Celebrating the Historic Class of 2020

The Class of 2020 will go down in the history books: the kids who didn't get a prom, didn't get to walk the stage, didn't get all of those fun, end-of-childhood parties. But despite most of life being put on pause, major life milestones are still happening, including graduating from high school. And while this year’s graduation celebrations might not look typical, Madison's public schools are ensuring they are special, nonetheless.

Virtual Graduation Ceremony

MMSD has teamed up with News 3 Now / Channel 3000 and Madison Magazine to give our seniors a graduation to remember! The virtual ceremonies will be held on June 12th and 13th.

Friday, June 12th:

  • 7-8pm: Madison East High School
  • 8-9pm: La Follette High School

Saturday, June 13th:

  • 6.30-7pm: Capital High & Malcolm Shabazz City High School
  • 7-8pm: James Madison Memorial High School
  • 8-9pm: Madison West High School

It will air on WISC-TV/Channel 3 on Fri. 6/12 from 7-9p right after a special broadcast of News 3 Now: 2020 Graduation from 6:30-7p; as well as from 6:30-9p on Sat. 6/13 on WISC-TV/Channel 3. 

It will also stream concurrently with the television broadcast on channel3000.com. In addition, it will re-air in its entirety as a 4.5 hour block on Sun. 6/14 from 11:30a-4p on TVW, Digital Over-the-air channel 3.2, Charter Cable 14, and Direct TV channel 14.  Lastly, it will be available on-demand on SBTV OTT App and channel3000+ on Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android TV.

In addition to the virtual ceremony, the district has also arranged for graduating students’ photos to be featured in a special issue of Madison Magazine and on digital, city-wide billboards.

Making Sure Every Single Senior Feels the Love

In an effort to honor the incredible hard work and accomplishments of our graduating students, the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools funded 43 scholarship totaling $44,129 this year, and provided $5,000 across the six high schools to support graduation activities. The district, as well as the individual schools, organized sign distributions, social media tributes, special yearbook efforts and more to lift the spirits of seniors and give them the celebration each and every one deserves.

MMSD created the following video of appreciation highlighting seniors from each high school who embody the spirit of the Class of 2020:

They also created Facebook photo frames for each of the high schools to share with their graduating seniors:


Madison West High School had a special guest on hand to greet students at cap & gown distribution: the new Reggie Regent.  

They have also been posting tribute images and "Regent Spotlight" videos of seniors on their social media channels.


Madison East High School is also taking to social media to celebrate their seniors, including daily posts that recognize senior award and scholarship winners and a video tribute for all student athletes that are moving onto the collegiate level.

They also held a senior item distribution day and will be providing each graduating senior with the "most historic yearbook."


James Madison Memorial High School staff showed the love by putting a heart with EACH senior's name in front of the school.

They also created yard signs for students and held a drive-through yearbook pick-up.

Led by senior Carly McKeon, the JMM class of 2020 has also started a "senior for seniors" movement as a way for them to pay it all forward.


La Follette High School is also leveraging their social channels to recognize their senior award and scholarship recipients, as well as to share graduating seniors' plans for next year.

They also held a very special cap & gown distribution and provided all seniors with yard signs.


Malcolm Shabazz City High School is honoring their graduating class through senior tributes posted on their website and social media pages.

In addition to the items distributed at a yard sign and cap & tassel distribution day, Shabazz is also providing every graduating senior with a yearbook, a "Shabazz 2020 Graduate" t-shirt and a special commemorative packet of Wildflower Seeds - all at no cost.



Capital High is also showing support for their graduating class through Senior Spotlights and other posts on their Facebook page. 

And like the other schools, a yard sign was provided for every senior who wanted one.


Great things are ahead - and the Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network is always behind you! Please, stay in touch!

An Alumni Network Built Just for You

As part of our efforts to form greater connections with our graduates and the community, we are thrilled to launch the Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network – a free way for alumni and community supporters to stay connected and engaged in activities that strengthen our schools, and each other.

This community will empower you to stay in touch with old friends, classmates or colleagues, learn about how you can help students in those halls today and get regular updates on all the exciting things happening in Madison's public schools. We ask that you engage in this network and help ensure a lasting legacy for Madison's public schools and the students it serves—both now and in the future. We'll share more about how you can do just that in the weeks and months to come, but for now...

We Want to Hear From You

As we work to build a network that best serves our community, input from our alumni and friends is of utmost importance. As such, we invite you to take this quick survey to help us better understand the information, services and opportunities you would like to receive from the network. It will only take a few minutes of your time and your participation is greatly appreciated!


A Virtual Reunion for the Madison West Class of '75

Guest post by Dan Mansoor, Madison West Class of 1975


In the COVID-19 era, people are reaching out to family, friends, and neighbors. The Madison West Class of '75 held a brief (and their first-ever) Zoom™ video call on May 6 at 7 PM. Moderated by Dan Mansoor (from Cleveland), current principal Dr. Karen Boran was invited to give a brief update on the school.


Because of modest numbers – about 22 floated in and out during the hour call – everyone had the opportunity to share stories, ask questions, and provide updates. Alumni from the Class of '61 and Class of '80 crashed the party, the latter a critical care physician in New York City who gave us a powerful first-person account from the front lines of the COVID-19 fight. Close battle played out for the "log on" from the farthest distance. Michael Shapiro "voiced in" from the Province of Córdoba, Argentina, and Julie Beatty looked radiant in pajamas from Melbourne, Australia (10 AM). We had two alumni from Montana, two from California, two from Chicago and one from Verona! We also heard from Dr. Boran about the formation of the new Alumni & Friends of West and the immediate philanthropic needs of current students and their families during the coronavirus crisis.

We all looked a lot older than we did in 1975, but mostly due to slow bandwidth! The Class's 45th Reunion this summer is more and more in doubt. But count on another video call and a bigger party in 2021.

Community Teams Up In Support Of Our Schools

Click HERE for the latest on how the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools is responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

Madison's public schools are facing an unprecedented challenge in navigating the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis. Families look to the school system for not just educational services, but also social services and we hold the well-being, health and safety of everyone in our school district and community as highest priority. Thankfully, our community is pitching in and teaming up to help. 


How Can You Lend Your Support?

In light of MMSD school closures and community precautions around COVID-19, and in an effort to provide a quick and easy way for alumni and friends to lend their support, the Foundation has established TWO emergency relief funds. Your gifts to these funds will go directly towards assisting MMSD schools, staff, scholars and their families during this time of high alert and high need. 

Please, help with a gift to one or both of these funds:

MMSD Community Resource Fund
This fund will provide immediate and enduring support for MMSD schools, staff, scholars and their families, both now and in the future.

MSCR Community Resource Fund
This Fund is dedicated specifically to supporting the mission, programs and services of Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) during the COVID-19 crisis.

Second Harvest Food Bank is also helping to feed the students and families of MMSD during this time. They could use help with contributions and healthy volunteers to assemble food boxes. If you may be able to assist, please visit their site to learn more.

Because of YOU we are already making a positive impact! 

Delivering Academic Materials
The pressing need in March was to get academic materials in the hands of students as schools closed after spring break. We partnered quickly with MMSD to rais$15,000 of the funds necessary to cover costs to produce, package and deliver enrichment materials to 19,000 K-8 scholars throughout the district

Reliable, Equitable WIFI Connections
As schools remain closed for the year, scholars need reliable, affordable access to the internet for distance learning. Superintendent Jane Belmore has asked us to partner with her to raise $100,000 toward costs to bridge gaps in access. These funds will allow MMSD to purchase hotspots for families in need and place long-range wifi antennae on select school buildings. So far, we have worked together to raise $39,000 toward this goal.

See our community’s gracious response, in this video:

In a time that is challenging for our community and its nonprofit organizations, it is the generous support of our responsive funds by donors like YOU that allows us to help. Because of YOU, we are able to better connect our scholars across Madison and reduce obstacles to distance learning. Thank you for your support – let’s keep working together to meet these goals!

Why Should You Stay Involved with Your Alma Mater?

If you're like most people, you may not have the tightest connection with your high school alma mater. It's typical for graduates to go out into the world, heading off to college, trade school, the workforce or the armed forces. It’s the beginning of adult life.

As time goes on, we tend to lose a strong sense of connection with the schools we attended in our formative years. But more than any yearbook, class ring or Facebook group, staying engaged and involved with your alma mater is a great way to keep that connection—and even help out current students in meaningful ways.

Even if you are someone who put considerable distance between your high school and your current life, you can still stay involved. And, a good place to start is by joining Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network.

New Network Offers a Place for Alumni and Supporters to Reconnect and Contribute

madison-public-schools-alumniThose who have attended Madison's public schools know that our school community is a special place. It means something to have graduated from East, West, Memorial, La Follette, Shabazz, Capital High or Central.

As an alum, you can make a big impact on the lives of current Madison public schools students by giving your time, talents or treasure. We need your help to ensure a bright future for the next generation of learners.

That is why the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools is so excited to launch the Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network in mid-2020. This network is a new community that will allow our alumni to stay up-to-date with exciting news and find meaningful ways to engage and support students. Those that join the network will have regular access to news, volunteer opportunities, special events and an alumni directory of active users.

Madison public schools alumni, MMSD employees, supporters and friends of the District are encouraged to join the Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network to receive monthly emails with the latest news on District and Foundation initiatives and events, student success stories, and alumni profiles. There is also the ability for those that join to add their names to the online directory, created to enable our alumni community to more easily connect with one another.

This community will empower you to stay in touch with old friends, classmates or colleagues, learn about how you can help students in those halls to today and get regular updates on all the exciting things happening in Madison's public schools. We ask that you engage in this network and help ensure a lasting legacy for Madison's public schools and the students it serves—both now and in the future. We'll share more about how you can do just that in the weeks and months to come!

We also invite you to take an interest survey to provide feedback on the types of information that is valued within the Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network. We are excited to get started and look forward to growing our relationship with all who are invested in the continued success of our schools, students and community.

The Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network is being launched by the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools, the go-to partner to the Madison Metropolitan School District, connecting the community in support of our public schools. Since its founding in 2001, the Foundation has given over $20 million back to Madison's public schools through endowments, programs, and funding of novel school-based initiatives.