Tomorrow: Learn about all MPS schools and programs, meet principals and apply early at the Annual MPS All-School Enrollment Fair

January 29, 2016

Source: Milwaukee Public Schools press release

Free backpacks for the first 250 families to enroll at January 30 event for families looking for a new school for fall or the future

Parents and students looking for a new neighborhood, specialty or charter school for the fall or in the coming years are invited to meet school principals – and get their enrollment application in early – at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Annual All-School Enrollment Fair.

Free backpacks will be provided to the first 250 families to enroll their student at the event, which is set for Saturday, January 30 from 9 a.m. to noon at MPS’ Milwaukee High School of the Arts, 2300 W. Highland Avenue, Milwaukee 53233.

The fair will allow families to fill out a Three-Choice Enrollment application before the applications open online. The Three-Choice application allows a family to select up to three schools in which they are interested for their child. Child care will be available at the fair.

“Meeting a school leader in person and learning about the strong academic, extracurricular and athletic programs each school offers is one of the best ways to find the school that’s right for your child,” MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver said. “We invite families who are making their school decisions for the fall – or in future years – to join us.”

Families who cannot attend the fair can still enroll starting Monday, February 1. Families can enroll online at, at any MPS school or at MPS Central Services. Families can learn more about any school by searching by name, location or program at

Applying at the fair or during the Three-Choice period gives families their best opportunity to attend their first-choice school. All applications received at the fair and during the Three-Choice Period (February 1-19, 2016) are treated equally and a random selection process will take place if there are more interested families than seats in a given school or grade level. Families receive an enrollment preference if a sibling is enrolled in the school or if it is their neighborhood school.

Enrollment applications received after February 19 are handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

This year’s fair comes as MPS continues to expand access to strong programs. Expansions for the upcoming school year include: • MPS is building an addition for Fernwood Montessori School, allowing the high-performing K-8 school in the Bay View area to accommodate the large number of early childhood students the school has enrolled in recent years as those students advance by grade level. The school has grown in recent years from about 550 students to more than 700.

  • Rufus King International Middle School is moving to a new location at 2760 N. 1st Street, Milwaukee 53212, providing the grade 6-8 International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme room to grow and continue to prepare students for the rigorous IB Diploma Programme available at three MPS high schools (King, MacDowell Montessori and Reagan).
  • Milwaukee Excellence Charter School, a new MPS charter school, will begin serving students in grade 6 in the fall, tentatively at the former McNair School site, 4950 N. 24th Street, Milwaukee 53209.
  • Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School is expanding to a second campus, 3575 S. 88th Street, Milwaukee 53228, to serve more students. This fall, the new campus will serve all of the school’s students in grades K4 and K5 with students in grades 1-5 attending school at the current MSIS campus, 2765 S. 55th Street, Milwaukee 53219. By 2017-18, the 88th Street campus will serve all 1st-grade students as well with the current campus serving grades 2-5.
  • Morse Middle School for the Gifted and Talented is moving to its own homeat 6700 N. 80th Street, Milwaukee 53223, allowing both it and John Marshall High School for the Gifted and Talented (Morse Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented 9-12), 4141 N. 64th Street, Milwaukee 53216, to grow their programs.
  • Pulaski High School is planning to add International Baccalaureate programming and increase bilingual programming as it begins a new partnership with Carmen High School of Science and Technology – South Campus. The partnership provides for the two schools working together to improve student achievement, school climate and teaching and administrative practices as each school brings 200 new freshmen into the Pulaski campus this fall.
  • Victory School is expanding its Italian immersion program to include full immersion beginning with 4-year-old kindergarten (K4) this fall. The full immersion program will offer transportation to students citywide, excluding those living within the school’s walk zone. MPS continues to advance its eight strategic objectives to improve student outcomes focused on student achievement, effective and efficient operations and family and community engagement. The district continues to build on success including its seven high schools rated among the best in the state and nation by U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post and its 82 schools recognized for reinforcing positive student behaviors and helping all students learn.


This news is available online at

County Supervisor Patricia Jursik calls zoning protection for South Shore parks

January 28, 2016

The Century Parks of Bay View, Sheridan and Grant Must Be Protected

 Supervisor Patricia Jursik today called on the mayors and common councils located within the South Shore cities of St. Francis, Cudahy and South Milwaukee to immediately act on clarification of the zoning for our venerable lake shore parks of Bay View Park in St. Francis, Sheridan Park in Cudahy and Grant Park in South Milwaukee, all which have been parks for over 100 years and have been set aside as legacy parks within our county park system.  Additionally Greene Park in St. Francis also needs to be protected.

In 2007, I left a successful law practice to run for County Board because then-County Executive Scott Walker and an unnamed but hand-picked candidate chosen by the Executive advocated for the sale of a lakeshore park in the 8th District (Warnimont Park).  Anyone who has followed my term in office knows that I have been first and foremost an advocate of our public parks.  During my term, I have successfully advocated for much needed improvements along these parks, including replacement of very old sections of the Oak Leaf Trail.  As I looked to retirement, I felt this part of my advocacy had been successful.

I was shocked, shocked to see these venerable parks were not properly zoned and left unprotected from future developers eyeing virgin land along vistas of our Great Lake for some lucrative development.  There are old cities and largely land-locked.  A scenario in which developers capture sufficient aldermen dedicated to their development vision in the guise of saving money is not a wild conspiracy theory, as I harken back to 2007 when 8th District citizens saw such a scheme attempted which would have sold park land.

As perhaps a final act in office, I shall work with our elected mayors and aldermen to once again protect these legacy parks.  I appreciate the leadership of the Chairman of the County Board in his efforts on this issue, but I do not intend to sit back and wait for various levels of governing, including the ICC (Intergovernmental Cooperation Council) to kick this around for many months.  Our citizens in District 8 will demand the protection of these parks, and I will happily make the leadership for this issue as a final act in office.  All elected leaders of St. Francis, Cudahy and South Milwaukee are called on to bring this zoning issue before the body and ensure the designation of Parks Zoning.  I have already begun the necessary contacts to accomplish this act, and call upon our citizens to advocate for their parks and contact their alderpersons for protection of our parks.

Source: Milwaukee County Board Supervisor Patricia Jursik press release 


43 Milwaukee County parks (including Bay View, Grant, Sheridan) at risk, could be sold by County Exec Abele

January 27, 2016

43 County Park Properties At Risk Because They Lack Local Zoning Protection
Chairman Lipscomb Introduces Resolution To Protect Parks and Parkland That
Could Be Sold by County Executive Without Public Hearing or Legislative Oversight 

Milwaukee County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr. has introduced a resolution that supports the protection of Milwaukee County parks and parkland, opposes the sale of any parks lacking the designated zoning as parkland, and seeks to rezone them to protect them from sale.

“Milwaukee County residents place a high value on their parks and public access,” Lipscomb said. “The County Board is acting to protect our ‘emerald necklace’ from sale by the Executive. Our parks are too important to be left to the whims of an Executive who does not value them. Our park system is a legacy that we must protect for future generations.”

The resolution also requests the Parks Department and Corporation Counsel to seek immediate parkland rezoning of identified park properties.

“There are dozens of parks properties that could be sold today by the County Executive without legislative oversight due to legislation he sought in Madison when he sold Park East land for $1 to the Milwaukee Bucks,” Lipscomb said.

“Act 55, the state legislation that granted the County Executive the authority to sell any Milwaukee County land that is not zoned as parkland, included provisions where the Executive received new authority to sell land without a public process or legislative oversight. This characterizes the way in which the Executive has sought power with no regard for the consequences. People will be shocked when they see the list of 43 properties that could be sold.”

Lipscomb said the Executive “could not take the high ground on parks protection,” having sought the power to sell land without a public hearing or legislative oversight.

“The County Board is still trying to get its arms around the implications of Act 55,” he said. “But what we do know is that there are at least 43 properties that could be sold without oversight, a public hearing or legislative oversight today.”

The current list of properties at risk are:

Algonquin Park
Armour Park
Baran Park
Bay View Park
Big Bay Park
Brown Deer Park
Cathedral Square Park
Chippewa Park
County Grounds Park
Doctors Park
Estabrook Park
Falk Park
Franklin Park
Froemming Park
Grant Park
Grobschmidt Park
Greene Park
Hanson Park, A.C.
Joseph-Lichter Park
Juneau Park
Kletzsch Park
Kohl Park
Lake Park
Lincoln Park
Melody View Preserve
Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum
Mitchell Airport Park
Mitchell Boulevard Park
Oakwood Park
Pere Marquette Park
Rawson Park
Red Arrow Park
Riverside Park
Rover West
Runway Dog Park
Scout Lake Park
Servite Park Reserve
Sheridan Park
Southwood Glen
St. Martins Park
Whitnall Park
Wilson Recreation Center
Zeidler Union Square

The resolution will be considered by the Committee on Intergovernmental Relations on Friday, January 29.

Source: Milwaukee County Parks press release

Common Ground leaders who oppose Bucks arena deal plan door-to-door campaign prior to April 5 local elections

January 25, 2016

Source: Common Ground press release

Milwaukee still angry about the arena deal? “You bet!” says Common Ground.

Common Ground was the key organization opposing public funding of the new Bucks arena. Following the decision of the Mayor and Common Council to spend $80 million downtown, Common Ground leaders are prepared to fight for equal capital investment in neighborhoods across the city.

They plan to make sure Neighborhood Improvement is an issue in local elections.

What: A platform convention with 400 Common Ground leaders who will take public commitments to go door to door to talk to neighbors about voting on April 5th.

When: Tuesday, January 26th 7:00 pm-8:30 pm

Where: Tripoli Shrine Center, 3000 W Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee

Visuals: 400 Common Ground leaders


• Bob Connolly, Gesu Parish, Common Ground Strategy Team

• Maria Barker, Common Ground Southside Caucus, Co-Chair MKE Neighborhoods Now Campaign

• Kathleen Wichman, East Siders for Common Ground, Co-Chair MKE Neighborhoods Now Campaign, Common Ground Strategy Team

• Pastor Will Davis, Invisible Reality Ministries, Co-Chair MKE Neighborhoods Now Campaign, Common Ground Strategy Team

ABOUT COMMON GROUND: Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground (CG) is a 501(c)3 organization of congregations, religious groups, small businesses, nonprofits, schools, unions and neighborhood associations whose mission is to address critical social issues in creative, non-partisan ways. CG’s 45+ member organizations live and work in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties.

Common Ground is part of a national network affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the oldest and largest institution for professional organizing in the United States.

For more information on Common Ground please visit .

BVC and BVNA Candidate Forum & Debate March 1st!

January 19, 2016


The Bay View Compass and Bay View Neighborhood Association are presenting a Candidate Forum & Debate March 1.

The event will include the two candidates seeking the Milwaukee County Board District 14 seat — Incumbent Jason Haas and Challenger Franz Meyer.

It will also include Milwaukee Aldermanic District 14 candidates — Incumbent Tony Zielinski and Challenger Meagan Holman.

The event will be held in the Bay View High School Auditorium. Doors open at 6pm. The event will begin at 7pm.

For more details and updates when they become available, follow us the event’s Facebook page.
Candidate Debate March 1 2016 graphic.indd

Milwaukee DPW schedules for Monday, Jan. 18, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday

January 14, 2016

City of Milwaukee government offices will be closed Monday, January 18, 2016 for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

Department of Public Works (DPW) services and certain parking restrictions will be affected as follows:

Garbage, Recycling, and Self-Help Centers: 

  • There will be no garbage or recycling pick-up on Monday, January 18
  • Self-Help Centers will be closed on January 18

City residents are encouraged to check online for their next scheduled garbage and recycling pick-ups at Please remember that year-round set-out rules are in effect – you must take your cart to the curb for curb pick-up or place it at the alley line for alley pick-up. Be sure to shovel around all carts so DPW crews can access them and limit any disruptions to service delivery.

Parking Enforcement: 

  • No parking meter enforcement on Monday, January 18
  • No overnight parking enforcement on Sunday night into Monday morning (January 18 from 2:00 to 6:00 a.m.) and Monday night into Tuesday morning (January 19 from 2:00 to 6:00 a.m.)
  • Overnight parking enforcement resumes on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning (January 20 from 2:00 to 6:00 a.m.)

Tow Lot: 

  • Closed on Monday, January 18

Milwaukee Water Works: 

  •  24-hour drinking water service and Emergency Control Center: (414) 286-3710
  • The Customer Service Center will be closed on January 18
  • Customers can pay their Municipal Services Bill online at For automated account information, please call (414) 286-2830.

In addition, residents should call (414) 286-CITY (2489) for other requests. For more information on DPW services, go to

Milwaukee Arts Board releases applications for 2016 project grant cycle

January 14, 2016

The City of Milwaukee Arts Board (MAB) brings accessibility and enjoyment of the arts to our culturally diverse community by awarding matching funds for arts programing and arts education experiences to the city’s eligible arts organizations. Guidelines and applications for 2016 Project Grants are now posted online.

“Our goal is to support our city’s talented arts professionals who bring us together in ways that delight, inform, inspire and even challenge us,” said Common Council President Michael Murphy, who chairs the board.

MAB encourages requests for funding from not-for-profit arts organizations offering arts programs, exhibits or performances that are open and accessible to the people of Milwaukee. These may be free or require paid admission. Eligible organizations must have an administrative office located in the City of Milwaukee. The postmark deadline is March 7, 2016.

In 2015 the Milwaukee Arts Board awarded $213,500 to 33 organizations toward projects ranging from a Renaissance Theaterworks production of “The Ballad of Emmett Till” to Ex Fabula’s bilingual Spanish “Puente” project.

Organizations, especially first time applicants, are strongly encouraged to attend a MAB grant writing workshop on one of two dates: Wednesday, Feb. 3, from 9:30-11 a.m. in the first floor board room at 809 N. Broadway; or Thursday, Feb. 11, from 4-5:30 p.m. at East Library, 2320 N. Cramer St. Until March 7, staff will be available to answer questions and provide assistance. Please contact: Sally Witte, MAB Grants Administrator, at or 414-286-5794.

Additionally, the Milwaukee Arts Board’s Public Art Subcommittee continues to consider proposals for funding both New Works of Public Art, and Conservation of Public Art. Guidelines are posted on the arts board website. A comprehensive list of public art in the City of Milwaukee can be found on Wikipedia.

Source: Press release Milwaukee Department of City Development

State assessments provide snapshot of student achievement in state, MPS

January 13, 2016

Districtwide efforts designed to improve student achievement in place; promising results in some grades
Milwaukee Public Schools’ students in middle school grades posted steady improvement in English language arts on the Wisconsin Student Assessment System exams taken during the 2014-15 school year, according to results released today by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

MPS students in 3rd through 8th grade participated in the Badger and Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) exams. The DLM is an alternative assessment given to students with severe cognitive disabilities.

Of all 3rd through 8th grade students, 27 percent scored proficient or advanced in English language arts. Students in middle school showed an upward trend in proficiency in English language arts.

While 22 percent of 6th graders scoring proficient or advanced, the number climbed to 29 percent of 7th graders and 33 percent of 8th graders.

“It is critical that we build on the progress we are making at middle school grades,” said MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver. “While it is a step in a positive direction, we still have significant work to do at all grade levels. We have several initiatives in place that are focusing our efforts on improving student outcomes and we will continue to work hard until all students achieve at high levels.”

Seventeen percent of students in 3rd through 8th grade scored proficient or advanced in mathematics. Statewide, 44 percent of 3rd through 8th graders were proficient or advanced in mathematics and 52 percent were proficient or advanced in English language arts.

Also released today were ACT results and results for the high school DLM. The ACT is a college admissions exam taken by students nationwide and it measures the college readiness of 11th grade students. The ACT is more rigorous than the test it replaced, the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination, which tested the proficiency of 10th graders. Twenty-two percent of all MPS 11th graders scored proficient or advanced in English language arts and 10 percent were proficient or advanced in mathematics compared to 45 percent and 26 percent statewide.

Current efforts underway districtwide to improve student outcomes include:

  • Development of a focus on literacy throughout the district, with an enhanced reading curriculum in kindergarten through 3rd grade and a high school focus on reading, writing, speaking, listening and language across the curriculum
  • Implementation of a mathematics curriculum in 4th and 8th grade that emphasizes Algebra Readiness
  • Creation of one-on-one and small group support sessions during the school day for students, including reading and mathematics at high school
  • Expansion of online academic supports to increase reading and writing in science in social studies for middle and high school students
  • Continuation and evaluation of a variety of tutoring programs in all MPS schools
    Alignment of community partnerships to the district’s reading focus
  • The Badger, ACT, and DLM assessments replace Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations and Wisconsin Alternative Assessments for Students with Disabilities that were administered in 3rd through 8th grade and 10th grade in prior years. Because the 2014-15 assessments were taken in spring rather than fall and were based on different standards, the Department of Public Instruction states that comparison to results from prior years are not advised.

This news is available online at

Source: MPS press release

SEWISC currently has funds available to assist with control of invasive species

January 12, 2016

SEWISC has a limited amount of funding to provide for invasive species control.

  • This funding can only be used for on-the-ground control projects.
  • Assistance awards will be limited to a maximum of $2,000 of funding from SEWISC.
  • The funded project must provide a match that equals at least 25% of the total project budget.  In-kind (e.g. volunteer labor) match is acceptable.  SEWISC will not fund more than 75% of the total cost of the project.  Details of the match calculation must be shown in the grant application budget.
  • Applications are due by 26 February 2016; and awardees will be notified by 19 March 2016.
  • The project must be completed in 2016; a final report will be due by 31 January 2017.

For a general description of SEWISC’s Assistance Program and an Assistance Application for these funds see (

These funds were provided to SEWISC by the We Energies Foundation

Protected: 2016 Garden

January 8, 2016

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UWM researchers participate in educational vigil for Wisconsin burial grounds

January 8, 2016

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers will participate in a vigil on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to help educate the public about Native American burial and effigy mounds in Wisconsin.

The vigil will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at a prehistoric burial mound in Lake Park near the UW-Milwaukee campus.

Burial and effigy mounds are critical to understanding the cultures that built them. Some are gargantuan maps, while others, like the Mayan pyramids, are calendar and astronomical devices.

Wisconsin has 90 percent of the effigy mounds in the world. They the only earthen forms constructed by prehistoric American Indians. The Ho-Chunk people are believed to be descendants of the Mound Builder people, and the tribe views the mounds as sacred sites that should not be disturbed.

However, legislation has been proposed in Wisconsin to allow these sacred Native American mounds sites to be excavated if they lie in the path of another project.

Members of the public are invited to join indigenous people and their allies from the greater Milwaukee community at the vigil, including representatives from UWM’s American Indian Studies faculty, the Electa Quinney Institute of American Indian Education, and the Overpass Light Brigade. Those participating in the vigil should dress warmly.

Planned timeline:

  • 4:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Gathering begins as the sun is setting. Brief talks and readings about what the mounds are and their cultural and historical significance from AIS faculty members.
  • 4:50 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. as darkness falls, LED tea lights will be places around and on the mound followed by a couple of messages from the Overpass Light Brigade.

Location of Prehistoric Burial Mound in Lake Park:

Facebook event page:

American Indian Studies:

Electa Quinney Institute:

Overpass Light Brigade:

Public meeting Jan. 19 to discuss potential small community garden in Cupertino Park

January 7, 2016

Supervisor Dimitrijevic Invites Public to Provide Input on New Bay View Community Garden

The County’s S.E.E.D. Program Looks to Grow in Cupertino Park

 Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic invites the public to a community forum on creating a small community garden at the south end of Cupertino Park, located at 2000 E. Iron St.

 The forum, co-sponsored by the UW-Extension, seeks input and support in creating the garden and will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19 at the South Shore Pavilion.

 “As the author of our Sowing, Empowering, and Eliminating Deserts of Food (S.E.E.D.) program, I am excited to see the fruits of our labor begin to bloom right in my own neighborhood,” Dimitrijevic said. “A busy county park is a safe, clean and active park for all to enjoy. Neighbors approached us about this new endeavor and because of the partnership created with the UW-Extension through our S.E.E.D. program, we have the resources to make this happen.

“Bay View is known for its tight community and active neighbors, so it’s no surprise that there is a grassroots effort on the way to bring residents together while growing healthy food for all to enjoy. We need the vision of community residents, and this forum will assist us in determining what this new resource will look like.”

For questions or input, contact Ryan Schone at  or Joe Walsh at 414-899-3302 or

Source: Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors press release


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