Dear MMSD Families,

I hope this email finds you well. As we gear up to begin professional development with staff next week on providing virtual learning to our students, I wanted to continue to provide updates on topics I know are important to you.

Device distribution

We are on track to tentatively be handing out Chromebooks to families next Thursday (elementary schools) and Friday (middle and high schools). As plans are finalized, I will be reaching out with more details. If you have had trouble accessing the survey, know that we are not turning any students away. If you request a Chromebook for your student, we will be following up through a variety of strategies to make sure that all of our students have access to a device and can connect to the internet. However, if you did receive the link to the survey but haven’t completed it, please do so. It gives us a baseline idea of how many devices we need to have prepared to distribute next week.

MMSD playgrounds are closed

Playgrounds on MMSD school property are closed. Under Governor Evers’ “Safer At Home” order, playgrounds are off limits. If you have questions, please review Madison & Dane County Public Health’s “Safer At Home” 101 poster.

Communicating with teachers and principals

If you urgently need to contact your school, all principal email addresses are posted here and on mmsd.org. Your child’s teachers may be reaching out to you as well via email, in particular once virtual learning begins. Please check your email on a regular basis, if possible, so you don’t miss important messages. Given these extraordinary circumstances, we are temporarily allowing staff to reach out to families via their personal cell phones. If you receive phone calls from numbers you do not recognize, please know that it may be a teacher calling.

We are in this together

None of us signed up for this, but we are going to get through it together. Virtual learning is causing us to approach teaching and learning in new and creative ways. Most importantly, we want our students to feel supported and positive about their learning. We want to set them up for success, and to do so we need to provide compassion, patience, and grace through this process as we learn together. I would ask the same for our teachers, who are working diligently to become proficient very quickly with new ways of teaching with technology.

In partnership,

Jane Belmore
Interim Superintendent
Madison Metropolitan School District