By Nyesha Stone

The Milwaukee Public School system may not have the best reputation, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t producing quality students. Last week, MPS announced that 108 MPS schools were awarded platinum, gold, silver or bronze for academic excellence and positive behavior by Wisconsin Rtl Center.

A student at Academy of Accelerated Learning spending his classroom time reading. Picture provided by MPS

A student at Academy of Accelerated Learning spending his classroom time reading.

Wisconsin Rtl Center is an organization that helps schools put in place a research-based multi-tiered system of support, according to a press release.

According to Wisconsin Rtl Center’s website, “a fully-implemented system is equitable, and provides increasing levels of student supports for all content areas.” There are three categories to place in: mathematics, reading and behavior.

To place bronze in one of the categories, the school has to fully-implement the Rtl system in that area at a universal level for at least one year, and at least two years for silver. To place gold, the school must meet the requirements for bronze for at least two years in two of the categories. And, to place platinum, the school must meet the requirements for gold in all three categories for at least three years.

Out of the 108 schools, only one placed platinum: Academy of Accelerated Learning.

“We’re very system driven,” said principal of Academy of Accelerated Learning, Eric Rian.

Rian said their success didn’t happen overnight. Their system of learning was implemented around seven years ago.

According to Rian, the school provides its teachers with professional teaching development training.

Plus, the staff understand their students in a way that helps the teachers teach better which in turn helps the students learn more.

Rian was the first one to learn about the great news, and before announcing it to the school, he met with his staff the night before to tell them to their face. The next day, during school he announced to the students that they won platinum.

“It’s work over time,” said K5 teacher April Gagliano. “Every year you have to add another levelto become successful.”

Third-grader Samiya and second-grader David were ecstatic about the news because of their love for the school, and their teachers.

Samiya, David and their classmates were given an assignment to learn more about themselves, which meant talking to their relatives. Through this experience, both Samiya and David found out interesting facts about their family, and themselves.

“My experience is really great here,” said Samiya. “It [the school] gives you a lot of opportunities [to learn].

“There’s so much [many] ways to learn,” said David.

Rian said he’s not big on celebrating but he did get a great feeling inside when he got the news.

“We know what we do, but it’s nice to know someone else knows,” said Rian.

For a complete list of the winning schools visit

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