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Summer Academy

  • Canoeing
  • City Hall Be the Change Celebration
  • Doerfler Butterfly Release!
  • Gratosa Summer Academy Students Studying Ponds
  • Kohl's WIld Theater at Rogers Street Summer Academy
  • Locating Rocks with Grantosa Summer Academy at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
  • Morgandale Students Working in Literacy Centers
  • Ropes and Challenges at Clement ESY
  • Small Group Explicit Reading Instruction
  • STARBASE Wisconsin
  • Students at Eighty-First Street School Identifying Rocks at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
  • Urban Ecology Center Canoeing
  • Urban Ecology Nature Center Studying Ecosystems
  • Wehr Nature Center Find!

A world of opportunities awaitsDownload this flyer for more information about Summer Academy locations, dates, and times.

A world of opportunity awaits each student this summer.

Today the world is moving faster than ever. It is critical for students to stay ahead of the curve. Summer Academy enrichment offerings for students are designed to provide extended learning opportunities to strengthen or enhance skills.

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 reading and writing 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 Milwaukee Recreation childcare options, social activities, and healthy meals.

Summer adventure at Schlitz AudubonCity of Milwaukee residents may attend the elementary and high school morning academic programs free of charge. MPS elementary Summer Academy and high school credit recovery and/or acceleration programs are available to City of Milwaukee students (priority enrollment is for MPS students).

Students who live outside the city and attend public or private suburban high schools or MPS through open enrollment are classified as tuition students and therefore must pay tuition or have a tuition waiver on file with MPS in order to attend summer school. Call 414-475-8238 for more information.

Summer Academy programs offer the following:

  • Students working with technologyA curriculum aligned with Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards
  • Elementary programs: five weeks, Mondays–Fridays, with emphasis on reading, writing, and math
  • Afternoon recreation activities: Child Care Camps (CCC), Boys & Girls Clubs (BGC), Community Learning Centers (CLC), Safe Places, Extended School YearSpecial Services Club Rec, and Summer Recreation Enrichment Camps (SREC) through Milwaukee Recreation (additional fees may apply)
  • Bilingual and English as a second language services at select sites
  • Summer adventure at Schlitz AudubonExtended School Year (ESY), Community Assessment Training Program (CATP), and On-the-Job Training (OJT) opportunities for select IEP-mandated special education students that prepare students with special education needs for the transition from school to the adult world of work while exploring a variety of careers
  • Grade 8 Promotional Program for recommended MPS students who require academic intervention to enable transition to high school
  • Be the Change provides incoming 9th grade students and returning cohort members with targeted support to improve academic skills. Cohort members can participate in credit acceleration and credit recovery while learning life and applied leadership skills.
  • High school credit recovery and acceleration for 9th–12th grade students in core subject areas to boost GPA and ensure on-time graduation
  • Online blended learning (Edgenuity): Students can complete online coursework begun during the school year with face-to-face teacher support to recover failed credits. Credit acceleration courses are available in Spanish, science, social studies, math, health, and art for students in 9th–12th grade. Students must meet program qualifications to participate.
  • Service learningGED Option #2 (GEDO #2): Selected students enrolled in the GEDO #2 program during the school year can complete remaining graduation requirements through preparation and successful completion of content exams and program portfolio requirements.
  • Competency-based courses: Students currently enrolled in the program during the school year are encouraged to attend summer sessions to complete courses in English and mathematics. A referral by your coordinator is required to attend the summer session.
  • Community service and service-learning programs: Rising freshmen and high school students can complete their community service or service-learning requirements toward graduation.
  • STEM educationThe summer meal program provides free meals for all children up to the age of 18. Children do not need to be enrolled in Summer Academy or a recreation program in order to receive these free meals.
    • Meal service times for breakfast are 7:00 a.m.–7:30 a.m. at elementary and ESY elementary sites and 8:00 a.m.–8:30 a.m. at the Grade 8 Promotional Program, high school, and ESY high school sites.
    • Meal service times for lunch are 11:30 a.m.–12:00 noon at elementary and ESY elementary sites and 12:30 p.m.–1:00 p.m. at the Grade 8 Promotional Program, high school, and ESY high school sites.
    • Select schools, in conjunction with their after-school programs, will host a dinner program from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • STARBASE camps: Elementary students at select sites are involved in a hands-on, minds-on STEM program using math, science, and technology.
  • Smart SmilesSmart Smiles: A community service program sponsored by Columbia St. Mary’s that provides preventive oral health services to students at select locations
  • Summer Adventures are hands-on learning opportunities at select sites in collaboration with Milwaukee Recreation outdoor education sites, Wehr Nature Center, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Arts @ Large, Reader's Theater, First Stage, Danceworks, the Milwaukee Public Theatre, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Urban Ecology Center, Science Quest, Girl Scouts, Discovery World, the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, the Milwaukee Zoological Society, the Milwaukee Public Museum, and the Argosy Foundation.
  • Middle School Bridge is a program for rising 6th graders transitioning to middle school. Middle School Bridge is held at the incoming school site prior to the start of the school year. Programming will allow incoming 6th graders the opportunities to form a realistic expectation of what middle school will be like, build a sense of community, explore extracurricular activities, and learn how middle school is different from elementary school.
  • Freshman Bridge is a two- or three-day program that takes place for incoming freshmen at their high school location. The purpose of the program is to prepare for high school academic rigor, develop positive relationships between students and staff, learn about high school from upperclassmen, and become familiar with the new school to build confidence prior to the start of high school.
  • Access to school counselors
  • Volunteers and field workers

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a student register for Summer Academy programming?

Elementary: Students can register for a Summer Academy program at any MPS elementary school, at Central Services (room 150, Extended Learning Opportunities), at the Department of Student Services, or at any Summer Academy site.

Grades 9-12 high school credit recovery and acceleration: Students should register with their school counselor or with the Extended Learning Opportunities staff, room 150, MPS Central Services.

Grade 8 Promotional Program: Principals must recommend  MPS students for the Grade 8 Promotional Program. Each student's current school must submit the required retention documentation and complete the registrations. This program is for MPS students only!

Be the Change: This program is designed for high school students looking to boost core academic and social development skills prior to the start of the new school year. Priority will be given to incoming 9th grade students and returning Be the Change students. The program design allows previous participants to engage in college and career readiness, credit recovery, and community service activities throughout their years of high school.

Extended School Year (ESY): Students with special education needs should be enrolled only if the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team decides that the student needs summer placement to maintain skills gained during the year or if he or she was not able to be involved in job training due to scheduling conflicts during the school year.

Community Assessment Training Program (CATP) and On-the-Job Training (OJT): A student with special education needs should be enrolled only if the IEP team decides that the student needs summer placement to maintain skills gained during the year or if he or she was not able to be involved in job training due to scheduling conflicts during the school year.


When do students register?

Registration begins at schools in early March and continues until the first day of the summer program. Seats are limited. Although registrations will be accepted until the start of summer academic programs, students will be accepted only in courses and/or sites where space is available.

High school: Late walk-in registration days will be held in room 150, Central Services, Extended Learning Opportunities.

Who should go to Summer Academy programming?

Elementary: All students are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Grades 9-12 high school credit recovery and acceleration: Students may enroll in the credit recovery program if they have previously failed a course required for graduation. Credit acceleration opportunities are available for students who want or need to take a course for the first time.

Grade 8 Promotional Program: This promotional program is designed for MPS grade 8 students who have missed proficiency in one or two content areas. Students must be recommended by their MPS school and submit all required documentation.

Be the Change: This program is designed for incoming grade 9 students and returning cohort members looking to boost core academic and social development skills prior to the start of the new school year. Priority will be given to students attending select schools and returning Be the Change students.

ESY: Students with special needs should be enrolled only if their IEP mandates extended school year services.

CATPOJT: Students with special needs should be enrolled only if the IEP team decides that the student needs summer placement to maintain skills gained during the year or if he or she was not able to be involved in job training due to scheduling conflicts during the school year.


What is the student day?

Elementary: Students will have a literacy block and math block for four hours daily Mondays–Fridays.

Grades 9–12 high school credit recovery or acceleration: Students attend Mondays–Fridays for four hours daily. Students can enroll in two credit recovery classes to possibly recoup a total of 1.0 unit of credit. Each class is two hours in length. Students can also enroll in a one-credit acceleration course for a total of 0.5 credit. Each acceleration class is four hours in length.

Grade 8 Promotional Program: Students participate in an academic program for four hours daily Mondays–Fridays.

Be the Change: Students have an academic and social program for four hours daily Mondays–Fridays.

ESY: Students attend four hours daily Mondays–Fridays.

CATPOJT: Students attend the Central Services food service site or any other job sites for four hours daily Mondays–Fridays.

Where is it?

Elementary: Four super sites and fourteen neighborhood sites (Please download flyer above for specific site locations.)

Grades 9-12 high school credit recovery and acceleration: James Madison Academic Campus (online only; must meet requirements), Obama SCTE, and South Division High School

Grade 8 Promotional Program: Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language

Be the Change: Obama SCTE

Elementary ESY: Clement, Elm, Gaenslen, Kluge, and Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Langauge

High school ESY: Obama SCTE and South Division High School

CATPOJT: MPS Central Services food service program and other various community locations


There is no cost for any Summer Academy program for students living in the City of Milwaukee. Costs may be incurred by ESY students who move at the end of the school year to a new school district. Additionally, the afternoon wraparound and recreation programs may require a program fee. Parents are encouraged to contact Milwaukee Recreation at 414-475-8180 for more information.


Transportation at the elementary level is provided only to students enrolled at super site locations within the transportation zone.

Summer Academy students enrolled in the Grade 8 Promotional, Be the Change, or high school programs will receive a county MCTS M-Card if they live beyond the two-mile walk zone of their selected summer site. Parents and guardians must provide transportation to the Summer Academy site on the student's first day of attendance.

Most students enrolled in the ESY program will be provided with door-to-door transportation. This includes a morning pick-up and a mid-day departure from the school location.

Most CATP–OJT students in the food service program are expected to provide their own transportation to and from their job site. City bus tickets may be provided to those students until they receive their first paycheck. Some CATP–OJT students may receive transportation to and from their job site if they are receiving vocational assessment. Detailed transportation information will be provided once students are placed.


Are students with special needs eligible for Summer Academy?

All students with special needs are welcome in the regular Summer Academy programs. Some students with special needs may be eligible for the ESY program if it is mandated in the student's IEP. Parents should contact their school's special education supervisor for their child's special education program.

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2017
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