New 2nd location for Carmen approved; I.D.E.A.L. relocation gives I.D.E.A.L. and Reagan room to grow

ALSO: Merged 81st Street School to focus on pre-engineering, world languages, personalized learning; Kluge to become arts-focused school for northwest region

MILWAUKEE – A new second location for the popular and successful Carmen High School of Science and Technology was approved Thursday night by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors. The Board also approved the relocation of the in-demand I.D.E.A.L. Charter School, which will give both I.D.E.A.L. and high-achieving Ronald Reagan College Prep High School room to grow.

“It’s critical that we continue to recognize the success of the high-achieving schools that are part of the MPS family – and seek opportunities to allow those schools to expand, creating additional opportunities for students and their families,” Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Thornton said.

The new Carmen High School of Science and Technology – Northwest Campus will serve 6th- and 9th-grade students in 2013-14 and will expand to serve students as they progress into the 7, 8th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Students at Carmen beat both district and state averages in mathematics on state standardized tests. The new Carmen campus will be located at 5496 N. 72nd Street, a building currently utilized by Northwest Secondary School, which the Board voted in October to close at the end of the current school year due to underperformance and under-enrollment.

I.D.E.A.L. will move to 1420 W. Goldcrest Avenue, a school building made vacant by the prior relocation of Garland School. I.D.E.A.L. currently shares space with Reagan at 4965 S. 20th Street. IDEAL and Reagan students significantly outperform the district average on state standardized tests; Reagan students also outperform the state average.

In other action, the Board approved of the second year of the merger process for 81st Street School. 81st Street School was merged with 68th Street School for the current 2012-13 school year, resulting in 68th Street students moving to 81st Street. In the second year of the merger (2013-14), the school will begin implementing a new focus on pre-engineering, world languages and personalized learning. 81st Street School will also phase out middle-school grades beginning in 2014-15.

Board members also approved a new creative arts focus for Kluge School, 5760 N. 67th Street, as the district moves to make popular specialty offerings available in each region of the city. The move formalizes the northwest-region arts designation for Kluge, which already offers arts and music specialist instruction as well as partnerships with a number of Milwaukee arts organizations including Arts@Large, Danceworks, First Stage, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Skylight Music Theater.

Milwaukee Public Schools is Wisconsin’s largest school district, serving nearly 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.