Howard Avenue Montessori School – Frequently Asked Questions
Updated July 5, 2012 – Download this FAQ as a PDF file
Q) Why was Howard Avenue Montessori School created?
A) Milwaukee Public Schools created this school to respond to strong demand and demonstrated success among MPS Montessori schools. More detail about the success of MPS’ Montessori programs is available in this news release.
Q) How do I enroll my child at Howard Avenue Montessori School?
If your child was placed on a wait list for an existing MPS Montessori school as a result of the three-choice enrollment process (January 9 – January 27), you have automatically been entered into a random selection process for seats at the school. You should receive a letter on or before July 10 and must respond affirmatively to secure a seat (instructions will be in the letter).
If your child was placed on an existing MPS Montessori school wait list after January 27, you will automatically be entered in a second random selection process to fill remaining seats at the school. You should receive a letter by August 6 and must respond affirmatively to secure the seat (instructions will be in the letter).
Any interested family that has not yet expressed interest in an MPS Montessori school can also enter the second random selection process. Those families can enroll using www.milwaukee.k12.wi.us (click on ‘Online Registration’) or in person at MPS Central Services, 5225 W. Vliet Street, Room 133, Milwaukee 53208.
Q) How many seats will be available?
A) Initially, the school will open with 120 half-day seats for 3- and 4-year-old kindergarteners.
Q) What will the school hours be?
A) The school hours will be 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Q) Will the kindergarten programs be half- or full-day?
A) The kindergarten programs will be half-day programs. Milwaukee Recreation will offer a fee-for-service wrap-around camp option for the other half of students’ days.
Q) Will there be bussing for the students?
A) Yellow-bus transportation will be provided to students who live more than one mile and less than 5 miles from the Howard Avenue Montessori School at 357 E. Howard Avenue. Students who live less than one mile from the school (within the walk zone) or farther than five miles from the school are welcomed and encouraged to attend, but they will not receive yellow-bus transportation. The parent(s)/guardian(s) of those students must provide transportation for their children.
Q) How will students be selected for Howard Avenue Montessori School?
A) Seats will first be offered to students who were placed on the wait list of an existing MPS Montessori school as a result of the three-choice enrollment process (January 9 – January 27). Those students will automatically be entered in a random selection process for seats, with preference given to students living within the one-mile walk zone of the new school and students with siblings already selected for the school.
A second random selection process will then take place to fill any remaining seats. Students placed on existing MPS Montessori school wait lists after January 27 will automatically be entered in that process. Any interested family can also enter into the second process. For details, see ‘How do I enroll?’ above. The same walk-zone and sibling preferences will apply within the second process, but they do not allow a student to move from the second process into the first process.
Q) How and when will I be notified about whether my child is selected for the school?
A) Families entered in the first random selection process (those placed on MPS Montessori wait lists prior to January 27) will be notified by U.S. mail about the outcome of the process by July 10. If you fall into this category and are not notified by July 10, please contact MPS Family Services later that week. Families entered in the second random selection process (those placed on MPS Montessori wait lists after January 27 and those who have indicated interest in the new school specifically) will be notified by August 6. If you are not notified by August 6, please contact MPS Family Services.
Q) If I am not selected for a seat at the new school, how and when will I be notified of my wait list number?
A) If you are part of a random selection process but do not receive a seat, you will be notified of your wait list number via U.S. mail.
Q) What grade will the school serve this year and into the future?
A) For the upcoming 2012-13 school year, the school will serve 3- and 4-year-old kindergarteners. The school will serve 5-year-old kindergarteners during the following 2013-14 school year. Parents, educators, administrators and the Milwaukee Board of School Directors will be a part of the conversation about the longer-term growth of the school and the potential for growth of Montessori in MPS.
Q) I live near the school site. Does that give me a better chance of a seat in the school?
A) If you live within the walk zone (one mile from the school site) of the new school at 357 E. Howard Avenue, you will have preference within the random selection process in which you are involved.
Q) I live far from the site. Does that mean I have no chance of a seat at the school?
A) Within each random selection process, students living within the walk zone have preference, but walk-zone students are not expected to fill the school.
Q) If I already am on a Montessori wait list, do I have to reapply for this school?
A) No. If you were placed on the wait list for an existing MPS Montessori school during as a result of the three-choice enrollment process (January 9 – January 27), you have already been entered into the first random selection process for seats at this new school. If you expressed interest in an existing MPS Montessori school after the three-choice enrollment period, your family will be entered into a second random selection process for any remaining seats.
Q) If I participate in the wait list lottery for this new school will I lose my position on the wait list at another MPS Montessori school?
Q) No, you would not lose your position.
Q) I have more than one child I would like to enroll. What are my chances of both getting in to the Howard Avenue Montessori School?
A) Preference within each random selection process will be given to those with siblings already enrolled or those who live within the walk zone. The walk-zone and sibling preferences will not allow families to move out of the second random selection process and into the first; it gives preference within the process of which the family is already taking part.
Q) Why is the school being placed on the south side when there are already successful Montessori programs there? When are more Montessori programs going to be placed in my neighborhood?
A) MPS continues to work to provide equal access to Montessori education throughout the city. Most recently, the district converted Lloyd Barbee School into a Montessori program for the city’s north side and moved MacDowell Montessori School to a new west-side location. Other MPS Montessori options exist on the northwest side (Craig), south side (Kosciuszko) and on the east side (Maryland Avenue). There is strong demand for another Montessori program on the southeast side. Fernwood Montessori, the closest MPS Montessori school to the new site, has a waiting list of 110 children who are age 3 and 29 children who are age 4.
Q) Why is a new early childhood school being created when MPS’ 68th Street Early Childhood facility was closed?
A) The 68th Street School program was merged into the 81st Street School program with both regular and special education K3 seats to continue to offer high-quality early childhood education on the west side of the city. The 68th Street School building was no longer suitable for use as a school. In addition, figures showed that relatively few early childhood families at 68th Street were staying within the MPS family of schools. Merging 68th Street into a facility that can continue to serve students as they grow older is expected to help remedy that problem. MPS Montessori families stay in district schools at a significantly higher rate, which helps the district recover the cost of providing 3-year-old education without any state aid.