A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Dear Board Members,
This week, which marks the last week of our first semester, has certainly been eventful. Throughout this semester, our resilient students, staff, families, and community have wrestled with multiple pandemics. Despite facing these challenges, we have witnessed examples of our community leaning forward together with equity, excellence, humanity, and intentionality.
Throughout the various events celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this past weekend, our community's commitment to equity was uplifted repeatedly. Myriad community members highlighted the importance of re-engaging in the struggle for equality in their speeches, artistic expressions, volunteerism, and philanthropic endeavors. A great example of these efforts was the Dream Ball hosted by Women in Focus, which raised significant funds for scholarship in the midst of pandemics.
Our school district continues to lean forward with excellence despite the challenges of these unprecedented times. One-hundred-seventeen (117) of our middle and high school scholars recently received the MLK Outstanding Young Persons Award from the Urban League of Greater Madison for embodying the spirit of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through their academic performance, engagement in their school community, and volunteer service outside of school. In addition, Jeremy Schlitz, MMSD’s District Athletic Director, was recently congratulated by the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association for winning their 2021 President’s Award, which he also received in 2018.
Throughout our district and community, we also find evidence of individuals leaning forward with humanity. Last week, we recognized 58 members of our community who work tirelessly to uplift human decency during Adult Crossing Guards Recognition Week. Their work helps to keep our scholars safe and connected to positive energy as they begin and end their school days.
During this week’s Operations Work Group meeting, we witnessed efforts to lean forward with intentionality. As topics as varied as budgets, academic acceleration strategies, and wellness policies were discussed, board members and district staff deliberated together on how to be intentional, collaborative, and co-creative in service to our students, staff, families, and community. As we work together in these difficult times, this spirit of intentionality in interrogating and refining our policies and practices will yield positive returns for our community.
Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership. We look forward to providing you with more updates on our district’s progress next week.
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.