Plan for making up snow/cold days

In case you missed last week's email, we have a plan for making up the lost instructional time due to extraordinary winter weather. We have added 2 more school days for students -- March 18 and June 12 -- and extra minutes to the school day. For all the details, see mmsd.org/weather-make-up. We know that schedule changes can be inconvenient and disruptive to plans you may have already made, so we appreciate your grace and resilience.

The plan below takes effect Monday, February 25, 2019.

Check out stories of students and staff making history in our district

Black Excellence is all around us. In case you missed them, visit mmsd.org/stories to read and listen to inspiring stories from our students and staff across the district. We’ll be posting more stories there, in addition to posting on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

We’re reading our hearts out and having a great time!

Schools across the district are participating in Read Your Heart Out. Community leaders and members, and families have been serving as guest readers in classrooms. Even Governor Tony Evers stopped by Allis Elementary recently to read to students. Read Your Heart Out is a celebration of National African-American Parental Involvement day, literacy and African-American history that began 15 years ago.

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

Enrollment for four-year-old kindergarten (4K) and five-year-old kindergarten for the 2019-2020 school year will be Monday, March 4 from 2pm - 6pm at all MMSD elementary schools. Online enrollment for 4K and kindergarten programming will open on February 25.

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.

Securly - Monitoring signs of bullying

We believe our students deserve to learn in a safe and student-centered environment, which includes their time spent using instructional technology in school and at home.  

On students’ district-issued devices, we use a technology monitoring software called Securly to keep students safe and monitor for signs of bullying, harm or self-harm. Securly is the leading provider of cloud-based web filtering for schools. Securly allows for messages that are indicative of bullying and harm to self or others to be filtered and our school administrators to be alerted. While we believe Securly is a valuable tool in increasing safety for all students, we do not have the ability to monitor those alerts at all times.

We have given you access to the free Parent Portal and SecurlyHOME app, to provide even broader coverage. Securly allows you to gain valuable insight into your child's browsing habits and online activity while they use their devices at home or off the school's network. Using Securly will allow families to establish guidelines for student use while they are away from school. Please feel free to reach out to your school’s Library Media Technology Specialist or the Director of Instructional Technology for additional assistance.

Students are encouraged to reach out to an adult in their building if they experience bullying, harm from others or are experiencing a desire to harm themselves. However, we also know that harmful actions and thoughts do not always occur during the school day when a trusted staff member is available. We want to make sure families and students are aware that they are not alone and there are other resources available to help. The following resources are available and ready to provide support:

Hopeline:

Text “HOPELINE” to 741741

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

608-280-2600 or 800-273-8255

Briarpatch Helpline

800-798-1126

Trevor Lifeline for LGBTQ+

866-488-7386

New, interactive resource available for internet safety

Interact is an online, interactive course created for families to complete with their children. The goal is to spark basic online safety discussions at home. This 30 minute module provides families with the opportunity to review your tech use to set a good example, interactive activities to complete with your children, and follow-up resources and activities to keep the discussions going. The course even provides some ideas on how to start and continue these discussions, along with some bonus tips to help break the ice on awkward topics!

Visit the website to access Interact.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice – Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction created Interact to help keep kids safe online.