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Madison Metropolitan School District

Discover the Adventures Within Our Vibrant Community Schools

Discover the Adventures Within Our Vibrant Community Schools

Southside Elementary Fosters Excellence through TRECK Standards

At Southside Elementary, we are dedicated to nurturing our students' growth and character through our TRECK (Trust, Respect, Excellence, Caring, and Knowledge) Standards. As we embark on our journey to embody our next Standard of "Excellence," teachers are leading the way by creating and facilitating Morning Meetings with their students. These gatherings serve as opportunities to cultivate essential skills and foster strong relationships within our classrooms.

In line with our focus on Excellence, students have the chance to earn points for demonstrating exemplary behavior across our school environment. Throughout December, they eagerly awaited the chance to "spend" their hard-earned points during Cart Day, where they were treated to a selection of small items from a specially stocked cart. Additionally, our students celebrated their commitment to Respect on Comfy Cozy Day, indulging in a cozy pajama day accompanied by a short movie. 

We believe that fostering Excellence goes beyond academic achievement; it encompasses the development of character, integrity, and a sense of community. Through initiatives like these, we aim to instill values of excellence in our students that will guide them not only in their academic goals, but also in their lives beyond the classroom.

A group of students watching a movie in the gym


Leopold Community-Building Strengthens Ties Among Stakeholders

Mindfulness en Español: A Partnership with Roots 4 Change Mindfulness Workshop

In partnership with Roots 4 Change, Leopold hosted a mindfulness workshop open to staff, parents/guardians and childcare providers on January 20th. The class was facilitated by a Leopold parent, Aida Inuca, who shared, “Roots 4 Change is working to improve the maternal and child health landscape in Dane County by providing resources and information to empower families and challenge the system.” We look forward to continued partnership with this amazing organization.

Building Community with our NewComer Families at Leopold.

On January 30th, Leopold held a meeting specifically for the school’s families who are new to Wisconsin, specifically responding to a need voiced by our community. Our goal is to create and foster a sense of belonging through engagement with Leopold staff and other families. We hope that this leads to student caregivers feeling that their voices are heard, their experiences and opinions matter, and they have access to shared resources. 

Winter Walk-to-School Day

Schools across MMSD, including Leopold, engaged in “Winter Walk-to-School Day” on Valentine’s Day. Living in Wisconsin, with its potential for cold and snowy weather, does have its challenges; however, if dressed appropriately, winter walking can be a refreshing endeavor. Leopold has encouraged kids to walk to school all month long, as well as join the walking school bus that runs Tuesday through Thursday. Walking, biking, or rolling to school has many benefits – kids get needed exercise and show up to school more focused and ready to learn. 

After-School Clubs: Enrichment Opportunities for Leopold Students.

After-school clubs play an integral part in childhood education, and Leopold Elementary doesn’t fall short in ensuring that students have the support to thrive in not only their education, but also their personal growth. Organized and managed by the Leopold Community Resource Team, clubs are active every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and provide students with a variety of options to get involved, from Art Club, Drum Power, and Mindfulness, to Soccer Club and Black Girl Magic. Leopold’s after-school clubs contribute to our mission to support our community by not only affording families with after-school childcare, but also providing more than 100 students with snacks and activities. 

Food Pantry with Second Harvest.

We are fortunate to have a partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, which allows us to offer an onsite mobile food pantry distribution every two weeks at Leopold. We currently serve close to 100 families. Any person in our community is welcome to get food—having a student at Leopold is not a requirement. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to give back.

A group of individuals sitting in a circle at a library
A group of students and adults sitting in a classroom with a tv on in the background

Starting Off the New Year at Sandburg Elementary

We welcomed our students back to school with lots of fun and smiles! Since the start of the New Year, Sandburg Elementary has been dedicated to fostering a warm and welcoming environment for our students. We kicked off our year with a delightful "Pass the Pencil" video, featuring our enthusiastic staff extending kind messages—with a fun twist—to greet our students. It was a hit among our students, who joyfully watched it repeatedly, setting a positive tone for the year ahead.

In addition to our creative welcome-back initiative, Sandburg hosted its inaugural Resource Fair, a milestone event for our school community. With the participation of approximately 15 organizations, the fair served as a valuable means of connecting families and parents with essential community resources. This collaborative effort underscores our commitment to supporting the holistic well-being of our students and their families. Encouraged by its success, we look forward to organizing more such events in the future, further expanding our outreach and enhancing the support network available to our community.

Lake View Events Are Rooted in Service and Cultural Enrichment

A student smiling next to two adults while displaying artwork

2nd Annual Northport Gallery Night 

Our staff loved seeing Lake View artists' work displayed at Northport Art Gallery Night, on the evening of December 7th. What a beautiful event, showcasing the talent of Northside youth! All paintings were for sale at this event, and the young artists sold $1,568 worth of art, 100% of which went directly to them! 

Toys for Tots 2023

On December 20th, we hosted another successful Toys for Tots gift distribution, in partnership with the Marines and Madison Reading Project. We served 411 individuals. Each child received a stuffed animal, toy, and book, selected by their caregiver. We also offered free gift-wrapping and surveyed families for our needs assessment. We were able to capture the voices of 25% of all Lake View families at this event alone, which was a wonderful jumpstart to engaging families in sharing their feedback about what is going well, what can be improved, and how we can co-create a shared vision for Lake View!

DRUMLine Live Field Trip at Overture Center for the Arts

On Friday, January 5th, Ms. Bleke (General Music Teacher), Mr. Arree (MSCR Director), and Ms. Rachel (Community School Resource Coordinator) took a group of 4th and 5th graders to see DRUMLine Live at the Overture Center for the Arts. DRUMLine Live is an international tour based on the historically black college and university (HBCU) marching band tradition. For one 4th grade student, who had never before been to a concert, her favorite part of the show was “everything!” This amazing experience was made possible through the Overture Center for the Arts Community Tickets program, which provides discounted tickets to community partner organizations, often at 10% or less of full price.

Multilingual Learners Focus in January 

In January, Lake View students and staff engaged in learning about the many languages and cultures represented at our school on live, daily morning announcements. Here are the slides from the month. We have 20 languages, 28 countries, and 2 sovereign nations represented in our school community! Ms. Rachel (Community School Resource Coordinator) and Ms. Eve (Family Liaison) interviewed families to learn more about their home country, culture, and language. Here are some of the interviews!

Winter Gear Distribution

Shortly after returning to school from winter break, the Lake View Student Services Team distributed snow pants, boots, hats, and waterproof gloves to all students in need of these items. In total, we helped 66% of all Lake View students stay warm and dry this winter season. Special thanks to our donors, including Indeavor and the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools, for donating much-needed winter gear so that our students can get to/from school safely, and play fully at recess!

a young student with a purple shirt and a ponytail hairstyle reading a book on a colorful rug

Black Excellence Book Giveaway with Madison Reading Project

We partnered with Madison Reading Project to give away 335 books to our students and homeroom teachers! Students selected a just-right book using the five finger rule (no more than five unfamiliar words per page). They got to put their name on a book plate inside the front cover and spent some time digging into a new book that was theirs to keep!

Lake View Food Pantry Users Continue to Grow

Due to the rising cost of food, Lake View’s food pantry users continue to grow. At our February food pantry, we served over 2,800 pounds of food to 51 households and 255 individuals! The food pantry is open on the first Monday of the month from 3:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. in the parking lot. No IDs required, all are welcome! 

After-School Cooking Club is an Exploration in Cultural Learning

We just launched a second session of our After-School Cooking Club for K–2nd and 3rd–5th graders, in partnership with Ms. Courtney, our AmeriCorps member with Rooted. So far, students have enjoyed making chili and cornbread, sushi and boba tea, and alfredo noodles, and they will continue to explore food from the countries and cultures represented at Lake View!

Needs Assessment Updates

Lake View, like all other MMSD Community Schools, is currently in the process of a large-scale needs assessment and asset map. We are seeking 75% to 100% engagement from all stakeholders, including students, families, staff, and community partners. So far, we have reached 80% engagement with families and are on track to be close to meeting our targets for students, staff, and community partners. We are excited to dig into our collected data to see emerging themes, so that we can prioritize our greatest needs and use them to inform important decision making for strategic school improvement.

Hawthorne Elementary Unveils New Mascot: The Hawthorne Huskies

In a vibrant display of school spirit and community engagement, Hawthorne Elementary recently underwent a transformative process in selecting its new mascot. After weeks of enthusiastic campaigning and thoughtful consideration, the students have spoken: the Hawthorne Huskies reign supreme.

The decision to choose a new mascot stemmed from the arrival of Principal Lucy Siber, who ushered in a wave of change and fresh perspectives to the school community. With the dawn of a new era, students eagerly embraced the opportunity to redefine their school's identity and symbolize its evolving spirit. The journey towards selecting the Hawthorne Huskies involved every corner of the school, as each classroom became a battleground for advocating various mascot options. From spirited debates to creative presentations, students passionately championed their preferred choices, reflecting the diverse interests and imaginations within Hawthorne Elementary. The process was not merely about selecting a symbol but about fostering a sense of ownership and belonging among the students. Through active participation in the decision-making process, students learned valuable lessons in democracy, teamwork, and compromise.

Finally, after much anticipation, the winning mascot was unveiled to a chorus of cheers and applause. The Hawthorne Huskies emerged victorious, representing strength, resilience, and unity – qualities deeply ingrained in the fabric of the school community.

As the Hawthorne Huskies take center stage, they symbolize more than just a mascot; they embody the spirit of camaraderie and determination that defines Hawthorne Elementary. With their paw prints marking a new chapter in the school's history, the Hawthorne community looks ahead with optimism and pride, united under the banner of the Huskies.

Read Your Heart Out, Family Community Meal Foster Spirit of Togetherness & Belonging at Mendota 

Mendota Elementary had 36 readers for our Read Your Heart out event in February, including many amazing parents and grandparents of our scholars, as well as our District 18 alderman Charles Myadze, Sherman Principal Alex Thompson, Northside police officers, current and former Mendota Elementary staff, Black Girl Magic Educational Services founder Rosa Thompson, Associate Superintendent Dr. Angie Hicks, East High School BSU scholars, and more. 

Our Family Community Meal on February 29th will conclude our Black History Month celebration. We are having a catered dinner from three Black-owned businesses. Our Mendota Stompers will perform and scholars will deliver original spoken word poetry. Families can take home free books and visit our family photo booth for school memories! 

We have restarted our regular pantry hours every other Monday, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Families are also invited to stop by the pantry any time our building is open.