Foley/WCLL partnership kicks off with school supply event, also includes incentives, career meetings, college tours Foley & Lardner LLP, a national law firm with strong roots here in Milwaukee, is adopting Milwaukee Public Schools’ K-12 Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning (WCLL) as the school settles into its new location just west of downtown. The Foley/WCLL partnership kicked off with a “supply store” where K-4 through 5th-grade students received school supplies and backpacks at no charge. Foley purchased the supplies and backpacks and its employees assisted students in selecting new supplies for the school year during the open house.
Foley and WCLL are also planning other activities throughout the year, including a visit to Old World Wisconsin for the fourth grade, participation by sophomores and Foley personnel in career planning programs, and an end of year Brewers game as part of an incentive program for middle- and high-school-age students.
The school outperforms district averages in both reading and math proficiency. Nearly 90% of WCLL students qualify for free- or reduced-priced lunch, compared to roughly 83% district-wide and roughly 43% statewide. The partnership marks the first time a professional services firm — as opposed to a manufacturing/goods-producing firm — has connected on this scale with an MPS school with the sole intent of providing support and resources to help the students succeed. Through the partnership, Foley will provide WCLL students with incentives for academic achievement and positive behavior, tours of local colleges, access and guided tours to historical and other sites, meetings focused on career possibilities and other types of support. “It’s equivalent to winning the educational lottery — but they’re not viewed as just a money source. Foley is engaged at every step with WCLL in our efforts to continue to help our students succeed,” Wisconsin Conservatory Principal Rae Ellen Sena said. “It’s a true partnership. They want to be involved in what’s happening with our students academically, socially and in their overall educational experiences.”Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Thornton, who has called for more corporate and community involvement in schools since arriving in 2010, praised the partnership. “We have so many business and civic leaders who are stepping up and saying, ‘These children are our children.’ We’re grateful that Foley & Lardner is making that commitment and hope others will follow their lead,” Dr. Thornton said.