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Madison Metropolitan School District

Weekly Update to the Board of Education 10-14-2021

A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.

Dear Board Members,

This week, which marks the seventh week of our fall semester, has certainly been eventful. Throughout this week, our district staff have been leaning forward together with humanity and intentionality, as we work to ensure all our learning spaces are places where students and staff can thrive.

Throughout this week, district staff have worked intentionally and collaboratively with the staff at East High to demonstrate humanity as we continue to listen to the voices of students relative to the issue of sexual assault. As we refine our policies and practices around this important and sensitive subject, district leaders must work in a co-creative manner with students and staff at the building level. Their insights and experiences yield powerful information which elevates the human decency of our planning and implementation efforts.

During this week’s Operations Work Group (OWG) meeting, several examples of the power of co-creation between district staff and school board members emerged. The level of understanding about fiscal nuances, challenges, and strategic options was enhanced by the informed and spirited discussion about our budget and tax levy. Similarly, our collective intelligence about the nuances and limits of using technological tools to enhance safety and security was elevated during our engagement in the policies discussion. We can lean forward together to address complex issues if we continue embracing the process of co-creation, which unlocks the energy and synergy of our collective intelligence.

I would like to close this week’s observations by acknowledging our community and nation recognized Monday, October 11th as “National Coming Out Day.” This day was created to commemorate the National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights in 1987 and continues to be important to the efforts of members of the LGBTQIA+ community to share and live authentically. MMSD continues to be a leader in refining our policies and practices to support the ability of our LGBTQIA+ students and staff to thrive in all our learning spaces.

Thanks for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to providing you with more updates on our district’s progress and planning next week.

Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.

Weekly Update, October 14, 2021