Hartland, Wisconsin, has grown over the years. Students are able to visit each other’s schools or travel together during a variety of designated activity days. Activities include: Swallow School’s Veteran’s Day Program, Swallow School’s annual 8th grade play, Swallow School’s and Vieau School’s field trip to the Milwaukee Zoo, Vieau School’s Folkloric Dance Team Program and Vieau School’s special day for pen pals.
Japanese-Wisconsin Education Connection
For four weeks in November, a teacher from Japan works with staff and students to introduce them to the Japanese culture. Students learn about a typical day in the life of a Japanese student, special holidays, the language, food, traditional clothing, sports, kendo, origami and much more. In an effort to encourage a continued connection to the Japanese culture, Vieau School has a Japanese Club for students to join.
Five students from Vieau volunteered to help increase awareness of how to safely and properly dispose of unused or expired medications during a special “Medicine Collection Day” at Miller Park last summer. The kids also crafted several posters to help spread the word about the program and why it’s important. Their volunteer work is part of an after-school program called Civic Leaders and is supervised by two Alverno students.
Milwaukee Ballet (selected students)
Whether students are learning about costumes, worldwide holidays, foreign countries or the science of the body, the Milwaukee Ballet can help. The Milwaukee Ballet’s education programs address Wisconsin Model Academic Standards and MPS Learning Targets. Vieau 3rd-5th grade students are eligible for ballet scholarships and receive lessons at the Milwaukee Ballet.
The Skylight Opera is committed to serving students throughout the MPS system, providing programming that includes touring shows, workshops and residences to over 25 MPS schools. The Skylight works with MPS teachers to provide multiple programs for different age groups throughout the school year. Vieau is one of Skylight’s Partnership Schools. A special month-long residency, Stories That Sing, features Skylight artists who work with students in the 4th-7th grades to turn art, music and drama into an original performance.
Through SHARP Literacy, Inc. and the Milwaukee Art Museum, Vieau students in Grades 2-5 are able to develop a strong appreciation of the arts. The Literacy Through the Power of Art! Program strives to supplement the work of the classroom teacher in teaching reading, research, writing and presentation skills. The mission of SHARP Literacy is to engage students in an imaginative learning experience through the use of art history and the visual arts, thereby enhancing existing science, social studies, oral and written language skills.
This past year the Vieau student dancers performed a routine at Mexican Fiesta, a festival held yearly at Milwaukee’s lakefront. MPS sponsored a booth and Vieau staff members were able to provide information about the school and the district.
The Homework First program, which targets students from low-income families in Grades 2-5, is funded by generous grants from the Helen Bader Foundation. It encourages academic achievement at MPS schools through the combined efforts of parents, teachers, community members and students. Through small incentives and peer encouragement, the program reinforces the importance of completing homework assignments on time.
UMOS, a non-profit advocacy organization, provides programs and services which improve the employment, educational, health and housing opportunities of under-served populations.
Upward Bound, a program funded through the Department of Education, provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for higher education. Through this program, additional instruction is provided in Mathematics, Laboratory Sciences, Composition, Literature and Foreign Languages. Tutoring, counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment and work-study programs are also supported. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education. Vieau School partners with Milwaukee School of Engineering and Marquette University in order to implement the Upward Bound program. Students apply in 8th grade and are selected according to specific entrance criteria.
Community Service Projects
Vieau students give back to the Milwaukee community by participating in a variety of community service projects. These volunteer opportunities teach students responsibility and the importance of contributing their time and talents to better society.
Gear Up Program
UWM’s GEAR UP program provides Vieau students with academic support and guidance that better prepares them for high school and college. The GEAR UP program strives to expose students and their families to college campuses and to increase their knowledge of post-secondary options, available financial aid and scholarships, high school courses needed to enter college and other entrance requirements.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Area Technical College and MPS comprise this partnership. As a member of the Milwaukee Partnership Academy, a community-wide collaborative effort among schools, university, union, government, business and community organizations, the Milwaukee Mathematics Partnership seeks to substantially improve mathematics achievement for 100,000 K-12 MPS students. At Vieau School, the Math Teacher Leaders work with teachers and students to improve math skills in Math Processes, Numbers and Operations, Algebra, Statistics and Probability, Measurement and Geometry.
UWM Talent Search
The UWM Talent Search Program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to the post-secondary school of their choice. Through participation in the UWM Talent Search, students can take part in tutoring, workshops and numerous pre-college experiences that will help them prepare for future academic and professional success.
Pre-college Summer Camps
Each year, approximately half of the Vieau School middle school population participates in at least one summer pre-college camp. Throughout the years, strong partnerships have been formed with various colleges around the state, including UW-Milwaukee, Marquette University, UW-Green Bay and UW-LaCrosse. Each year, participating students learn important skills needed for academic success in middle school and begin mapping their paths to college.
UWM students give their time and talents to tutor Vieau students in academics. The Vieau students love spending time with their tutors and the individual instruction helps students make progress in the classroom.
The String Academy of Wisconsin is one of our country’s model schools offering students ages 4-18 a comprehensive musical education with a focus on the violin, viola and cello. Through our partnership with SAW, selected second, third and fourth grade students at Vieau receive individual and group lessons on the violen by String Academy teachers once during the school week and once on the weekend at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus. All students who are selected receive full tuition scholarships through the generosity of SAW benefactors and the use of instruments through VH-1 Save the Music.