Skip To Main Content

Select a School

Madison Metropolitan School District

June 30, 2022 meeting recap

At the June 30th committee meeting, members discussed the possibility of adding a form to the website inviting people to offer feedback, whether directly related to the guiding questions or unrelated. Communications will work with committee leaders to add this.  

Members again discussed some challenges they feel schools face in communicating in a timely manner when safety incidents occur, with some stating that staff, students, and families should receive transparent and more timely communication. Members plan to invite additional staff from the Superintendent's office, MMSD's legal department, and the district's critical response team to a future meeting to discuss these concerns and learn more about current practices. It was also suggested that some principals from elementary, middle, and high schools be present as well for their perspective. 

The conversation then turned to what the committee hopes to accomplish for the start of the next school year, and some members had questions about whether staff are trained in emergency procedures each year. Administrators in the group confirmed that this is an annual requirement. 

As for drills, the committee discussed how the state's Office of School Safety mandates the frequency with which various drills must take place for students and staff, and they discussed balancing emergency preparation with ensuring the drills do not cause undue anxiety.  

Non-violent crisis intervention training was brought up as a related example, and some committee members expressed concern that not all staff receive this training. 

Moving on, members then turned to wellness and mental health, with some seeking clarification on how to attend to the social-emotional health of students who are unable to attend summer semester due to staffing limitations. Staff morale was also touched on here, and there is a desire to bring in some teachers to help brainstorm ways to improve staff morale. Others highlighted the importance of the City of Madison and other community organizations providing summer programming and support for children, that we truly need to all work together to provide wrap-around support. Successful examples were lifted up, including the work of Centro Hispano, Operation Fresh Start, the Boys and Girls Club, and so on, and members reinforced the importance of children having access to neighborhood centers close by. 

One committee member wanted to know more specifics – such as a coordinated plan in partnership with community partners – about MMSD's new budget's inclusion of a variety of mental health supports. 

The committee's discussion next turned to updates from stakeholder groups, but it was acknowledged that progress in this area has been limited, and given summer scheduling, this may not be the right time to be engaging principals and school communities.

It was also suggested that the committee connect with Carolyn Standford-Taylor, who is the Assistant Superintendent overseeing MMSD's work with family engagement opportunities, among other topics. 

The next committee meeting is slated to take place July 14, 2022.