The district is putting these objectives into practice through a series of transformational efforts:
White House Turnaround Arts
The White House has selected four MPS schools to join Turnaround Arts for 2016–17. This initiative, which uses intensive arts education and integration to close educational gaps, has increased reading proficiency 12.6% and math proficiency 22.5% in other communities. The MPS schools selected are Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , Lancaster, Roosevelt Creative Arts Middle and Sherman Multicultural Arts.
MPS and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County will grow their Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership by two new schools for 2016–17. Participating MPS schools are showing improvement and community schools in other districts have significantly increased graduation rates. The schools are Auer Avenue, Lynde and Harry Bradley School of Technology and Trade, Browning Elementary, Hopkins Lloyd Community, Lincoln Avenue Elementary and James Madison Academic Campus.
Milwaukee Partnership Schools
MPS, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and City Year Milwaukee are partnering to provide early literacy interventions, targeted mathematics programming and social-emotional learning at four MPS schools: Carver Academy, James Madison Academic Campus, Alexander Mitchell Integrated Arts School and Rogers Street Academy.
MPS and major partners — Northwestern Mutual, City Year Milwaukee, Teach for America and Schools That Can Milwaukee — are pursuing academic excellence at Carver Academy, a historically underperforming school. A recent UWM study found that the collective impact model in use at Carver is improving outcomes for students.
MPS’ Pulaski High School is partnering with Carmen School of Science and Technology to improve student achievement, school environment and teaching practices. Pulaski, now an International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate school, and Carmen will share space in the Pulaski building to create an academic campus housing two strong schools.
Systems thinking guides district and school-based staff to better understand how systems — such as a school environment or a community — interact to impact students’ lives. Staff at ten schools and across district departments are being trained to apply systems thinking concepts, habits and tools in classroom instruction and district improvement.
MPS works closely with Milwaukee Succeeds to build foundational reading skills for students and provide teacher coaching at five MPS schools. Early findings show encouraging results and student performance growth.
Regional Development Plan
MPS is expanding access to its strongest programs, including additions to top-performing Montessori schools as well as expansion of language immersion, gifted and talented and International Baccalaureate programs.
Trauma Sensitive Schools
All MPS educators are being trained to recognize and properly address trauma that students may experience outside of their school environment, which can impact their academic focus and social-emotional well-being.
School Improvement Plans
In every MPS school, the work to improve is driven in part by the creation, implementation and monitoring of a School Improvement Plan aligned to the District Improvement Plan. An extensive support system helps schools engage in the work of the plan, including data reviews, coaching, facilitation and interventions. This work is led in part by a district-funded school support teacher at each school.
College and Career Readiness
MPS is increasing access to Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Career and Technical Education courses to ensure all graduates are prepared for success after graduation. The MPS Class of 2016 earned $47.8 million in scholarships, up from $12.0 million in 2012.
This collaborative effort between MPS, Milwaukee Area Technical College and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee began with an effort to improve opportunities and outcomes at MPS’ Lynde and Harry Bradley Technology and Trade High School. The work at Bradley Tech promotes positive change and aligns curriculum between high school and college, offering dual-credit opportunities. The M3 collaborative is expanding to support high schools across the district.