Resources to help you plan for changing school start times in the 2019-2020 school year

Next fall begins our three-year implementation of changing school start times for the 2019-2020 school year. Crestwood, Huegel and Thoreau Elementary Schools make major shifts to the early start time. All other elementary schools will adjust 5 or 10 minutes. Cherokee Heights, Jefferson and Spring Harbor middle schools shift to a later start time. Check your school’s start time on the website.  

We know you are getting ready for the change and we offer these resources to help you plan:

  • Dane County 211 through United Way of Dane County -  United Way 2-1-1 helps connect families with local programs and services. They are available 24/7 and offer free, confidential assistance. They can also direct families to resources to help support day care. Text or call 2-1-1, or visit the website.  
  • MOST (Madison area Out of School Time)  The Madison-area Out-of-School Time (MOST) Program Finder is a one-stop-shop for families and youth to find quality programs offered before and after school or during summer and holiday breaks for Madison-area youth. Locate programs near your home or at your child/youth's school. Search the website for programs that match your needs based on location, age, time of day and more.  
  • 4C - Madison  Community Coordinated Child Care, Inc. (4-C) is part of a network of accredited, non-profit Wisconsin Child Care Resource & Referral agencies The agency strives to ensure every child has access to high quality early care and education through integrated support and expertise. Visit the website or call 608-271-9181.

Thank you for helping us celebrate Black History Month

Thank you for joining us in celebrating Black History Month, and our Black students and staff who are writing history every day. Black History is celebrated every day, not just one month out of the year. February may be over, but we are going to continue to celebrate Black History Makers. We are fortunate to have this opportunity to share the amazing stories of Black Excellence in our district. Keep checking for stories at

Students are leading the way at Capital High

Capital High is like no other, say several students at the high school. The Madison school district established Capital High in 2016. The school has two sites—East and West—and provides students with a smaller learning community. Students say teachers there make them feel comfortable. “They show more care and dedication to their students and they actually motivate you to be a better student,” says Atyah Etchin, a sophomore at Capital High West. Etchin is one of a handful of students who serve on the school’s student leadership team.

Another student leader, Adrian Larson, says Capital High is like a family. "How we're graded, how we learn and how everybody coexists—it's different than a typical school,” Larson says. Etchin agrees. “Most kids, they feel like they can't raise their hand and say ‘I don't understand this’ because the whole class will laugh at them, but at Capital High, if you don't understand, everyone makes you feel welcome, like you're at home.” Junior D’Angelo Evans says everybody gets each other. “We respect each other as more than come here and you can be yourself,” Evans says.

Capital High formed the Student Leadership Team in the 2017-2018 school year. Principal Karyn Stocks-Glover says they needed clear guidance from students on how to create an inclusive culture for deeper learning. “We believe that Capital High must be built on shared power with our students in order to fulfill our commitment to Black Excellence and to be truly innovative in our approach to teaching and learning. Our student leaders are building their identities as change leaders,” Stocks-Glover says.

The students tackle topics such as attendance, the use of Yondr bags, building relationships and planning for the school’s future. They also take time to plan school wide celebrations like their talent show in April. “The student leadership team gives students a chance to be heard,” says Cheviest Branch. “For us to give ideas toward things that are planned out for an entire school, shows a lot.”

Etchin, Evans, Larson and Branch say they enjoy being part of the leadership team and making sure student voice is included in decision making. “In the future we will accomplish speaking for other schools that aren’t heard...Capital High will be the key to get in, not just for Capital High, but for the whole school district,” says Etchin.

Join us for the inaugural Wisconsin Education Fair

We are hosting our first ever Wisconsin Education Fair at Memorial High School on Monday, March 11 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. More than 95 representatives from a variety of postsecondary institutions (public, private, military and service) will be present to chat with students and answer questions. All students, families and community members are invited to attend.

We encourage students to pre-register on the website (so they don't have to write their contact information each time they speak to representatives), but it is not required. Students and families may request transportation using this form. We hope to see you there!

9th and 10th grade students - Apply to be a TEEM Scholar

Is your 9th or 10th grade student interested in becoming a teacher? If so, they can apply for Forward Madison’s Tomorrow's Educators for Equity in Madison (TEEM) program. Forward Madison TEEM Scholars engage in college preparation programming through our partnership with the UW-Madison School of Education.

Students participate in summer academic enrichment on UW's campus. During the school year, students meet on campus to engage in education-specific coursework. Those who complete the pre-college program and are admitted to UW-Madison or Madison College, may be eligible to receive college financial support and preferred hiring status with the Madison school district upon graduation. Visit the website to learn more.

So you want to be a Nurse’s Assistant for Madison schools?

If you are interested in becoming a Nurse's Assistant for Madison schools, consider enrolling in required training at Madison College. The course is Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 26 through May 2, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Truax Campus (no classes March 19 and March 21). Cost is $239.00.

View the class and register on the website.

An update on metal detectors in our schools

There's been a lot of news about the use of metal detectors, and we want to make sure everyone knows where we stand. Earlier this school year, we used metal detector wands at one school, based on specific safety concerns. We haven't used them since and do not have a plan to do so.

But, we know the experience for students was challenging and we realized if there ever were specific safety concerns again that made us feel like we needed to use the wands again, we needed to have a very clear process in writing - one that is fair, equitable and ensures specific students are not singled out or targeted. That's why we created a written policy - to be clear and transparent in the very rare case that we ever need to use it.

Check out the night sky at the MMSD Planetarium

If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family this month, head to the MMSD Planetarium for its March shows. You’ll get a tour of the night sky and learn about the exploration of Mars.

Tickets are $2.50 and available  online, by mail or at the door. We recommend buying tickets in advance.

Monday, March 18:  7:45-8:45 PM