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Head Start

Head Start

Get a First-Class Start at MPS

Free transportation for Head Start students!

Be part of Milwaukee’s most experienced three-year-old and four-year-old Head Start program!


MPS is home to Milwaukee’s most experienced Head Start program. Head Start is a free child and family development program offering half-day and full-day education programs for three-year-old kindergarten and full-day programs for four-year-old children at 26 sites across the city of Milwaukee.

Students also receive

  • breakfast/snack and lunch,
  • health services and screenings,
  • parental involvement opportunities, and
  • family resources.

Head Start StudentsFamilies must meet federal income guidelines to qualify. Children receiving foster/kinship care are automatically accepted. Enrollment priority is given to children with special needs. Seats fill quickly! Call MPS Head Start at 414-252-0350 to see if your family qualifies and to find a program near you.

It is vital for children to have a strong academic foundation. A child’s first classroom experience should be a positive time that builds self-esteem and confidence as he or she continues to learn and grow. Sometimes children need extra help to keep up with the initial challenges of a classroom environment.

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.

What Is Head Start?

  • A free child and family development program
  • A half- or full-day classroom experience
  • A solid curriculum to establish school-readiness skills

What Does Head Start Offer?

  • Individualized educational experiences
  • A daily breakfast/snack and lunch
  • Health services and screenings
  • Parental involvement/volunteer participation
  • Family resources

Age Requirement

  • The child must be three or four years old on or before September 1 in the year of enrollment.
Who is eligible?

Families whose income meets federal agency guidelines and who are residents of the City of Milwaukee are eligible.

Health requirements

All children are required to have a complete physical exam (which must include current blood testing for lead poisoning and anemia) and dental exam for Head Start.

The physical exam form and dental exam form can be faxed to the Head Start office at 414-252-0349 or mailed to the Head Start office at 921 W. Meinecke Avenue, Room 10A, Milwaukee, WI 53206.

Length of program

The program is approximately three hours per day (morning or afternoon sessions) with some full-day options for three-year-olds. Four-year-olds attend school all day. Check with the Head Start office at 414-252-0350 for specific program lengths.

When to apply

Applications are accepted throughout the year. Placement occurs after the Head Start enrollment specialist completes the application process. Applications can be completed only by a representative from the Head Start program.

Please stop by the Head Start office at 921 W. Meinecke Avenue, Room 10A, Milwaukee, WI 53206 or call 414-252-0350 for more information about the enrollment process.

Remember to bring the following:

1.   Proof of income (12 months prior total household income), which can include

  • W2 tax form or 1040 tax form
  • Recent check stub (12 months prior total household income)
  • Foster care/kinship placement letter
  • Supplemental Social Security (SSI)
  • W-2 Public Assistance (TANF)

Please note that total household income includes the income of your spouse and the child’s parental guardians residing in the household and related by blood, marriage, or adoption. Total income includes any child support or maintenance payments received.

2.   A certified copy of the child’s original birth certificate

3.   Proof of address (proving residency in the City of Milwaukee)

4.   Immunization record

 

2017-18 Head Start Schools


ALBA
Academia de Lenguaje y Bellas Artes
(414) 902-7525
1712 S. 32nd Street

Program Focus
ALBA is proud to be a White House "Bright Spot in Hispanic Education." As a 2014-15 Wisconsin School of Recognition, an honor given to the school by the state for moving students forward academically, all students engage in a rigorous education program. Positive student climate and behavioral supports at ALBA also garnered a School of Distinction honor from the State of Wisconsin. ALBA School was founded on the conviction that bilingual students can reach their full potential academically, in English and Spanish, when challenged through rigorous academic studies, the integration of fine arts, and the development of critical thinking, problem solving, and creative abilities. Self-confidence and self-worth are developed as the students' cultural identity is both recognized and valued through curriculum. Partnerships with local arts organizations provide enrichment opportunities in music, art, and dance. Parental involvement is a vital component to the success of our students. Families at ALBA support the school's uniform and "no transportation" policies in order to maintain focus on learning. ALBA follows the Rufus King/Ronald Reagan calendar.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Charter
Region Southwest
Transportation No transportation

 



Bethune Academy
Mary McLeod Bethune Academy
(414) 934-4600
1535 N. 35th Street

Program Focus
At Bethune Academy, we put the emphasis on excellence with a safe, positive, structured environment in which specialists provide classes in art, music, physical education, and technology. We are committed to preparing students to succeed in college and careers!

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Central
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Bruce School
William George Bruce School
(414) 393-2100
6453 N. 89th Street

Program Focus
The vision of Bruce School is to deliver a high-quality educational experience to all of our students with the expectation that they will be college and career ready without remediation. At Bruce, we are all mighty! We feature the SAGE program that allows us to offer 18:1 class sizes in K5-grade 3; a technology lab; art, music, and physical education; and Student Council. Before- and after-school child care is available along with after-school athletics and activities for the whole family. We love to showcase the accomplishments of our students and staff and have been featured in various news reports for our positive efforts. Bruce has been honored to be named a PBIS School of Merit and Distinction for reinforcing positive behavior. We are proud of our school and our accomplishments and would love for you to be a part of our school community!

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Northwest
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Carson Academy
Dr. Benjamin Carson Academy of Science
(414) 393-4800
4920 W. Capitol Drive

Program Focus
Carson Academy of Science works in partnership with parents and community to develop a supportive relationship for student learning. A partnership that is committed to and encourages academic excellence will help students display self-confidence and a positive attitude toward science, math, and technology. The hands-on activities focus on science, math, and technology, with support from community and business partners as well as parents. Our partnership with Arts @ Large brings arts to our students. Carson challenges students with a rigorous curriculum.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Northwest
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Congress School
(414) 616-5300
5225 W. Lincoln Creek Drive

Program Focus
Congress Year-Round School is committed to creating a well-prepared and caring community of learners in which students work hard to be successful, and learning never stops. We offer extended-day activities, a half-day three-year-old a.m./p.m. Head Start program, and NAEYC-accredited childcare, available beginning with children who are two years old. Our school emphasizes communication, collaboration, consistency, continuity, and commitment, allowing us to be frequently recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Northwest
Transportation No transportation

 



Forest Home Avenue School
(414) 902-6200
1516 W. Forest Home Avenue

Program Focus
Forest Home Avenue School offers families a developmental bilingual program along with the traditional monolingual program K3 through grade 5. We offer SAGE classrooms K5 through grade 3, which provide a student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1. In addition, we offer special education services; ESL; speech services; full-time art, music, and gym; and before- and after-school care.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Southwest
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Franklin School
Benjamin Franklin School
(414) 875-4400
2308 W. Nash Street

Program Focus
Benjamin Franklin School will continue to be the cornerstone of the community, providing a rigorous curriculum and safe environment for all students. We will be the first education choice of families. Upon graduation, students will be prepared for success in high school, college, and the career of their choice.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood 
Region Central
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Hawthorne School
Nathaniel Hawthorne School
(414) 247-7200
6945 N. 41st Street

Program Focus
Hawthorne Elementary is nestled in a quiet, working-class neighborhood on the northwest side of Milwaukee. Our school has a diverse student population and offers a standards-based curriculum, which emphasizes developmentally appropriate, focused instruction that promotes academic success for all students. Our extended-year school program includes all-day K4, art, music, physical education, Head Start, and small class sizes of one teacher to 18 students K5 through 3rd grade through the SAGE program, and it is supported by a part-time school nurse, guidance counselor, and physical education teacher. We also offer after-school childcare services (Camp Hawthorne) that provide academic enrichment and recreation activities. Hawthorne is proud to be recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a PBIS School of Distinction for promoting a positive learning environment for all students.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Northwest
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Hayes Bilingual School
(414) 902-9600
971 W. Windlake Avenue

Program Focus
At Hayes Bilingual Elementary School, all children develop language and literacy skills in both English and Spanish. Our students in K5-3rd grade learn in classrooms with no more than 18 students to 1 teacher, thanks to the SAGE program!

Children are accepted only in kindergarten and first grade unless they have had previous instruction in the second language.

Families can enroll in this school for grades K4, K5, and 1 (with previous Spanish instruction) using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Citywide Specialty
Region Southwest
Transportation Provided citywide (walk zone excluded)

 



Jackson School
Gwen T. Jackson Early Childhood and Elementary School
(414) 267-5500
2121 W. Hadley Street

Program Focus
Gwen T. Jackson Early Childhood and Elementary School, formerly 21st Street School, serves children from three-year-old kindergarten through children in 5th grade. Our Head Start program offers half-day kindergarten for three-year-olds and all-day kindergarten for four-year-olds. We have a beautiful, child-centered, open-concept facility.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Central
Transportation COPES cluster

 



Kagel School
Albert E. Kagel School
(414) 902-7400
1210 W. Mineral Street

Program Focus
Kagel offers students a small, neighborhood school environment with the option of a bilingual program to prepare for an increasingly global society. We are one of ten MPS GE Foundation Demonstration Schools, a distinction that provides us with additional support to bolster student achievement and prepare students for college and career success through the Common Core State Standards. Collaboration is a driving force within our school culture. Families benefit from a full-day K4 program and a community learning center (CLC) after-school program in partnership with Journey House. The Kagel mantra is "Achieving Excellence through Innovation!"

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Southwest
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Kilbourn School
Byron Kilbourn School
(414) 393-4500
5354 N. 68th Street

Program Focus
Kilbourn School offers a nurturing environment that encourages and prepares students to succeed. Our curriculum is aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards, we offer an accelerated reading program, and we offer before- and after-school enrichment programs for our students. We invite families to tour our school to see it for yourselves!

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Northwest
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



King ES
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School
(414) 267-1500
3275 N. 3rd Street

Program Focus
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School offers families an African American immersion program that focuses on the history and culture of African Americans, drawing upon the strengths of our pupils. At our proud, historic school, parental and community involvement are essential parts of the curriculum. We put the Comprehensive Literacy Plan and Comprehensive Math/Science Plan to work so that our students are prepared for college and career success!

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region East
Transportation COPES cluster

 



LaFollette School
Robert M. LaFollette School
(414) 267-5200
3239 N. 9th Street

Program Focus
LaFollette offers families an educational environment with one basic goal: the education of our children through high expectations and academic achievement. We offer small class sizes (18 students to 1 teacher) in our younger grades, thanks to the SAGE program, along with weekly computer classes, gym classes, a health clinic with a nurse, school uniforms, transportation, and a strong group of programs aimed to help students with many different special needs. We reward and promote positive behavior through strong implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). LaFollette is a true school family focused on students, their families, and staff.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region East
Transportation COPES cluster

 



Lee Learning Center
(414) 252-0350
921 W. Meinecke Avenue

Program Focus
Lee Learning Center is Milwaukee Public Schools' newest premier early childhood site, serving three-year-old Head Start students from the Milwaukee community. This comprehensive preschool gives students a head start by offering full-day services, small class sizes (17:2), individual instruction, standards-based curriculum, and highly qualified and caring staff. Students are provided with a nurturing environment with an emphasis on the five domains of learning: health and physical development, social and emotional development, language development and communication, approaches to learning, and cognition and general knowledge. This is done through a strong emphasis on allowing children to learn at their individual rate of development through active learning experiences. Lee Learning Center staff provides children with opportunities to explore and apply new skills by child-initiated activities and through interactions with peers, adults, and materials. All Head Start students receive vision, hearing, and dental screenings along with medical resources and support for healthy children. Students try new foods as meals are served family style in the classroom, and students follow hand washing and toothbrushing routines daily. Families are engaged as equal partners, which allows them to build strong relationships with staff and the school community to support well-being and ongoing learning development for both parents and children. The mission of Lee Learning Center is to educate every child each day as he or she becomes ready for school and ready for life.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

Grade K3 only
School Hours 7:35 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
School Type Neighborhood
Region Central
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)
Community Partners Marquette University Dental School, Preferred Dental, UW-Extension, YogaKids, Mad Science
Dress Code TBD
Parent and Family Resources Parent Resource Center, MPS Head Start administrative offices, training classes, parenting curriculum
Special Programming Hands-on science and STEM experiences, dance, music lessons

 



Lincoln Avenue School
(414) 902-9700
1817 W. Lincoln Avenue

Program Focus
Lincoln Avenue Elementary School offers a safe and disciplined learning environment for a diverse group of students from many different ethnic backgrounds. Our goal is to accelerate the academic and social development of each child. Our programs include bilingual education, band, fine arts, and chorus. The Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), community learning center (CLC), and other school partners hold events that bring parents and the community into the school. Before- and after-school childcare is available.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Southwest
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Longfellow School
H. W. Longfellow School
(414) 902-9800
1021 S. 21st Street

Program Focus
With great educators leading the way, H. W. Longfellow School builds upon the existing knowledge and skills of each child while building toward a future of being contributors and problem solvers in an increasingly complex world. We emphasize the importance of bi-literacy and math skills as a basis for problem solving and high-level thinking, and we have a school climate of respect, responsibility, and emotional and physical safety for all.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Southwest
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Maple Tree School
(414) 578-5100
6644 N. 107th Street

Program Focus
Our motto is "At Maple Tree, average is over. High expectations, student achievement, and accountability! Every period. Every hour. Every day!" Maple Tree School is committed to the goal of working to ensure that every student is proficient or advanced in reading and writing across all content areas. Our school promotes an educational environment that aligns curriculum and instruction to the Common Core State Standards. At Maple Tree, we educate all students for success in higher education, careers, and responsible citizenship. Our K3-grade 5 school offers the Head Start Early Childhood Program. Maple Tree School has smaller class sizes with our Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program for K5-grade 3. We offer a rigorous academic curriculum and a dedicated professional teaching staff that works to ensure that all students achieve academic success.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Northwest
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Marvin Pratt
Marvin E. Pratt Elementary School
(414) 247-7300
5131 N. Green Bay Avenue

Program Focus
Marvin E. Pratt Elementary School is a safe setting for K3 through grade 5 students offering physical education, art, and music specialists; Learn to Succeed tutors; Girl Scouts; and the Head Start program. Our school was formerly Silver Spring Elementary School. Those positive connections increase pupil knowledge, promote self-esteem, and develop the decision-making skills that are necessary for lifelong learners. Our students in K5-grade 3 learn in classrooms with no more than 18 students to 1 teacher, thanks to the SAGE program. Please call us – we want to see you at Marvin E. Pratt Elementary School!

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Central
Transportation Custer cluster

 



Mitchell School
Alexander Mitchell Integrated Arts School
(414) 902-8100
1728 S. 23rd Street

Program Focus
Mitchell is a large bilingual school with a small-school atmosphere. Our hardworking, dedicated staff uses the Common Core State Standards to provide all students with comprehensive instruction that prepares them to succeed in college and careers. As a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) School of Merit, we work with all stakeholders to provide a safe, respectful learning environment that allows students to focus on being responsible learners. Our community learning center (CLC) extends services to our Mitchell families beyond school hours, and our partnership with City Year enhances both school-day and after-school programming. We are proud of our connections to our neighborhood!

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Southwest
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Obama SCTE
Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education
(414) 393-5000
5075 N. Sherman Boulevard

Program Focus
Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education, located in the former Custer High School building, serves students in a small school setting aimed at high achievement in reading, writing, and math. We offer students a project-based, career-centered, and partner-supported education. Our HVAC lab operates with the assistance of our partners at Johnson Controls and Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). Our new advanced manufacturing lab offers students access to state-of-the-art CNC equipment and computer-integrated manufacturing technology. We match our students to an appropriate career cluster: advanced manufacturing or energy conservation. Obama SCTE also has robotics, welding, wood shop, and barber/cosmetology labs. Obama SCTE offers credit recovery and GEDO #2 in a personalized blended learning lab on campus.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region High School
Transportation Custer cluster

 



Pierce School
Franklin Pierce School
(414) 267-4400
2765 N. Fratney Street

Program Focus
Pierce Elementary School offers a developmental bilingual program option and serves an ethnically diverse group of students from Head Start for three-year-olds through grade 5. We emphasize respect, safety, critical thinking, technology, and an appreciation for the arts. Pierce is an MPS GE Foundation Demonstration School, an honor that provides additional support to move students forward academically through innovative implementation of the rigorous Common Core State Standards, as we prepare students for college or career readiness. Childcare and community learning center (CLC) activities are held after school. Our school has a uniform policy. All students wear red polos and blue pants. Uniforms should be worn Monday through Friday, unless otherwise noted.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region East
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Sherman School
William T. Sherman Multicultural Arts School
(414) 874-5800
5110 W. Locust Street

Program Focus
Sherman Multicultural Arts School emphasizes academic achievement and celebrates the arts through the various cultures in the world. Our students benefit from an enriching physical education and art program and our strong partnership with Arts @ Large, which together bring the arts to life at Sherman! Our students in K5-3rd grade learn in classrooms with no more than 18 students to 1 teacher, thanks to the SAGE program!

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Central
Transportation No transportation

 



Siefert School
(414) 935-1500
1547 N. 14th Street

Program Focus
Siefert School serves more than 300 students in Head Start though grade 5. The Efficacy Paradigm, which is the belief that all students have the capacity for academic success at high levels, is an integral part of our vision. We utilize a constructivist "minds-on" approach to help students conceptualize academic skills and apply their knowledge in the real world, thus becoming prepared for higher education and world careers. Visit our classrooms and witness enthusiastic students and teachers fully engaged in carefully crafted lessons that allow all children to reach their fullest potential.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region East
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 



Thurston Woods School
Thurston Woods Campus
(414) 393-2800
5966 N. 35th Street

Program Focus
Thurston Woods Campus is committed to creating and providing an engaging learning environment where all learners become career and college ready. Our overall philosophy is the belief in preparing students for the 21st century through rigorous instruction, personalized learning, and technology. Our nurturing school environment creates a positive learning community for all students, and our students in K5-grade 3 learn in classrooms with no more than 18 students to 1 teacher, thanks to the SAGE program.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Central
Transportation Custer cluster

 



Westside Academy
(414) 934-4400
1945 N. 31st Street
1940 N. 36th Street

Program Focus
Westside Academy I and II is a high-achieving school split between two campuses. K3 to grade 4 students are at 1945 N. 31st Street; the 5th to 8th grade students are nearby at 1940 N. 36th Street. Westside emphasizes learning to solve complex problems using higher-order thinking skills. Both sites offer a technology education lab. Our students connect with community mentors and benefit from an extensive community learning center (CLC) providing free after-school programs. The CLC offers intramural sports, homework help, literature arts, SPARK, and academic achievement. We require uniforms. We are a peaceful school, embracing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to reinforce positive behaviors.

Families can enroll in this school using the online application at mpsmke.com/EnrollMPS.

School Type Neighborhood
Region Central
Transportation Provided within transportation region (walk zone excluded)

 

Contact

Head Start Program Supervisor:
Erica Harris-Day

Phone: 414-252-0350
Fax: 414-252-0365
Email: headstart@milwaukee.k12.wi.us

Address:
921 W. Meinecke Avenue, Room 10A
Milwaukee, WI 53206

 

MPS Head Start Annual Report - English

MPS Head Start Annual Report - Spanish

2017 Head Start Income Guidelines for the 48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia

Persons in Family or Household

Income Limit

1

$12,060

2

$16,240

3

$20,420

4

$24,600

5

$28,780

6

$32,960

7

$37,140

8

$41,320

In families/households with more than eight persons, for each additional person, add:

$4,180

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2017
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