First day of school for MPS, other Milwaukee-area districts

Governor Walker, MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton and state superintendent Tony Evers took part in the first day back at an MPS school on Milwaukee's northwest side.

Click on the photos for more of our photo gallery, including photos from TODAY'S TMJ4's Nick Montes.  Click here for more of his story.

  • MILWAUKEE - Both adults and their kids have gone back to work, so to speak, after the Labor Day weekend.

    Tuesday brought the first day of school for many children in Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin.

    Gilbert Stuart School in Milwaukee was among the hundreds of schools to open its doors to kids.

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  • It also opened its doors to Governor Scott Walker, State Superintendent Tony Evers and Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Thornton on Tuesday.

    They took part in a bell-ringing ceremony starting at 7:00 a.m. at the school, on the 7000 block of North 86th Street.

    MPS spokesman Tony Tagliavia has some advice for kids as they adjust to their new schedule.

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  • "This is the time to get back into those routines, getting to bed earlier, making sure there's time and a quiet place at home to study every night, getting back into more reading...reading is so critical for parents to do with children. That's even more critical when the school year starts," Tagliavia told TODAY'S TMJ4's Nick Montes.

    About 80,000 students attend more than 160 MPS schools.

    A dozen of those MPS schools have already been in session since early August. Most, however, would be opening on Tuesday.

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  • In 2012-13, MPS was to implement some changes.

    "We added another Montessori school on the southeast side," Tagliavia added when talking with Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jon Byman.

    Teachers at 10 schools would also be part of a special program by GE, receiving more support services.

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  • Tagliavia said the biggest concern is class size.

    MPS has not yet been able to force concessions most district's got from teachers are part of the collective bargaining law. It has one more year of a contract that predates the law. Teachers have refused to change the contract and take the concessions.

    "As we continue to save money, that's an avenue we can use to create those class sizes and get them to where we want them to be," said Tagliavia.

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  • Crystal Warford's daughter is a second-grader.

    She's been asking a lot of questions over summer break.

    "Everything about who her teacher is, hoping she'll have her same friends, just looking forward to the start<" said Crystal.

    They weren't the only ones looking forward to school starting.

    "Very emotional day, couldn't sleep last night," explained Veronica Anthony.

    "I was so anxious to see my students."

    Click on the photo for more from our photo gallery from the start of MPS' 2012-13 school year.