Milwaukee Public Schools
Press Release

MPS Board Committee accepts early start calendar for high schools, middle schools and year-round schools

Committee asks administration to pursue further research and dialog regarding elementary school calendars

By - Dec 16th, 2016 04:27 pm
Tatiana Joseph. Photo from MPS.

Tatiana Joseph. Photo from MPS.

Milwaukee (Dec. 16, 2016) – The Milwaukee Board of School Directors Committee on Strategic Planning and Budget voted unanimously Thursday to accept an early start calendar for high schools, middle schools and year-round schools and asked the administration to pursue further research on changing the K-8 elementary school calendar.

The early start calendar proposal is part of the district’s plan to improve outcomes for students. While MPS schools are showing signs of growth and have moved up a grade in the state report card, there is much work to do, particularly in high schools and middle schools:

  • The four-year high school graduation rate in MPS is 58.2 percent, compared to 88.4 percent statewide
  • Eighty-three of the district’s 158 schools remain on the state’s “Fails to Meet Expectations” or “Meets Few Expectations” list
  • The average ACT composite score in MPS is 16.5, versus 20.1 statewide

Board members indicated it was critical to take action to support Milwaukee’s young people.
“We have to take a stand for our children, who will lead this city eventually,” said Director Tatiana Joseph.

The proposed change to the calendar allows for the addition of a “J-term”, a four-week optional credit recovery and enrichment program in June in between the end of the regular school year and traditional summer school in July. The additional learning time the J-term provides, along with the early start in mid-August, gives students more time to catch up, keep up and get ahead in school.

Some media outlets have reported inaccurate information regarding the committee vote. To ensure that families, students and community members have correct information, the district is sharing the board committee’s resolution:

  • All MPS schools in the high school region, schools on the IB calendar and year-round schools adopt the Early Start Calendar; all other MPS schools remain on the traditional calendar
  • Move true middle schools (grade 6-8 schools) into the high school region and apply the J-term approach to middle schools
  • Pursue further research and dialog concerning K-8 Policy
  • Provide flexibility for year round schools to maintain the year round calendar with the exception of schools that fails to meet expectations
  • Ask the City Attorney for advisement and interpretation of the Board’s Authority to implement the proposed changes to the calendar

The change will affect 40 schools in the 2017-18 school year. The full board will vote on the resolution Thursday, Dec. 22 at its regular December board meeting.

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools Announces Spring Return for Interscholastic Athletics

All Athletics Activities Will Follow MPS’s Return-to-Play Game Plan

Milwaukee Public Schools Returns to In-Person Learning

Students will have an option of returning to school buildings in April

Milwaukee Public Schools to host Celebrating Abilities Family Forum

The annual event will celebrate and support families whose children have special education needs

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us