Block parties set for four schools that are high-performing, fast-improving or in revitalized areas

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee Public Schools will host school families, prospective school families and neighbors at four enrollment block parties set in August for MPS schools that have room to grow and are either high-performing, fast-improving or in rejuvenating areas of the city.

The weekend block parties offer families the opportunity to meet and speak with each school’s principal, interact with school staff, tour the schools – and enroll right on site. Each school will offer something unique to its community. All block parties offer create-your-own art projects, face painting, magic, jump rope, drum circles and the opportunity to tour a fire truck along with free hot dogs and soda. Food is limited to the first 250 people at each party.

Browning School – 5440 N. 64th Street, Milwaukee 53218 – posted 9.2 percentage-point growth in math from 2010-11 and 2011-12 and 5 percentage-point growth in reading over the same period. The Browning block party is set for August 11 from noon until 5 p.m. The school, not far from the rejuvenated Westlawn within the Silver Spring neighborhood, has seats open in K4 through 5th grade. Parents with questions are invited to call Principal Sharon McDade at (414) 393-5205.

Garland School – now at 3120 W. Green Avenue, Milwaukee 53221 – boasts high math and reading proficiency levels that are well above the district’s average and roughly in line with the average for all Wisconsin schools. Garland moved to its new site on Milwaukee’s far south side to accommodate growth. The school’s block party is set for August 26 from noon until 5 p.m. An Arabic translator will be available. Garland has seats for students in K4 through 6th grade. Parents with questions are invited to call Principal Manuela Soto at (414) 304-6805.

Hayes Bilingual School – now at 971 W. Windlake Avenue, Milwaukee 53204 – is at its new location to give the popular school room to grow. Math proficiency jumped 10 points between 2010-11 and 2011-12. The Hayes block party is set for August 26 from noon until 5 p.m., with sponsor Kohl’s presenting the drama, songs and puppetry of Kohl’s Wild Theater for families. The school has open seats in K4 through 6th grade. Parents with questions are invited to call Principal Yolanda Hernandez-Garcia at (414) 902-9600.

Siefert School – 1547 N. 14th Street, Milwaukee 53205 – offers families a stellar school climate in which students attend school ready to learn. Siefert’s neighborhood includes many homes built within the last decade or so and is adjacent to rejuvenating Lindsay Heights neighborhood. The school’s block party is set for August 18 from noon until 5 p.m. Siefert has seats available in K3 through 5th grade. Parents with questions are invited to call Siefert principal Wanda Varela-Katz at (414) 935-1500.

Milwaukee Public Schools is Wisconsin’s largest school district, serving 80,000 students in more than 160 schools across the city. U.S. News and World Report named MPS’ Rufus King International School and Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School the two best high schools in the state and among the 200 best in the country in 2012. In the past year, Milwaukee Public Schools posted a growing graduation rate 17 points higher than the rate for 2000, growing math standardized test scores representing 10-point growth in the last six years and growing ACT scores.