MPS ends school year amidst impending closings, relocations

CREATED Jun 12, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - School was scheduled to be out on Tuesday for most Milwaukee Public Schools students.

While many kids were excited for summer break, some were sad because the school where they spent so much of their childhood was to close.

Some of those students found themselves leaving Hayes Bilingual School on Milwaukee's south side for the last time.

"This was my first school, and I feel bad," said Cesar Martinez, a 3rd grader at the school.

"I had all of my experience and adventures here since I was little," explained Alejandra Gonsales. who attended 4th grade.

Hayes opened in 1995.  It closed on Tuesday because of costly maintenance and small space.

However, MPS plans for it to move to Kosciuszko Montessori School.

"Some of my friends are coming with me, and some are not," 5th grader Noelia Gramajo told us.

MPS has chosen to close eight schools and relocate several others, including Hayes.

"Initially, it was kind of hard to accept the fact this was something they wanted to do, but this absolutely does make sense," said Principal Yolanda Hernandez Garcia.

She has worked at Hayes since it opened.  She explained that convincing parents that the move is positive was the biggest challenge.

"One of the things that was a little difficult at first was knowing we are such a small school.  Our families know each other, the students, the staff and their first fear was going into a larger building."

More space means more room to grow.  Hayes will become a K-4 through 8th grade school instead of K-4 through 5th grade.

"This school, even though its going to move, it's always going be the same teachers, the same supporters and they're the great supporters i've ever known," explained Gramajo.

For at least the time being, MPS plans to keep Hayes Bilingual and Kosciuszko's programs separate.