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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for High School and Middle School information is below. Select a section to get started:

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  How many high schools may I apply for?

You may choose up to five different high school choices.  The choices should be in the order you wish, with the first choice being number 1.  If you wish to choose less than 5, the other choices would be filled with “no school selected”.  You can choose from the Select Criteria schools, or traditional schools.

  I submitted my application, but I want to change my schools. How do I do that?

Call 414-475-8159 with your application number (also called the confirmation number), and let the person know your choices.  Remember that choice #1 will be the first school we will try to assign to.

  I want to get on the waitlist for Reagan early. Can I apply during 7th grade for 2021-2022?

No.  The application period is only for current 8th graders.  We look at 7th grade data, but 7th graders cannot apply.

  How does my child get on the waitlist?  How will I know if they got into the school?

Students who are accepted will receive a letter in the mail. Students who do not make the cutoff but are within a specified range are automatically placed on the waitlist.

If you are waitlisted, your school assignment letter will state that you are on the waitlist. As the school year approaches, schools contact parents when they decide if a seat becomes available.

  If my child does poorly on the essay activity part of the application, can he/she redo the essay?

Students are not allowed to do the essay activity a second time.  The essay score is only 20% of your overall composite score; 80% of the score is based on your 7th grade performance. You may reapply for schools again in 9th grade (for a 10th grade seat the following school year). This is done by contacting the school you wish to reapply to.

  I want to apply for schools that are not listed in the application, like Carmen or Milwaukee School of Languages, but those are not listed. How could I do that?

Carmen is a non-instrumentality charter school and takes applications on its own. You can apply online at www.Carmenschools.org.  Milwaukee School of Languages only accepts students at 6th grade from MPS Immersion Schools. If you believe your child would be able to compete in a full language program, you can contact the school to be tested for bilingual reading and writing skills.

Other schools not participating on the online application need to be contacted directly for information about applying.

  How are students with special education evaluated for criteria schools?

Students who participate in the general curriculum are evaluated like any other student, with a review of standardized test scores, attendance, essay writing, and report card.  Select criteria schools are required to accept a percentage of their total enrollment of students with IEPs.

Of the students who apply, a cut score is established, and students are accepted if they are above the cut score.  Students who participate in an alternative curriculum are not evaluated for a cut score.  The students who are in alternative curriculum are assigned a random number, and students are chosen by lottery for the number of available seats at that school.

All high schools do not provide all levels of services for students in alternative curriculum; therefore, some schools may not be able to accept all students.  Please speak with your special education supervisor at your child’s school to get a better understanding of the programs at different high schools.

  I do not want to apply for any MPS schools.  My child will be attending a private school for High School. Do I need to apply?

While we encourage all families to apply, we do understand that MPS may not be your first option. However, if your 8th grade student is not assigned to a school, MPS will provide you with a default assignment, at the school nearest to your home with available seats.

Once the private school makes a formal request of records, the default assignment school will drop the enrollment. If there is a chance that your child would not be accepted by the private school, you may wish to apply for a second choice option with MPS

  I am still confused about this process. Is there someone I can talk to about this process?

Please feel free to email Michael Spidell, Enrollment manager, at spidelmg@milwaukee.k12.wi.us with any questions, concerns, or general statements. 

Due to the heavy volume of calls, calling is not recommended. 

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  I have a 5th grader at a K8 school. I want to apply for a middle school, but only one. If I apply for a second school, will they lose their seat at that school?

If you are assigned to a middle school, your child’s current seat at a K–8 is automatically removed. If you wish to apply to a middle school but your second choice is to remain at a current K–8 school, then list only one school on the application. If your child is not assigned to that school, they will keep their seat at their current K–8.

  How does my child get on the waitlist? How will I know if he/she got into the school?

Middle school assignments are done through a lottery process. If more students apply for a school than seats are available, a drawing will be held, and the seats will be filled. All other students not accepted will be put on the waitlist.  If you are waitlisted, your school assignment letter will state that you are on the waitlist. As the school year approaches, parents are contacted when a seat becomes available.

  I want to apply for schools that are not listed in the application, like Milwaukee College Prep or Milwaukee School of Languages, but those are not listed. How could I do that?

Milwaukee College Prep is a non-instrumentality charter school and takes applications on its own. You can apply online at www.milwaukeecollegeprep.com. Milwaukee School of Languages only accepts students for 6th grade from MPS immersion schools. If you believe your child would be able to compete in a full language program, you can contact the school to be tested for bilingual reading and writing skills.

Schools not participating on the online application need to be contacted directly for information about applying.

  I didn’t get into my choice of schools last year. Can I apply for 7th grade?

The application is only for 5th graders .  7th grade applications begin in February, and are available on a first come, first serve basis.

  I don’t want to apply for any middle schools. Do I need to apply?

While we encourage all families to apply, we do understand that middle schools may not be your first option. If your 5th grade student is not assigned to a school for next year, MPS will provide you with a default assignment at the middle school nearest to your home with available seats. You may begin applying for other MPS schools (including K–8 schools) beginning in February 2021. Students in 5th grade attending a K–8 school do not need to apply to stay at their own school for 6th grade; they automatically retain their seat at their own school.

  How does sibling preference work?

If your child has a sibling attending the school to which you are applying, sibling preference is applied during the lottery process only. Sibling preference is not given if the sibling is leaving the school at the end of the year. For criteria schools, sibling preference is only given after the cut score is determined and the student is exactly at the cut score.

  I am still confused about this process. Is there someone I can talk to about this process?

Please feel free to email Michael Spidell, Enrollment manager, at spidelmg@milwaukee.k12.wi.us with any questions, concerns, or general statements. 

Due to the heavy volume of calls, calling is not recommended. 

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