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Madison Metropolitan School District

Weekly Update to the Board of Education 4-28-2022

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

Dear Board Members,

This week, which marks the fourth week of our fourth quarter, has certainly been eventful. Our community has continued leaning forward together despite challenges related to: public health (rising incidence of COVID-19 cases due to Omicron sub variants); national staffing shortages; rising inflation; global supply chain disruptions; and ongoing episodes of racial injustice as well as social unrest. Our students, staff, families, and community members continue to overcome the limits of the current environment by finding ways to engage in celebratory traditions, acknowledge historical wrongs, build the capacity to support rigorous learning, and perform at the level of excellence.

Last week, our students and staff at East High School successfully hosted an in-person prom for the first time since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. While adhering to our mitigation protocols, our students were able to have a memorable and enjoyable event. We look forward to hearing the reports from our other schools about hosting in-person social events as well as fully engaging in some of our other traditional celebratory events.

Throughout our district, we have much student and staff excellence to celebrate. Kudos to Adam West from La Follette High School for being named one of only 300 Gates Scholars nationwide. We also celebrate Dr. Anu Ebbe, principal of Cherokee Heights Middle School, for being selected by the Wisconsin School Administrators Association as their 2022 Secondary Principal of the Year. The accomplishments of Adam and Dr. Ebbe are representative of the immense talent, dedication, and resilience of our students, staff, families, and community.

As we celebrate our current achievements, we retain a degree of humility by acknowledging our shared responsibility for historical wrongs in our community and nation. Hence, our community was energized by our land acknowledgement ceremony this past Monday. As we lean forward together with humanity and intentionality, our district, community, state, and nation can be integral to healing processes which show proper respect for our indigenous nations.

While we participate in events which facilitate healing and reconciliation based on historical wrongs, we also have an opportunity to build our capacity to better educate current and future scholars. Monday’s vote by board members to adopt K-5 literacy curricular materials was a major step in our journey towards ensuring all our students are reading at the level of proficient and beyond. As our teachers receive this important tool for supporting instruction, we become better situated to accelerate learning for all students, while addressing persistent and historical disparities. This important vote also reinforces the Madison community’s willingness to invest in our scholars graduating ready for college, careers, and the community.

Thanks for your ongoing support and partnership. We look forward to updating you on our progress next week.

Sincerely,
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.

 

Weekly Update, April 28, 2022