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New South Side Dual Language Montessori School

student working with montessori materialsThe Milwaukee Board of School Directors has approved placing the new Dual-Language Montessori program at J.W. Riley School beginning this fall.


Join us for an open house on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Riley, located minutes from downtown at 2424 S. 4th Street, Milwaukee 53207

Here are some key facts to know:

  • Enrollment will be open to 3-year-old kindergarten (K3) and 4-year-old kindergarten (K4) students for fall. To be eligible for K3 in fall 2017, students must be 3 years old on or before September 1, 2017. To be eligible for K4 in fall 2017, students must be 4 years old on or before September 1, 2017. The school will add one grade each year until it serves grades K3-8. 
  • This a citywide specialty program. The Dual-Language Montessori school will be open to students from across the city, with no preference given based upon home address. Families who have children at Riley School already will have preference to enroll their younger children. 
  • The school will offer transportation outside of the walk zone but within a five-mile radius. Families living outside of the school’s one-mile walk zone but within five miles will be eligible for transportation, in keeping with the transportation policy for most MPS Montessori schools. When you begin an application (see below), you will see whether your family is eligible.
  • To enroll, come to the fair, visit a help session or go online on or before February 28, 2017: 
    • MPS All-School Enrollment Fair, Saturday, January 28, 2017, 9 a.m. to noon, Milwaukee High School of the Arts, 2300 W. Highland Avenue, Milwaukee
    • Enrollment Help Session, Saturday, February 4, 2017, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., MPS Central Services, 5225 W. Vliet Street, Milwaukee 
    • Enrollment Help Session, Saturday, February 11, 2017, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., South Division High School, 1515 W. Lapham Blvd., Milwaukee
    • Enrollment Help Session, Thursday, February 16, 2017, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., MPS Central Services
    • Complete your application online anytime during the Three-Choice Enrollment period, January 30-February 17, at (choose Riley on your list of options)
    • All completed applications received at the fair or between January 30 and February 28 will be treated equally; if seats remain after February 28, enrollment will be available on a first-come, first-served basis

More About the Proposed Program

  • The school would be open to all students. Students would become fluent in English and Spanish while learning in the Montessori method, which develops independence and problem-solving skills.
  • The new program is the result of a resolution approved by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, recognizing the success of and demand for MPS bilingual and Montessori programs.
  • Current Riley students would stay in their existing programs, but younger siblings would have the opportunity to enroll in the new program.
  • The new school is part of the district’s ongoing efforts to implement its Regional Development Plan to create more enrollment opportunities in high-performing schools. Montessori schools consistently rank among the highest performing schools in MPS.
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Montessori Program Features:

  • A prepared, orderly environment in which students have freedom to work on their own or in small groups.
  • Self-correcting, sequenced learning materials which help the child develop a strong foundation in reading and mathematics skills.
  • Development of self-discipline and independence built around respect for each other and the school environment.
  • Parent sessions on the Montessori philosophy and methods, with a strong emphasis on how parents can support the program.
  • Belief that learning is a life-long process. The importance of developing a love of learning is central to the Montessori Method of Education.
© Milwaukee Public Schools 2017
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