Dear MMSD Families and Community:

MMSD is working hard to finalize its plans for how we will be providing instruction for the second quarter, and we recognize the importance of communicating to families our decision as much in advance as possible.  With that in mind, it is our hope that we will be communicating our decision by the end of next week.

This pandemic combined with all that is happening in our communities with racial injustice has made it a year we will never forget. This can take a serious toll on our health and wellbeing and can be incredibly challenging for many of us. Our Student & Staff Support department has compiled a variety of resources on our website that you and your children can take advantage of. Don't hesitate to reach out to us or to your school if you need additional support.  

Finally, we've been very active on our social media channels lately bringing you information about how virtual learning is going so far and also about our referenda. If you haven't already seen those videos, I'd encourage you to check them out on our Facebook page or YouTube channel. You can also find more information about these things in today's newsletter.

Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D

Referenda 2020: Tune in to our telephone town hall meeting tonight

Tonight at 6:00 pm, be sure to answer your phone! Tens of thousands of Madison-area residents will receive a phone call inviting them to join this live telephone town hall meeting. District leaders will answer your questions about the referenda in real time and invite you to participate in polls. Learn

In case you missed it, we held 5 sessions in English and one in Spanish to discuss the proposed facility renovations and operating referendum question. Those links are below: 

Learn more about the referenda, and view project schematics and videos at

New food distribution site available with evening hours

We've added an additional food pickup site with evening hours for anyone who is unable to come during the work day. The new site will be open on Tuesdays from 4-6pm, at the MMSD Food Production Center, 4711 Pflaum Rd. 

The schedule for our other 40 school sites that are offering free curbside meal service for all children 18 years old or younger, along with a pre-order form and additional information is on our website here, and the October menu is available here

Healthy food, healthy minds

MMSD Head Chef Irene Pawlisch understands the importance of taking the stigma out of picking up free meals, and the team has gone out of their way to make the experience a fun, welcoming one for students to enjoy. As a staff member assigned to the central kitchen with no student contact, she embraced the opportunity to connect with families and students. Read more.

Coping During COVID-19 Facebook Live Series

Dr. Armando Hernández, MMSD's assistant director of integrated health and his colleagues in the Department of Student and Staff Support knew that stress and anxiety resulting from the coronavirus pandemic would be overwhelming for our students, families and staff in the district. 

"Our schools are a place for support, connections and resources," said Dr. Hernández. "From basic needs like food, attention and a sense of belonging; because these routines were interrupted, we knew this would be an added stress for our students".

Dr. Hernández teamed up with César Sanchez from the district's Family, Youth and Community Engagement Department to bring health and wellness conversations directly to families using Facebook Live for a series called, Coping During COVID-19. Learn more.

Celebrating Coordinator Appreciation Week

Coordinator Appreciation Week was September 21-25. In this video, we're recognizing Lake View Elementary's school resource coordinator of three years, Rachel Deterding. "Since school closures, I am finding myself doing more outreach to families about attendance and engagement in virtual learning, and am noticing that staff and families are definitely seeing my role as a key resource during a time of increased need for resources," says Rachel. Listen in as Rachel talks about why she loves being a community school resource coordinator, and why Lake View holds a special place in her heart.

Seniors: How are you paying for college? The FAFSA application is open now!

It's hard to believe, since school just started a few short weeks ago, that it's already time to start preparing for next year. If you're planning on attending any college or university, you'll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

All seniors, regardless of your family's income, should complete this application, which will qualify you for grants, loans, scholarships and work-study. Many colleges require the FAFSA to be filled out in order to provide financial assistance or awards to students. The application is now open and should be completed as soon as possible. You'll need to register for an FSA ID prior to completing the FAFSA. Learn more here or talk to your school counselor. Get personalized help with your FAFSA Application by attending any of these Virtual College Goal Wisconsin FAFSA Completion Events

Seniors and Alumni: Join the Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network today!

East side and west side; elementary, middle and high; we're bringing everyone together to share our Madison public school pride! Connect with fellow alumni, support your alma mater and help develop future graduates of Madison's public schools. Join the Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network today - it's free! 

Nominate your teacher for a $6K Kohl Teacher Fellowship 

The Kohl Teacher Fellowship program recognizes and supports teaching excellence and innovation in Wisconsin. The goal is to support teachers' unrealized goals for their classrooms or professional development. Each Kohl Fellowship recipient receives a $6,000 grant and each recipient's school receives a $6,000 grant. Teachers at any grade level can be nominated by students, parents, other teachers, community members, or administrators, and the nomination deadline is October 13 at 5:00pm. Learn more or nominate your teacher now!

American Indian cultural and curricular programming

Did you know? MMSD American Indian/Title VI students are considered as Urban Natives, in contrast to Natives who reside on reservations. One issue for some Urban Native students is a sense of invisibility, often as a result of not seeing themselves in the media, in school curriculum, in the public sector, nor among their social circles, thus the special need for American Indian cultural and curricular programming available to ALL students. See the Title VI brochure for more information.

Tune in to ¿Qué pasa en nuestras escuelas? On October 15

MMSD Superintendent Dr. Carlton D. Jenkins and staff from the Office of Multilingual & Global Education and Curriculum & Instruction will join our Spanish-language radio program ¿Qué pasa en nuestras escuelas? [What's happening in our schools?] on Thursday, October 15, 2020 from 9 to 11 AM, to discuss multilingual learning in MMSD. Dr. Jenkins will share his vision for English Learners, and the panelists will share information with our listeners about the programs and opportunities the district offers for multilingual students. Tune in to La Movida on 94.5 FM or 14.80 AM, La Movida Facebook or call (608) 321-1480 and participate! Listen to the promo, listen to the September 17 program, or learn more about this program.

New operating hours for Alliant Energy Testing Site

Beginning this week, the hours for the Alliant Energy Center COVID-19 community test site have changed. The test site is closed on Mondays, while continuing to be open Tuesday through Saturday until the end of the year.
The new hours for the site are:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00pm to 8:00pm
  • Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:00am to 4:00pm
  • Closed on Sundays and Mondays

View their press release for more details. 

The Alliant Energy Center is also offering drive through flu shots during these hours. No appointment is needed. Find more information here.

Join us at the GSAFE Trick or Trot for Coming Out Day on October 11

This year, MMSD will celebrate National Coming Out Day by supporting the GSAFE Trick or Trot event. Attend virtually or in person to show your love and affirmation of our LGBTQIA+ youth! We hope to have at least 50 people from Madison Schools join us. Can't attend? That's okay. Sponsor an MMSD student instead! 

Here are some quick facts: 

Goodman Community Center Thanksgiving Baskets-Registration Open for MMSD Families

For the past 32 years, the Goodman Community Center has provided free Thanksgiving Baskets to thousands of families throughout Dane County. Each basket contains all the food you need to prepare a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner, including a frozen turkey, fruit and veggies, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and all the fixings.

MMSD school social workers are able to access early registration for MMSD families now through October 9th. Registration is open to the public October 12-23. Please reach out to your school social worker to register!   

Are you registered to vote on November 3?

Absentee ballots have already been mailed out. If you need help registering or requesting an absentee ballot, here are some resources to help you get started:

The 2020 Census deadline has been extended

You still have time to fill out the 2020 Census. Make sure you're counted! Fill it out online now at

In case you missed it

We have 40 neighborhood food sites set up around Madison offering curbside meal service for all children 18 years of age or younger. Each site has pickup one day per week. Visit this page to learn more.

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

If you still need a device exchanged, please contact your school's LMTS. Learn more about the process here

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.