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Office of Academics

Office of Academics

AcademicsInterim Chief Academic Officer: Tonya Adair
Office Main Phone:  414-777-7806

The Office of Academics works to ensure that all students in MPS are career and college ready. The office is responsible for all aspects of student academic achievement including their social-emotional health and well-being.

Learn more about the programs at MPS


The Office of Academics goal is to innovate and accelerate school and student support. We work toward the consistency of national/Common Core State Standards aligned to curriculum and assessment. We strive for effective instructional practices and the improvement of access to quality educational instruction, resources, and programs to ensure evidence‐based, developmentally appropriate practices.

Academic Expectations

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to preparing all students for college and careers.

High academic expectations — high standards, in other words — are an essential part of that commitment.

The MPS Comprehensive Literacy Plan, first implemented in 2010-11, and the district’s Comprehensive Math/Science Plan, first implemented in 2011-12, are aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards. More than 45 states, including Wisconsin, have adopted the Common Core.

Learn more about Academic Expectations in MPS


Department of College & Career Readiness

  • Director:
  • John R. Hill, Ph.D.
  • Phone: 414-475-8873
  • Fax: 414-475-8457

The Department of College and Career Readiness works to overcome the barriers that students face. Students need "whole child" support to become aware of the pathways to their careers of interest, they must be academically ready to follow those pathways, and they must be prepared with the life skills needed to navigate their chosen pathway. The Department of College and Career Readiness coordinates available resources, including community organizations and postsecondary institutions, to support MPS faculty, families, and students in fostering a college‐going culture. This department includes college and career planning, career and technical education, extended learning opportunities, and school counseling and academic planning.

College and Career Readiness Programs:

Department of Curriculum & Instruction

  • Senior Director:
  • Jennifer L. Smith, Ed.D.
  • Phone: 414-475-8252
  • Fax: 414-475-8513

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction is responsible for support of student learning throughout all academic areas. This department also provides services to support additional student learning needs such as extended learning opportunities, language acquisition, and early childhood education. The staff in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction works collaboratively with regions and schools to enhance learning experiences for all students. This department includes fine arts and physical education, advanced academic programs, bilingual multicultural education, early childhood education, literacy education, and math and science education.

Curriculum and Instruction Programs:

Department of Specialized Services

  • Senior Director:
  • Jennifer Mims-Howell
  • Phone: 414-438-3648
  • Fax: 414-438-3607

The Department of Specialized Services is committed to supporting the individual needs of all students. The focus of our work is students with disabilities participating and learning in their least-restrictive environment. This includes a provision of behavioral and academic supports while allowing students to participate in the general curriculum with non‐disabled peers based on goals in their individualized education programs (IEP).

Specialized Services Programs:

Department of Student Performance & Improvement

  • Director:
  • Melanie R. Stewart, Ph.D.
  • Phone: 414-475-8258
  • Fax: 414-475-8261

The Department of Student Performance and Improvement team provides schools with unparalleled levels of service to ensure that the district effectively and efficiently implements continuous improvement systems that support, measure, and inform the district's work in the areas of teaching and learning, professional development, and educator effectiveness. This includes managing the district's student data systems, including the Data Warehouse, and working closely with school‐level personnel to provide real‐time information and data.


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