Dear MMSD families,

I want to congratulate you on your first week of school! YOU DID IT!

I hope you were able to connect with teachers and staff at your child's school, begin to settle into routines, and build the relationships we all need in order to have a successful school year.

Learning in this virtual environment can be challenging, and this week our families demonstrated how they are up for the challenge. Thank you for all your hard work, patience and flexibility as we enter into this historic school year. We are all in this together.  

We understand families may still have questions as we continue to navigate through the virtual learning environment. For answers, we encourage you to visit the HelpDesk feature on our Virtual Learning Resources Hub. This is a great resource for families, providing tools  specifically designed to support you, and ensure your family understands the expectations and requirements for the 2020-2021 school year. We also invite you to join us on September 24th for a Facebook Live session, where we'll discuss the first few weeks of school and also provide you with an opportunity to ask questions. 

Enjoy the weekend. I hope you are able to rest up and recharge, as we head into our first full week of school.

Carlton D. Jenkins, PhD

Third Friday Membership Count

Madison Metropolitan School District is required to count students for membership purposes on the third Friday in September (not the third Friday of the school year) and report the membership count to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). This year the 3rd Friday Membership Count is scheduled for September 18, 2020. This is an important day for our district because the majority of our funding is tied to our 'member students' who are enrolled and in attendance as of that date. Under existing state law, a student may be counted for aid and revenue limit membership purposes regardless of the specific setting in which they are receiving instruction, if the student is actively enrolled on September 18 and:

  • In attendance on Friday, September 18, 2020


  •  in attendance for the 2020-21 school year on any day before September 18, 2020, AND any day after September 18, 2020, with no change in residency or enrollment during that period (the Before and After Rule for counting students does not restrict the before and after dates to Thursday, September 17 and Monday, September 21)

Teachers are responsible to take daily attendance for classes they are scheduled to teach on any given day, and for all classes on Wednesdays when all learning will be asynchronous. 

To be counted as "in attendance" for a subject/class, the student will need to:

  • attend the synchronous instruction time (in Zoom), 
  • complete and submit an asynchronous task (assigned by the teacher in Google Classroom, SeeSaw or Ready Rosie) that day between 12am-11:59pm, OR
  • engage in two-way communication (phone call, email exchange, or office hours virtual visit) 

On Wednesdays, attendance will be based solely on completion of asynchronous tasks and/or any two-way communication that may occur.

Learn more about our attendance practices during virtual learning at

Free breakfast and lunch for students: Weekly Schedule

As a reminder, we are offering curbside meal service at 40 school sites, for any child 18 years of age or younger. Each site has pickup one day per week for family convenience. Students will receive a market food box with all of the components for 5 balanced breakfast and lunch meals. The schedule was condensed this week due to the holiday, but our schedule starting next week is as follows: 

Weekly Schedule (starting September 14)








Van Hise


Black Hawk
La Follette




Badger Rock
Orchard Ridge


Cherokee Heights
Henderson (Glendale)
Lake View
Spring Harbor


Nuestro Mundo

Learn more here

Join us on Wednesday, September 16 for an informational session about the upcoming referenda

Join us for a Facebook Live Session to discuss the 2020 Referenda as it relates to Madison East High School, on Wednesday, September 16 at 5:00pm on our Facebook page

We'll discuss the question you'll be voting on, the proposed projects, and give you an opportunity to ask your questions. Watch the video, read about the East projects, or view the East project schematics. #MMSDFutureReady #PurgolderPride 

Save the date for our other upcoming sessions: 

  • 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)

Referenda 2020: A Focus on West High School

Built in 1930, Madison West High School is located a short distance from Madison's city center. While the school received additions in the late 1960s and '70s, a growing student population has resulted in a building that is currently over capacity.

West must wisely and creatively use its existing space to ensure a stimulating and supportive learning environment for future generations of Regents. West scholars are eager for the opportunity to learn in innovative, flexible, student-centered environments that support multiple learning needs, collaboration, and creativity. Learn more at #MMSDFutureReady #RegentPride

See the video.

Advanced Learning at MMSD

During virtual learning with the district, we want to assure you our Advanced Learning Specialists will continue to collaborate with teachers, support staff and families to implement programming as outlined in your student's Advanced Learning Plan. While some aspects of Advanced Learning (AL) will look differently during this virtual period, AL specialists will identify and meet the academic and social-emotional needs of our advanced learners and connect with students and families regarding service delivery, progress monitoring and guidelines set forth by the Department of Instruction and Office of Civil Rights. 

Here's what you can expect from our Advanced Learning Department during virtual learning:

  • The AL Department falls directly under the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and will focus 2020-21 on the delivery of instruction in Math, English/Language Arts and Social Studies/Humanities.
  • AL instruction will be delivered through videotaped recordings to AL learners and students with potential, noted as Talent Development students. Talent Development students are AL learners, but may be new to AL instructional services.
  • Five days of videotaped lessons will be recorded on Loom and sent to grade level core teachers every Friday to be embedded in core teacher's lessons for the following week.
  • Some AL students will continue to receive online instruction in accelerated mathematics by AL specialists or Teacher Leaders.
  • An AL specialist with English as a Second Language experience will be tied to a grade or grade levels to assist in planning lessons and creation of the videos supportive of language needs. These may be the same lessons, or an extension to ensure these learners needs are addressed.

If you have additional questions about advanced learning, we're here to help you. Please reach out to the AL Department Director, Dr. Sharon Alexander or Amanda Jamae, Advanced Learning Coordinator. Team Leaders can also assist you with your questions - look them up by school using the Advanced Learning Staff Directory.  

Are you registered to vote on November 3?

Absentee ballots will be mailed starting next week. If you need help registering or requesting an absentee ballot, here are some resources to help you get started:

The 2020 Census deadline is September 30

The deadline for completing the 2020 Census is September 30. Make sure you're counted! Fill it out online now at

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.

In case you missed it

Attendance is being taken every day. Learn about how attendance works during virtual learning. 

The Foundation for Madison's Public Schools is working to deliver school supply kits to families. Learn more.
How to contact your school: While we're virtual, we want to make sure you're still able to contact your school. There are currently three ways you can get in touch with your school. Find them here.

Previous family newsletters are archived on this page on our website.