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In general, most students with disabilities are capable of learning the content, scope, and sequence of the general education curriculum when the necessary modifications and adaptations in content and instructional strategies are made. The majority of students with disabilities are instructed along with their regular education peers using the Common Core State Standards. At times, the IEP team may determine that a student requires a replacement reading curriculum.
Through Advanced Placement's college-level courses and exams, high school students can earn college credit and advanced placement and stand out in the admissions process.
Assistive technology provides students with disabilities access and communication for successful learning.
MPS audiology services are provided by two citywide audiologists who oversee the districtwide audiology program. In addition, the audiologists perform comprehensive hearing assessments for any MPS student referred due to failed hearing screenings in school. Hearing screenings are available for all MPS students. If you have concerns about your child’s hearing, please contact the speech-language pathologist at your child’s school.
Milwaukee Public Schools supports students on the autism spectrum. MPS recognizes best practices in working with neurological differences and provides support in social/communication, rigidity, sensory, and other individual factors.
Most schools serving elementary grades in the Milwaukee Public Schools family include before- or after-school programming (or both) that provides academic enrichment for students outside of regular school hours.
All Milwaukee Public Schools participate in a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports system. This is a schoolwide, systematic, tiered-intervention approach to behaviors that effectively helps to reduce classroom disruptions and student suspensions. Students whose behavior continues to interfere with their learning or that of others after intensive behavioral interventions may qualify for special education services to address their individual needs. Special education teachers work in conjunction with other school personnel to develop strategies and goals to address each student’s strengths and weaknesses in order to help the student make changes in his or her behavior.
MPS offers Spanish/English bilingual education, bilingual education for students of Asian descent, and two-way bilingual education. Students learn subjects in both English and their first language, helping the child to maintain his or her first language while learning English. Two-way bilingual instruction offers the English speaker an opportunity to learn Spanish. Both languages are used in the classroom.
Career and Technical Education develops and supports career-themed curriculum, work-based learning, and community partnerships to prepare students for college and careers in high-demand, high-skill industries.
Pursuant to federal and state law, MPS identifies, locates and evaluates all children with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, who are in need of special education and related services, including children attending private schools, children who are not yet three years of age, highly mobile children such as migrant and homeless children, and children who are suspected of being a student with a disability even though they are advancing from grade to grade.
Our goal is to prepare all students to succeed in college and careers. We offer numerous college and career readiness programs aimed at preparing students for that success.
Students who participate in thoughtfully designed community service experiences are more likely to do well in school, graduate, vote, and become responsible citizens.
The MPS Comprehensive Literacy Plan educates all students to proficiency and beyond in order to prepare them for success in higher education, careers, and responsible citizenship.
Milwaukee Public Schools is taking the lead on a comprehensive approach to integrating the mathematics Common Core State Standards with science standards. As a plan of action to improve pre-K to grade 12 student learning and achievement in mathematics and science, the MPS Comprehensive Mathematics and Science Plan (CMSP) is designed to equip every student with the levels of rigor and relevance needed for success in college and career readiness.
The Office of Contracted School Services (CSS) supports the development, successful implementation and ongoing accountability of charter schools, partnership schools and other contracted education programs within MPS.
Coordinated school health can positively affect student academic achievement and empower students with the knowledge, skills, and judgment essential to help them make healthy and responsible choices.
Culinary jobs are not just first jobs; they can help lead students on a career path to success, especially if young people have the right training in high school. That’s where culinary arts programs in MPS give high school students a unique head start. We’re part of a national program called ProStart. It’s a two-year program for high school students that features real-world culinary arts and food service opportunities, and it helps students learn skills that can last a lifetime. Whether students dream of being world-class chefs or managing restaurants, ProStart helps students get a great start.
Two bilingual schools in MPS house the Dual Immersion Program, also known as the Two-Way Immersion Program (Spanish and English). This particular program serves English native speakers (beginning in early childhood, K3-K5) as well as English-language learners from Spanish-speaking homes.
Milwaukee Public Schools offers a variety of early childhood special education programs for children three to six years of age who have been identified with a disability.
Early childhood education is critical to students' future academic success. We offer Head Start and state-licensed early childhood centers in addition to kindergarten programming that begins at age 4 in most schools, with some offering kindergarten at age 3. Many early childhood classrooms feature small classrooms thanks to SAGE funding. A number of MPS schools include HighScope early childhood programming.
English as a second language (ESL) services are offered throughout the district as both a component of the Bilingual (Spanish/English) Program as well as to other language-minority students who attend ESL stand-alone schools. For both programs, classes are taught by certified ESL teachers at various schools in MPS at the K-12 level.
MPS offers a variety of extended learning opportunities (ELO) that provide more time for academics and enrichment beyond the conventional school day (e.g., extended day, J-Term, and summer).
MPS is committed to building community through the arts by being a resource for fine arts pedagogy, cultivating a climate where creativity flourishes, engaging the community with the arts, honoring culture, and making the arts accessible to all.
MPS offers programming specific to First Nations students at schools in which there are large concentrations of First Nations students with the goal of ensuring that the students meet the same rigorous standards as all students. Services include native language revitalization classes and academic advisors.
The GE Schools Grant supports Milwaukee Public Schools to implement the Common Core State Standards and help students in achieving educational best practices.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction authorizes Milwaukee Public Schools, and other districts, to operate school-based GED Option #2 (GEDO #2) programs. Certain requirements (such as a ninth grade reading level) need to be met for enrollment. Students must be 17 years old and in their fourth year of high school or 18 and a full year behind their senior peers in credits to apply. Participation in the program is voluntary.
The Milwaukee Public Schools Gifted and Talented Development Program comprises a continuum of services for students needing acceleration and/or enrichment embedded in the Response to Intervention (RtI) framework. State law requires that the district provide systematic and continuous instructional activities and learning experiences appropriate to the developmental needs of students from kindergarten through grade 12 who are identified as gifted or talented in one or more categories.
The Head Start program is based on the belief that children learn best through a combination of support services. This preschool program provides parental, educational, medical, nutritional, psychological, and social support to help children consistently succeed.
The concepts and skills learned in health education become the cornerstone for developing healthy habits that students will use every day for the rest of their lives. Physical education is an integral aspect of an individual’s total educational experience.
The concepts and skills learned in health education become the cornerstone for developing healthy habits that students will use every day for the rest of their lives. Students will learn how to analyze influences, access accurate health information, use positive communication skills, make healthy decisions, set goals, practice healthy/safe behaviors, and advocate for their own health and those around them.
In Milwaukee Public Schools, deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) services are provided to students with hearing impairments.
The MPS Home and Hospital Instruction Program services are available for any child residing in a hospital or another setting that is being considered a “child’s home” located in Milwaukee. Home and Hospital Instruction Program services are designed for Milwaukee residents enrolled in MPS public schools. Students confined to a hospital in the city may also be served if the parent/guardian enrolls the student in an MPS public school.
MPS offers services to homeless families through school-based and centrally-based programs. Homeless children have many rights and are eligible for many services under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
The instructional technology department provides leadership, instruction, and guidance to the Milwaukee Public Schools community in using technology efficiently and effectively to achieve district goals. Instructional technology refers to the technologies implemented by educators to maximize student learning in the classroom. In order for students to use technology for learning and graduate digitally literate, teachers must have the knowledge and skills to integrate technology in the classroom. Teachers must also be able to utilize technology in ways that require students to use it for higher-level tasks such as: sorting information, conducting research, communicating through reading and writing, and creating real-world products.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) program sponsored by the International Baccalaureate is used in IB World Schools around the globe. Schools complete a lengthy application and authorization process to become authorized to offer one of the four standardized IB programs.
J-Term is a four-week noncompulsory educational and experiential program offering for MPS students in K5-grade 12 on the early start calendar. J-Term classes will allow students to complete course(s) for credit recovery or acceleration, participate in internships, build proficiency in key skill areas, and stay on track for graduation. Students taking J-Term classes have the benefits of small class sizes, more interaction with teachers, and the ability to complete a course or courses in a shorter time with fewer distractions. In condensed classes, students will be able to explore a variety of subjects, discover new interests, and test their creativity through classes held at various school campuses across the district.
Milwaukee Public Schools has long been known for its award-winning language immersion specialty schools, which offer full immersion in French, German, and Spanish and partial immersion in Italian. In a language immersion school, students learn core subjects in the target language.
Staff members at the Lau Compliance Office enroll children who speak any home language other than English and screens students for ESL services.
Learning Journeys are curriculum-aligned field trips for all MPS students. Students attend Learning Journey programs throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. These hands-on learning experiences take students beyond their classrooms to develop applicable knowledge based on exposure, K3-grade 3; experience, grades 4-8; and exploration, grades 9-12. Learning Journeys strive to ensure that every MPS student is provided with a cost-free, equal opportunity for experiential learning.
The Division of Library Media Services provides leadership in developing pre-K through grade 12 school library media programs to support student achievement.
School library programs ensure that students and teachers have access to media collections that include a variety of print, non-print, reference and electronic resources.
The MPS Comprehensive Literacy Plan guarantees high-quality literacy instruction and learning in every classroom, every day, for every student, including students with special education needs. MPS students LOVE to learn!
Milwaukee Public Schools mathematics department develops a deep understanding and appreciation for meaningful K-12 mathematics through engaging, appropriate, high-level teaching.
Milwaukee Public Schools offers the nation’s largest collection of public Montessori schools. A Montessori education is developed to foster lifelong learners and self-sufficient problem solvers.
Student-athletes learn a great deal from participating in interscholastic athletics. Lessons in sportsmanship, teamwork, competition, and how to win and lose gracefully are all integral parts of team goals. Athletic competition adds to school spirit and helps students, participants and community members take pride in their school.
Milwaukee Public Schools College and Career Centers are a free resource for students grades 6-12 and beyond.
Our mission is to provide high-quality music education to all students through classroom and community instructional and performance opportunities. Our goal is to strengthen school reform efforts, boost academic achievement, and increase student engagement in Milwaukee Public Schools.
Newcomer programs are specifically designed for recent immigrant students with limited English-language proficiency. The programs provide intensive instruction in a special academic environment.
Students learn best when they have structured and consistent movement breaks throughout the day. Movement helps the brain reorganize and helps the body re-energize. This is important at home, too – getting enough exercise throughout the day promotes a healthy mind and body.
A personalized learning environment enables students to choose their own learning path based on their individualized learner profile, which is reflective of their current academic performance and their unique gifts, skills, passions and attributes. Students are empowered to monitor and assess their own progress based on standards and use the various technological tools to engage in purposeful learning.
MPS uses the nationally recognized SPARK curriculum for K-grade 8. This curriculum focuses on using a variety of activities to engage students and get them moving in and out of school. MPS physical education at the high school level uses a variety of courses to help students learn what it means to be physically active for a lifetime.
Research supports that a PBIS system, implemented with fidelity, effectively reduces classroom disruptions and student suspensions through a school-wide, systematic, tiered-intervention approach, which leads to increased student achievement. School-wide PBIS provides an operational framework for achieving these outcomes.
PPYP services are available to school-age parents (young fathers and mothers) to improve the educational, wellness, and social/emotional outcomes for school-age parents and their children. The goals of the program are to increase attendance and graduation rates, increase teen enrollment in higher education, increase parent knowledge of effective parenting practices, increase knowledge about and practices in healthy relationships, and enhance coordination of school and community services.
PLTW is a nationally established program focused on preparing the future technical and engineering workforce. PLTW offers curriculums for elementary school (PLTW Launch), middle school (PLTW Gateway), and high school (PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science, and PLTW Computer Science). Through PLTW, MPS students have the opportunity to explore STEM education – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – through a fully developed curriculum intended to stimulate interest in various fields of technology.
School psychologists help students at all grade levels succeed academically, behaviorally, socially, and emotionally. They collaborate with school staff, parents, community agencies, and other professionals to help create healthy and supportive learning environments. School psychologists also help to strengthen the home/school/community connection for all students.
Response to Intervention (RtI) is an organizational framework that guides implementation of a multi-level system of support to achieve academic and behavioral success for all. RtI is implemented at all MPS schools around literacy and mathematics for academics and PBIS for behavior using the MPS RtI Process.
The MPS ropes and challenges education curriculum is based on the experiential learning model and takes a sequential approach in activities designed to help individuals and groups develop/enhance positive social skills.
The Milwaukee Public Schools recognizes that comprehensive school counseling programs are essential to each student’s academic achievement, personal and social development, and career success. College and career readiness is a major aspect of the experience at our schools. School counselors serve as a school leader, student advocate, and team collaborator to remove systemic barriers to student success.
School social workers provide an ecological approach to promoting student success. They assist children and families by examining factors in the home, school, and/or community that impact a student’s education success and work toward reducing barriers to learning.
The School to Work Transition Program is comprised of three separate, but highly related programs devoted to the development of federally mandated employment readiness for our students with special needs: Community Assessment Training Program (CATP), On the Job Training/Education (OJT/E), and Employment Training Program (ETP).
The Milwaukee Public Schools' Science Department aligns its science curriculum to the vision of "A Framework for K-12 Science Education." This framework provides a balanced, comprehensive, and research-based science education for all students focused on the life, physical, and earth/space sciences integrating engineering and Common Core State Standards in math and literacy.
Section (§) 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (amended in 2008) were written and passed by the U.S. Congress to prohibit discrimination against and to protect the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. In order to fulfill its obligations under §504 and the ADA, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors and the Milwaukee Public Schools district recognize a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel and students. No discrimination against any person with a disability will knowingly be permitted in any of the programs and practices in the Milwaukee Public Schools.
Service-learning is a way to teach and learn that connects classroom studies with the care and concern students naturally have for their world.
Special education students who attend private schools may be eligible to receive some services within their school. A services plan describes the specific special education and/or related services the student will receive from the Milwaukee Public Schools. To the extent appropriate, the services plan includes IEP elements that vary depending on the services to be provided.
Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.
Milwaukee Public Schools is dedicated to identifying, locating and evaluating student with suspected special education needs from the ages of 3-21. Eligible students with disabilities will be provided with a free and appropriate public education consistent with the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
The Speech and Language Disabilities Program serves approximately 6,000 students in public, private, and parochial schools within the corporate boundaries of the district. Spoken communication is the foundation for reading, writing, and all human interaction. Speech-language pathologists emphasize the delivery of collaborative, curriculum-aligned services to all students to help them develop competency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning that removes the traditional barriers separating the four disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Wellness and Prevention Office includes the MPS health and PE departments, MPS ropes and challenge course, Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and other grant-funded programs. Our mission is to support the physical, social, emotional, and academic development of all students. Our goal is to develop confident, self-reliant, and self-directed individuals who are capable of reaching their full potential as productive members of society.
The MPS Summer Academy has always been an innovative approach to extending the learning opportunities for students. Over the past few years, there has been a strategic focus on teaching explicit literacy skills by engaging students in hands-on science concepts. The Summer Academy program has been developed to build on this foundation while preparing students for the next grade level's standards. This rigorous approach emphasizes the idea of preparation for the upcoming grade level by organizing meaningful experiences during the Summer Academy. MPS academic programs are supported by afternoon recreation classes, social activities, healthy meals, and even childcare options.
In 2011, Milwaukee Public Schools was awarded a seven-year, $14.87 million federal GEAR UP grant to promote college awareness and readiness at selected schools. Local matching funds brought the total grant opportunity to nearly $30 million. The project supports students from the high school classes of 2017 and 2018. For the upcoming school year, we will support 9th and 10th grade students at eight participating high schools.
Seven MPS high schools offer courses through Telepresence. Students are studying AP Spanish Language, AP Calculus, AP World History, AP Macro and Microeconomics, AP Statistics, and APGovernment with classmates at other high schools in the district through daily videoconference.
Milwaukee Public Schools is proud to be part of Turnaround Arts! Turnaround Arts is the signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. It empowers high-needs schools with innovative arts, dance, theater and music programs, arts integration across subject areas, arts resources, musical instruments and high-profile artist mentors, as a proven strategy to help address broader school challenges and close the achievement gap.
Specialists in Milwaukee may work with any student who meets the Wisconsin eligibility criteria for visual impairment, including those who have additional disabilities and those who are deaf-blind.
In MPS, there are three types of elementary program models for world languages: foreign language in the elementary schools (FLES), full immersion, and partial immersion.
Thinking about a career but not sure if it’s right for you? Try a youth apprenticeship!
Milwaukee Public Schools
5225 W. Vliet Street
Milwaukee, WI 53208
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