What is LAUNCH?
LAUNCH is an opportunity for juniors and seniors attending Elmbrook School District and Wauwatosa School District. Students will spend part of their day at their high school and part of their day at a LAUNCH site, which may be a different location than their home school. While there, students will work in teams on challenges provided by both their instructors and business and industry partners while earning high school and/or college credit. Students will fast forward into their future by getting experience in a professional culture, solving real-world problems, using industry standard tools and resources while being mentored by educators and actual employers. As of the 2023-2024 school year, LAUNCH has offered 17 different strands and this year will offer 11 strands. The Global Business, Future Teachers, Law & Public Policy, Data Science, Media Solutions, Automation, Robotics, & Trends in IT, Engineering Foundations, Spanish in Healthcare, and Medicine & Healthcare strands are based in the Elmbrook School District. Wauwatosa School District hosts the Foundations of Body Systems & Disease and Skilled Building Trades strands.
Where will LAUNCH be located?
Because we wish to create a unique professional academic experience for our students and teachers, we utilize a multi-site approach for our program. We utilize an off-site location at Concurrency (13600 Bishops Ct,
Brookfield, WI 53005) and we utilize customized locations in Brookfield Central, Brookfield East High School, Wauwatosa East High School and Wauwatosa West High School.
Is LAUNCH a vocational program?
No. LAUNCH will provide students the opportunity to deeply explore professional areas of interest through a profession-based, inquiry learning method that brings course content to life. Driven by the changing workforce needs of industry, instructors and business partners collaborate to develop coursework and student projects. The curriculum will be constantly evolving and dynamic to follow industry trends and market changes.
Why are the districts promoting this innovation?
As we continue to work to help students find their life, career and college pathways, we desire to remain at the leading edge of innovation that provides our students with the most impactful experiences and opportunities for their futures. LAUNCH was the 2018 Wisconsin Innovation Award Winner in the area of education because we believe LAUNCH will be a natural next step for our systems. The interdisciplinary approach to learning, direct connections and exposure to business and industry mentors, and opportunity to deeply explore areas of interest before college or career will provide Elmbrook and Wauwatosa students with unique and valuable experiences unlike any other in the region.
How will colleges and universities view LAUNCH?
Very favorably. We have directly consulted with area universities, colleges, and technical schools through concept to formal approval. We will be working with higher education to create formal partnerships that will benefit students.
Who will teach at LAUNCH?
Elmbrook and Wauwatosa high school teachers with specific experience and expertise in each strand will spend part of their day at their high school and part of their day at LAUNCH.
What are the requirements to enroll?
Students must be juniors or seniors in Elmbrook School District or Wauwatosa School District. Additional students may apply and attend through part time open enrollment. While there is no minimum GPA requirement, we want students to enroll who are seeking a different learning experience, a demonstrated track record of responsibility, and who understand the expectations of professionalism and a team-based approach to project work. Interested students may be asked to complete a brief application and interview process.
What will student schedules be like?
- All enrolled students will attend LAUNCH one block a day for the entire school year
Students will be at / travel to their respective high schools for the remainder of their coursework.
Will transportation be provided for students traveling to and from LAUNCH?
Yes, Elmbrook students attending Elmbrook-based strands outside of their home school are eligible to apply for transportation via the “Become What’s Next” vans. Vans are scheduled based on student need for each block and location, and seating is limited.