Dear MPS Families,
Graduation excitement is in the air! Our students are getting just a bit restless on these warm June afternoons, and rightly so. Soon, we will send them home after their last day of classes for the school year, and they will be free to sleep a bit longer in the morning and play a bit longer in the evening – with your permission, of course!
Much has been written about what researchers call the “summer slide”: the loss of skills that our children can show without their lessons during the months of vacation. Please make use of summer school classes as a way to battle that summer slide. You may enroll by contacting your school office.
I recommend reading during the summer. Consider requiring reading time as a balance to all that TV time or time spent on games on the home computer. We have a very nice gathering of books we recommend at all grade levels. Go to http://pinterest.com/milwaukeemps/ and search the suggestions that best fit your child’s reading levels.
Summer meals are available again weekdays at locations all across the City of Milwaukee. Children 18 and under can get FREE meals, including breakfast and lunch, courtesy of Kohl’s Serving Up Supper for Kids program. If you would like to find more information, dial 2-1-1 or visit www.ImpactInc.org. All sites are supervised, which I know is important to you as a parent. Consider taking a trip to the Milwaukee County Zoo with your children. My personal favorite zoo residents are the polar bears! On hot days, seek the cool, quiet halls of the County Museum downtown, or go for a splash on beautiful Bradford Beach.
Finally, we know that at times, some of the streets and neighborhoods of a big city are dangerous places for our children. During the current school year, we mourned eight MPS students who lost their lives in violent incidents. Often, but not always, the incidents happened late at night and away from the safety of home. I join you in your worry for your child, and stand with you in your efforts to enforce a curfew, to insist on meeting your child’s friends, and to require that your child respect others, as well as himself.
Parenting is the toughest job that there is, and yet, it is also the most rewarding. I wish you the joy and the satisfaction that come with truly connecting with your children.
Enjoy this wonderful Wisconsin weather. Please stay in touch with MPS over the summer on Twitter @MilwaukeeMPS, or “like us” on Facebook. Be happy, be safe and we will be waiting for you to come back to MPS schools in September.
-Gregory E. Thornton, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools