Private schools across Dane County are planning to reopen their classrooms as early as Monday after the Wisconsin Supreme Court temporarily blocked an order issued by Public Health Madison & Dane County that had barred in-person instruction for grades 3-12.
This comes after several parents, schools, and other groups petitioned the court to strike down Emergency Order No. 9. The order originally barred all schools from in-person instruction for grades 3-12, but it was later amended to allow in-person learning for students with disabilities in any grade.
A virtual reception hosted by local Black leaders to welcome Carlton Jenkins as the new superintendent of Madison schools was filled with overwhelming excitement and deep sense of hope, as Jenkins said his move to Madison to address educational disparities is his contribution to the movement inspired by the death of George Floyd.
Earlier this summer, a number of current and former Badger student-athletes shared their desire to alter the color of the university's "Crest W" on their athletic uniforms to display solidarity with Black students and other underrepresented groups on campus.
In a press conference Friday, School Board President Gloria Reyes detailed the thoughtful and tedious nature of the decision, sharing that hiring a superintendent “is the most important decision a school board makes.” Noting the importance of community feedback and dialogue, Reyes emphasized that throughout the process board members maintained a confidence in Jenkins’ leadership and experience.
“At times a system might feel like you have a knee on your neck, and you can’t breathe. Working collaboratively with the community it will not be an easy journey to have an anti-racism agenda, but I would say sign me up,” said Dr. Carol Kelley, a finalist for the MMSD superintendent position, at a community listening session this week.
Tech nonprofit Maydm and Public Health Madison & Dane County are partnering to lead an initiative to encourage students to safely social distance. Through July 12, Creative During COVID will host biweekly social media challenges for students to engage and win prizes.
When Jimena Maier offered to host a mini-food pantry in her garage less than two months ago, she never thought it would grow to serve more than 100 families. The first week the pantry was open it served 12 families. By week six it served 102. “We had a line of vehicles all the way down Tomscot (Trail). You couldn’t see the end of the line of vehicles,” Maier said.
As COVID-19 continues to change the lives of those across Madison, the importance of local school systems has risen through the ways they have strived to support local families.
“It has completely changed the lives of every person I know.” Michele Ritt, a Special Needs teacher with the Madison Metropolitan School District who was recently re-elected as County Supervisor for Dane County’s 18th District, said.