Contact: Sean Roberts, Executive Director
Day phone: 414-763-1261 Evening phone: 414-852-9876
Milwaukee, WI (November 5, 2014) – Today the Milwaukee Charter School Advocates (the Advocates) announced that member school Hmong-American Peace Academy (HAPA) is celebrating its 10th anniversary on November 7th.
The school will host the anniversary celebration, open to the public, in conjunction with celebrating Veterans Day, at its school, 4601 N. 84th Street, Milwaukee, on Friday, November 7th from 10 o’clock a.m. to 12 o’clock p.m.. More information is available on the events page of the school website: www.myhapa.org
The Hmong-American Peace Academy won the Advocates 2014 Independent Charter School of the Year Award for Elementary Schools. It is a non-instrumentality charter school authorized by Milwaukee Public Schools that was founded in 2004. The once kindergarten through 8th grade school has expanded over a decade and now includes a high school campus – the International Peace Academy. When combined, HAPA and IPA, with grades K – 12, now educate more than 1,000 students.
Over a decade of consistent growth, the school primarily educates first- or second-generation immigrant families. In fact, according to principal Chris Her-Xiong, approximately 40% of students are immigrants and 60% are the children of immigrants. The school was specifically designed to help these children succeed academically in America while maintaining Hmong history, culture and language.
The school has shown growth in student achievement over time. For example, in the last two years in which the Department of Public Instruction issued its statewide report card, HAPA received a “satisfactory” rating.
"HAPA is the perfect example of a charter school using its flexibility in exchange for accountability to meet the needs of families,” said Sean Roberts, Executive Director of the Advocates.
Roberts continued, “They serve as a national model of culturally-responsive education. In one example of charter school flexibility, last year students read an assigned Hmong-American memoir, The Latehomecomer, by Kao Kalia Yang. After reading the memoir, students wrote their own memoirs and raised funds to have the author visit their school.”
State Assembly representative Dale Kooyenga is very impressed with the school. Kooyenga said, “The leadership and teachers at HAPA know their community and know how to provide a top-notch education to their students. They are a valuable asset to our city, state, and country.”
Independent charter schools are public schools authorized by UW-Milwaukee and the City of Milwaukee as “2R” schools, and authorized by Milwaukee Public Schools as “Non-instrumentality charter schools.” Most of the independent charter schools in Milwaukee are members of the Advocates.
The mission of the Milwaukee Charter School Advocates is to provide strategies and resources to expand and replicate high-performing independent charter schools in Milwaukee, and to overcome or curtail the obstacles that inhibit their growth. For more information, visit www.milwaukeecharteradvocates.org