Mental Health Month raises awareness of trauma and the impact it can have on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children, families, and communities. Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans' lives, and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. We also give thanks to the dedicated mental health providers whose service and support improve the lives of so many Americans
The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. We want our schools to be safe and welcoming learning environments that nurture the cognitive, emotional and physical well-being of all students, staff and families. We believe that the safest schools are those that foster a climate of support and respect and that instill a sense of community. Building security, incident response and threat assessments are vital components as well.
Meet the Directors of MMSD's Office of School Safety
MMSD's Office of School Safety works with school principals and school-based critical response teams to ensure our schools balance the physical safety of our students, staff, and school buildings with the importance of social, emotional, and psychological safety.
This office is co-directed by Gina Aguglia, Director of Cross Systems & Critical Response and Sedric Morris, Director of Safety and Security. Together they focus on connecting with community partners, emergency responders, and other agencies to ensure that cross system collaboration happens early and often. They are also developing specific professional development, early intervention support, consultation, and restorative response to school teams throughout the year.
This office will instill the foundational practices of safe and welcoming schools, utilizing mental health and trauma informed based interventions, and responding to any and all incidents at schools and in the community with care and support.
Director of School Security Services
Sedric Morris, Sr. is a proud alumnus of MMSD and graduate of West High School. Raised on Madison’s southside, Sedric brings more than 15 years of knowledge and experience in serving and working with children, youth, families, and community partners in the human services, criminal justice, and education fields. Most recently, Sedric has worked with youth and young adults in the Dane County Human Services – Neighborhood Intervention Program for the past five years. Sedric earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice, with a concentration in community and correctional rehabilitation.
Gina Aguglia, LCSW
Director of Cross Systems & Critical Response
Gina Aguglia holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a master's degree in Social Work with a focus on Animal Assisted Clinical Practice and School Social Work from the University of Denver. Gina started as a school social worker at Toki Middle School 10 years ago, she spent a year at Schenk Elementary, and she also worked as the district’s community and residential care transitions social worker.
Gina worked as a clinical crisis worker to gain more mental health experience and critical response knowledge to supplement her school based skills. Gina completed her license in clinical social worker (LCSW) by working as a school-based mental health practitioner at a public charter school. She recently completed her administrator's license and certification in Special Education and Student Services.
Gina is committed to teaching and coaching educators in evidence-based critical response with alternative forms of mental health support as a tool to reduce violence in school buildings, promote mental health support as a first response, and minimize reactionary and exclusionary practices, specifically resulting in disproportionate rates of students of color in behavioral referral data and the justice system.
You play a key role in school safety. Find resources for being prepared for an emergency, monitoring your child's online activity, reporting a concern, tips for talking to children about issues like bullying, social media, suicide, violence and more.
Through the Safe Routes to School program, The City of Madison, Healthy Kids Collaborative of Dane County, and the Wisconsin Bike Fed are promoting active transportation, important dates, and safety tips for drivers and pedestrians.
We are so thankful for our local crossing guards and their commitment to keeping our students safe on their journey to and from school. We need more of them. Would you – or a grandparent or neighbor – consider stepping up and helping our students cross streets safely next school year? The City of Madison is recruiting candidates.
ReadyWisconsin wants to make sure you and your family have a tornado and severe weather emergency plan, including a safe place to seek shelter in severe weather, whether you are indoors, outdoors, or driving. Learn about common dangers during a storm and what to avoid (electrical equipment, plumbing and bathroom fixtures, windows and doors, concrete floors, anything metal, and so on) at readywisconsin.gov's Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes Toolkit.
ReadyWisconsin is reminding residents that now is a good time to get ready for severe weather season. Every family should have an emergency plan in place, and spring is a great time to review it and make any necessary updates. It is also a good time to assemble or restock a home or vehicle emergency kit.
Did you know roughly a third of U.S. households with children also have guns? In fact, an estimated 4.6 million kids live with unlocked, loaded guns. Studies show children are naturally curious, even about a firearm they've been warned not to touch. The reality is having firearms in the home increases the risk of unintentional shootings, suicide, and homicide. The American Academy of Pediatrics Advises the safest home for a child is one without guns.
Meet Bonnie, one of two of the district’s certified WAGS (Wisconsin Academy for Graduate Service) dogs, trained in critical response. “Bonnie is trained to provide lots of love and unconditional non-judgment and positive regard,” MMSD Social Worker and Office of School Safety Director Gina Aguglia said. “It’s a great opportunity for kids who may be struggling to get some additional support.”
Talking to kids about their use of social media can be hard and sometimes stressful, but it can help influence their behavior online. Interact! is an online, interactive e-course for families (available in English and Spanish) that aims to help you get these conversations started and make them a bit less painful and more productive. Topics include oversharing, inappropriate sexual conduct, bullying, child enticement, and more.
MMSD's Office of School Safety works to ensure our schools balance the physical safety of our students, staff, and school buildings with the importance of social, emotional, and psychological safety.
October 3-9 is National Fire Prevention Week, and serves as an important reminder to review safety protocols at school and home.
In observance of National Bullying Prevention Month, we are highlighting resources to help ensure our schools are places where every student feels safe, respected, and a true sense of belonging.
Communicate with your child and address any fears or concerns about returning to school. Discuss “what if” situations, such as, “What if you get on the wrong bus?” If you believe there are any unresolved issues that may continue to affect your child’s behavior, follow up with the teacher or principal.
Remind your child not to go anywhere unless they first check with a parent or caretaker. Don’t go home with a friendly neighbor without parent permission.