Yesterday MPS posted the agenda for next week's Committee on Accountability, Finance and Personnel meeting on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m.
This is the meeting at which school closings and changes, based on Master Facilities Plan report recommendations, were expected. While among the 11 items were action items to expand Golda Meir and to close 68th Street and 65th Street Schools and the Hayes Facility, other recommendations, such as closing Carver and Burroughs and moving and expanding MacDowell Montessori were missing.
Turns out that those items have likely moved to Tuesday's Innovation/School Reform Committee, which meets on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. The agenda for that meeting has not yet appeared on the MPS portal.
Public testimony will be heard at both meetings next week (but it behooves those who want to comment to appear at the correct meeting).
MacDowell principal Andrea Corona notified the school community of the change last night and the news has been gotten around today.
Being involved in similar – now tabled – discussions at another MPS Montessori school, I understand that it's hard to gauge a community's mood about such changes because there is usually a wide variety of opinions and viewpoints and a lot of unanswered questions.
But recently I asked MacDowell teacher Jenny Aicher how the school's teachers have reacted to the proposal to relocate the K3-8 program to the Juneau campus and expand it through 12th grade next year.
"The overall feeling at the school is pretty good about the move," she told me in an e-mail. "Our building is so uninspiring aethetically, so I know I, as well as others, are excited for something more pleasant.
"The staff still has a lot of questions about specifics, but overall I think the feeling is good."
Moving a school is a difficult proposition in terms of buy-in and it's likely families who must travel farther will be less happy than those whose commute will shrink.
Others may be concerned about the idea of 3-year-olds sharing a building with 18-year-olds, but the Juneau building – which originally housed a large comprehensive traditional high school – is a spacious one, which could alleviate some such concerns.
The Juneau campus is currently home to the Montessori High School, an MPS charter school that recently expanded to include 7th and 8th grades. The school's charter expires this year.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.