Milwaukee Public Schools
Press Release

Board Approves Lease with UW-Madison to Help More Kids Get to College

Daniel Webster Secondary school to expand, Franklin Pierce Elementary changes name to Riverwest Elementary

By - Sep 28th, 2018 11:50 am

MILWAUKEE (September 28, 2018) – At its monthly meeting, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors approved a lease with University of Wisconsin-Madison for their Precollege Enrichment Opportunity Program of Learning Excellence (PEOPLE) at Rufus King International Middle School. The Board also approved Daniel Webster Secondary school expansion and for Franklin Piece Elementary to change its name to Riverwest Elementary.

The PEOPLE program works in partnership with students, parents, public school districts, alumni, and corporate and private donors throughout the state of Wisconsin to expand the pool of students from its target population who qualify for top-ranked universities and UW-System institutions. PEOPLE is a precollege pipeline program designed for University of Wisconsin-Madison targeting minority groups and low-income students, most of whom are the first in their families to potentially attend college.

Approximately 160 students in Milwaukee Public Schools across nine through twelfth grade currently participate in the PEOPLE program. In exchange for space at the Rufus King International Middle School campus, PEOPLE plans to serve approximately 400 Milwaukee Public School students through tutoring, academic enhancements, and summer experiences designed to prepare students for post-secondary success at no cost to students or families of Milwaukee Public Schools.

Webster Secondary School expansion
The District will establish a steering committee to guide the redesign of Webster Secondary School per the resolution put forth by Board President Mark Sain. The steering committee will include representation from Webster’s leadership, staff, students, parents and partners, as well as MPS central services and the community. Once the steering committee has been established, the work will begin on the redesign and growth of Webster Secondary School including the addition of 9th grade.

Riverwest Elementary School
Franklin Pierce Elementary School is a traditional elementary school, which served 454 students in grades K3-5 during the 2017-18 school year. Head Start programming is offered at the school for students in grades K3-K4. The Board approved the request from Pierce principal and school community to rename Franklin Pierce Elementary School to Riverwest Elementary School.

The communication indicated that there has been ongoing conversation with staff at Pierce regarding the beliefs and principles of Franklin Pierce. The consensus of these discussions was that this name does not represent the school. A name change will rebrand the school to closely align to its location in the Riverwest neighborhood and attract more students.

The entire Pierce school community was involved in the process to rename the school including students, parents, staff and community members. The School Engagement Council unanimously supported the proposed renaming of Pierce to Riverwest Elementary School.

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 taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
  • The MPS Class of 2018 earned $86.2 million in scholarships; and
  • MPS is home to seven of the state and nation’s top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.

Learn more about MPS by visiting our website. More news is available at

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