MMSD Superintendent Finalists Community Meetings

Madison community members got an opportunity to meet MMSD's superintendent finalists at public forums hosted by the Board of Education January 14 - 16 at East and La Follette High Schools. The three finalists are Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, an assistant professor of educational leadership at the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York; Dr. Matthew Gutiérrez, superintendent of the Seguin Independent School District in Seguin, Texas; and Dr. George Eric Thomas, deputy superintendent and chief turnaround officer for the Georgia State Board of Education in Atlanta, Georgia.
 
Over three nights, Board members asked the questions in a 90-minute community forum that were submitted by MMSD students, staff, parents and community members at the meeting and online through Facebook. The candidates shared their background and accomplishments with the MMSD community, including their educational and leadership philosophies, and why they're ready to lead this school district. Everyone who attended the community meetings in person or online were given a chance to submit their feedback to the Board to assist them in making their final decision in February. A recording of each candidate's community meeting can be found on the MMSD Facebook Page, the MMSD YouTube Channel, or by clicking the links below: 

January 14: Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard
January 15: Dr. Matthew Gutiérrez
January 16: Dr. George Eric Thomas

Seeking African-American Parents and Community Members to Read for Read Your Heart Out

Read Your Heart Out is a celebration of National African-American Parent Involvement day, literacy and African-American history that began 16 years ago. Each year, African-American parents and community members go into Madison schools to read with students. The event brings families, community members, students and staff together to engage in literacy activities and strengthen relationships.
 
Next month, schools across the district will hold Read Your Heart Out events. Are you interested in reading to students? Register to volunteer at mmsd.org/RYHO.

Enrollment for 4K and five-year-old kindergarten begins March 2


Enrollment for four-year-old kindergarten (4K) and five-year-old kindergarten for the 2020-2021 school year will be Monday, March 2 from 2pm - 6pm at all MMSD elementary schools. Online enrollment for 4K and kindergarten programming will open on February 24.
 
Enrollment is for families who have NOT previously attended a 4K or early childhood program through MMSD.

Learn more about 4K at mmsd.org/4k and kindergarten at mmsd.org/kinder.

Have you thanked your crossing guard lately?

Wisconsin's Crossing Guard Appreciation Week took place last week (January 13-17). The district recognized several of our local crossing guards from Falk, Emerson, Midvale and other elementary schools by sharing their photos and personal stories on social media. Each day, these dedicated crossing guards show up to their crossings to help students in their journey to and from school. Thank you to all of Madison's crossing guards for not only keeping our kids safe, but for fostering friendships with those same students and families.

Outstanding Student Fees Due January 31, 2020

As we approach the start of the second semester for this school year, we need your help in ensuring your student's school fees are paid. When paying student fees, you are covering the costs of extra school supplies, workbooks, journals, planners; math and science materials -- and more. These student fees are necessary to cover the supplies that help your child succeed in the classroom and beyond. That's why we're reaching out to let families know that all outstanding student fees must be paid by January 31, 2020.

MMSD offers various payment methods including, online and via mobile app, cash or check, payment plan arrangements and a fee waiver option for eligible families. Log into Infinite Campus and select Fees from the Index on the left-hand side of the screen to check if you have a student fee balance. Check out the Fee Payment page on our website for more details on how to pay your balance. If you are having difficulty paying fees, we're happy to work with you. Please reach out to Jim Beilke at 608-663-5362 or Ruth Schultz at 608-663-5365 in the District Accounting office. They can help you set up a payment plan that works for you. If you need a language interpreter, we will connect you with our translation service, Pacific Interpreters. We are here to help you with all of your questions and concerns.

News from the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools: Partnering for Playgrounds

Just before MMSD Winter Break started, the Midvale-Lincoln PTO kicked off an ambitious fundraising campaign for a new playground at Lincoln Elementary. With a little help from the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools and the wonderful generosity of two local families, the campaign got a nice boost as the year drew to a close.
 
The Need: In May of last year, the playground bridge at Lincoln collapsed during recess. The play structure as a whole needs to be replaced. The PTO has helped lead the charge to bring new equipment and a safe, engaging and inclusive play space for all Lincoln students and the surrounding community.
 
The Challenge: This December, incorporating a pledge from the Ozanne family and an anonymous donor, the Midvale-Lincoln PTO issued the "Double Your Impact" challenge to supporters to earn up to $13,000 in matching funds for gifts made before the year ended.
 
The Result: Gifts were received into the Foundation's Lincoln Grow Your World Fund. The PTO and the Foundation are happy to report that the $13,000 fundraising goal was met, enabling the full match from the family donors!
 
The Foundation: The Foundation for Madison's Public Schools was proud to be part of this energetic push to facilitate needed playground upgrades. The Lincoln Grow Your World Fund and the Madison Elementary School Playground Fund are just two of more the 170 funds we manage to support public schools and scholars. We continue to welcome gifts to both funds, and encourage MMSD families to learn more about our work at SchoolsMakeMadison.org.

MSCR Afterschool

Check out this great video featuring MSCR Afterschool in our schools.

Friends of MSCR Awards $39,000 in Grants

In December, the Friends of MSCR held the annual grant breakfast awarding staff with more than $39,000 in grants for programs including inclusion, outdoors, arts & enrichment, afterschool and much more! Thank you to the Friends of MSCR Board for your time, fundraising and the delicious breakfast! The majority of the funds come from the Friends of MSCR Auction and Golf Outing. Look for details on these 2020 events this spring and support public recreation.

Friends of MSCR 2020 Grants for the following MSCR Programs:

  • Adult Sports (Officiating Uniforms)
  • Art Cart & FIT2GO (Tents)
  • Youth Arts & Enrichment (portable printers & laptops)
  • Youth Arts & Enrichment (training and equipment)
  • Cherokee Middle School Afterschool -  Scholars Of Excellence (lodging expenses for college exploration trips)
  • East High School Afterschool (Soulful Productions Academy)
  • Elementary Afterschool Team (Afterschool Sports Leagues)
  • Elementary Afterschool Team (Staff training support)
  • Emerson Elementary Afterschool (garden shed)
  • Inclusion Services (ipad mini & add ons)
  • Lowell Elementary Afterschool (4 tablets & cases)
  • Meadowood Food Pantry (supplies)
  • Middle School Afterschool (outdoor field trips)
  • Orchard Ridge Elementary Afterschool Cooking Club (kitchen supplies & food)
  • Orchard Ridge Elementary Afterschool (winter gear for participants)
  • Outdoor - Paddling (kayaks)
  • Outdoor - Pontoon (motor)
  • Soccer Program (trailer)
  • Toki Middle School Afterschool (makerspace textile supplies)

Special Valentine's Day Planetarium Shows for Couples

This Valentine's Day, treat your special someone to a romantic tour of the universe at the MMSD Planetarium feature presentation "Romance Under the Stars." The beauty of the night sky brings out the romantic side in all of us. Explore the current night sky with your Valentine in the comfort of the planetarium. A flower and Madison Chocolate Company chocolate will be given to each couple. This event is rated AC -- Adult couples only. Only one person needs to register from each couple. This is a fundraiser for the MMSD planetarium. All proceeds go toward future upgrades. Register early, this popular show sells out quickly.
 
For the first two years, the goal of this event was to raise money for the MMSD Planetarium to replace the 50 year old seats.  We have reached this goal, the new seats have been installed, and we now have a new digital planetarium projector as well! Now we are moving on to our next goals!  All proceeds from this year's event will go toward improvements to the planetarium space.
 
The cost is $25 per couple for MMSD residents and $37.50 for non-MMSD residents. NOTE: Only one ticket is required per couple. The times are listed below. Get your ticket soon because they sell out fast! 

  • Thursday, February 13; 6:30-7:30 PM 
  • Thursday, February 13; 7:45-8:45 PM 
  • Friday, February 14; 6:30-7:30 PM 
  • Friday, February 14; 7:45-8:45 PM 
  • Saturday, February 15; 5:30-6:30 PM 
  • Saturday, February 15; 6:45-7:45 PM 
  • Saturday, February 15; 8:00-9:00 PM