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Madison Metropolitan School District

Weekly Update to the Board of Education 2-18-2021

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

Dear Board Members,

This week has certainly been eventful. MMSD continues to address the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice through embracing our core values and the spirit of our Strategic Framework goals. This effort requires us to be intentional and innovative in eliminating disparities and fighting for human decency, as we address the social-emotional needs of our students, staff and families.

During Monday’s Special board meeting, board members had vigorous dialogue with district leadership and other staff around our plan for a phased reopening of schools for in-person instructional options and receiving the report of the board’s Ad Hoc Committee on Safety and Security. Both topics continue to challenge our capacity for innovation and equity as we grapple with implementing policies and practices necessary to ensure a high quality and safe educational environment for students, staff and families. While participating in this dialogue, it is important to remember our community is uplifted when we engage in a respectful debate of ideas which illuminates the many perspectives of our diverse community.

Throughout our work, we recognize the need for continuing to engage in the Collaborative Problem-Solving (CPS) process with MTI, APP and our other partners. In chapter 4 (pages 73-81) of Good to Great, Collins argues creating a climate where the truth is heard is a critical strategy in moving an organization towards greater efficacy. This sort of climate is enhanced through the rigorous presentation of questions as well as hearty engagement in debate and dialogue. We look forward to our ongoing work with students, staff, families and community members to foster this climate as we reshape our instructional and operational practices to ameliorate historical disparities.

Thanks for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to providing you with more updates on our district’s progress next week. Please remain encouraged by the transformational potential of our community. I remain convinced - “if it can happen anywhere, it can happen in Madison!”

Sincerely,
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.

 

Weekly Update, February 18, 2021