Dear Families, 

We hope this message finds you all well. There is a good amount of preparation on many different fronts going on around the district this time of year. As schools are planning for the end of the school year, our team has also been looking ahead and planning for a number of different options for school next fall, and we will continue to work with our local public health officials for their guidance in our planning. We will be providing more information as these plans are finalized. 

As we enter the final weeks of the school year calendar, and for consistency purposes, we are trying to follow the original school calendar as much as possible. With this as our focus, the final day of school for students in elementary and middle school is June 10th, the same date as noted on the original school calendar. For high school students, normally they would be taking final exams during the last week of school; however, since there will be no final exams for high school students, their last day of school will be June 3. School principals will be sending communication to families regarding picking up and dropping off student materials very soon.

Additionally, you will soon be receiving information on summer school for this year, and we thank you for your patience as we wanted to be thoughtful in our approach to summer school, so that we provide a meaningful learning experience for our students.

Finally, another significant part of our planning work has been centered around graduation for our seniors this year. Our team of school leaders and district staff have spent an enormous amount of time planning and coordinating our virtual graduation and I am proud of the job they have done to make this the very best it can be in honor of our seniors achievements. More information including time and dates can be found in this newsletter.  

As I am sure you are aware, MMSD utilizes many different forms of communication to keep our families and community informed, one of those is working in partnership with our local news media. Today we'll be briefing our local news media at a virtual press conference, where among many subjects we will be discussing our summer school plans. Today's and previous press conferences can be viewed by clicking this link.

Thank you for your support, 

Jane Belmore
Interim Superintendent

Meet our MMSD family

See uplifting stories at mmsd.org/stories, MMSD Voices Podcast, Instagram and Facebook

The Dream Bus bookmobile is now operating as a mobile WiFi hotspot!

It will be parked at the following locations Monday through Thursday. The same social distancing guidelines being used at our school sites apply here as well.
 
10am -12pm: Near corner of Monterey Dr. & Trailsway St. near Warner Park
1pm - 3pm: Allied Drive Learning Center at 2237 Allied Dr.
 
WiFi network: IBR600B-fe2
Password: 44306fe2
 
The Dream Bus is a partnership between Dane County Library Service, Madison Public Library and Madison Public Library Foundation. See additional options for free wireless internet at mmsd.org/access-free-internet.

Congratulations to our National Merit Scholarship winners

We are so proud of the seven MMSD seniors who have been chosen to receive National Merit scholarships in the second round of winners. They were chosen out of a pool of over 15,000 finalists and will be awarded $2,500 scholarships. Learn more about this scholarship program and other Madison-area winners here.

From East High School, congratulations to Zoey Yandell, whose possible field of study is applied mathematics.

From Memorial High School, congratulations to Rebecca Cutforth, who hopes to study environmental policy.

West High School's second round winners include the following students and their possible fields of study: Akashdiya Chakraborty, science/research; Jessica Deschenes, international development; Dayi Ethan Dong, mechanical engineering; Noah Fehr, economics; and Maya Williamson Shaffer, physics. Way to go! 

Celebrating the Class of 2020 on social media

As we continue to come up with creative ways to celebrate the Class of 2020, our Communications Department has created Facebook photo frames for each of our high schools. Students and families are welcome to use these to spice up their profile pictures during the graduation season. To access a particular high school's design, you can go directly to the school's Facebook page. Here are the links for East, La Follette, Memorial, West, Capital High and Shabazz

MMSD High School Graduation: How to watch

WISC-TV/Channel 3 will be airing a special broadcast for each of our high schools on June 12, 13 and 14. They will air on WISC-TV/Channel 3 according to the schedule below. Prior to the first ceremony on June 12, there will be a broadcast of News 3 Now: 2020 Graduation from 6:30-7pm. If you don't have cable, don't worry! These "ceremonies" will also stream concurrently with the television broadcast on channel3000.com

Friday, June 12th:
7-8pm - East HS
8-9pm - La Follette HS
 
Saturday, June 13th:
6.30-7pm - Capital & Shabazz 
7-8pm - Memorial HS
8-9pm - West HS
 
In addition, all of our high school graduations will re-air as a 4.5 hour block on Sunday 6/14 from 11:30am-4pm on TVW, Digital Over-the-air channel 3.2, Charter Cable 14, and Direct TV channel 14, and will be available on demand on SBTV OTT App and channel3000+ on Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android TV.

Thank you for participating in this week's Hmong Read Aloud

Thank you to everyone who participated in this week's celebration of Hmong American Day! Throughout the week, we've been posting videos of students, families, staff and community members reading stories, singing songs, making food and performing traditional dances, all to celebrate and honor the Hmong language, culture and history. If you haven't already, make sure to check out our playlist on YouTube to see many of the videos. Note that this collection is not complete, as some videos were posted directly to school Facebook pages. Make sure to check your school's Facebook page! Learn more about this celebration.

East, La Follette Seniors named two of five WEAC Region 6 Money Smart Scholarship Contest winners!

As part of Federal Money Smart Week, the Wisconsin Coalition on Student Debt ran an essay contest for graduating high school seniors within the area of WEAC Region 6 (Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, and Rock Counties). We are proud to share that, out of more than 100 entries, two of the five contest winners are MMSD students!
 
Congratulations to Nazia Hicks, a Senior at Madison East High School, and Brenna Krenke, a Senior at La Follette High School. See the announcement, made virtually this year. 
 
The students will each receive a $1,000 Edvest scholarship towards college. Nazia plans to attend UW-Whitewater in the fall. Brenna plans to attend either UW-Milwaukee or UW-Platteville. 

UW Community Arts Collaboratory launches online performances

The UW Community Arts Collaboratory (Arts Collab) typically ends the school year with a variety of live performances celebrating the artwork and social-emotional growth of the young people it supports. This year, the Arts Collab is hosting virtual watch parties that are open to everyone. These upcoming opportunities include Whoopensocker, Performing Ourselves and Drum Power for Lowell, Lake View and Mendota! Learn more.

Thursday, May 21, 2020 is Wisconsin School Garden Day

Wisconsin is a leader in garden-based education. This day brings recognition to the people and programs giving Wisconsin's youth access to innovative, hands-on educational opportunities.
 
Now, more than ever, youth garden educators are displaying resilience, innovation, and creativity as schools and programs are finding ways to continue making gardens an essential part of children's education.
 
You can participate in Wisconsin School Garden Day by engaging in some type of garden-based education activity or celebration on May 21, 2020 (or another day that week).
 
While our school gardens are not accessible in person, we encourage everyone to celebrate Wisconsin School Garden Day in a way that best fits them and/or their programs. Any activity that involves kids engaging with a garden or gardening-including, but not limited to, activities around planting, observing, art, literature, STEM, weeding, and planning-can be a way to celebrate Wisconsin School Garden Day.

MSCR is finding new ways to connect to students and families

Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR) is connecting to students and families in new and innovative ways through a variety of virtual programming. Check out their Afterschool at Home activity guide for students, May'd at Home adult art and enrichment programming, or join in the Move It Madison challenge! 

Tune in to our Facebook Live series

In case you missed it, we held another great Facebook Live session this week on Managing Your Money in Uncertain Times, part of our Coping During COVID-19 series. All the videos in the series can be found on our YouTube playlist here: in English and Spanish. Make sure to follow us on Facebook for details on upcoming sessions.