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UW-Milwaukee - Center for Economic Development

Technical Assistance Report Abstract

Riverwest Community Schools Program: Assessment of First Year Operations, September, 1996, by Sandra J. Callahan


This report is an assessment of the Riverwest Community School program (RWCS) required under a grant awarded to the East Side Housing and Action Coalition, Inc. (ESHAC) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in October, 1995, to implement a community school program in the Riverwest community.

At the outset two points must be made in reference to this program assessment. First, the original funding grant for the RWCS program was reduced from five years down to one year of funding in June, 1996, due to federal budget reductions. Second, since funding for the program was reduced, DHHS agreed to reduce the original scope of the program. Specifically, the following program reductions were approved by DHHS:

  1. Additional staffing requirements at ESHAC to operate the RWCS program were eliminated.
  2. Specific numbers of students targeted for participation in RWCS project participation wre eliminated.
  3. An extensive program evaluation to be conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Economic Development (CED) was eliminated.

In recognition of program requirements eliminated by DHHS, ESHAC shifted $20,000 of funds originally allocated to staff additions under the first year budget to staff directly to RWCS school projects, and CED shifted $10,000 of program evaluation costs directly to RWCS project costs. Even though program modifications were made so more funds could drectly be allocated to school projects, the loss of long term funding for this program created additional program constraints which will be discussed in the major issues section of this report.

Due to the reduced program requirements under the DHHS grant, this program assessment will:

  1. Briefly describe the RWCS program;
  2. Summarize RWCS program goals and achievements;
  3. Describe and analyze the major issues which surfaced during the first year of operating the RWCS program;
  4. Provide program improvement recommendations.

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