Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham writes about every child graduating with a post-secondary plan


"I love this picture above. It was taken at the Pathways GuideEd Expo a couple of weeks ago with a room full of 8th graders and their parents. These parents are making the decision about whether or not to enroll their child in the first "pathway" at our comprehensive high schools next fall, a strategy that I believe presents the opportunity for radical and positive change for our high schoolers.Three years in the making, with the support of community partners and key stakeholders, we are excited to get Personalized Pathways off the ground."

You can read Superintendent Cheatham's entire column here. She asks that you reach out with your questions and concerns (email, and most of all, support our high schools as they implement Personalized Pathways. 

We hope you'll take a moment to view four new videos featuring our high school principals, staff and students discussing the tremendous opportunity that Personalized Pathways offers.

8th grade families, if you haven't yet turned in your Pathways application, you still have time. We will now be considering all applications received by Friday, Jan. 13 in our first-round selection of students for Pathways.



Reminder: New elementary report cards coming soon

On your child's new elementary report card, you will notice a section that you haven't seen before: Social Emotional Learning Standards. This section looks at how students are growing and developing the skills they need to be successful in life and to be a strong part of the community. To learn more  visit our report card website



School Spotlight: Family-School partnership is blossoming at Huegel through FACE Action Team

This school year, we've been focusing on building strong partnerships with families. We know that we cannot be successful without the support provided through these partnerships. We see how they help our schools grow as communities and help our students reach their potential.

At Huegel Elementary School, the family partnership is blossoming. The school's Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Action Team came together in October 2016. The team consists of Huegel staff, parents and a district liaison. Many of the parents are also active in the school's African-American and Latino parent groups. Read more about how this team is building community at Huegel.



School Spotlight: Mendota students deliver cheer and care packages to the YWCA

Students from Mendota Elementary School loaded up a bus on a cold day in December to deliver cheer and personal care items to women and families being served at the YWCA in Madison. The delivery was part of Mendota Shares and Cares, a new service project for students to engage with the community. This year is Mendota's first as a Community School.

During the first three weeks of November, students, staff and community members donated items like diapers, toothpaste and toothbrushes. Mendota's community partners Webcrafters and the Willy Street Co-op on Northport Drive also set up bins to collect items. Students studied caring and sharing concepts and completed writing exercises to link learning to the project.

On Nov. 22, representatives from Mendota's partners visited the school to help assemble the care items into packages. They were treated to songs and a taco bar. First grade teacher Kathy Chamberlain said the school wanted to give back to the community that gives so much to them.



School Spotlight: Toki students spread cheer through Shoebox Gifts

Students at Toki also spread cheer during the holiday season. Small groups of students put together shoe boxes full of gifts for kids in the community. Each group chose which items to purchase and put in their box. Items included toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, gloves, coloring books and much more. The students then wrapped their boxes and dropped them off to be delivered to families. Thank you, Toki students, for working together and giving back to the community.



School Spotlight: Black Hawk receives nearly $63,000 from local company

On Dec. 21, employees of Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation surprised students and staff at Black Hawk Middle School with a check for nearly $63,000! Employees contributed through to their annual United Way campaign and the company matched the funds dollar-for-dollar.

Principal Kenya Walker plans to use the funds to purchase technology friendly furniture that will allow collaborative learning. Next month, Black Hawk students will receive Chromebooks as part of Ignite, the district's technology plan.

Great Lakes supports Black Hawk through its Adopt-a-School program. 



Do you want to be a tutor? Attend our volunteer tutor training session

The Tutoring Network, a volunteer-based tutoring program that serves Madison school district students during and after school, will host a Volunteer Tutor Training Workshop on Tuesday, January 24, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. at Wright Middle School, 1717 Fish Hatchery Road. The training is for prospective and current volunteer tutors.

Please consider volunteering one hour a week to tutor a Madison school student. As a volunteer tutor, you can help an elementary school student develop a love of reading, help a middle school student refine their math or literacy skills and prepare for high school, or help a 9th grade student develop needed foundational skills in algebra. Every year our schools benefit from the hard work and dedication of more than one thousand volunteers, and despite that, there are still many students who need your help. Learn more about becoming a volunteer tutor



4th and 5th grade students test their knowledge in "Book Bowl"

Book Bowl season is underway at elementary schools across the district. Book Bowl is a reading competition for 4th and 5th grade students. Students signed up with their Library Media Technology Specialist in teams of three or four students from their grade level. The students are reading from a list of 12 selected books.

Book Bowl battles will begin next month. Battles are a series of questions about the books in which each team has 30 seconds to discuss the answer and write it on the whiteboard. When the time is up, teams show their answer to the Library Media Technology Specialist. During each round, teams answer 15 questions. The team with the highest score wins the round. Each school will have winning teams from 4th and 5th grades. The winning teams will compete in a districtwide regional competition in March. Good luck to all of our readers!



Swoosh and glide for a good cause, Friends of MSCR present organization with 2016 grants

Join MSCR at its annual downhill ski fundraiser, Swoosh & Glide. The event will be held  on Saturday, Jan. 21 at Tyrol Basin. Tickets are $25 and include ski or snowboard rentals, a helmet and lift ticket. Proceeds from the event support the purchase of adapted equipment and scholarships for people with disabilities.

Last month, Friends of MSCR held its annual breakfast and presented MSCR with several grants. Friends of MSCR is a non-profit organization which provides financial support to MSCR programs and services. Proceeds from the organization's annual golf outing, online auction and donations helped fund the 2016 grants.