Gov. Walker, State Supt. Evers, Mayor Barrett to join MPS, local and state leaders ‘ringing in’ 2013-14 school year

New year comes with expanded college/career readiness efforts; continued implementation of significant reforms

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers will join Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, members of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors along with Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Thornton as well as local and state lawmakers in “ringing in” the 2013-14 school year.

This year’s “bell ringing” ceremony marking the first day of school for MPS traditional calendar schools will take place at 7:10 a.m. Tuesday, September 3 at MPS’ Hamlin Garland School, 3120 W. Green Avenue, Milwaukee 53221. (Please take note of this address; the school’s prior address may appear in online searches and is no longer the location of the school.)

Dr. Thornton and Stuart School Principal Raymond Unanka with a student at last year’s event

Garland met the tough, new expectations set forth in the first Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction report cards, exceeding state average standardized test performance and exceeding the average state K-5 school’s improvement in reading and math. The school was also honored in 2012-13 by the DPI as a Wisconsin School of Recognition for the eighth straight year for successfully improving achievement among low-income students.

As part of a broader effort to provide room for growth in academically successful schools, MPS provided Garland with a new facility in 2012-13 and student enrollment has grown by approximately 100 students between 2012-13 and 2013-14 alone as it continues to expand from serving grades K-5 to K-8.

“Garland is a great example of the path we are taking in the district as a whole: improving student achievement, taking advantage of the facilities we have to operate more efficiently and supporting our students and families,” MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said. “The 2013-14 marks another year of significant expansions in our efforts to improve.”

MPS’ 2013-14 efforts include:

– Launching the College Board’s SpringBoard pre-Advanced Placement program in seven schools

– Expanding use of the rigorous Project Lead the Way curriculum in science/technology/engineering/math (STEM)

– Planning for further expansion of International Baccalaureate programming

– Offering college resources at MPS’ TeamUp College Access Centers, located at 2730 W. Fond Du Lac Avenue and 3333 S. 27th Street, which demystify the application process and offer assistance in putting students on track for post-secondary success. MPS has set a goal of $30 million in scholarships for the Class of 2014, which would exceed the $24 million total for the Class of 2013 and the $18 million total for the Class of 2013.

– Expanded use of the Standards-Based Report Card in K-5 and K-8 schools, which helps staff, parents and students clearly identify Common Core learning expectations in each subject, the topics students are successfully mastering, and the topics that may be more of a struggle

– Ongoing use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to reinforce positive behavior and improve school climate

– Bringing 45 additional art, music and physical education specialist teachers into schools

– Providing services and resources for parents at three District Parent Resource Centers located at North Division High School, South Division High School and Washington High School of Information Technology


About Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools, Wisconsin’s largest school district, is expanding college and career readiness efforts and continuing to implement innovative reforms that give every student the opportunity to succeed. MPS’ high-quality school options for 3-year-olds to high school seniors feature school climates in which positive behavior is reinforced; certified, highly-trained teachers; 21st-century learning technology for students; and curriculum aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards, which set a clear, high bar for the topics students must master at each grade level. MPS’ graduation rate is 14 points higher than the rate for the Class of 2000, its Class of 2013 earned $24 million in scholarships and the district is home to some of the state’s best high schools according to the Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report.