Southeastern Education Center (SEC) is located in Milwaukee’s central city on the north side, serving up to 85 sixth through eighth grade students each semester referred from Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). Students come from a variety of socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, and culturally diverse backgrounds and are ages 12 to 16 years old. Ethnically the student population is primarily African American (99%) with much smaller percentages of Asian, Hispanic, and white students. The program serves predominantly male students (68%). Over the course of a school year as many as 20% of assigned students have documented special education needs.
Students arrive with low school motivation and historically poor attendance exacerbated by a history of school behavior problems and lack of impulse control. These students have usually been involved in repeated incidents of school disturbance, school violence, possession or use of a weapon or other serious breaches of school discipline. Generally students return to a regular public school at the end of the semester in which they enrolled at SEC.
Most students have a limited vocabulary and lack understanding of written context, along with a limited understanding of even basic math concepts. Students are provided with individualized instruction and assistance to help them improve their math, reading and writing scores prior to moving on to another MPS school. Students are assigned to SEC at any time between the first and last day of the school year. The average length of student assignment varies between forty five (45) and ninety (90) days depending upon the student’s first day of enrollment.
Students’ time at SEC is an opportunity to address behavioral issues. Thanks to small classroom sizes with a 1:10 teacher-student ratio, many students find academic success as well. Students are provided with a variety of opportunities to improve on their core subject areas. SEC also offers art, gym and computer classes. Through one-on-one assistance, small group work, technology-based learning, physical and artistic activities the students achieve a mean gain of over half a year in academic development in less than a semester.