Have a great summer

It’s hard to believe we are near the end of another school year.

We'll pause the family newsletter over the next couple of months. Enjoy your summer as we gear up for a great 2019-2020 school year!

Check out MSCR for summer fun

Are you looking for activities for your child this summer? Check out the programs offered by Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR). There are various summer classes, camps and events to choose from. You can register on the website.

Congratulations to our Mann Scholars and Sánchez Scholars

Congratulations to our students who have been named Mann Scholars. The Mann Educational Opportunity Fund scholarship honors the late Bernard and Kathlyn Mann. The couple believed deeply in education and made sure five students from Memorial High School graduated and attended universities. The program provides mentoring and educational tools to students of color in our district.

This year’s scholars are Haley Johnson (Jefferson), Nicholas Sanders (Sherman), Elliott Tuinstra (Black Hawk), and Anecia Washington (Sennett).  The Mann Scholar Annual Celebration is Friday, June 7 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery.

We also want to congratulate our students who have been named Sánchez Scholars. The scholarship program is named for ​Professor Roberto Sánchez whose support helped increase opportunities for high school and postsecondary students.

This year’s Sánchez Scholars are Gersely Ríos (Badger Rock), Elías Ramírez (Jefferson), Yuceli Guerrero (O'Keeffe). A celebration will be held on Sunday, June 9 from 10 a.m.-Noon at Madison College - Truax Campus.

Reminder: Join us at the Goodman Community Center today to discuss the draft preliminary budget

We hope you can join us tonight at the Goodman Community Center - Brassworks (214 Waubesa Street, Madison) from 5:00-6:30 p.m. to give your input on our draft preliminary budget. Our 2019-20 draft preliminary budget and updates are available on the website. Some priorities from our Strategic Framework include:

  • Black Excellence
  • Mental Health
  • Special Education

Can’t make it to the meeting? Provide your feedback by taking our 2019-20 Budget Survey available at http://mmsd.org/budgetsurvey. The survey closes on May 31st.

Elementary and middle school families, look for information about school start/dismissal times with report cards

As you may know, school start/dismissal times are changing this fall for some middle schools and all elementary schools. Keep an eye out for an insert in your child’s report card (online for middle school). You can also view your school’s start/dismissal times for the 2019-2020 school year on the website.

Thank you to our ‘Circle of Friends’

Thank you to all those who attended the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools (FMPS) Circle of Friends luncheon last week. The event celebrates our schools and rallies community support to ensure every Madison public school student reaches their potential. FMPS is devoted exclusively to the success of Madison’s public schools and to build a stronger community for everyone.

End of school year safety update

We wanted to give you some updates on some of the work being done by our district Safety & Security team to prepare for next school year. It is our belief that the safest schools are those that foster a climate of support and respect and that instill a sense of community among students, families and staff. Building security, incident response, threat assessment and motivation reduction are additional components of this effort.

Cameras, new phone system and classroom door locks

As you may remember, replacing classroom door locks with locks that teachers can secure from inside the classroom has been a priority of the Board of Education. By the start of the new school year, all K-12 MMSD classrooms will have doors with electronic locks. Classroom doors will lock automatically once closed. Staff will use their ID badges as access cards to unlock doors.

Building Services will continue to add additional cameras to all school sites. This work with happen throughout the summer.

Our current phone system is being completely replaced. The new VoIP (voice over internet protocol) system will include new hardware (handsets) with added functionality. The system will be capable of mass notification and alerts during emergencies including immediate communication with parents and families.

Standard Response Protocol training

In our last newsletter update on safety in March, we introduced you to the Standard Response Protocol (SRP). We will be incorporating SRP into our emergency response procedures in the fall, reflecting guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Office of School Safety and national recommendations on school safety.

Throughout the summer we will be finalizing numerous materials to train and reinforce the SRP actions (Lockdown, Lockout, Evacuate, Shelter and Hold) for staff and students across all grade levels. These include letters home, lesson plans, posters, staff training days, a new emergency procedures flip chart posted in every classroom and more.

Next school year, your child will receive age-appropriate instruction on what to do in the event of an emergency, following the SRP. Teachers will lead students through these lessons using a variety of methods, which may include lesson plans, sequence stories, social stories, PowerPoint presentations and videos. The materials used will be shared with you ahead of time along with information that you can use to help discuss these concepts at home.

Protect Kids Online podcast

The Protect Kids Online (PKO) Podcast, by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, discusses trends and updates on the latest apps, websites, and online activity of children 17 years of age and younger.  

Topics include internet safety laws, cyberbullying, healthy online habits, protecting your child from strangers online and so on. It’s available on iTunes, Google Play and on other podcast apps.

The DOJ also has an email list where they share safety updates and information. You can subscribe here.