Dear MMSD Community,
As your outgoing interim superintendent, I want to take this opportunity, my last, to say goodbye and thank you for your partnership throughout this historic school year. Starting next week, you will be hearing not from me but from Dr. Carlton D. Jenkins, who officially took over as MMSD's Superintendent on Tuesday, August 4.
You are in good hands. Capable, caring, and courageous hands. In the short time Dr. Jenkins has been on the job, we have seen how ready he is to lead our school district and how ready the Madison community is for his leadership. If you didn't catch his live press conference on Wednesday, I encourage you to check it out here.
I wish Dr. Jenkins, our staff, our families, and most of all our students health, happy memories, and unimaginable success in the 2020-21 school year and beyond.
The 2020-2021 school year is almost here, and that means it's time to enroll. To start the process, visit mmsd.org/enroll.
Enrollment will be 100% virtual this year.
To help ensure our students, families, and staff are safe, the enrollment process is 100% online, and support will be available from your school during specific dates and times. The online enrollment application has been redesigned to allow new and existing families to complete the online enrollment application virtually and 100% paperless. MMSD online enrollment is mobile-friendly and can be completed on any device.
Continuing Families: Families completing the application for students continuing within the MMSD will complete the enrollment process fully online and will not be asked to verify any enrollment documentation unless they have an address change. For more information on how to submit proof of address change click here.
- Complete online enrollment at mmsd.org/enroll. You must complete this process online. If you do not have access to a computer or internet access, contact the enrollment office at firstname.lastname@example.org / 608-663-4957 or contact your school to schedule an appointment.
- Contact your school to schedule an appointment in order to verify your student's enrollment verification. Use the enrollment checklist as a guide to help you prepare the enrollment documents you need for your student's enrollment.
- Find MMSD school contact information here. View the MMSD calendar to find out about the enrollment assigned days/week.
New-to-district 4-year-old kindergarten (4K) students, new 5-year-old kindergarten (5K) students
If your student is new to MMSD for the 2020-21 school year AND you completed the 2020-21 online application along with verifying your child's date of birth, address, and parent/guardian identity and relationship at an MMSD school or office prior to August 10, there is nothing for you to do. You will receive communication about completing the Free and Reduced application and other enrollment forms.
New 4K and 5K students who completed the online enrollment application for the school year 2020-21, prior to August 10 and were prompted to print the verification page, do not need to provide MMSD public schools and Early Care and Education (ECE) centers a copy of the verification page when they verify their enrollment documents. MMSD public schools and ECE centers have access to the information that needs to be verified.
Enrollment dates and times: Getting help
The online enrollment application opens on August 10.
School staff will be available to help you through the process virtually starting on Monday, August 17. Prior to that date, contact the enrollment office if you need assistance.
Visit mmsd.org/schoolemail to find your school's phone number and email address.
You may also visit mmsd.org/enroll to find enrollment information.
Not sure which school your child will attend? Find your school on our website. You can also call our enrollment office for help at (608) 663-4957. Phone numbers and email addresses for all schools are listed on our website.
School schedules will be available on the IC Parent Portal on August 24 and families can access them there. High School students can submit schedule changes to their counselors electronically.
There is no picture day at high schools during August enrollment since schools are closed and enrollment is 100% virtual. Your school will contact you about your 2020-21 photo ID.
Thanks for your patience as we've worked out the details on when students and staff will start and end their virtual learning day.
Elementary: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Middle: 8:30 a.m. - 3:42 p.m.
High: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Elementary: 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Middle: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
High: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
If and when we move to a hybrid or face-to-face model (possibly as early as November), these times will be adjusted to reflect the 2020-21 school start time plan. (To plan for this possibility, please check your school's start and end times in the above link since this could take effect as early as second quarter.)
Schools will be sending student schedules as part of their back-to-school communication.
We will be offering curbside meal service at 40 school sites starting the week of September 8, 2020. Each site will have pickup one day per week for family convenience. Students will receive a meal box with all of the components for 5 balanced breakfast and lunch meals that meet the requirements for the National School Lunch & Breakfast Programs.
- Pickup times and locations are being finalized and will be shared soon.
- Each 5 day box is about 12"X 9"X 9" in size and weighs just under 10 pounds.
- Milk will be available as an option.
- A pre-order button and instructions on how to order will be available on our website as the start of school approaches.
- Students or parents will need to provide the student name and student ID number at the time of pickup.
- Full pay and reduced eligible students should have funds in their account to cover the cost of the meal pickup. The account will be charged at the time of pickup.
- Please remember to apply for free & reduced meal benefits during enrollment this year. You need to apply each school year.
Stay tuned for more information on our website and in this newsletter as we continue our planning process to ensure students have access to nutritious meals during our virtual learning environment.
As in previous years, all student fees will be collected during enrollment, which include:
- Consumable Materials fees for all students
- Middle and High School Activity fees
- Middle and High School Textbook fees
- Locks, planners and yearbook fees will also be added to Infinite Campus student records. Yearbooks and some lock fees will still be optional fees.
- Fifth grade strings rental fees will also be added to student records for the schools with "strings for all." Strings teachers are working on processes so students receive instruments.
- High School: all Art course fees will be charged for first semester. The art department staff will work on getting kits to students.
The following fees will not be collected at enrollment:
- High School course fees for Physical Education, Family and Consumer Education, and Technology courses will not be charged for first semester. Second semester course fees will be added in January 2021.
- Fall athletic fees will not be charged at this time.
The District believes these fees are best to collect now, but we will be prepared to offer refunds depending on how the rest of the school year plays out.
Do you support public schools but are thinking of leaving MMSD for just one year due to COVID-19 planning efforts? Consider taking an equity pause.
We've heard from some families that they are considering homeschooling their children in the fall or enrolling their children in private schools offering in-person learning. We understand and respect what families need to do for their children. However, we are anticipating and planning for key improvements to our virtual learning offering this fall and are asking families to consider this. Ensuring staff have the opportunity for additional days of professional learning dedicated to teaching virtually has been a priority of ours since the spring. We believe that this fall students will have a virtual learning experience that is stronger, more rigorous, and more equitable than what they experienced in the spring.
We also want all families to know the financial impact when a student withdraws from our school district. Even a small percentage of students withdrawing makes a huge impact, not for one year but for three years. Our revenue from the state is dependent upon the number of students enrolled on the third Friday in September. A student who does not enroll in MMSD by the third Friday in September but then returns to MMSD once we return to in-person learning means that we lose the state revenue for the child, not just for this first year, but for the next 3 years due to the state's 3 year rolling average formula. This impacts everything in our district, but especially our ability to invest in the vision in our Strategic Framework, which aims to close opportunity gaps for students and invest in hiring and maintaining high-quality staff . We know each family needs to make the best decisions for their children, but we hope you will pause to consider equity as well as our improvements to virtual learning before making a final decision.
School supplies for elementary and middle schools have been updated and are available at mmsd.org/supplies. Access to supplies at home will be critical to ensure the success of students in an all-virtual learning environment. MMSD is committed to getting these supplies into the hands of students who need and cannot afford them, and is working with the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools, Adopt-a-School partners, community partners, and other organizations to help support these efforts. More information about where to get access to these resources is forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.
Note: High schools do not have specific school supply lists. Supplies will vary based on individual courses. Teachers will inform students of specific needs during the first week of school.
From Public Health and the City of Madison: How to get help during COVID-19
These are extraordinary times. Due to the challenges of COVID-19, every Madison family needs a little extra support, and our community is stepping up to help. The City's "How To" series provides an online list of community resources that can help with everything from eviction to finding healthy food. You'll also find printable handouts on each topic. View the "How To" community resources pages here.