MPS encourages enrollment after COVID-19 student drop

MPS administrators hope a kindergarten enrollment fair on Saturday, Feb. 4, will help increase enrollment back to pre-pandemic levels.

Kindergartners usually start their day with the alphabet, but this class at Milwaukee German Immersion School does the A-B-C's a bit differently.

"We are the largest K5 German immersion program that is completely free," said Frank Lammers, principal of Milwaukee German Immersion School.

Frank Lammers

Administrators point out that MPS is the only district in the country offering these kinds of programs for free.

"When a student is taught in a second language, they immediately become more active listeners," said Lammers.

It's a selling point to get more little ears in the classroom. More enrollment means more funding from the state.

The number of students enrolled in MPS in the 2020-2021 school year was 72,341. In the following school year, enrollment dropped to 57,490 students. However, there is still a difference of 4,000 students between 2020 and 2023.

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Families shared their reasons for leaving the district with FOX6 News on social media. One mom said she moved her daughter with special needs to Wauwatosa East High School because "what she didn't learn in nine years in MPS she learned within months in Tosa."

Another parent who chose to send his son to a charter school messaged said the willingness of teachers to go the extra mile to ensure a student's success is amazing," and "I'm not sure he would have gotten the same from a public school." 

Lammer disagrees; he feels that MPS staff has dedication.

"This is available to all students in MPS. That makes us unique," Lammer said.

To join MPS and learn about Head Start and Kindergarten options in Milwaukee Public Schools, visit