MPS enhances summer school with new ‘summer academies’

MILWAUKEE – The school year is just about over for Milwaukee Public Schools’ traditional calendar schools – but learning won’t stop for thousands of students.

Milwaukee Public Schools is enhancing traditional summer school with the launch of the district’s new “Summer Academies” this year.

“Summer is a critical time for our students,” MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said. “We want parents to read to children and make sure they’re getting great nutrition. Summer Academies can be a great aid in that important effort.”

“It’s not really just a remedial program anymore. The focus is also on preparing students for success in the upcoming year,” said Sandra Schroeder, director of extended learning opportunities for MPS.

Dr. Thornton visits a summer school program last year

Dr. Thornton visits a summer school program last year

In the new programs open to all families in Milwaukee, students will get a head start on the coursework they will be undertaking in the fall, aligned to the new rigorous Common Core State Standards that have been adopted by MPS, the state of Wisconsin and dozens of other states.

Studies have shown that the summer break can cause students to lose as much as two months of the progress they made in the prior year. Hunger and poor nutrition can also be an issue for some students over the summer. Many Summer Academy sites offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. The ongoing partnership with Columbia St. Mary’s SmartSmiles dental program will provide free dental care to students at six Summer Academy sites.

Our new Milwaukee County Zoo camp and new Milwaukee Public Museum camp join an established Discovery World camp to broaden our students’ summer experiences. There are still a few spaces available for the Milwaukee Public Museum camp.

More than 2,500 students have already signed up for district summer programs but space is still available in some locations. If a specific site is filled, parents are encouraged to put their names on waiting lists because other parents’ plans may change and spaces may become available.

Summer offerings include: an elementary program, a grade 8 promotional program, a high school credit recovery option, leadership development programs and programs for students with special education needs. Many programs provide academics in the morning and academic enrichment and recreation in the afternoon.

Applications for most programs are taken up until the first day of the program. Applications are available at any MPS site, at MPS Central Services (5225 W. Vliet Street) or at:

The largest programs — elementary and credit recovery – begin June 25. Other start times vary. Details about specific programs along with how and when to register for each type is available at: