We are grateful for our school board members

"I've heard people refer to the position of school board member as a "thankless job." Well, I want to take this opportunity to say how thankful I am for all that they do."

In case you missed it, read Superintendent Cheatham's Madison365 column that discusses the job our school board members do and her gratitude for them.

We want to welcome Kate Toews and Nicki Vander Meulen to the Madison school board. Kate and Nicki will begin their three year term on the board on Monday, April 24.

We want to thank Michael Flores and Ed Hughes for their many years of service on the Madison school board. Michael and Ed were recognized last week at their last regular meeting with the board. 



MMSD staff honored with Excellence with Equity Awards

Last week, we held our annual Excellence with Equity awards. The awards celebrate staff whose work brings to life our vision that every school will be a thriving school that prepares every student for college, career and community.

MMSD employees nominated their colleagues in 14 award categories designed to align with the goals set forth in our Strategic Framework. Award winners were selected by a panel of parents, teachers, principals and district leaders.  You can view the award recipients here



Take a short survey on Pathways

Next fall, groups of about 120 freshmen at each of our four comprehensive high schools will enter our first Personalized Pathway, taking their core coursework within the broad context of Health Services.

In the coming years, our plan is to introduce pathway options in addition to Health Services. Possibilities include Arts & Communication, Government & Public Service and others. To best plan for the future, we need your voice. If you have not yet taken the survey, please give us your feedback.

Results of the survey will be summarized in an update to our Board of Education in May.


What’s next for Pathways?

The applications are in, and the students have been selected. Now what? What's next for our first cohort of students in Personalized Pathways?

On March 15 and 16, teacher teams from each of the four high schools gathered at Madison College to continue the planning process. They discussed curriculum, projects and project-based learning for the Health Services pathway being implemented in the fall. They also received feedback from business and industry partners.

Students accepted into the first pathway can look forward to hearing from their schools soon with invitations to get together and meet the other students in their pathway in May. 



Volunteer at your child’s school during Volunteer Week

Public School Volunteer Week  is April 17-21, 2017. It’s an opportunity for schools to honor and highlight the powerful contributions families provide at school and at home to support student success. Here are some ideas on how you can get involved in your child’s learning during Public School Volunteer Week or any day of the year .



Give us your feedback on the Behavior Education Plan

We are inviting staff, families and the community to give us feedback on our Behavior Education Plan. Our feedback session takes place today at Lowell Elementary School from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Light snacks and beverages will be provided. 

If you are unable to attend tonight’s session, please complete this online form to share your thoughts and ideas.



Save the date - Family, Youth and Community Day at Leopold

We are excited to host another free Family, Youth and Community Day. This event will be held at one of our Community Schools, Leopold Elementary. It takes place Saturday, April 29 from 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. at the school, 2602 Post Rd., Madison.

Community schools integrate programming and services that students, families and community members feel is needed — health care, academic tutoring, mentoring, food access, parent leadership opportunities and more — directly into schools, making them hubs of coordinated support.

At the event, both youth and adults can choose from a variety of workshops on topics like college opportunities, summer activities, resources for immigrant families, financial literacy, managing stress and helping children succeed in school.

This event is free for our families. Childcare will be available. Transportation and interpretation services are available upon request. Learn more about the event and register here. We hope to see you there!



School Spotlight: Marquette Principal wins Administrator of the Year Award

Congratulations to Marquette Elementary Principal Pam Wilson. Principal Wilson received the 2017 WEMTA Administrator of the Year award. The award is given by the Wisconsin Media and Technology Association each year to an administrator whose support has impacted a school library program.

Principal Wilson has been a passionate supporter of the Marquette Library Program, championing initiatives and taking an active role in library events. Thank you, Principal Wilson for your support of school libraries!



School Spotlight: O’Keeffe teacher honored as GSAFE Educator of the Year

O’Keeffe Middle School teacher Abigail Swetz has been named the GSAFE Educator of the Year for the State of Wisconsin. GSAFE is an organization that increases the capacity of LGBTQ+ students, educators and families to create schools in Wisconsin where all youth thrive.   The award is given to a Wisconsin K-12 educator who has demonstrated a commitment to promoting just and respectful schools for all, with an emphasis on LGBTQ+ youth and topics.

Congratulations on your award Ms. Swetz!



School Spotlight: Memorial teacher named Social Studies Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Memorial teacher David Olson, who was recently named Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies (WCSS) Teacher of the Year. WCSS promotes social studies and the professional growth and development of educators. Each year, WCSS honors an elementary, middle school and high school teacher. We are proud of the work you do, Mr. Olson!



School Spotlight: Crestwood scientists display their experiments

Young scientists showed their experiments at Crestwood Elementary's Explore Science Night on March 28. Students explored topics of interest, created experiments then talked about their research with local scientists. Scientists from the following organizations attended Crestwood’s science night:

  • Morgridge Institute for Research
  • Neuroscience Training Program Outreach
  • Aldo Leopold Nature Center
  • UW Ready
  • West Rocket Club
  • SCIENCountErs
  • McPherson Eye Research Institute  



Join MSCR for Spring Break activities

You’re never too old for an egg hunt! MSCR is holding its annual Flashlight Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 8, 8:00-8:30 p.m. for kids in grades 4-8.This year’s event offers expanded hunting grounds and 2,000 eggs. Adults aren’t allowed on the hunting field but they are welcome to watch the fun. Registration for the egg hunt ends today. Use course #15137 to register at mscr.org.

MSCR is also hosting a Nerf Battle at MSCR East for kids in grades 3-5. Improve your skills with your friends in our target practice arena, as well as some face-to-face games.

Bring your favorite Nerf Blaster and 20 Nerf darts. The Nerf Battle takes place Monday, April 10, 1:00-3:00 p.m. at MSCR East (4620 Cottage Grove Rd.) The deadline to register is April 7 and cost is $10 per person.



MSCR Free Family Fun Nights – Enjoy a variety of activities

MSCR is holding free family nights on Fridays, April 21 and April 28, 6:00-8:00 p.m. The events feature face painting, youth performances, community resource booths, fitness demos, photo booth fun, book giveaways, prizes, dinner and these fun MSCR opportunities - rock climbing, FIT2GO and Art Cart.  All activities, including dinner, are free.

MSCR Family Fun Nights take place:

Westside Super Showcase (for families in the West and Memorial High School attendance area)

- Friday, April 21, 6:00-8:00 p.m., at West High School, 30 Ash Street


A Knight Out (for families in the La Follette High School attendance area)

-Friday, April 28, 6:00-8:00 p.m., at La Follette High School, 702 Pflaum Rd

Look for more details at www.mscr.org.

MSCR, a department of the Madison Metropolitan School District, is Madison’s public recreation resource serving the community since 1926. Programs include adventure, arts & enrichment, camps, fitness, sports, swimming, childcare and afterschool.  Please go to www.mscr.org or call 608-204-3000 for more information.



Enjoy ‘Weird Worlds’ with the MMSD Planetarium

Our Solar System includes a variety of planets and moons. When looking at them all together, we see many similarities. At its April shows, the MMSD Planetarium will explore some of the strange and astonishing worlds and their unique aspects. The shows will also take you on a tour of the current night sky. 

Tickets are $2.50 and available online, by mail, or at the door (if it's not sold out). Buying tickets in advance is recommended. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.