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Madison Metropolitan School District

Weekly Update to the Board of Education 5-19-2022

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

Dear Board Members,

This week marks three weeks until the end of our fourth quarter. As we march ever closer to commencement exercises, and think about this eventful school year, we can reflect on this year’s challenges, successes, and opportunities. Throughout this school year, our district and community has faced myriad local and national challenges, including: a constantly evolving global health pandemic; ongoing occurrences of racial injustice and violence; rising inflation caused by global supply chain disruptions and national staffing shortages; and social unrest, which has resulted from bitter and divisive political partisanship. Against this backdrop, our students, staff, families, and community members have demonstrated resilience, and the ability to thrive in uncertain times, while leaning forward together.

When students, families, staff, and community members engage one another in a spirit of collaboration and co-creation, magical moments and great accomplishments can happen. Hence, I was delighted to participate in the Circle of Friends Luncheon hosted by the Madison Public Schools Foundation (MPSF) on Tuesday. At this event, the accomplishments and efforts of our students and staff were highlighted, and our community was challenged to continue (and enhance) their support of our schools through philanthropy, volunteerism, and mentoring. Goals and dreams are often a product of individual determination bolstered by a network of supporters. As such, MPSF continues to increase the returns on community throughout Madison.

As we celebrate the community support for our district, we are also energized by examples of the positive stories occurring each day in our schools. For example, Awa Phatty, graduating senior and Black Student Union President at Memorial High School, was recently highlighted for her accomplishments in academics, athletics, and leadership. Students like Awa are nurtured by caring adults throughout our district and community. Therefore, we can all take pride in West High School teacher David Ross being one of the recipients of this year’s Distinguished Secondary School Teacher Award given by Northwestern University.

As we recount the many accomplishments of our scholars and staff this year, we acknowledge the awesome opportunity our district has to move from leaning forward together to experiencing widespread breakthrough moments. We can realize this opportunity by recommitting to the synergistic processes of collaboration and co-creation. Hence, we look forward to engaging the voices of our students, staff, families, and community members in the coming weeks during our Strategic Framework Recalibration community events.

Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership. We look forward to updating you on our district’s progress next week.

Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.


Weekly Update, May 19, 2022