Dear MMSD Community,
On Wednesday, I was honored to join some of our students and staff for a live broadcast, to address questions related to the upcoming school year. As we prepare to begin virtual instruction on Tuesday, we know that there are still many questions. We will work together to find solutions, make adjustments where needed, and connect you with the support and resources you need to be successful.
With a goal to eventually and safely work toward reopening our schools to in-person learning, our team spent much of the summer talking and collaborating with our teachers and principals about how to improve remote teaching and learning. Our staff has been working hard to engage in professional development, build community and connect with students and families. While the circumstances of the start of school are certainly not ideal, the familiar excitement of the start of a new school year remains. I know from talking to many of our educators this summer just how excited they are to see our students’ big smiles and bright faces next week, who will be ready to learn and connect with their classmates and teachers.
As outlined in our Strategic Framework, we are committed to preparing our scholars for college, career and community. The community piece has never been more important. Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout the changes and adjustments during the COVID pandemic and for your continued involvement in your child’s education. We look forward to working together with you to get the new school year off to a great start!
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D
It's Official! Glendale is now Dr. Virginia Henderson Elementary School
In January, the MMSD Board of Education approved a proposal to rename Glendale after Dr. Virginia Henderson, a long time Glendale psychologist, philanthropist, and Madison community leader. Learn more.
Google Access for Students
As we prepare for virtual learning for the start of school, it is my hope that the following updates will assist you as you are planning to support your students and interact with teachers.
Google Access (4k-12):
At Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), we use G Suite for Education tools that include Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Classroom, and more. At MMSD, students will use their G Suite accounts to complete assignments, communicate with their teachers, sign in to their Chromebooks, and learn 21st-century digital citizenship skills. During this time of virtual learning, all students will need access to Google and this means that all students will need a district-issued email. Please know that we are working to ensure that all students will have access to Google prior to the start of school.
The following page, G Suite for Education Notice to Parents and Guardians, provides answers to common questions about what Google can and can't do with your child's personal informationin accordance with Federal student privacy laws, as well as the protections Google takes to protect student data privacy.
Please know that this process can be updated once school has returned to an all face to face instructional environment.
Hotspots and Student Passwords
At this time, it is our hope that families that have requested a hotspot via their school librarian or the family helpline have either received the hotspot or communication that your hotspot is on the way. In order to support families with hotspots, each hotspot has 7500 MB of data. We are using the summer usage for families to determine the appropriate amount of data that we have assigned for each device. If a family has 3 or more children in the household, two devices will be provided to support the number of children. The following information will be provided in each unit. If you still need one, or have technical questions, please call our tech help line at 608-204-5678.
Please know that if your student is still in need of their password those will be provided by the classroom teacher at the elementary level. At the middle and high school levels please contact your building Library Media Technology Specialist to reset a student password.
6th graders will have their password from 5th grade if they are returning. New 6th graders will have a password of lowercase x followed birthday month, day, year in two digits, and a capital X (xmmddyyX) and be prompted to reset the password upon initially logging in. 7-12 grades have previously been set to xmmddyyX and have been encouraged to change this to something more secure (See Google's requirements for creating a strong password).
Please know that during the 3rd week of school all secondary students will be encouraged to reset their passwords and the LMTSs will work with students and staff to help with this process.
Pick up free breakfast and lunch for children starting September 8
If you received a call from the district on Wednesday around 9am, this was what the message was regarding:
MMSD will be offering free curbside meal service at 40 school sites starting next week, for all children 18 years old or younger. Meals will be provided free of charge to all students regardless of free, reduced or paid status eligibility for meals.
Each site will have pickup one day per week for your convenience. You will receive a market food box with all of the components for 5 balanced breakfast and lunch meals that meet the requirements for the Summer Food Service Program.
Food safety guidelines will be provided with each market food box. Safe meal heating instructions will be available at pickup locations and at mmsd.org/food.
The September menu is available here.
What to know before picking up meals:
- Each 5 day box is about 12"X 9"X 9" in size and weighs just under 10 pounds.
- Milk will be available as well.
- Find the pickup schedule at mmsd.org/meal-schedule.
- We strongly encourage families to use our pre-order form at mmsd.org/meal-schedule so we can plan ahead and be ready for you. It is encouraged but not required.
- You can pick up meals from any school site that is convenient for you.
- If you feel that you may not have adequate refrigeration space for all of the meals please let our staff know at the time of pickup.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attendance During Virtual Learning 2020-2021
As our community begins the 2020-21 school year in a virtual learning environment, students are expected to attend school virtually according to their daily class schedule. Teachers will be taking attendance every day based on student engagement in synchronous, or live, real-time learning instruction, asynchronous, or independent learning activity, or through two way communication. It is important the district continues to track attendance to promote and support academic engagement in virtual learning. Measuring attendance also helps us stay in relationship with families to connect them with resources, and to promote overall health and emotional well-being.
Download this information
*All Families: On Wednesdays, attendance will be recorded based on asynchronous, or independent learning task completion, or two-way communication for all classes.
Report an Absence
The procedure for excusing students from virtual learning includes using the MMSD online form, or phone call to the school attendance line. Each school will share their detailed process.
Additional information can be found at mmsd.org/attendance.
Reminder: Device exchange make up days are next week
If you were unable to make it on your scheduled exchange day, you can go to your assigned location one of the following times:
- September 8: 8am - 3pm
- September 9: 12pm - 7pm
- September 10: 12pm - 7pm
- September 11: 8am - 3pm
Save the Date: Community Information Sessions on the 2020 Referenda
We will be holding several community information sessions during September and October to discuss the upcoming referenda that will appear on your ballot in November. Each session will primarily focus on the high school that is hosting (virtually) the session, but experts will be available to answer all of your questions during each session. We hope you can join us. The sessions will be streamed live on our Facebook page.
- September 16, 5:00-6:30pm (East)
- September 22, 5:00-6:30pm (Capital High)
- September 23, 5:00-6:30pm (Memorial)
- September 29, 5:00-6:30pm (La Follette)
- October 1, 5:00-6:30pm (West)
- October 6, 6:30-8:00pm (Session held exclusively in Spanish)
And on October 7 at 6:00pm, we'll be holding a Telephone Town Hall Meeting in which District officials will share information about the upcoming 2020 referenda. Participants of the Telephone Town Hall event will have an opportunity to ask questions, share comments on their touch tone phones or just listen in to the meeting. All Madison-area residents will receive a phone call inviting them to join this live telephone town hall meeting. Register your phone number now!
Referenda 2020: A Focus on East High School
Built in 1922, East High School is a unique, historic building beloved by the eastside community.
But East needs significant renovations to become a facility meant to engage young minds, spark innovation, and deliver our vision of student-centered education.
The 2020 Future Ready Referenda is an opportunity to bring East and our other three comprehensive high schools into the twenty-first century with modern, flexible, classrooms that support multiple learning styles.
Through site visits, a review of the building's age and condition, input from our instructional team and feedback from students, staff and the East community, we have identified what we believe are the priorities at East that could be addressed with the 2020 Referenda.
Online Learning Support from the Urban League of Greater Madison
Open to all families, the Urban League of Greater Madison, offers an opportunity to answer questions and provide information about virtual learning for the start of this school year. Please sign up for this interactive format.
Tune in to our Spanish-language radio show on September 17
During the Spanish-language radio show ¿Qué pasa en nuestras escuelas? [What's happening in our schools?] on September 17, 2020, our Family, Youth & Community Engagement Department will share their plans. During the second hour, Dr. Carlton Jenkins, our new superintendent, will share his views and hopes for this school year and beyond. Tune in and participate on La Movida Radio, 1480 AM or 94.5 FM, from 9 to 11 AM. Listen to the promo.
Renaming of Falk Elementary School?
The MMSD Board of Education has received a proposal to rename Falk Elementary School in honor of Milele Chikasa Anana.
"Anana served as the editor and publisher of UMOJA Magazine, which celebrated the accomplishments and joys of African Americans in Madison, for nearly three decades. She was known to many as 'Ms. Milele' or 'Mother Milele,' and is remembered as a 'champion of positive Black news' and a 'fierce lover of Black people' by those who knew her."
What do you think of this proposal? Do you have another proposal for renaming Falk Elementary School? If you have comments on the first proposal, please contact our Board at email@example.com. If you or your group are interested in submitting a proposal to consider other names, more information is available on this webpage. The last day to offer a proposal is September 30.
The Foundation for Madison's Public Schools and MMSD Join Network of Partners Working to Deliver 5,000 Supply Kits to Students
As we prepare to start the 2020-2021 school year, an urgent need for individual sets of school supplies has emerged. Students need their own sets of supplies at home in order to properly engage in virtual learning. The need will continue once a return to in-person learning in our school buildings becomes possible. In order to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols, the sharing of classroom supplies will no longer be an option, necessitating a supply kit for each student.
In response to this URGENT need, the Foundation and MMSD have partnered with the community to purchase, package, and distribute up to 5,000 individual supply kits to MMSD's most vulnerable students so they can begin the 2020/2021 school year on the strongest footing possible.
All donations for school supplies are being processed through the Foundation's MMSD Community Resource Fund. This effort is made possible thanks to the Foundation's school supply program (Teachers PETS).
Every $50 Makes A Difference
With your support, we will help deliver everything from pencils, notebooks, and headphones to those scholars most in need. The average cost of a supply kit is $50 and every donation contributes to the collective buying power of the Foundation and their partners.
All volunteers interested in helping assemble kits will be able to sign up at www.volunteeryourtime.org - while we await final details on volunteer arraignment, please contact the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the school supply page for regular updates.
We urge you to share this school supply project with your family, friends, and colleagues and when possible, make a contribution. While we will graciously accept in-kind donations, your financial gifts will make the greatest difference by ensuring all students receiving in-home supply kits get the same materials. United Way will have bins to collect school supplies at 3 or 4 locations throughout the community staring on Monday, August 31st through Wednesday, September 30th. Again, please visit the school supply page for how you can contribute.