Join us to talk about school start times

As you may have heard, we are moving forward with a plan to explore changing school start times – some elementary and all middle schools may be changed. A final decision by the Madison school board is expected by the end of the current school year.

We want to hear from you! What do you think about the plan? We’re hosting several feedback sessions to gather your input. Join us at one (or more) of the events held across the district. We hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 26

6:30-7:30 p.m.

Whitehorse Middle School (218 Schenk St)

Tuesday, May 1

6:30-7:30 p.m.

Black Hawk Middle School (1402 Wyoming Way)

Wednesday, May 2

6:30-7:30 p.m.

Toki Middle School (5606 Russett Rd.)

Thursday, May 3

6:30-7:30 p.m.

Cherokee Heights Middle School (4301 Cherokee Dr.)

Learn more about the process of changing school start times on our website.

Register your child for after-school care

Registration is now open for 2018-2019 after-school child care. We want to share important information early about supporting families who may need access to subsidies for child care. For students who may be eligible for Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy, families can apply on the Access website now and if eligible, have an authorization for child care created for after-school care in the fall.

The eligibility level for Wisconsin Shares is at or below $46,435 for a family of four. If the family makes a little too much for Wisconsin Shares and the child will attend an accredited after-school program (WYC, YMCA or Red Caboose), the family can apply for City Tuition Assistance, which allows eligibility up to $75,300 for a family of four. You can apply for City Tuition Assistance on the website.

Spring Harbor Middle School wins African-American History Challenge Bowl

Congratulations to Spring Harbor Middle School on its win in the African-American History Challenge Bowl! Spring Harbor’s team beat other Madison middle schools at the 24th annual event on April 7th. Sennett took second place and Black Hawk came in third. The challenge bowl is an educational African-American history competition between teams of Madison middle school students in a quiz show format. The event is produced by 100 Black Men of Madison, Inc. Spring Harbor will represent our district at the National Conference in Hollywood, Florida in June. View video of the event.

Madison students compete in writing contest

Madison students recently participated in the Yahara River Writer's Competition. The event is sponsored by the Greater Dane County Advanced Learner Network. Students in grades 5-8 can submit an original short story, poem, editorial, cartoon, cover art, divider art, or Spanish poem to the competition. The top five entries per category advance to the competition held by our district, while the top 10 entries per category/per grade advance to the county-wide competition. Four students took first or second place at the district level for their work. Congratulations to the winners and all those who participated!

Marta Brigham (Hamilton):                  1st place–”Assumptions”

Ava Bauer (Hamilton):                          2nd place–”Home”

Sodik Gbadamassi (Toki):                    1st place–”Should Vaccines be Required for Children?”

Mihika Shivakumar (Spring Harbor):   2nd place–”Together”

Daniel Issac (Jefferson)                       “Pick and Choose Your Enemies Carefully”

Crystal Ni (Hamilton)                           “Fake”

Anvika Annyapu (Toki)                        “The Dangerous Beauty”

Leeyan Nasrallah (Spring Harbor)       “Words”

Elfin Wiriyan (Spring Harbor)              “Lost Things”

Chloe Markle (Sennett)                         “Should Students be Allowed to Carry Backpacks to Classes with Them in School?”

Matthew Wright (Whitehorse)             “The World We Live In”

Miriam Santos (Emerson)                    “Secret Forest”

Daniel (Xinghang) Li (Stephens)         “Friendship, or Talent?”

Thank you to all of our school volunteers

We are grateful for all of the people who volunteer in our schools throughout the year. This week is National Public School Volunteer Week and we want to recognize some of the family and community members who volunteer their time to help our students.

Joel Wish has volunteered for three years in the Sandburg Elementary School food pantry, in a four-year-old kindergarten class and for Food for Thought. Jenna Collins at Sandburg had this to say about Joel: Joel has been an integral part of making the food pantry at Sandburg a success. He facilitates the weekly food orders, brings the food to the pantry, weighs it, and stocks the shelves. He is a great advocate for getting the pantry what it needs if we are missing something or there is a particular family in need he takes initiative to fill the need. Joel is always thinking about how we can improve the pantry and reach more families!

Joel also volunteers every Tuesday afternoon in one of our 4K classrooms. When he walks into the classroom, all the students smile and run to hug him! He builds relationships with the students that really need the extra love and attention. Joel is an active volunteer in the classroom. You will see him on the floor playing with kids and also taking the time to work on pre-academic skills. He initiates many activities in the classroom and is an active participant during recess games. Joel is reliable, kind, thoughtful, and has a great sense of humor! We don't know what we would do without him!

Lora Burchill has volunteered with Achievement Connections for four years as an algebra tutor at Memorial High School. Here’s what AmeriCorps Community Volunteer Coordinator Morgan Schmidt says about Lora: Lora is a stay-at-home mom with a chaotic lifestyle of taking care of her family. As she would put it, she “works M-F from 3pm on,” leaving the hours of 9am-2pm open. Lora decided to fill her “open hours” with volunteerism. She has been tutoring for four years, three of which have been through Achievement Connections High School Math Tutoring Program.

Lora says it was a newspaper article on the correlation of algebra and academic success that sparked her interest in math tutoring. She thought to herself, “I am free during those hours and I am fully capable.” Currently, Lora tutors two students and finds that even struggles are blessings. “You care about their lives. They aren’t just looking for academic coaching; they are interested in life coaching. You’re their advocate.” Lora says the students she has tutored over the years most often simply “want to know some is in their corner”, but also stresses that the experience is different every time. Every student is different, but Lora says, “You’re there to connect. You just have to be willing to humanize yourself; admit when you do not know and ask for help.” The unique bond of an academic coach and student is the experience that keeps volunteers returning year after year.

We have many more stories of wonderful volunteers who generously give their time to our students. You can read about them on our website. If you’re thinking of volunteering next school year, visit our website to learn about opportunities.

Are you interested in working with our students?

If you enjoy working with kids and you’re looking for part-time work, why not become a crossing guard? The City of Madison Police Department is seeking crossing guards for the 2018-2019 school year. As a crossing guard, you will provide a friendly face and kind presence to our students each morning and afternoon.

Starting pay is $16.52 an hour, 10-15 hours a week. Applications will be available on the website in late June or early July. Contact the crossing guard supervisor at 608-266-4703 for more information.

Help kids graduate from training wheels – volunteer for Learn 2 Ride

It’s almost time for MSCR’s Learn 2 Ride event! Learn 2 Ride teaches kids and their adults easy, innovative techniques to get kids riding on two wheels by themselves. Kids learn to balance, glide, pedal and steer on a closed course. MSCR is expecting more than 250 kids this year and they need your help! Volunteers serve as helmet fitters, bike course trainers and bike mechanics.

Learn 2 Ride takes place on Sunday, May 6 at Memorial High School (201 S Gammon Rd.) and Sunday, May 20 at Warner Park (2930 N Sherman Ave.). All volunteers will receive a t-shirt, snacks and a fun morning helping kids learn a new skill! To volunteer, sign up on the website.