March Board update: Efforts to expand strong academic programming, increase high-performing seats moving forward
Regional development plans progressing
MILWAUKEE (March 30, 2015) – Milwaukee Public Schools‘ work to expand successful academic programs and increase the number of seats in high-performing schools continues to move forward, as noted in an informational item presented to the Milwaukee Board of School Directors at its regular monthly meeting Thursday night.
Since first presenting a conceptual overview of the Regional Development plans in December, the MPS has conducted parent and community outreach at both the district and school level along with survey work, administrative retreats and meetings and Board retreats and meetings focused on the work.
- An architect has been selected for the addition at Fernwood Montessori School, which is rated “Exceeds Expectations” on the state report card. The construction work is expected to be released for bid this summer with an expectation that the addition to the school be complete in fall 2016.
- The next steps for the addition at Maryland Avenue Montessori School, which is also rated “Exceeds Expectations” on the state report card, include work by the school planning committee and MPS Facilities and Maintenance to finalize the project’s scope.
- The construction contract has been approved for the renovations at the Malcolm X site to house Rufus King International Middle School, which offers the rigorous college preparatory International Baccalaureate program. MPS Facilities and Maintenance is also working with the City of Milwaukee on the release of a new Request for Proposals for redevelopment of the southern portion of the Malcolm X site, which will be used for commercial or residential development.
- Planning is underway to develop the former 88th Street School as a second site for the district’s popular and successful Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School, whose math scores have grown to exceed the state average.
- Based upon feedback from a community input session held March 4 for Audubon Technology and Communication Center middle and high schools, the administration will not be moving forward with the project for the two schools.
- A draft lease is under review for the possible expansion of Universal Academy for the College Bound, a charter school that received the higher of two possible ratings on its initial state report card, into the former Lee School site. Once negotiations are complete, the lease will be brought forward to the Board for approval
- The district has created a dedicated position to explore the viability of moving forward with creating a high-performing northwest-side middle school at the Burroughs site.
Community Cornerstone Projects
- In January, MPS declared four former school properties as surplus: the Wisconsin Avenue, Wheatley, 37th Street and Frederick Douglass sites. MPS has forwarded a written communication to the City of Milwaukee requesting that it prepare Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for commercial or residential redevelopment of the sites, potentially adding to the city’s tax base.
- A full Recreation Facilities Master Plan was presented to the Board in February. The plan outlines a set of citywide projects to be undertaken over the next 10 years.
About Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:
- More MPS students are meeting reading standards
- The MPS Class of 2014 earned $31 million in scholarships, up $7 million; and
- MPS is home to 4 of the state’s top 15 high schools according to U.S. News and World Report
Learn more about MPS by visiting http://mps.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/en/District/About-MPS.htm. More MPS news is available at http://mps.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/news.
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