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Madison Metropolitan School District

April 28, 2022 meeting recap

The Safety and Student Wellness Ad Hoc Committee held their third meeting on April 28. Most of the meeting was spent discussing communication strategies, including a webpage, to reach students, families, and others in order to collectively create a shared vision and shared values for students' safety. They also reviewed the role of the stakeholder liaisons and how stakeholder groups would operate. 

Committee co-chair Gordon Allen shared that he and co-chair ananda mirilli met with Superintendent Jenkins about visiting each of the district's high schools. It was decided that Dr. Jenkins would reach out to principals to ask them to help the stakeholder liaisons coordinate visits at their schools. Stakeholder groups will then meet with staff and students to gather information they will bring back to the core group. 

Overwhelmingly, students on the committee felt that the two strongest strategies for reaching students and other groups are social media and in-person discussions at schools. Student members shared some ideas for reaching students to make them aware of the committee and the opportunity to provide feedback on the vision and values. Ideas included: 

  • Having teachers talk about this work in classrooms and posting about it in Google Classroom streams
  • Daily announcements
  • Student publications such as Spartan News
  • Discussing it in regularly scheduled all-school Zoom meetings
  • Having principals discuss it with student groups 
  • Emails from principals to students and families (including any emails that are sent in response to a safety incident at a school)
  • Social media (including Instagram stories and polls, TikTok, 15-second "talk back" videos, and a toolkit of infographics and templates)

Other committee members added these ideas:

  • Established newsletters (such as MTI's weekly "Solidarity!" newsletter) and the City & County identifying and leveraging existing channels of communication
  • Parent groups
  • Bilingual Resource Specialists (described as the lifeline to many families)
  • Middle school advisories

In the communication strategy discussion, members also underscored the importance of having information available in multiple languages, ensuring that elementary and middle school students and families are also a part of this process, promoting the "Let's Talk" feature on the district's website so more are familiar with it, following up with those who give input so they know their voices are being listened to, and being clear about what kind of data they are seeking. 

In terms of timeframe, stakeholder groups will begin visiting schools in May to collect feedback. They will use this to finalize a shared vision and values in summer, with the goal of developing budgetary recommendations for the board by late summer. During this time the committee will also be discussing non-budgetary recommendations such as the shifting of resources or practices. 

The committee meets next on Thursday, May 12, 2022.