December 14, 2016
When is school closed due to weather?

Winter weather is finally here. We want to take this opportunity to provide you with information about how decisions are made and communicated when the weather is severe. The safety of our students 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 your child's health and safety. Read more about the winter weather guidelines

Families learn about Personalized Pathways at Expo, 
Superintendent Cheatham hits the airwaves to discuss Pathways

Last week, hundreds of 8th grade students and their families attended the GuidEd Expo at the Alliant Energy Center to learn more about Personalized Pathways. Next fall, Madison East, West, La Follette and Memorial high schools will offer the first Personalized Pathway to graduation. 

At the expo, students and families learned about each high school's specific Personalized Pathway, got help with their applications, asked questions, participated in activities with other incoming freshmen and visited booths set up by colleges and universities as well as local health science companies. Students can apply to be enrolled a pathway at the high schools now through Jan. 6. The opportunity is open to every incoming ninth grade student.

Superintendent Jen Cheatham recently appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio program Central Time to discuss Personalized Pathways. You can listen to the discussion here. The superintendent says she is confident about the Personalized Pathways plan.

8th grade students at Sennett Middle School receive Health Services Pathway lesson
La Follette staff members Kris Howard and Christine Mitlyng recently visited 8th grade students at Sennett to tell them about La Follette's Health Services Pathway, open to these students in the fall as incoming freshmen.

To mirror the hands-on, authentic learning that will occur in Personalized Pathways, students used their problem-solving skills to extract DNA from strawberries. In addition to discovering more about DNA and its connection to the humanities, students employed their critical thinking skills and worked collaboratively to reach their goals.

Reminder: New Elementary report cards focus on student strengths and successes

Our new standards-based elementary report cards are a better, more accurate tool for our families. They focus on your child's strengths and successes and let you know exactly how your child is doing based on state standards. You will learn which big ideas and concepts your child has learned and also what work still needs to be done to make sure they are ready for the next grade level. Learn more about the new report cards.

Good news from the MMSD annual enrollment report
More students are entering the Madison school district from other districts and fewer are leaving for other districts, according to the district's annual report on open enrollment. Both first time leavers and the overall number of students leaving the district decreased this year.

The school board received the good news at a meeting in November. A report also highlighted an increase in students entering the district through open enrollment. The report shows the most common grades for those entering through open enrollment are 4K, 11th and 12th grade. This school year, 365 students entered Madison schools through open enrollment. That's an increase of 49 students from the previous year. Learn more about enrollment in the school district. 

Are we meeting your child's Advanced Learning needs? Please take our survey
Our Advanced Learning Department is currently participating in an external review to help us to understand how well families feel we are meeting students' academic needs. Please consider taking the survey if your student has ever been identified as an Advanced Learner and is not currently being served OR you believe your student may be eligible for advanced learning services but is not currently being served.  

You will be asked to respond to questions about each child currently in the school district. The survey will take about fifteen minutes to complete for each child. You may complete the survey for up to five children in your family. It is completely voluntary and confidential and there is no question you are required to answer. The survey closes Friday, December 30.  Take the survey now.

School Spotlight: Shabazz celebrates community, student reporter featured in local newspaper
At Shabazz' annual community celebration, held November 22, students performed in a talent show and served a fabulous community feast to staff, families, alumni and community partners. The celebration was made possible thanks to support from the Cuna Mutual Foundation and Cherokee Country Club. We appreciate this opportunity to build strong relationships and community at Shabazz!

Shabazz students climb into a tree as part of a lesson.

A Shabazz student recently had their article featured in the community paper Northside News. Blue Campbell gives an inside look at Shabazz and what the school has to offer. Read the story in Northside News.

Do you like pottery? Support MSCR's Annual Pottery Sale

The Madison School & Community Recreation Annual Pottery Sale showcases more than1000 pieces of work from MSCR instructors, pottery students and local ceramic artists. The sale takes place Thursday, December 15 and Friday, December 16, 8am-6pm and Saturday, December 17, 9am-3pm at MSCR, 3802 Regent Street. Proceeds support the MSCR Pottery Program. MSCR only accepts cash payments or local checks for the sale. Items are available at a range of price points.

MSCR offers pottery class for youth, families and adults. For more
information contact 204-3005 or go to 

Romance Under the Stars at the MMSD Planetarium

This Valentine's Day, treat your special someone to a romantic tour of the universe at the MMSD Planetarium feature presentation "Romance Under the Stars." Explore the current night sky with your Valentine in the comfort of the planetarium. Each couple will receive a flower and Candinas Chocolates. This event is for adult couples only.

Tickets are  $25 per couple for MMSD residents and $37.50 for Non-MMSD residents. Only one person needs to register from each couple. This is a fundraiser for the MMSD planetarium. All proceeds go toward future upgrades. Register early, this popular show sells out quickly. Visit the website for dates and times.

Community Events/Activities
The events/activities on the page linked below are from local non-profit groups. All activities are for school-aged children and are not sponsored by the MMSD. 

View all opportunities and submit yours at

Elementary school community events/activities
Middle school community events/activities
High school community events/activities
Sign up to receive text messages from your school!

Sign up for district and school text alerts by sending a text message with the word "YES" to the short code 68453 or by scanning the QR code with your smart phone.

Visit for more information.

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