Van Hise Elementary Chosen as National Blue Ribbon School

Congratulations to Van Hise Elementary School for being recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education! The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private schools each year based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. This award affirms the hard work of our students, educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools. Way to go! Learn more about Blue Ribbon Schools in Wisconsin in this article.

MMSD Social Worker Yesenia Villalpando-Torres Chosen as Award Recipient

Congratulations to Yesenia Villalpando-Torres, recipient of the Mario Garcia Sierra Young Dreamer Award. Yesenia, an MMSD graduate, is a social worker and community activist, working in MMSD as well as for Dane County and Catholic Charities. She is a first-generation college graduate, Dreamer and advocate for the immigrant community.
The Mario Garcia Sierra Young Dreamer Award is given to a young Latinx who has completed their education and reached their goals and dreams, while contributing significantly to the community and serving as an example to others.
Yesenia was recognized at the 30th annual Centro Celebration Gala Esperanza. Congratulations, Yesenia!

Advanced Placement Exam Registration Moves to Fall 2019

The College Board has moved the Advanced Placement exam registration period from the spring to the fall beginning this school year.
What you need to know:
WHO: All MMSD students seeking to take spring AP Exams

WHEN: MMSD's registration dates are September 30 - October 18 for this spring's final exams. Exam fees have not changed and remain at $110/exam or $142 for Seminar, but please that a $40/exam deposit is due at this time. The balance will need to be paid between October 18 and February 28, 2020. Also, please note this earlier timeline.

WHY: Studies have shown students who commit earlier in the school year have a higher engagement and commitment, as well as an increase in scores of 3 or higher across multiple groups.

HOW: Specific registration information regarding MMSD's exam sign up, fee payment and AP updates can be found at

Farm to School Night Out is tonight!

Do you want to see more fresh, local food and hands-on nutrition and agricultural education in Madison schools? Support the Farm to School Project tonight, October 2, with Farm to School Night Out!
Farm to School Night Out is a day-long, city-wide local food celebration, with 10% of sales from participating restaurants benefiting REAP Food Group's Farm to School program. This program provides fresh, local snacks, garden bars, nutrition education and hands-on culinary training to students in Madison schools. We hope you'll join us!

Find a list of participating restaurants on the website.

Volunteer Tutor Training Workshop to be held October 9

All volunteer tutors or adults who are interested in becoming a tutor are welcome to attend the District-wide Tutor Training workshop. The workshop trainings are led by MMSD staff and are open to all new and
continuing volunteer tutors.

Volunteer Tutor Training Workshop
October 9, 2019, 5p.m. - 8p.m.

Wright Middle School, 1717 Fish Hatchery Road, Madison, WI
(Please note that this training will be repeated in late January 2020)
The Tutoring Network, a citywide coalition of volunteer-based tutoring program providers that serve MMSD students during and after school, is hosting a Volunteer Tutor Training Workshop for prospective and current
volunteer tutors. Come to learn more about tutoring programs and receive training. Training topics will include: Basics of Literacy Tutoring, grades K-2, 3-5 & 6-8; Basics of Math Tutoring, grades 6-8; The Culturally
Responsive Volunteer (part 1); How Tutors Support English Language Learners (Elementary & Secondary); Tips and Tricks for Tutoring (Elementary & Secondary); Understanding the Needs of Highly Mobile or Students Experiencing Homelessness.
Please consider volunteering at least one hour a week to tutor an MMSD student. As a volunteer tutor you can help an elementary student develop a love of reading, or help a middle school student refine their math or literacy skills and be prepared for high school, or a 9th grader develop the needed foundational skills in algebra. Every year our schools and students benefit from the hard work and dedication of over 1000 volunteers, and despite that, there are still many students who need your help.
No pre-registration is required for the training workshop. Volunteer tutors can register on the day of the training, and a specific training schedule will be provided at that time.
If you have any questions, please contact Laura Whitmore, MMSD Community Partnership Coordinator at (608) 663-4941.
For more details, please visit the training website.

What is an IEP? Join us on October 23 to understand the Individual Education Plan

Thank you to everyone who came out to our family session last month regarding knowing your rights. It was a great turn out and very interactive. 
Our next session will be on October 23 from 5:30-8pm to discuss Understanding Individual Education Plan: How it impacts our students. View for more info and to RSVP. View the flyer.

News from the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools: It's Almost Time for A Principal Experience!

A Principal Experience is coming next week - on Tuesday, October 8!

This program - part of the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools' Community Partnerships initiatives - provides a wide variety of community leaders with a hands-on opportunity to experience the rewards as well as the challenges MMSD principals, teachers, and scholars face on a daily basis.

Participants - our Principal Partners - spend the morning at their assigned schools, then join partners and principals from all schools for lunch at the Alliant Energy Center, to share their experiences and lessons learned.
This year, the Foundation has recruited over 113 Principal Partners - a new record for participants in A Principal Experience. Come Tuesday, these partners will gain a deeper understanding of our public schools and strengthen their connection and commitment to public education. Past Principal Partners have been inspired to support the school they visited by engaging their own organizations to participate in our Adopt-a-School program.

Learn more about A Principal Experience and stay tuned for reports on this year's big day - it's almost time to report to the Principal's Office!

The Foundation for Madison's Public Schools is MMSD's go-to partner in connecting the community in support of our public schools. Since our founding in 2001, the Foundation has given over $20 million back to our public schools through endowments, programs and funding of novel school-based initiatives. Learn more or consider a gift to public schools today - visit

Join us at the MMSD Planetarium: This month's show is Spooky Space

Join us to explore cosmic connections to Halloween in this pre-recorded program which highlights a scary looking image of the Sun, monstrous black holes, zombie stars, scary-looking clouds of gas and dust, and more. We'll also explore the current night sky.

  • Monday, October 14: 6:30-7:30 PM
  • Tuesday, October 15: 6:30-7:30 PM
  • Wednesday, October 16: 6:30-7:30 PM
  • Wednesday, October 16: 7:45-8:45 PM

Tickets are $2.50 and available online, by mail, or at the door. Buying tickets in advance is recommended. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. We accept walk-ins on stand-by for sold-out shows.