Milwaukee Public School District welcomes students back to classrooms

MILWAUKEE -- School is back in session for Milwaukee Public Schools students as of Tuesday, September 4th.

Officials, parents and students rang bells during a lap around Gilbert Stuart School. It was an energized and loud way to kick off the MPS school year.

Antonio Hampton walked his two sons to school Tuesday morning.

"They know they're going to a different grade so they know they got new responsibilities. They know what to do in school. They know how to behave. We go over all that," Hampton said.

Gov. Scott Walker joined MPS in welcoming Milwaukee students back to class. Gov. Walker sat in a classroom Monday morning next to MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton. Gov. Walker says attendance and reading are the keys to a good education.

"We found that kids who are reading at or about grade level by the time they leave third grade are four times more times more likely to graduate. When you include poverty as a factor, they're 13 times more likely to graduate. Showing up and making sure kids are getting that basic foundation of reading will help them get all the way through high school," Gov. Walker said.

Thornton said MPS classrooms will be more crowded than he'd like this school year. The student-to-teacher ratio within MPS is about 33-to-one. Thornton said he'd like that figure to be around 24-to-one.

'That's kind of a good thing, because our numbers actually generate more staff, so the overcrowding will bring more staff," Thornton said.

Hampton and other parents said Tuesday morning they're just glad to see their children back in a classroom for the school year.

"I'm happy they're back in school, because the whole summer, BOY!" Hampton said.

There are 15 year-round schools within MPS that had already started their school year.

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