Please Support the MMSD Virtual Career Fair!

Every December, MMSD hosts a career fair for students, but given the unique circumstances presented by the current pandemic, this year's event will look a little different. As alumni and supporters of Madison Public Schools, the district is asking for your help as they organize for the next best thing - a virtual career fair.

How You Can Help

Please add a brief video about your career to the MMSD Virtual Career Fair Flipgrid. These videos will help students explore various career paths as they consider what is next for them after high school graduation. You may use the listed questions below to assist in submitting a complete response:
  1. Your name and job title
  2. Brief description of your job/career
  3. Required education, skills, certification, ect... for your job/career
  4. Helpful high school classes/ experiences specific to your career
  5. Current job outlook within your career (likelihood of finding an opening)
  6. Any other fun facts or info on career you would like to share!that includes a brief description of your job or career, the required education or skills required to embark on a similar career path, helpful classes and experiences specific to your career, and more.

The videos will be viewed by students, in a lesson format, starting in mid-December. The goal is to have a diverse set of career options for our students to explore in hopes that they will find a career they have never heard of, or learn more about one they are already interested in. When you submit your video there is an opportunity to include your email address if you’re willing to have individual career discussions with students and classrooms.

SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO NOW >>

Thank you - we are so grateful for your help!


Madison Voted YES to Invest in Our Public Schools!

Madison voters have offered a resounding “yes” to two requests from the Madison Metropolitan School District. The requests were separated into two parts – a $33 million operating referendum and a $317 million facilities referendum. The $317 million will be used to renovate the district’s four main high schools and add a new elementary school.

After the results came in, Superintendent Carlton Jenkins said he was thrilled with the outcome, commenting:

This is a very important moment for Madison, for MMSD and for all our children, all of our families, and we can’t thank you enough. We’re really humbled by the fact that you’re showing this level of support and we’re going to do everything in our power to be good stewards as we have been in the past of the dollars given.

The Yes2Invest Co-Chairs also offered the following sentiments of gratitude:
We're incredibly grateful to the people of Madison for voting YES to invest in our public schools, students, and staff. Because of you, more sustainable and equitable schools are in sight. The work does not end here. We encourage everyone who cares about the future of our community to get involved with our local schools through the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools and, alongside our new Superintendent Dr. Carlton Jenkins, help us continue to shape a Madison that uplifts all its residents.
District leaders have said major construction projects would not start until the summer of 2022. The district will spend a year planning and getting community input. The next two and a half to three years, up to the summer of 2024, would be when the majority of construction would take place. Exciting things are on the horizon for our city and our schools!

5 Tips for Planning and Hosting a Virtual Class Reunion

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to make it next to impossible to gather in large groups. This, unfortunately, has had a devastating effect on plans for class reunions all over the nation.

One of the most popular times of year for class reunions is Thanksgiving weekend, when people are already likely to be spending time back in their hometowns with family and friends. But this year, any class reunions you may wish to plan will not be able to happen in-person, especially as Wisconsin continues to see surging infection rates and hospitalizations with the virus.

But never fear! There are still options for you to host these reunions virtually, giving you time to catch up with friends from your alma mater in an informal environment. 

Here are five tips for you to still find success with planning your class reunion in a virtual format.

  1. Connect with the school and your alumni association: Both your alma mater and your alumni network will still be able to provide you with valuable resources, including contact information for people in your class and other information to help you in your planning. Connecting with these sources should always be your first step when planning a reunion, even a virtual one!

  2. Reconsider reunion chair positions: Without an in-person component to your event, you don’t need to have someone tasked with arranging a venue or catering or anything like that. Instead, you should find someone with technological prowess who can ensure the event runs smoothly. You can still benefit from having someone tasked with marketing responsibilities, someone organizing invitations and someone managing finances, but even these roles might look different due to the online nature of the event.

  3. Use a platform people already know: People have become intimately familiar with platforms like Zoom and Google Meet since the pandemic began. These tools are even being used for virtual schooling now. You may as well stick with these platforms, since people already know them and are familiar with them. Plus, with Zoom, you can use advanced features to allow for breakout groups.

  4. Have plans: Just because it’s a virtual reunion doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have an agenda. You should still have a person moderating or emceeing to guide you through the event, and have an agenda for the activities and talks. Do some research into virtual activities as well, including online games, group discussions, icebreakers, sharing talents or other types of activities that easily translate to an online setting.

  5. Do your research: We’re seven months and counting into the pandemic, which means there are already plenty of other alumni associations that have held online reunions, fundraisers and events. See what other groups have done, and get some inspiration for what you think could make for a successful event of your own.

While a virtual reunion isn’t the same as being able to gather in person, it can still be a big success. Contact us if you need further tips to get you started with your planning!


MMSD Alum Savion Castro: Why Madison Needs Referenda 2020

(A version of this opinion article by La Follette class of 2013 alumnus Savion Castro was first published on Madison365)

In July, my colleagues and I on the MMSD Board of Education voted to place two referenda questions on your November ballot. In light of COVID-19, the last five months have placed incredible strain on the health of our community and education of our scholars. Your Board of Education has monitored these impacts closely. Indeed, COVID-19 has shone a bright light on the disparities in our community and our education system. Illness, evictions, and job instability have hit people hard, particularly our most vulnerable families and citizens.

Moreover, the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery have laid bare before God and the world, yet again, that another pandemic, certainly endemic in Madison, persists. The facts are that white supremacy and systemic racism are original to the United States and run rampant in our education systems at all levels nationwide. Precipitous protests, civil disobedience and unrest have gripped our community to maybe, hopefully, force ourselves to look in the mirror.

We believe these referenda are more important than ever for justice, equity, and excellence in education for all students.

Read more

Help Us Deliver 5,000 Supply Kits to Students

 
Every student deserves a full and equitable education.

As the Madison Metropolitan School District prepares to start the 2020-2021 school year, an urgent need for individual sets of school supplies has emerged. Students need their own sets of supplies at home in order to properly engage in virtual learning. The need will continue once a return to in-person learning in our school buildings becomes possible. In order to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols, the sharing of classroom supplies will no longer be an option, necessitating a supply kit for each student.

In response to this need, the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools has partnered with the community to purchase, package, and distribute upwards of 5,000 individual supply kits to MMSD’s most vulnerable students. EZ Office Products will order the supplies at cost, and school principals, other staff and social workers will determine which children most need a supply kit.

Every $50 Makes A Difference

 
With your support, we will help deliver everything from pencils, notebooks, whiteboards and headphones to those scholars most in need. A $50 donation will cover the cost of a kit for one child 
and every donation contributes to the collective buying power of the Foundation and our partners. We urge you to share our school supply project with your family, friends, and colleagues and when possible, make a contribution. 
 

 
The School Supply Fund is a noble and timely cause, given the disruption to school and children’s lives, so please, donate if you can. Visit: fmps.org/supplies.

The Foundation has partnered with Madison Metropolitan School District, United Way of Dane County, the City of Madison, Madison Public Libraries, the Madison Needs Network and retired teachers to support this effort. EZ Office Products, American Family Insurance and Alliant Energy Center will provide bulk buying power, shipping and space for supplies. Summit Credit Union and Costco have also donated supplies.


7 Reasons to Join the Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network

Need a reason to join the Madison Public Schools Friends and Alumni Network? How about seven?

As part of the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools' 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. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should consider joining us today!

  • Stay connected to (or reconnect with) friends and teachers: The Madison Public Schools Friends and Alumni Network has a fantastic database of members and alumni that makes it easy for you to reconnect with old friends and teachers, no matter how long ago you graduated. In doing so, you’ll be able to expand your personal and professional networks, opening up opportunities that might have been closed to you had you not stayed connected.

  • Volunteer opportunities: For alumni who wish to give back to their alma mater in the form of time and service, there are plenty of opportunities to do this through the Madison Public Schools Friends and Alumni Network. Our website features a volunteering section where you can submit your name, contact information, and the kinds of volunteer opportunities in which you are most interested.
  • Contribute: If you would rather contribute financially, we make it easy to do that as well! The alumni network is free to join, but our Contributing Membership option allows you may make a financial commitment through membership dues to ensure that the Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network exists in perpetuity. 
  • Have a voice: If you want to be an advocate for Madison schools, getting involved in our alumni network is a great way to do so. You’ll be able to provide your thoughts and feedback on the future direction of the district’s schools.
  • Get invited to events: If you’re looking for a social outlet, our alumni network is right up your alley! Keep an eye on the events page on our website to stay updated about upcoming events, and be sure to read the newsletters we send out for information on events as well. 
  • Read or contribute alumni stories: We like to periodically feature alumni on our website, giving readers a profile of where they are now and what they’re doing with their lives. You can read these alumni stories, or contribute your own if you know of a Madison alum doing something special in their community!

  • Maintain your school spirit: If you find yourself nostalgic for your high school days, there are few better ways to maintain that school spirit than to get involved with your alumni network. 

Are you interested yet? If so, we’d love to welcome you as a new member! 
 
JOIN US TODAY >>


How Alumni Can Support the 2020 MMSD Referenda

COVID-19 has changed our world in many ways. This very, very different time we are in has laid bare the inequities and challenges that still exist for our public schools and demonstrated an even more critical need for additional resources and support. This November 2020, voters in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) will consider two referendum questions. If approved, the referenda would provide the critical resources needed to ensure Madison's public schools are equitable, inclusive spaces where every scholar thrives.

As alumni of MMSD and members of our Madison Public Schools Friends & Alumni Network, we hope you will join us in supporting these initiatives! Below is an overview of what you should know about the upcoming vote and how you can lend your support. 

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America's Story Documented Through One Alum's History

History is a story well told, and West High class of 1981 alumnus Dr. Alex Gee is the central figure in Justified Journey, a new documentary that uses one family’s story to illustrate the vastly unequal outcomes for Black and white Americans. Produced by former WKOW news anchor Greg Jeschke, Justified Journey follows Dr. Gee, the pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church and host of the Black Like Me podcast, as he traces his own roots back to rural Mississippi and discovers the exact point where the Gee family tree branched out into two very different directions.

In the film, Dr. Gee tells his story, the story of many African Americans, that began forty years ago as a boy watching the TV series, “Roots”. Decades later, he resumes his journey in earnest, and it takes him to the painful origins of his family. But from that experience he makes the poignant discovery that alters his perspective on the past and the future. As he reflects on his story, Dr. Gee reveals how it embodies the wider struggle for black equality and equity in America and what must be done to create real change.

Watch the 40-minute documentary to learn more about Dr. Gee’s remarkable story:


Former MMSD Employee Selected as District’s Next Superintendent of Schools


(Photo Credit: Robbinsdale School District)

The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Board of Education has announced the selection of Dr. Carlton D. Jenkins as the district’s next Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Jenkins, a UW-Madison Graduate and former MMSD Employee has been serving as the Superintendent of the Robbinsdale School District in New Hope Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.

“I speak for everyone on the Board when I say that we are very excited to share this news with our community. We want to thank our community for their patience and grace throughout this process. Our choice of Dr. Jenkins is the result of a Leadership Profile built from the voices of our community serving as our guide, and we feel fortunate to find someone who represents that profile as well as Dr. Jenkins does. We are all excited for him to reunite with our MMSD family and community.”
 
- Gloria Reyes, Board of Education President.

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