Milwaukee College Preparatory School is busy preparing to open two new campuses later this month, including one at the former Lloyd Street School, 1228 W. Lloyd St., which it recently purchased from MPS. Lloyd and Hopkins School will merge this fall at the Hopkins building, 1503 W. Hopkins St. and will be known as Hopkins-Lloyd Community School.
The original Milwaukee College Prep, an independent school chartered by University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, is located at 2449 N. 36th St. The school also is acquiring the Thirty-eighth Street School, at 2623 N. 38th St. and closing its Lindsay Heights campus at 1530 W. Center St. The two new campuses are chartered by Milwaukee Public Schools.
MCP has a reputation for academic excellence. WKCE scores released in April for the 2010-11 school year showed that in reading 90.3 percent of MCP 3rd-8th grade students at the original 36th Street campus scored “advanced or proficient”; in math 85.3 percent scored “advanced or proficient.” Students at Milwaukee College Prep are accepted through a random selection process. Ninety-nine percent are black, 66 percent from single parent homes and three-quarters are from low-income families.
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service talked recently with Milwaukee College Prep principal Robert Rauh about the changes. Below is an edited version of the conversation:
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service: What will happen to the students who attended Milwaukee College Prep at the Center Street location?
Robert Rauh: A lot of students at the Center Street site will move over to Lloyd School with us. At the Lindsay Heights campus, we finished the year with 400 students, and our goal is to have 480 students when school starts this year.
NNS: School starts at Lloyd Street on Aug. 25. Will the building be ready by then?
Rauh: It will be ready. We’ve been in there officially since July 12. The building is in good shape, but needs general maintenance. We had to do a lot of painting and cleaning and the parking lots are getting seal-coated. MCP’s capital campaign, expected to raise $9 million, will cover the purchase of the two buildings, and will cover renovations, and installing a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system at Lloyd.
NNS: Will the Boys and Girls Club that shared the building with the Lloyd Street School remain in that building after you take over?
Rauh: We’re still talking to the Boys and Girls Club about that, but there will be an extended day program at that site whether or not the Boys and Girls Club remains there.
NNS: Do you have spots available for the coming school year at the new Lindsay Heights campus?
Rauh: We are 95 percent full. A few spots are open in some grades. At the Center Street campus, we finished the year with 400 students, and our goal is to have 480 students when school starts this year.
NNS: What made you decide to open a second site in Lindsay Heights in the first place?
Rauh: When the Academy for Learning and Leadership closed [at the end of the 2009-10 school year] in Lindsay Heights, I got a call from their leadership team asking us to take over. We felt bad for the kids in the neighborhood.
NNS: Why did you decide to move out of the Center Street building?
Rauh: We weren’t able to work out a long-term deal, so when the Lloyd school became available, we decided to go with that.
NNS: You also purchased the Thirty-eighth Street School. How did that come about?
Rauh: We’ve been looking to grow for years. There’s always high demand for spots at our original school. We use a blind lottery to select students, and only about 4 percent of the students who applied in grades K5 (5-year-old kindergarten) through 8, got in last year. At the 38th Street campus, we will start out with grades K4 (4-year-old kindergarten) through 4th grade, and grow a grade each year. We’re expecting about 300 students at that site when it opens.
NNS: What is the secret to your success?
Rauh: First, we establish a very specific culture that’s task-oriented and puts academics at the forefront; we have very high expectations for our students. Second, and probably most important, we do everything we can to attract and retain the best teachers. We make sure we have phenomenal teachers in every classroom.
NNS: Thank you for your time, and good luck!