Tony Tagliavia, Media Manager –Milwaukee Public School
MILWAUKEE – Before the majority of Milwaukee Public Schools’ 77,000-plus students start their school year, Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver, teachers and support staff from traditional calendar schools – about 9,000 in all – will come together to talk about academic expectations for the year ahead.
The event, which marks the first time this many MPS staff have come together in one place, is set for Thursday, August 27 at the UWM Panther Arena, 400 W. Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee 53203. The MPS Foundation is supporting the traditional calendar schools event as well as two smaller events for staff at year-round and King/Reagan calendar schools.
Media are welcome to attend the event and should contact the Wisconsin Center District for parking instructions and connect with MPS media manager Tony Tagliavia via mobile phone when they arrive. Strong video, photo and audio opportunities include:
- Staff will begin arriving 8:30 a.m. and will be enthusiastically welcomed by MPS student drum lines, cheerleaders and district leaders
- The program will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. with the presentation of the colors by MPS’ Hamilton High School JROTC Color Guard and the national anthem sung by MPS’ national award-winning Milwaukee High School of the Arts Vocal Jazz Ensemble
- Dr. Driver is set to speak at approximately at 10:30 a.m.
Year-round schools began August 3, King/Reagan schools began August 10 and the majority of MPS schools – those on the traditional calendar – start September 1.
MPS is starting a new year in the wake of significant successes in the past school year:
- The MPS Class of 2015 earned a record-setting scholarship total of $39 million, more than doubling the Class of 2012’s total
- 82 MPS schools were recognized for reinforcing positive behavior and meeting the academic needs of students
- Seven MPS high schools were rated among the best in the state and nation
“As we build on those successes, we are on a mission to ensure equity, access and opportunity for all of our students,” Dr. Driver said. “Our kickoff events give us the chance to have a conversation with our educators about our collective work to improve student outcomes as the school year begins.”
MPS’ areas of focus for the 2015-16 school year include:
- Attendance: Working to ensure all students are in school all day, every day starting with Day One, including school-based efforts and a new partnership with Jabari Parker and the Milwaukee Bucks
- Literacy across all subjects: Strengthening incorporation of reading and writing into subjects such as science and social studies to boost literacy
- Rethinking high schools to better serve students: Implementing a new support system to address high schools’ unique needs and convening a group of educators, business leaders and community partners to help in the work
- Continuing to implement the Regional Development Plan to create more enrollment opportunities in high-performing schools: Building additions to two high-performing Montessori schools, planning a second campus for the successful Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School, creating a comprehensive middle school for the gifted and talented on the northwest side and approving successful charter school expansions.
- Providing additional support for reading and math interventions: Interventions help students who may be struggling advance to grade level and help give those students who are already on grade level an opportunity to continue to accelerate their learning
- Continuing MPS’ commitment to the arts: Bringing in a new fine arts manager, maintaining the 140 new art, music and physical education positions added over the past three years and working through a new collaborative involving dozens of local partners to strengthen the arts in MPS