Frequently Asked Questions

What digital platform will my child be learning on?

Students will primarily be using Google Classroom. In some instances, teachers will select and share appropriate tech platforms to fit the goal of the cooperative lesson.

What does synchronous instruction mean?

Synchronous means existing or occurring at the same time. The synchronous interaction (online meeting times or interactive learning activities) of instructors and students in collaborative online learning spaces is the preferred pedagogy to increase student achievement.

What does asynchronous instruction mean?

Asynchronous means two or more objects or events not existing or happening at the same time. Asynchronous learning (no planned online interactive meeting or learning activities beyond basic student and teacher progress monitoring, grading, or technical support).

What is a formative assessment?

A formative assessment is a way for teachers to measure student understanding. Formative assessments are often not graded or are assigned low point value. They are held frequently to check in on student progress. Examples of formative assessments are quizzes or writing a brief summary of the topic.

What is a summative assessment?

A summative assessment is a way for teachers to formally evaluate student understanding compared to a standard or benchmark. Summative assessments are things like midterm exams, final projects, and research papers.

What is differentiation?

Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet different learning needs of students. Examples of differentiation include asking questions that can be answered with different levels of understanding, using several different texts to teach the same topic, and student independent learning or collaboration.

How can I stay connected with Milwaukee Public Schools?

MPS will continue to send out information from SchoolMessenger to your mobile devices via text message and call, email, and the Friday Family newsletter. We also encourage district families to stay up to date with our MPS district and school social media accounts and websites.

How do I opt in to text messaging?

The district is now utilizing the SchoolMessenger system to send text messages to the mobile phones of MPS staff and families to keep everyone up-to-date with important information, safety alerts, school closing and more. MPS staff and families will need to opt-in to continue to receive important district and school messages to their phone. Everyone will need to opt-in by sending a text message to 67587 with “Y” or “Yes.” You can do this step with any mobile phone you would like to receive messages.

What is the plan for the 2020-2021 school year?

Milwaukee Public Schools’ (MPS) phased-in reopening recommendation for the 2020-21 school year was unanimously approved by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors.The phased in approach includes: Phase 1-Full Remote Learning, Phase 2-Hybrid Learning, and Phase 3-Face-to-Face Learning with a Virtual Option.

MPS will start the school year with virtual learning for all students. As the spread of COVID-19 decreases, students will return to schools for two days each week for face-to-face learning and virtual three days each week. Phase 3 will allow all students to return to the classroom five days a week, with a virtual option, when conditions are healthy to return. MPS will monitor public health conditions to determine movement between each phase.

When will school start?

Schools that follow the Early Start calendar will start on August 17, 2020. Schools that follow the Traditional calendar will start on September 1, 2020.

Will there be one calendar or two?

There will be two calendars: Early Start and Traditional. Visit the Student Days Off webpage to download a calendar and see the dates when schools will not be in session.

As school reopens in the fall, will visitors still be allowed on campus?

At this time, access to district and school buildings are limited to essential visitors only. As we move to new phases, new protocols will be announced.

As a parent, what are my choices with sending my child back to school?

Instruction for all schools will start as fully remote this fall, which is Phase 1 of the reopening plan.

What if we do not have access to virtual learning because of Internet issues?

An Internet connection is required for your child to log in to educational websites. Many phone and television providers are offering free or reduced-cost Internet plans for students. Contact your provider or view our Internet Resources for Families list.

How do I enroll my student at an MPS school?

Enrollment options include:

  • Online: mpsmke.com/enroll. Families may enroll online at any time.
  • By Phone: Call (414) 267-5100 Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

Are masks required when entering school buildings?

Due to the mask ordinance issued by the City of Milwaukee, masks are required to be worn by all staff in Central Office and school buildings. These buildings are currently closed to the public.

Can my child bring his or her own mask to school?

Learning will begin as fully virtual this fall for all students. MPS will issue guidelines on masks when the second phase reopening begins. The second phase includes a blend of virtual and face-to-face learning of reopening begins.

What measures will you take to socially distance students while at school?

At this time, access to district and school buildings are limited to essential visitors only. As we move to new phases, new protocols will be announced.

How often will my school be cleaned?

Schools are sanitized daily. Advanced disinfecting of commonly touched surfaces will be implemented when the building is occupied. Additional employees are dedicated to sanitizing high touch surfaces and cleaning/restocking restrooms during the school/work day.

How will parents/guardians be informed if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs at a school?

The district will provide communication to individuals who may have been in contact with an individual that tested positive for COVID-19 following Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines to maintain the individual’s anonymity.

Will temperature checks be required before entering school?

Temperature checks for students and staff will not be performed when entering school buildings. Families and staff are strongly encouraged to perform temperature checks at home and to stay home upon any sign of illness.

How will meals be distributed for the upcoming school year?

While MPS is in Phase 1 of its reopening plan, meals will continue to be distributed at MPS Stop-Grab-and-Go locations.

What supports are available for my child?

Keeping children at home presents a unique set of challenges. Children may miss their friends, classmates, teachers, and school staff, and may struggle with the feeling of being confined. To help children and adults adapt to the emotions of being confined, we provide resources for social and emotional learning on our Online Learning Resources page.

Many MPS teachers use mindfulness in the classroom to help students focus. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to breathing, the body, and surroundings to shut out stress and gain control. Learning mindfulness is easy and takes only a few minutes. Ask your child if they learned mindfulness exercises in class, or visit GoNoodle to learn mindfulness techniques and enjoy dance videos and more for kids and families.

How do I get a Chromebook for my student?

Students going to a new school in fall should return Chromebooks to the school that issued the device on July 30 and 31 for early start schools and on August 13 and 14 for traditional schools.

New students (with a focus on kindergarten, 6th grade and 9th grade students), will receive a Chromebook at their school as part of Welcome Week and/or Freshman Bridge the week of August 3-7 for early start schools and the week of August 24 – 28 for traditional schools.

If you are unable to pick up a Chromebook during one of these distribution dates, please email your school leader.

How do I recover the username and password to my Parent Portal account?

Parents/guardians should email parentportal@milwaukee.k12.wi.us. Include the parent/guardian name, child’s name, birth date, and a contact number. If you do not receive a phone call or email within 24 hours, please call (414) 475-8159 for further assistance.

Live Parent Portal (Infinite Campus) support is available from 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday.

How do I set up a new Parent Portal account?

Parents/guardians may call (414) 475-8159 from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Monday through Friday or email parentportal@milwaukee.k12.wi.us.

What support will be provided for parents to help support their child?

A number of parent tutorials that relate to accessing technology, virtual learning tools, and other helpful resources will be available on the family resource website.