Shabazz students climb into a tree for a lesson from an arborist as part of an environmental class.

Dear Staff,

It's hard to believe we’re just a few weeks away from winter break!

Before that happens, I hope you'll join me in reflecting on our journey so far this school year. From the August Leadership Institute to a strong kickoff to the school year, to the finalization of SIPs, to our ongoing learning about Personalized Pathways, I am so impressed by all of your hard work. I know your clear and sustained focus will continue to benefit the students and families we serve.

Have a great week!


As application window opens for Health Services Personalized Pathway, students and families gather to learn more

Next fall, Madison East, West, La Follette and Memorial high schools are offering the first Personalized Pathway to graduation. Students can apply to be enrolled in a pathway at the above high schools now through Jan. 6. The opportunity is open to every incoming ninth grade student.

Sennett students extract DNA from strawberries as they explore La Follette’s Health Services Pathways option

Submitted by Lori Hillyer, Sennett Middle School Learning Coordinator,

Sennett 8th graders were visited by La Follette staff Kris Howard and Christine Mitlyng to learn more about their Health Services Pathways option, which begins their freshman year! To mirror the hands-on, authentic learning that will occur in the personalized pathways, students problem-solved how to extract DNA from strawberries.
In addition to discovering more about DNA and its connection to the humanities, the students employed their critical thinking skills and worked collaboratively to reach their goals.

East High t-shirt featuring mexican proverb aims to celebrate diversity, raise funds for AVID/TOPS scholarships

Students in East High School’s AVID/TOPS program came up with the idea to design a shirt that would both celebrate the strength in their school’s diversity, as well as their collective solidarity in fighting against intolerance. East is making these shirts available to everyone, and all profits will go toward creating a scholarship for an undocumented AVID student. The shirts have been a huge hit, with the post on East’s Facebook page receiving more than 600 shares.

The Excellence with Equity Awards are designed to celebrate staff whose work brings to life the district’s vision that every school will be a thriving school that prepares every student for college, career and community. The nomination period is open through December 16.

The new iteration of the Tech Plan is called Ignite!

At the end of September, the Board of Education approved the second iteration of the MMSD Information and Technology Plan called Ignite. The plan includes the next 3 years of projects related to the implementation of a digital learning environment. Review the MMSD “G” implementation timeline for all schools

Yoga Training for Individual Educators:
Take advantage of early bird special for summer 2017 session

Breathe For Change offers the world’s only 200-hour wellness and yoga teacher training designed specifically for educators. Our Madison summer training will take place June 26 - July 12 (off for 4th of July), and we are offering an early bird special.

The 30 Day Challenge Recap

Congratulations to all of the employees who participated in this fall's wellness campaign, the 30 Day Challenge. We had a total of 375 employees participate, having representatives from all 13 employee categories and from all buildings in MMSD. We want to thank everyone who participated in this wellness campaign. To view the prize winners, building participation, and to read testimonials, please visit our website.

FMPS and the William T. Evjue Foundation want to help bring your creative, innovative idea to life

Are you dreaming of an idea to enhance your school or improve learning for students but aren’t sure how to fund it? The Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools (FMPS) and the William T. Evjue Foundation want to help you turn your idea into a reality by providing up to $25,000 in funding.

Every year for the last fifteen years, FMPS has awarded grants to fund creative and innovative programs that are not otherwise supported through the core school/district budget. The Foundation for the Future grants are available to all district staff and are awarded to promising programs in hopes that they will remain sustainable for years to come and be replicated at other schools.

Got Water? Your school could be one of five to receive a water hydration station in 2017

The Got Water? Campaign promotes water consumption by MMSD students through infrastructure and education. Due to generous support from Madison Water Utility, five MMSD schools can receive a water hydration station in 2017. Applications are being accepted now through Friday, Dec. 16.

Overture Center offering free Field Trip Performances for schools

We are excited to invite MMSD staff and students to attend special free performances at the Overture Center available as part of the International Performing Arts for Youth conference (IPAY), Jan. 18-21, 2017.

The IPAY conference is the premiere event in North America dedicated to promoting the best in international performing arts for young audiences and this is the first (and perhaps only) time it is being held in Madison. As part of the conference, we are happy to offer special educational daytime performances featuring top children's performers from around the world.

JMM students research their family history as part of ‘American Experience’ class, Immigration/Migration Fair

Submitted by Robin Amado, JMM Library Media Technology Specialist,

At Memorial High School, all freshmen spend the majority of first quarter in their American Experience class (9th grade Social Studies) completing a challenging research project. The multi-part project has students follow their family’s immigration or migration story and the historical context surrounding the journey. As part of the course, students learn the history of immigration and migration in class with their textbook and other hands-on activities. From there, students complete a personal interview with a family
member to learn more information about who in their family moved from one place to another.

Nuestro Mundo supports students and families through tides of change

Submitted by Emily Zoeller, Instructional Coach,

The Center for Teaching for Biliteracy blog, “Bilingual teachers as warriors of the human spirit, spotlights Nuestro Mundo Community School. Nuestro Mundo's principal and teachers have demonstrated leadership, advocacy, and compassion in supporting one another in processing changes in our political climate.
Shout out to Sandra Mell, Transportation Services
Staff eNews

Here are additional updates and announcements from departments and schools, published on Staff eNews.