Teacher Appreciation Week 2017- Help us celebrate our teachers

Next week is teacher appreciation week. We are grateful to have gifted and passionate teachers who do so much to support our students and families. We hope you will join us in celebrating teachers and the invaluable role they play in shaping our students' futures. 


Watch your email - Middle school start time survey coming May 15

Last fall, we conducted a survey on the possibility of later middle school start times, in light of research that shows that later start times align better to the biological sleep rhythms of adolescents and result in improved school attendance. The survey showed most parents, students and nearly half of staff believe a later middle school start time would make morning routines easier. View the report here.

We analyzed the data and studied several start time options and found that a 9:15 a.m. middle school start time with a 4:17 p.m. end time is a possible alternative to the current 7:30 a.m. start time. We would work with community providers to accommodate before/after-school care and activities. Read more about the proposal.

What do you think? We'll be inviting elementary and middle school families and staff to share their thoughts on these times. Watch your email for instructions on how to take the short survey on May 15.


Foundation for Madison's Public Schools trolley trip brings joy to students and staff

Last month, students and teachers at several Madison schools received grant money to bring their great ideas to life. Volunteers and staff with the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools traveled by trolley to the schools, presenting them with funds for creating makerspaces, cultural dance clubs, Lego leagues and much more. Learn more about the grants awarded for the 2017-18 school year. Thank you to the Foundation for its support of our students.  


Celebrate Smiles brings high-quality dental services to Madison schools

Students at about 20 Madison elementary schools can get dental care at their school through Access Community Health Centers' Celebrate Smiles program. The program brings high-quality dental services to schools to help keep kids healthy and ready to learn. Tooth decay causes pain and lost class time for children. School-based dental programs have been proven to help.

Find out if Celebrate Smiles is at your child's school here. To sign your child up to receive dental care through Celebrate Smiles, talk with your school's nurse. 


Two Madison schools students receive GSAFE Scholarships

Congratulations to West student Alan Morales and East student Elijah Holmes. They were both chosen to receive a $1000 scholarship at GSAFE's 21st annual Celebration of Leadership, Scholarship and Awards Banquet on Saturday, May 13th, at Monona Terrace.

Scholarship recipients are chosen based on their contributions to creating schools and communities where LGBTQ+ youth can thrive. Elijah and Alan were specifically selected not only for their lengthy advocacy and service, but also for the specific work they do to lift up and provide support and spaces for younger LGBTQ+ youth of color in Madison schools.

Thank you, Alan and Elijah, for the work you do.


School Spotlight: Stephens teachers share strategies at Instructional Practice Fair

At their professional development day in March, teachers at Stephens Elementary shared ideas at an Instructional Practice Fair. All teachers had the opportunity to share with their colleagues an instructional strategy they used this school year to help address the diverse learning needs of their students.

Teachers spent time discussing different approaches to collaboration, monitoring progress, technology use, student relationships, emotional well-being and much more.


School Spotlight: From Camping 101 to Mad Science, Allis clubs develop students' learning

Friday afternoons at Allis sometimes mean assemblies, quarterly celebrations or music programs. Beginning this school year, there's a new activity - clubs day! On a recent, warm Friday afternoon, members of Camping 101 club learned how to set up a tent while students in other clubs explored their school garden, discovered new board games or took part in other staff-led enrichment opportunities inside and outside of school. Allis just kicked off its third session of clubs for this school year. Read more about the school spotlight.


School Spotlight: Jefferson students give presentations on their growth and goals 

A group of volunteers recently spent time at Jefferson Middle School listening to 8th grade students talk about their future plans. It was all part of the Academic and Career Planning Experience for 7th-10th grade students across the district.

The interviews give students an opportunity to share with an adult what they have learned about themselves, their growth and future plans. Students worked on their presentations over the last four months.

Neeraj Kulkarni volunteers for this event each year. Kulkarni said the interviews provide opportunities for students to think about what they are and what support they're getting. "Don't hesitate to seek help from school teachers, counselors, friends and family," he said.


School Spotlight: Students display art at Franklin-Randall Gallery Night

Franklin and Randall held the first annual Gallery Night on April 28. The night highlighted work by every Franklin-Randall artist. Gallery night has traditionally been a Randall event. This year, the entire Franklin-Randall community came together to support the amazing young artists.

Those in attendance were able to purchase artwork from 4th and 5th grade students.


School Spotlight: Hamilton wins state science tournament

Congratulations to the Hamilton Science Olympiad Team! They won the State Science Olympiad Tournament on April 8. The team achieved 1st place in 15 events and were in the top three for several other events. The Junior Varsity team received medals in 11 events, beating other Varsity teams in the state.

Hamilton's team will now travel to the Science Olympiad National competition at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. May 19-21. Congratulations, Hamilton Science Olympiad Team on your accomplishment! 


Time to dump those training wheels - Register for MSCR's Learn 2 Ride

Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) is holding Learn 2 Ride, an event that helps families learn hands-on techniques to get their child riding solo on two wheels! This innovative approach includes balancing, gliding and pedaling. Participants receive a free bike helmet, helmet fitting, instruction and practice time.

Children must be accompanied by an active companion, 16 years and older, and bring a bike that allows the child to put both feet completely flat on the ground. The program is held in the parking lot at Warner Park Community Recreation Center and Memorial High School. Visit the website for information on dates, times and registration.

Learn 2 Ride is held in collaboration with the Madison Department of Transportation and sponsored by Schwinn and Helmets on Heads. The program won a Wisconsin Parks and Recreation Association (WPRA) 2013 Silver Star Award.


Central Library to host 'Namaste Madison'

Join the Madison Central Public Library for Namaste Madison on Saturday, May 13 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. The event celebrates the contributions of Indian Americans in the greater Madison area. In the Bubbler section of the library, there will be a special focus on children's activities, including henna, yoga, drawing designs with colored powders or "rangoli" and dress up in Indian clothing. From 12:45 - 2 p.m., there will be STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities on the 3rd floor of the library.


What does it take to become an astronaut? 

Join the MMSD Planetarium for its May shows to learn more about "space sailors." Attendees will also get 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). Walk-ins are accepted on stand-by for sold out shows.