A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Dear Board Members,
This week marks the fifth week of our third quarter. During this week, our students, staff, families, and community have continued to lean forward together despite facing multiple pandemics. As our state and nation continue to feel the impact of social and racial injustice as well as staffing shortages, inflation, and supply chain disruptions, our community continues to demonstrate resilience and a commitment to equity and excellence.
Throughout this week, our district held virtual World Café community conversations. The purpose of these conversations was to get additional feedback on ways to utilize anticipated ESSER III funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. It was uplifting to hear key insights and robust dialogue from our students, families, staff, and community members relative to ways our district could utilize this one-time funding to address social-emotional needs, enhance COVID-19 mitigation, and disrupt learning loss. Moreover, these respectful conversations illuminated our community’s desire to enhance both equity and excellence in an intentional manner which embraces human decency.
While we are encouraged by community conversations about ESSER III funding, we realize the need for continued advocacy around appropriate societal investment in public education. Receiving an infusion of one-time funds will not be a sufficient longterm solution to increasingly regressive legislative budgeting and policy development. Hence, the efforts of the Madison Public Schools Foundation and others in the ACT Now to Invest campaign are critically important in our efforts to accelerate learning for all students while eliminating disparities and addressing social-emotional needs. Public education has the potential to provide broad-based economic, civic, and social uplift. We applaud those who are on the front lines of ensuring it is appropriately supported.
Throughout our work in advocacy, planning, and implementation, we must remain mindful of the great potential of our students, families, staff, and community. During every classroom visit, community conversation, policy discussion, and school-wide celebration, I am heartened by continued evidence the Madison community is a special place. We have all the ingredients needed to be a model for transformation and uplift. Therefore, I continue to believe – if it can happen anywhere, it will happen in Madison!
Thank you for your leadership as well as 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.