Dear families, 

As we move into the final week of school, and as our students settle into their summer routine, MMSD staff are continuing our hard work planning and preparing our strategies for reopening school this fall. Additionally, we also recognize that our community is still struggling as a result of recent incidents of racial injustice, and the disproportionate effects that COVID-19 has had on many of our community members of color. As a result, we will continue work to provide students impacted by these events the kind of meaningful support they need.
 
During summer break, we know how important it will be to keep you up to date on the latest information and developments in our planning for the fall. As a result, we plan to continue with this weekly family newsletter as one way to communicate to you throughout the summer or as needed.
 
Our hope with future communication regarding the reopening of schools this fall is to provide families a timeline that gives as much advance notice as possible, so you have the time you need to plan as a family. We ask that you continue to refer to future editions of this newsletter, as well as mmsd.org and our social media channels, for important information and details moving forward.
 
As you can imagine, the nature of COVID-19 presents us with many unknowns, and our dedicated planning team is putting deep thought into a variety of options so that we'll be as prepared as we can as we approach the 2020-21 school year.
 
Recently, this planning team began:

  • Creating guiding principles to assist in our plan design work.
  • Considering the many unknowns and planning for a wide range of options.
  • Creating options that lean on our partnerships with Public Health Madison and Dane County and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to ensure informed decisions that are consistently grounded in the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff.

All the options we are considering will include varying degrees of virtual learning. The district plan for the fall will be a flexible hybrid solution that includes virtual and in-person options with a focused intent on:

  • Supporting our most marginalized students
  • Creating new ways of working that eliminate racial disparities
  • Addressing learning, instructional and service group needs[1] 
  • Determining staffing capacity and the reallocation of time and space
  • Strategies on food service, health supports, transportation and budget
  • Supporting economic recovery
  • Respecting family choice

No matter what option we decide on for this fall, our decision will be one that is created with your feedback and collaboration as well as the collaboration of our partners in local public health, city, county and state officials, and neighboring school districts.
 
We appreciate your patience and understanding throughout all of this. Know that we are working hard to continue to move forward, holding true to our core values outlined in our Strategic Framework, and planning for a safe and successful 2020-21 school year.
 
Stay well,

Jane Belmore
Interim Superintendent

Important Dates

June 10: Last day of school for elementary and middle schools

The district google calendar is updated daily with key dates and upcoming events and opportunities. Check back frequently.

Follow us on social media

East High School's School Security Assistant David McCullough has been sharing the daily announcements via Facebook videos. He recorded his last one this past Wednesday in front of Lincoln Elementary School. Check it out here!

Make sure to follow your school on social media so you don't miss the great things they're posting! 

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month

MMSD recognizes June as LGBTQ Pride Month! We stand with and support, appreciate and honor our LGBTQ+ students, families, and staff. 
 
In May our Board of Education passed a resolution to celebrate Pride month by flying the rainbow flag at our schools during the month of June: "Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Madison Metropolitan School District recognizes the month of June as LGBTQ Pride Month and will begin the implementation of flying the rainbow flag at its buildings during June to inspire equity, create alliances, celebrate diversity, and establish a safe environment in our schools and community; and that this resolution be distributed to every school in the District."

Beginning June 1, we will fly the rainbow flag at MMSD buildings during the month of June to inspire equity, create alliances, celebrate diversity, and establish a safe environment in our schools and community. View the live video of the flag raising.

Reminder: High school graduation ceremonies air live on WISC-TV next week

WISC-TV/Channel 3 will be airing a special broadcast for each of our high schools on June 12, 13 and 14. 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.

Student grassroots organizing continue amid pandemic 

Covering Your Concerns About Coronavirus - Coping During COVID-19 Facebook Live Series

This week's Coping During COVID-19 Facebook Live session was dedicated to supporting our LGBTQ+ students during social distancing. In this unprecedented time for schools, families and students, we recognize many LGBTQ+ young people no longer have access to the affirming communities they found at school, and may feel especially isolated right now. Check out this special conversation with three young students from Memorial High School's Gender Equity Association (GEA) as they share how their continued organizing and advocacy efforts promote wellness. You'll also hear how our youth stay connected to various support networks and safe online spaces during quarantine. This live session was led by Jocelyn Lepinski, Universal Systems Coach for MMSD and Memorial High students, Amira Pierotti (10th grade), Maggie DiSanza (11th grade) and Melanie Golden (11th grade). 

Read the full story here.

2020 Black Girl Magic Conference promotes community and resilience 

This year's Black Girl Magic Conference was an exciting virtual celebration and learning experience for our Black girls attending Madison Metropolitan School District and beyond! The conference offered a variety of educational and engaging topics including live sessions led by local Black women professionals and entrepreneurs on topics like Self-Care and Loving Yourself and Your Identity. There was a special cooking workshop, a live workout to get the girls moving and inspirational and authentic spoken word performances by our incredible MMSD scholars. We would like to extend our warm gratitude to our enthusiastic featured speakers, Maxine McKinney de Royston, Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at UW-Madison; Cynthia Moore, Universal Systems Strategist for MMSD and our nationally renowned keynote speaker for the event, Social Justice Education Scholar, Dr. Jamila Lyiscott. Dr. Lyiscott delivered a message to our girls rooted in the belief that changing the world begins with changing yourself! 

If you weren't able to tune into the conference workshops live, we've made all of the sessions available on the Black Girl Magic Conference Facebook Page and the Black Girl Magic YouTube Channel for you to watch with your family any time. Have fun and thank you for supporting this new virtual opportunity! We'll see you in 2021!

MMSD recognizes our 2020 retirees

Thank You, 2020 Retirees!

Congratulations and thank you to the many outstanding educators, colleagues and friends who are retiring this school year. Check out the 2020 retiree web page here. These 153 MMSD staff members represent decades of dedicated service to the students and families of Madison. To our retiring staff, while we aren't able to celebrate and honor you in the usual ways, we want to thank you for your years of passion and dedication to our district. Be sure to tune into News 3 on Friday, June 12. WISC-TV is putting together a special visual celebration for the 2020 retirees. We wish you happiness, success, and good health as you begin your new adventure!

Summer employment opportunities for students in grades 8-12

MMSD is excited to share a variety of summer employment programs will be available for students in grades 8 through 12, all over Madison, including volunteer positions and career development opportunities. Many of these opportunities provide paid experiences and can also earn work experience credit (minimum of 23 hours) and the possibility of either a State Endorsed Employability Skills Certificate or Youth Leadership Certificate.  
 
To get connected with these opportunities, please fill out this interest form. Your information will be shared with the programs providing these experiences - not with MMSD - in which you indicate an interest and for which you are qualified. Program staff will contact you regarding next steps. This form is not a commitment on your part; only to express interest in the opportunity. 

New pop-up mobile food site on the west side, at Leopold Elementary

COVID-19 has presented unique challenges for each community. Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, in partnership with MMSD and the YMCA, will be providing food for those in need. This will be a drive-thru Mobile Pantry every week to distribute food.
 
Leopold Elementary School Pop-Up Mobile:

  • The first Drive-Thru Mobile Pantry will be Tuesday, June 16th. 
  • Distribution will start at 11:00 AM and will end at 1:00 PM.
  • Location will be the side parking lot of Leopold Elementary School - 2602 Post Rd, Madison.     

Any changes to times or locations for mobile pantry distributions will be communicated via our new texting service. To receive a text message when there is a change to the regular schedule, text FOODDANE to 555888.
 
Safety is our number one priority at Second Harvest during this crisis. We have adjusted to as many "no touch" practices as possible. All participants must keep a six-feet social distance at all times. We ask that you be ready with your trunk open, and if your trunk does not work volunteers will place boxes near your car for you to load directly. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not come to pick up food.  

As a reminder, there is also a pop-up mobile food site on the east side, located in front of the East YMCA at 711 Cottage Grove Road. 

Seniors: Join the Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network today!

Welcome to alumnihood, Class of 2020! Despite the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the final months of your senior year, we hope that you are leaving high school with great memories of being a student, and that you will continue to maintain that positive relationship as an alum. The Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network is a new community that offers you a way to stay engaged with your classmates, support your alma mater and make new connections with graduates who came before you. Learn more or sign up today - it's free - and join a community of 50,000+ alumni who share your Madison public school pride!

Send a shout out to a senior in your life

Fox 47 TV wants to honor and recognize area high school graduates with 'Senior Shout Outs.' 'Senior Shout Outs' are ten-second videos created by parents, grandparents, family members and friends congratulating their graduating Senior. Teachers and school administrators could even do one for their senior class! Some of these 'Senior Shout Out's will air on Fox 47 TV!
 
Here is how it works:

  1. Record your :10 (ten-second) 'Senior Shout Out' video message using any available device, like your cell phone
  2. Go to Fox47.com, click on the 'Community' tab at the top and go to 'Senior Shout Out's'
  3. Then click the 'Enter Your Own' button below
  4. Fill out the required boxes
  5. Hit 'Submit'
  6. Then, sign the release form and send to Feedback@fox47.com 
  7. Your video will be uploaded and posted on the video gallery after our team approves your entry
  8. If your video is selected, it may air on Fox 47!

Thank you for supporting our local high school graduates!

4K device information

We know that not every 4K student received a device during device distribution in March and April as we were prioritizing the work of family engagement and play-based learning without increasing screen time. Instructional packets with family engagement activities (through June) were sent to families who did not have technology access, and 4K families will continue to have access to Ready Rosie, a parent engagement platform where parent modeling videos can be texted or emailed to parents in English and Spanish, throughout the summer as well.
 
You can learn more or request information about these specific areas:

  • For more information about Ready Rosie, please email Culleen Witthuhn at cmwitthuhn@madison.k12.wi.us
  • If you did not receive an instructional packet or know of someone who would like one, please send a request to receive the packet at early.learning@madison.k12.wi.us.
  • Parents/guardians of 4K students with special education needs who require a device as part of their Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) should work with their case managers to get what is needed to implement their plans. 

Thank you for your continued patience while we work through these difficult times. As we are reviewing the plan for the start of the next school year, the issue of accessibility to devices will be part of those discussions.  

News Release: Public Health Madison & Dane County's WIC Program Remains Open

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) remains open to serve current and new families who enroll in the program. A federal waiver has allowed WIC services to be provided over the phone until at least June 30, 2020. See the full news release for more information.

MSCR Cares Camp 2020 - Summer Essential Childcare Program

MSCR has developed an essential summer childcare program for children entering Grades 1-5 in the fall, MSCR Cares Camp. The program goals are to: 

  • Provide child care for up to 600 elementary school-age children 
  • Meet an essential need in the community as more people return to work 
  • Support students enrolled in virtual summer school 

All MMSD students entering grades 1-5 who meet the program eligibility criteria may now enroll and are being informed via email today. Registration information can be found at www.mscr.org and Spanish is also available. If you know of a family in need of childcare this summer, please share this information with them. The registration deadline is Wednesday, June 10 at 8:00am. 

MSCR Cares Camp is monitored by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and will follow all DCF essential childcare guidelines put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

MSCR Cares Camp 2020 provides both structured and free choice activities in a group setting. Participants will be offered indoor and outdoor play, special interest activities and virtual summer school support for those enrolled in summer school. Breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks will be provided by MMSD Food and Nutrition. Bus transportation will be provided. The program accepts Wisconsin Shares and fee assistance is available to all families. 

PROGRAM INFORMATION: MSCR CARES CAMP 2020
Program Dates: June 22-July 31, No program July 3.
Hours: Monday - Friday, 7:45 am-4:30 pm

Find the latest MSCR Free Fitness Activities

Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) has been busy adding a variety of new, free enrichment videos for kids and adults that you can do from home. There are five new fitness videos added each week! 
 
Here are some of the latest: 

Find links to all the art, enrichment and fitness videos here.