Important Calendar Change: April 27 Professional Development Day Moved to May 13

The professional development day, originally scheduled for Monday, April 27, has been moved to Wednesday, May 13 to better support students and families. This means April 27 will be a regular (virtual) school day. There will be no school for students on Wednesday, May 13.
 
In order to meet the needs of our students it is essential that teachers are able to come together to reflect on and adjust their teaching practices in a virtual environment. It is important that we act on the feedback we are receiving and adjust virtual learning based on what our students and families are saying. 
 
You can view the revised calendar at mmsd.org/calendar

Teaching America's Untold History in the Classroom and Community

In our latest podcast episode, Camara Stovall, 3rd grade teacher at Frank Allis Elementary, and Saundra Brown, MMSD retiree, discuss the acclaimed New York Times Magazine's "1619 Project" with Marlita Bevenue, and how they are bringing America's untold history to the classroom and community. Listen to the episode now.

Giving Back to the Gambia: Personalized Pathways Lead Scholars to Greatness

When Foday Jarra received a flyer about Personalized Pathways during a schoolwide presentation for Sherman eighth graders, he wasn't particularly enthusiastic or thrilled. But he figured he would share the details with his family and get their advice about the opportunity to learn through a lens of Health Services at East High School. 

"It was my father who really encouraged me to enroll in Pathways," Foday recalled. His father, Ousman, is a registered nurse in Madison, providing care to homebound patients. "He has always talked to me about working in health care some day, and over the years I've seen the impact he makes on people," said Foday. 

WIth his father's guidance, and family's support, Foday set out on a pathway to explore, analyze and study hot topics in health sciences - a path he has developed a genuine passion for, and a choice he's glad his father helped him make. He also knew that Pathways would provide ways to connect with opportunities after high school and prepare him to be successful in any profession. Read the full story.

La Follette's Lilyana Sims selected to be part of National Youth Response Movement

Lilyana Sims of La Follette High School has been selected by Mikva Challenge to be the Wisconsin representative for the National Youth Response Movement team!
 
This group of 20+ young people from across the country will create content on how COVID-19 is affecting their communities, provide their insight into possible solutions and share experiences from the most vulnerable communities. Read the full press release, and watch the video here.

JMM and LHS theater programs receive Overture Center's 'Jerry Awards'

The Jerry Awards, one of Wisconsin's High School Musical Awards Programs, encourages, recognizes and honors excellence in high school musical theater. The program began in the 2009/10 school year as the Tommy Awards, and was renamed in 2017/18 season to The Jerry Awards after philanthropist and arts supporter W. Jerome Frautschi. 

Educators and industry professionals review productions at more than 85 high schools in 30 counties around the state providing valuable feedback. The program elevates the importance of musical theater within high schools. 

Award winners were announced live on Monday, April 20. Congratulations to all nominees and award recipients!

Three MMSD teachers receive Crystal Apple Award Honors

The NBC15 Crystal Apple award is marking its 25th year in 2020. WMTV received a record number of nominations with more than 650 total submissions, representing more than 400 schools across the WMTV viewing area, which includes 11 counties in southwestern Wisconsin.

Congratulations to Thoreau Elementary School's Kelly McCann, a 2020 Crystal Apple Award winner, as well as Jane Danley of Nuestro Mundo Community School and Melissa Hernandez of Elvehjem Elementary School, who each received Honorable Mention! See the press release.

Join us on Facebook Live next Wednesday

Tune in to the MMSD Facebook page on Wednesday, April 29 at 2pm for 'Coping during COVID-19: Supporting our Children and Families': a Facebook Live session facilitated by Armando Hernandez with guests Jocelyn Lepinski and Carrie Klein. The session will be repeated in Spanish at 3pm. 
 
Future topics include 'Covering Your COVID-19 Concerns' and 'Financially Weathering the COVID-19 Storm'.

Introducing the 2020-21 Draft Preliminary Budget Proposal

We are pleased to present the MMSD 2020-21 Draft Preliminary Budget Proposal. Development of the proposal has been guided by regular monthly direction provided by the Board, along with input from staff, parents, and the Madison community collected through the process to develop the new Strategic Framework and the process to gain insight on the potential November 2020 referenda. We welcome your feedback on this draft. View the draft and provide feedback at mmsd.org/budget.

School Garden Guidelines

School buildings and grounds are closed; however, it is permissible for staff and adult volunteers to enter school grounds to maintain school gardens, as an allowed outdoor activity or essential function under Governor Tony Evers "safer at home" order.
 
If you are asked by your school to assist with the school garden, please keep in mind that we will need to make adjustments to how we garden at the schools.We are requesting that you make the following adjustments:

  • Don't bring your children or anyone else with you; no students will be allowed at garden sites
  • Stick to the schedule your school provides: there should be no more people than there is space to effectively execute appropriate social distancing. No more than 2 to 4 people should be at the garden site.
  • Practice physical distancing and keep at least 6 feet away from people you don't live with.
  • Don't go to the gardens if you or someone in your family feels sick.
  • Strongly consider using cloth face coverings while in the school garden.
  • Remember to wash your hands before and after gardening.
  • Wear gloves and bring your own tools to use in the garden.
  • If this is not possible, and staff and volunteers use common tools, clean and disinfect them, handle and all, before and after use.
  • Clean and disinfect all gates, shed handles and all other communal spaces and equipment that people touch regularly after using.
  • Thoroughly wash all produce you harvest from the garden!

In developing these safety guidelines, we want to make sure that our volunteers are safe when working at school gardens. We realize how important planting and growing foods are for our school communities. Thank you for following these precautions.

Partners Pitch In! Our collective COVID-19 Response

Foundation for Madison's Public Schools says Thank You to partners who have pitched in to help the staff, scholars and families of MMSD during the COVID-19 crisis. See the video.

Support MMSD and MSCR through the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools

To support the unique needs of MMSD and MSCR during the COVID-19 crisis, please consider a gift through our fundraising partner, the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools. To learn more, visit this page.

In March, the Foundation partnered with MMSD to raise $15,000 to produce, package and mail one million pieces of academic enrichment materials to 19,000 K-8 students. Interim Superintendent Jane Belmore has now asked the Foundation to partner with her to raise $50,000 more to ensure all of our 27,000 MMSD students have Wifi access. So far, the Foundation has raised $13,100 toward this goal. We have also raised $4,900 for MSCR.

Keep checking our website

Make sure to continue to check mmsd.org/COVID-19 for the latest updates on virtual learning, food and device distribution and more. The site is updated every day.