A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Dear Board Members,
This week marks the first week of our third quarter. As we embark on the second half of our school year, we acknowledge the resilience of our students, staff, families, and community as we continue wrestling with a global health pandemic as well as ongoing racial and social injustice. As we face the challenges associated with elevated rates of COVID-19 infections, staffing shortages, supply chain disruptions, political partisanship, and disparities, we are also witnessing examples of our district and community leaning forward together with equity, excellence, humanity, and intentionality.
Participating in co-curricular activities, including the arts, has been documented to positively impact the academic and social-emotional well-being of students. Efforts to expand access to the arts are active examples of attempts to ensure all our learning spaces are places where our students thrive. Therefore, we commend Wright Middle School’s Music Teacher Alida LaCosse for working with community partners to recently secure brand new violins for two of her students.
Ensuring our students have the ability to read well expands access to career paths, civic involvement, and enhanced life outcomes. Creating environments where our students can refine their literacy skills helps them to become ready for college, careers, and the community. As such, we applaud 22 of our elementary schools who recently held spelling bee competitions where our scholars had opportunities to display their ability to analyze words.
As we work to engage our scholars in curricular and co-curricular activities which cause them to grow holistically, we must continue to be mindful of the success stories in our community. Sharing tangible evidence of the ability of MMSD to produce excellence is one way we can enhance the self-efficacy of our students, staff, families, and community. Hence, we pause to celebrate news of Madison Memorial alumna Anna Hoffman who was recently selected for the 2022 U.S. Olympic Ski Team.
As we continue to have discussions about topics as varied as budgets, academic acceleration strategies, wellness policies, and co-curricular participation, we can find inspiration from these stories which exemplify our capacity to be equitable, intentional, and full of humanity. 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.