First of all, Happy Juneteenth! This is an incredibly important day in history and one that we would like to see made a federally recognized holiday as well as reflected in the school calendar and to become more fully present in the school district curriculum.
I was fortunate this morning to learn more about Juneteenth in a meeting facilitated by our district's Racial Equity Design Team. We explored some of the resources you'll find in this newsletter, including a video lesson geared toward younger students from one of our Franklin Elementary School educators, and discussed our reflections on what we've learned and all that we still have to learn. Especially if you are unfamiliar with this holiday, I encourage you to check out the resources and share them with your children.
Second, I know you are eager for updates on any plans in development for reopening school in the fall. We've been working diligently for the past several weeks to move this work forward. Part of this has been presenting different scenarios with focus groups of students, staff and families, and incorporating their feedback.
Our number one priority is the health and safety of our students and staff. We are also committed to a strong equity approach to ensure that our decision is equitable for our students.
Next week this work will continue, and on Monday the Department of Instruction will be releasing their final guidance for school districts. With that in hand, we expect to be close to a final decision.
This is, as you can imagine, a highly complex situation and the fact is that any scenario involving some component of virtual learning is going to be challenging for us all. We are committed to doing everything we can to create a plan that has the most potential for successfully keeping our students and staff healthy, safe, connected and on track academically.
Thank you for your continued partnership,
Jane Belmore, Interim Superintendent
Juneteenth: A week of celebration
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with word that the Civil War had ended and all formerly enslaved people were now free.
Madison has celebrated Juneteenth each year since 1990. The Kujichagulia-Madison Center for Self Determination, a nonprofit founded by the original planners of Madison Juneteenth 2020 | Virtual Event festivities, has hosted the annual event since 2006.
This year, due to the pandemic, the organization opted to take its celebration online with a week of virtual activities, including performing arts classes for youth, a college admissions workshop and a tribute to black music.
Here's what's coming up tonight and through the weekend:
Friday features music and a talk by singer-songwriter Adrian Dunn at 6:30 pm, virtual line dance lessons led by DJ Ace (7 pm), and a Black music tribute by DJ M White (8 pm).
On Saturday, there will be a performance featuring youth in grades 6-12, the culmination of youth performing arts workshops held by MMSD's Office of Equity, Partnerships and Engagement in collaboration with the Black Excellence Think Tank and Kujichagulia Madison Center for Self Determination
Also on Saturday: panel discussions at 1 and 2 pm centering on health issues and COVID-19, a history of African American foodways and cooking demo online (11 am) and a virtual family dinner at 6 pm (Find list of ingredients here). For more info, visit juneteenthmadison.com.
Juneteenth learning resources
- Observing Juneteenth in 2020 (article)
- Freedom is (interactive website)
- The Hidden History of Juneteenth (article)
- So you want to learn about Juneteenth? (article)
- The History and Meaning of Juneteenth (podcast)
- Juneteenth: Freedom at Last (video)
- Why all Americans should honor Juneteenth (video)
- The History and Celebration of Juneteenth (video)
- A Brief History of Juneteenth (slides)
In case you missed it
Sennett staff and students switched gears from their normal in-person Variety Show to the new virtual format. Check it out here: Sennett Virtual Variety Show
Raena G., who will start 7th grade at Spring Harbor this fall, was selected as one of ten Project Soapbox video contest winners from cross the country! The videos will be shown at the virtual Soapbox Nation Mainstage event on June 23. They will also interview the speakers live - in front of an audience of peers, community members, and civic leaders. Congratulations, Raena!
Biotechnology, Baking, Auto Technology, Leadership + more! Madison College offers free online Career Discovery camp experiences for grades 5-11 this summer.
The 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act is July 26th.
Make sure to follow your school on social media so you don't miss the great things they're posting!
MMSD playgrounds, athletic fields and courts remain closed
Dane County is in Phase 2 of the Forward Dane plan, and while Madison parks and some Dane County parks are now open, our school facilities and grounds remain closed, except for licensed daycare. This includes MMSD playgrounds, athletic fields and courts at this time. We'll keep you posted on any updates.
From Dane County Parks:
Visit our Parks Changes and Updates Due to COVID-19 webpage for a full list of Park updates.
From Madison Parks:
All Madison Parks are open with some adjustments and closures in place until further notice. Please read the following updates on what's open and what's closed due to COVID-19 on the Parks Division's website.
MMSD Early College STEM Academy Spring 2020 Graduates
Back in 2018, a small diverse group of seven gifted and career-driven MMSD high school juniors had committed themselves to beginning a journey in the newly created Early College STEM Academy (ECSA), which is a partnership program between Madison College and several school districts. This program was created in order to give underrepresented students of color the opportunity to earn college credits in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) while simultaneously satisfying high school graduation requirements.
Earlier this month on June 7, 2020, we were delighted to witness the success of the first cohort of ECSA student graduates. Our seven MMSD graduates will not only graduate from high school, but will also enter their next stage of life with a significant number of college credits and even a few with an Associates of Science degree. With a 92% retention rate, 24 students have graduated this spring, which speaks to the hard work and determination of each and every one of them and the success of the ECSA program as a whole.
2020 Mann and Sánchez Scholar Graduates
The Mann and Sánchez Scholars Programs were created over 20 years ago with two primary goals, raising the graduation rates of Black, Southeast Asian and Latinx students within the Madison Metropolitan School District and ensuring the development of a post-secondary plan that would prepare them to be college and career ready. These unique partnerships among the Madison Metropolitan School District, the Madison Community Foundation, and private donors celebrate a 100% graduation rate.
Earlier this month, program staff recognized each of this year's graduating seniors with a mini home parade and a sidewalk graduation party.
Memorial students learn about electric vehicles through partnership with MGE
Madison Gas & Electric (MGE) recently produced this video highlighting their partnership with MMSD and Madison College, featuring students in engineering and consumer auto classes at Memorial High School. In the fall, these students participated in a one-of-a-kind field trip to MGE and the City of Madison Fleet Service building to learn about electric vehicles, or EVs, and the future of transportation. Students toured the MGE facility to see the solar panel system on the roof and talked about clean, efficient energy. At Fleet Service, they got hands-on experience with electric cars and a closer look at the mechanics involved. Watch the video to learn more, or see this partnership featured in the MGE annual report (page 11).
Summer Inside Out!
Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) is pleased to present VIRTUAL & OUTDOOR summer programs starting June 29! Summer offerings include arts & enrichment, camps, dance, fitness classes, nature, boating, sports and tennis. Virtual classes take place through live Zoom streaming, recorded lessons and Google Classroom. All in-person classes take place outdoors and will follow current social distancing and safety guidelines from local authorities. Registration is open. Check our website, Facebook & Instagram for news, ideas and resources.
2020 Summer Food Program
The MMSD Summer Food Program provides free, nutritious meals during summer vacation. Children can eat breakfast, lunch and snack for free Monday - Friday starting June 22nd. Meals vary by location, and no application is required. All sites will be closed on Friday, July 3rd. All children 18 years of age and under can receive up to two free meals per site.
We will be following best practices for social distancing at all our sites. Meals can be picked up by parents and/or students to take off site with them. No meals will be eaten on site. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the same time. You can find more information online using the summer meals map, call 2-1-1, or text 'food' to 877-877.
11:00 - 11:30
11:45 - 12:15
Lake View Elementary
Badger Rock Middle
12:30 - 1:00
1:15 - 1:45
Serving times will vary per site.
Allied Learning Center
Elver Park Neighborhood Center
Boys & Girls club Allied
Boys & Girls Club Taft