A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Dear Board Members,
This week marks the third week of our summer semester. During this week, our district has engaged in planning and advocacy to accelerate learning for all students, while addressing educational disparities. These efforts have continued while we prepare to open schools for Fall 2021 amid ongoing uncertainty around the state legislature’s final 2021-2023 budget.
Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, MMSD will continue relying on our core values as we work to address the ongoing impacts of the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial/social injustice. Our efforts will center on meeting the instructional, social-emotional, and other needs of our school community. Unfortunately, the increased costs of meeting these needs will be inadequately supported by our state legislature’s 2021- 2023 budget. This may necessitate difficult choices despite the collaborative work the board and district leadership engaged in to make our preliminary 2021-2022 budget reflect our core values and the spirit of our Strategic Framework.
Despite the ongoing challenges with appropriately funding schools at the state and federal levels, our district still possesses an abundance of industrious and talented students, staff, family members, and community stakeholders. Therefore, as we plan for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond, we must redouble our efforts to ensure our investments are aligned to high-yielding instructional and social-emotional practices and policies. We can overcome many of the historical and contemporary challenges faced by diverse communities in the sphere of public education by leading with love, innovation, intentionality and with humility. As such, we look forward to continuing the work of refining our policies and practices as we gain insights from the voices of our students, staff, families, and community members.
During the month of July, many of our staff members will recharge their minds and bodies through well-deserved vacations. At the same time, they will engage in a combination of informal and formal introspection about what lessons can be learned from the successes and challenges of the previous year. Many innovative and transformative ideas will be nurtured and developed during this process, and our district will grow stronger as a result.
Thanks for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to providing you with more updates on our district’s progress and planning later in July.
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.