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Milwaukee French Immersion School celebrates 40 years

Staff and students at Milwaukee French Immersion School (MFIS) rolled out the red carpet for visitors and dignitaries on June 1 to celebrate 40 years of providing a high-quality language experience to Milwaukee students. The celebration included an evening open house that offered music and cultural activities. An assembly featured the MFIS Spirit Awards, student performances, and a presentation by representatives from the French government.

Visiting from France were Marine Reuflet, Deputy Cultural Attaché of France, and Guillaume Lacroix, Consul General of France. Together, they presented the French Label of Education Designation, an official international accreditation granted to schools offering a French bilingual program. Principal Gina Bianchi, who was recognized as a Knight in the Order of Academic Palms in 2016 by the government of France, accepted the award.

Students served refreshments, greeted guests, and demonstrated their French language skills for visitors and dignitaries that included Wisconsin State Representative Fred Kessler, MPS Interim Superintendent Keith P. Posley, and many representatives from MPS senior leadership.

Principal Bianchi presented MFIS Spirit Awards to three individuals during the evening program: Helena Curtain, former School Board member Leon Todd, and State Representative Fred Kessler, all of whom were instrumental in the creation of the French immersion program in 1978. 

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Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
  • The MPS Class of 2018 earned $86+ million in scholarships; and
  • MPS is home to seven of the state and nation’s top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.

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