A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Dear Board Members,
This week, which marks our first week after Winter Break, has certainly been eventful. Yesterday, our nation witnessed an unprecedented assault on our democracy in Washington, D.C. The horrific events exemplified many of the nation’s ongoing concerns about racial injustice and inequitable treatment from law enforcement. Last evening, I started receiving calls from several staff and individuals from across the country regarding the events. As such, I was troubled and found it difficult to sleep while considering the impact this would have on our students, staff and families today. Therefore, I started my day with a 7:30 a.m. meeting with principals and other staff to share in their disappointment and provide them words of encouragement about how we must support our students, colleagues and families during this time when our democracy is under attack. This afternoon, we sent a statement to district families and staff which will put the events into an educational context.
This week, MMSD has continued monitoring the instructional and social-emotional needs of our students and families as they continue to engage in virtual learning. Our dedicated staff continues to: provide innovative and rigorous instruction; work with private as well as public officials to expand internet access for our students; and distribute 50,000 nutritious meals each week at over 40 sites.
As our nation wrestles with the impact of new waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a new variant which may be more infectious than the current variants, our district continues to plan for the eventual reopening of all our schools for in-person learning. Our district leadership, building administrators and teacher union leadership have continued to collaboratively plan and prepare for reopening in a safe and responsible manner. In our meetings with community members as well as city, county and state officials, our staff continue to review metrics, refine plans, and gain insights from changing county, state and national guidance. In addition, we continue to find new avenues for soliciting the voices of our students, staff, families and community members as we engage in decision making. This collaborative approach will ultimately prove beneficial to ensuring a robust and safe learning environment.
Thanks for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to providing you with more updates on our district’s progress next week.
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.