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‘Every single day counts:’ Nearly 30,000 MPS ‘early start’ students welcomed back to school

MILWAUKEE -- Back-to-school season is here! On Monday, Aug. 13, Milwaukee Public Schools officials opened the doors to high school, middle school and select elementary school students.

"For us it is a good morning," said Leon Groce, Audubon Technology and Communication High School principal.

Nearly 30,000 Milwaukee Public Schools students hit the books on Monday as school started for those on the "early start" calendar.

Keith Posley

"I hear school bells ringing," said Keith Posley, interim superintendent.

With a renewed vision for the classroom, Posley kicked off the year at Audubon Technology and Communication High School.

"Back to the basics -- core instructions, and we are going to ensure that all children in Milwaukee Public Schools receive a wholesome, solid education," said Posley.

Reading, writing and math will take priority -- a concept Posley said is backed by research.

"Data is going to drive our work," said Posley.

Amy Mizialko

As enrollment climbs, school administrators are focusing their efforts on keeping kids in the classroom.

"Our district enrollment has been climbing all summer and we're about to go over 80,000 students enrolled," said Amy Mizialko, MTEA president.

"We've got to get our students in school every day. Every single day counts," said Posley.

Not only for the grade book -- but also to keep students out of trouble.

"Safety is a concern in our city, and school is the best place for our young people," said Posley.

"We have so many parents and families who entrust their children with us and that is something we take very seriously," said Paula Phillips, MPS board member.

Monday marked the start of what administrators are anticipating will be an "A+" year.

"The headline news will read, 'the Milwaukee Public Schools surpassed the state average for the first time in history in the areas of math, reading and writing,'" said Posley.

The remaining MPS students will return to the classroom on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

In the meantime, MPS is launching its brand new attendance campaign Wednesday, Aug. 15 at Bradley Tech High School. The initiative comes with the slogan: "Attend today, achieve tomorrow!"