Dear MMSD Families,
I hope you and your family had a safe and much needed break over the holiday. Although every holiday will look a little different this year, it is important to take time to gather with immediate family to relax, recharge our batteries and express gratitude for those who are most important to us.
President John F. Kennedy once stated, "as we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." I would like to express my thoughts of gratitude with all of our families. I am grateful for your continued patience and grace as we travel together through one of the most challenging times in our history. We will continue to work hard every day to support our families and do what is best for our students.
I also want to thank everyone who submitted Gratitude Grams last month. I enjoyed witnessing the outpouring of love and appreciation in our #MMSDfamily. Here's another compilation video of some of the great videos shared.
Lastly, in the upcoming months we will be seeking community participation and feedback regarding the projects funded by the referenda passed in November. As we move through the implementation of the referenda we will continue to listen and provide opportunities for feedback. Watch for an invitation to upcoming listening sessions.
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D
5th Graders, Participate in our first ever We Read: All City Read!
MMSD and the Madison Public Library (MPL) are excited to invite all of our 5th graders to participate in the first ever All City Read. With winter coming and schools closed, we've partnered with MPL to promote reading and build community. We've chosen Front Desk by Kelly Yang and we encourage you to read, watch, and/or listen this December and January. To get your own, personal copy of the book, ask your school's librarian. You can also check it out from the Madison Public Library, or read or listen to it on Sora. You can also watch videos of every chapter being read aloud by various MMSD staff, including Superintendent Dr. Carlton Jenkins. We are also excited to have some guest readers from our community, including Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes and UW Marching Band Director Corey Pompey.
Watch these videos and participate in discussions and activities at the MMSD All City Read website. We encourage families to enjoy Front Desk together and to carry forward this book's community spirit. The All City Read is part of MPL's Madison-wide community celebration of reading called, We Read. We invite you to snap a picture of you reading or share a video with us about what you like about the book, Front Desk. We'll share your creativity on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #WeReadMadison. Happy Reading!
Weather closings during virtual learning
Winter is coming, and when weather is severe, we want you to know how we will make decisions about closing any in-person programming in MMSD buildings. The safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and we always follow a set of guidelines to make decisions about whether school will be open or closed.
The district must make a decision that is the best for all students. We realize, at times, our decisions may not fit with your individual circumstances. Therefore, we encourage and strongly support you in making the decision that is best for your child(ren). You are always the best judge of their health and safety. Learn more.
Are you working or regularly volunteering for an organization?
Did you know that MMSD high school students have the opportunity to earn elective high school credit through paid work or volunteer experiences? During COVID-19 students also have the opportunity to earn credit through caretaking/babysitting. Enrollment in the program is rolling throughout the year.
Learn more about earning credit through work or volunteer experiences by clicking here. For information about earning credit through caretaking, please review this checklist.
Questions about Work Based Learning can be directed to your school counselor.
Free Early College Credit Opportunities for MMSD Students
MMSD High School Students have several opportunities to earn free college credit while they are still in high school. Watch this video to learn more about the Early College Credit Opportunities available for our 11th and 12th graders:
High School Opportunities For Future 9th Graders
Future 9th graders have several opportunities to personalize their high school experience. Check out this video highlighting options such as Personalized Pathways, AVID, DLI and Shabazz City High School.
Reminder: Enroll now in Personalized Pathways
Enrollment is now open for Personalized Pathways. Eighth graders who are interested in enrolling in the health services or information technology & communications pathways should submit their applications now online.
There are many amazing opportunities throughout the Madison community for our students and families. View some of these opportunities here.
If you are interested in seeing your organization's event on this page, read about how you can do that here.
In case you missed it
MMSD is working with the Madison Public Libraries to ensure all students have access to books during this pandemic. Learn more about how your students can get library books.
Free drive-through flu shots are available for anyone 6 months and older at the Alliant Energy Center, while supplies last. Learn more.
The Hmong Institute has a COVID-19 Resource Line, set up to close the language barrier gap and provide bilingual and bicultural support to support Southeast Asian and other refugees in Wisconsin affected by COVID-19 to better access resources and navigate the systems in their communities. Learn more about this in English, Hmong, Khmer or Tibetan.
If you haven't already, you can opt in to receive texts from the district and your school(s) by texting the word YES to 67587 from your mobile device.
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.
If you 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.
How to get help during COVID-19, from Public Health and the City of Madison: View the "How To" community resources pages here.
The Foundation for Madison's Public Schools has been raising emergency relief funds and collaborating with community partners to ensure our MMSD and MSCR students, families and staff have the resources and financial support to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.
NAMI Dane County has a free support line from 8:30-4:30pm and provides numerous support groups and classes for individuals impacted by mental health needs. Learn more.
The City of Madison recently launched a free Financial Resources Hotline to help residents navigate financial issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial Navigators provide free guidance, over the phone, to help residents access available programs and services to manage income loss and other financial concerns they may be experiencing.
Previous family newsletters are archived on this page on our website.