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Madison Metropolitan School District

Weekly Update to the Board of Education 7-22-2021

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

Dear Board Members,

This week marks the next to last week of our summer semester. During this week, our district has continued engaging in planning for opening schools this fall. As such, we are having robust discussions about implementing high-yielding instructional, student support, and operational strategies which will accelerate learning, address disparities, and ensure a positive social-emotional environment. These efforts are critical to our quest to make sure our schools are places where students, staff, and families thrive as we continue wresting with the COVID-19 as well as racial and social injustice pandemics.

Throughout the summer, district staff have continued meeting with our advisory
committee of public health experts as we interpret new information from the ABC
Collaborative and updated guidance from the CDC. The insights from these discussions continue to assist us in refining our mitigation strategies as we work to ensure a complementary relationship between ensuring health/safety and embracing flexibility afforded by our greater scientific understanding of COVID-19.

In addition to our work navigating the impact of a global health pandemic, we are interrogating our policies and practices which impact our journey to truly become an anti-racist district. As such, much of our work this summer has revolved around building the capacity to engage our students, staff, families, and community members with an equity lens which strives for human decency. Some of this work has involved teachers and administrators participating in LETRS training which enhances our capacity to liberate students by ensuring early literacy and beyond. Another example of this work is our building leadership teams doing “deep dives” into our academic, staffing, and other data to fine tune our school improvement plans (SIPs) and address our racial and socioeconomic disparities. A final example of this work involves our central office staff participating in a variety of professional and leadership development activities which are designed to build their capacity for working using international anti-racist strategies.

Thanks for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to providing you with more updates on our district’s progress and planning next week.

Sincerely,
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.

 

Weekly Update, July 22, 2021