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Shout out to Mandy Harvey and Vanessa Kent, the fearless leaders at Kennedy Elementary! Always keeping student safety and well being at the front of their work, they lead with heart and soul! Here's to a great 21-22 school year!

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Shout out to Sara Bechtold, the new secretary at Kennedy Elementary! Your first "start of the year" leading the office team and you are CRUSHING it! Kennedy families are in good hands with you! Keep up the great work :)

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Allis Beginning of the Day Team! Great work by all the staff at Allis who greet students, help them cross the street, help them off the bus, welcome students arriving on special transport, the teachers who meet their classes outside at their cones every morning, the office staff who answer questions and check in students, the multilingual staff who support parents and students, the crossing guard, and everyone who makes the start of the day safe and happy for students!

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Congratulations to Mahwish Hashmi, SLP at Wright Middle School for being recognized for the 2021 Distinguished Early Career Professional Award by The American Speech/Language and Hearing Association!
We are so glad to have you in MMSD!

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Congratulations to Sarah Niesen, a third grade teacher at Nuestro Mundo Community School! She was surprised with a $5,000 check from Staples as part of their “Thank a Teacher” contest. As part of the contest, the school will receive $5,000 from Staples, and Niesen will also get $2,000 for personal use. Niesen was one of just 20 teachers nationwide to be recognized as part of the contest.

Nuestro Mundo principal Joshua Forehand says she is deserving of the honor. “Sarah Niesen is the kind of teacher that comes early, stays late, pours everything she’s got into her classroom and into her students, connecting with their families, providing fun and engaging activities for students every day,” Forehand said.

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A BIG Shout out to TJ McCray and Amanda Klinkner -
You two are tackling an amazing task....opening a NEW and fabulous program in MMSD during a pandemic all on your own! Thank you so much for providing this wonderful learning opportunity for our students. You have handled all of the hiccups in stride with humor, patience and grace! We appreciate you and all that you do for our MMSD students!
- You friends, The MMSD School Counselors

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I am completely blown away by the grace, kindness and dedication of all the Olson Elementary school staff. It takes a true village to educate these kids, and during a pandemic it must take many, many hands. I am in awe of the countless hours you have all spent to make these first few days so welcoming for new parents. I want to thank all so much for going the extra mile each and every time. You are helping us set the bar high!

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HUGE shoutout to Judy Christensen at La Follette. She has been an amazing support for the past three years. She always answers questions, is gracious in her responses, and truly shows her care and compassion for students and families. Thank you so much, Ms. Christensen! We couldn't do it without you.

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Photo of a student feet and backpack on the floor sitting at a desk in a classroom.

Attendance Matters!
Public school districts’ funding is primarily tied to student enrollment (called membership). In order to distribute taxpayer dollars appropriately, districts across Wisconsin are required to share student attendance numbers (called the membership count) with the Department of Public Instruction. The count occurs annually on the third Friday in September. This year, the membership count will happen September 17, 2021.

While it’s important for your child to attend school every day, attending school on September 17 will help provide resources to support students and our strategic goals. This applies to students going to school in person and in our virtual programs.

Healthy Lunch Options at Madison West

Dear MMSD Families,

I hope the first few days of school have gone well for your family! As you may already know, breakfast and lunch are free for ALL MMSD students this school year under the federal Seamless Summer Option (SSO). I’m writing to share additional food services information families should know for the beginning of the school year.

Faded colorful speech bubbles with Circle Facebook logo icon and red live icon indicating Event

This Community Conversation will focuses on various topics of the new school year, and will feature school board members, central office leaders, health experts, and district staff. Interpretation in both Hmong and Spanish will be provided.

Elementary student on the playground equipment  wearing mask, smiling at the camera..

For the first quarter of the school year, MMSD is expanding its mask requirement in elementary (grades 4K - 5) and middle school (grades 6-8) communities to now include masking outdoors as well as indoors and on buses. The mask requirement includes staff, families, and visitors in elementary and middle school buildings, as well as after school childcare and activities at K-8 schools. Our schools will be working with families who need accommodations, to ensure all students' needs are met.

This decision comes after recent collaborative discussions on local COVID conditions, and to stay ahead of evolving risks associated with the Delta variant on unvaccinated children. Throughout the pandemic, the district has worked closely with our panel of local health advisors, whose expertise informs our practices, along with guidance from local, state, and national public health organizations. Through following the science and the guidance, MMSD continues to successfully stay ahead of the safety mitigation curve as the pandemic evolves.

Locally, positive Delta variant cases have spiked at an alarming pace, with positive Dane County cases growing exponentially from 10 new cases a day in July, to 93 a day in August. This local data is consistent with what is being experienced nationally, as school districts across the country have been forced to send large numbers of unvaccinated students home to quarantine only days after the start of their school year. 

In Dane County, medical advisors working on the front lines of the pandemic described local Delta variant cases as very concerning due to its high transmissibility rate, level of severe disease, and incidence of breakthrough infections of those who are vaccinated. Therefore, our advisors unanimously recommended outdoor masking for elementary and middle school students, to ensure our goal of keeping students learning safely in-person and inside school buildings. We feel this extra layer of safety mitigation for students who are under 12 years old, and not eligible to be vaccinated, is best for our younger scholars.

Although we are asking elementary and middle schools to adhere to outdoor masking for the first quarter of the school year, we will continue monitoring local conditions. As our metrics change, our safety mitigation strategies will be adjusted accordingly.


An elementary student works on their Chromebook

Dear MMSD Families, 

School begins next week, and I hope you and your child are excited about the new school year. Earlier this summer, we announced our plans for students to begin the school year learning in person, five days per week. Today, I am writing to provide an important update for our 4K-5th grade families who have been asking about virtual learning options for students.

Milele Chikasa Anana Elementary School

We are honored today to be celebrating the renaming of Falk Elementary to Milele Chikasa Anana Elementary School. Ms. Milele was a mentor, advocate, community leader, trailblazer and “Village Mother.” Ms. Milele was the founder and publisher of UMOJA Magazine and was the first African-American woman to serve on the MMSD school board.

Three colorful alarm clocks indicating different times.

Dear Families,

As you may have heard or seen in the news, MMSD has been working diligently to problem-solve around a nationwide bus driver shortage for several weeks. This crisis is an issue impacting schools in Wisconsin and  across the country. School districts have been forced to cancel bus routes, shift schedules, and in some states, close in-person learning altogether. Although we are excited to be able to continue learning in-person five days per week, the driver shortage has put us in an unfortunate situation where an adjustment to school start times for many of our schools is necessary.