OPEN LETTER TO THE MADISON METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION
WE WELCOME FELLOW MMSD FAMILIES TO SIGN ON TO THIS LETTER BY FILLING OUT THE FORM THAT APPEARS AT THE END OF THE LIST OF SIGNATURES
Dear MMSD Board of Education:

We are families of students in MMSD schools. On the organizational chart for our school district, all staff ultimately report to the superintendent, the superintendent reports to the board, and the board reports to us.

Our MMSD schools are nationally recognized for their academic excellence. Yet we suffer from the worst opportunity gap in the nation. As you already know, recent data shows:

* 8.4% of Black fourth graders in MMSD attained advanced or proficient scores in reading while 66.1% percent of their white peers attained the same scoring level.

* As measured by ACT scores, 12.7% of Black students graduating from MMSD schools are college ready in reading, and 8.1% are college ready in math. Almost 70% of white students are deemed college ready by these standards.

* MMSD’s graduation rate for Black students, though improving, continues to lag behind that of white students, at 73%, compared to 92% for white students. Note the 73% rate represented a record 14% increase from the previous year.

* Black students comprise 84% of arrests in MMSD high schools, but about 19% of the total student population.

The MMSD school system caters to white, wealthy students and criminalizes our Black students. The school district's policies and practices keep this “tale of two cities” in place. The result is that we neglect the successes of our students of color, and we fail to create academic opportunities and support our students of color. We also devalue the opinions, priorities, and engagement of students of color and their families.

It is not only students of color who suffer the consequences of racism in our school district. None of our students are benefiting from a culturally diverse curriculum, racially diverse educators, or ethnic studies. We are also sending a message to our white students that students of color do not matter as much as them. White students are internalizing those messages and taking them into college, career, and community. As such, “college, career, and community ready” in MMSD also means honing racist attitudes, beliefs, and skills.

We will hold the Board of Education accountable for ensuring that the MMSD administration take bolder and swifter action on a commitment to anti-racism in our schools. We issue the following five demands, and request that these demands be added to the agenda and discussed at the next Board of Education meeting on March 18, 2019:

* Diversifying Staff. Increase transparency on your initiatives to diversify MMSD’s workforce and retain staff of color. Implement new strategies such as utilizing alternative certification programs. MMSD must invest whatever resources are necessary to racially diversify leadership, staff, and administration at our schools. Also, make staff retention a priority by taking actions to address microaggressions and racism that Black staff members report. Report to the community on these efforts with more frequency and urgency.

* Required diversity/equity/social justice training. Before the 2019-20 school year commences, develop requirements for every teacher and staff member to participate in quarterly anti-racism professional development and implement clear consequences for teachers and staff that fail to participate.

* Specific anti-racism goals for each school. Before the 2019-20 school year commences, require that each school create or connect to a coalition of community members, teachers, and staff to develop a plan for adequately supporting the school’s students of color, and monitor progress on meeting goals. This can be incorporated into the school improvement planning (SIP) process for each school, but families and community members should be engaged as partners in co-creating and progress monitoring for these goals.

* Counselors, not cops. Do not renew MMSD’s contract with the Madison Police Department. Instead, invest those funds for more counselors or other student support staff in our schools. Explore options with the community, such as paid parent advocates, to work in the schools. Work with existing school staff to determine the number of counselors and support staff needed at each school.

* New modes of board engagement and communication with the community. Create new opportunities for families and community members/groups to engage face-to-face with school board members on these issues. Go to the community instead of waiting for the community to come to you, and accept invitations from community members to meet to discuss topics important to them.

We look forward to your discussion of our demands at the next meeting on March 18, 2019.

Co-Signed:

Ruby Clay - Velma Hamilton Middle School

Jonathan Brown - Hamilton Middle School

Karen Brown - Hamilton Middle School

Hannah Renfro - Van Hise Elementary, Velma Hamilton Middle School

Ashley M. Moncrief - James C. Wright

Arvina Martin - Van Hise Elementary

Charlie Daniel - Memorial High (granddaughter)

Erica Liu - Hamilton Middle and West High

Jamie Pekarek Krohn - Hamilton Middle School

Garrett Lee - Shorewood Hills Elementary

Georgia Rucker - Randall Elementary & Velma Hamilton Middle School

Malia Jones - Van Hise Elementary

Linda S. Schmidt - Randall Elementary

Tova Sacks - Lapham Elementary

Heidi Weitzman - Van Hise Elementary & Velma Hamilton Middle School

Michelle Ellinger - Lake View Elementary & Black Hawk Middle School

David R. Pekarek Krohn - Velma Hamilton Middle School

Lisa Baker - Randall Elementary School

Megan Reed - Van Hise Elementary

Alissa Punwar - Franklin Elementary

Madhavi Krishnan - Van Hise Elementary

Ryan Underwood - Falk Elementary

John Quamme - Lafollette High School

Lisa Hassenstab - Falk Elementary

Monica Howard - Orchard Ridge

Brandi Grayson - East High

Noah Jones - Van Hise Elementary

Shahanna McKinney-Baldon - Hamilton Middle School & West High School

Jennifer Herdina - Olson Elementary

Scheneka Davis - Sherman Middle School

Sherrie Collier - Lafollette High School

Aimee Drolet - Hamilton Middle and Franklin Elementary

Jason Weitzman - Van Hise Elementary, Velma Hamilton Middle School

Jeremy Cesarec - Lapham Elementary

LaShunda Prescott-Manly - LaFollette High School

Sharmecia Brown - Jefferson Middle and Memorial High School

Stacy Glass - West High School

Leema Berland - Randall Elementary

Syovata Edari - Hamilton Middle School

Ruthie Goldman - West High School

Araceli Esparza - Georgia O’Keeffe Middle school

Erica Janisch - Orchard Ridge and Falk

Sasha Kerlow - Hamilton Middle School, West High School

Matthew Sargent - Hamilton Middle School

Heather Sorensen - Hamilton Middle School, West High School

Susan Stanton - West High School

Jen Rubin - East High School

Joe Kurian - Velma Hamilton Middle School

Cindy Koepke - West High

Rasheedah Wilson - JC Wright Middle School

Scott Hanson - Van Hise Elementary

Savannah Wilson - Toki Middle School & Olson Elementary

Peter Gray - Hamilton and West

Shanna Lenoir-Beckfield - Chavez, Toki & Memorial

Anna Skillings - Van Hise Elementary School

Mark Elsdon - Hamilton Middle School and West High School

Christina King - Lapham Elementary

Tara Wilhelmi - Hawthorne Elementary, Badger Rock Middle School, West High School

Linda J. Ketcham - Whitehorse Middle School

Cassilynn Brown - Elvehjem Elementary, Shabazz

Cabell Gathman - Falk Elementary

Marcia Terrones - Glendale Elementary, Sennett Middle School

Jean B Wiley - Van Hise Elementary (granddaughter)

Aimee Ogden - Huegel

Carmella Glenn - Blackhawk

Tracy L Stewart - Mendota Elementary, East High School

Kathleen Doherty - Velma Hamilton Middle School & Shorewood Hills Elementary

Sagashus Levingston - Madison West High School

Eric Andraska - Emerson Elementary

Amparo Moreno - Shenk Elementary

Sara Alvarado - West Hight School and Wright Middle School

Ann Imig - Spring Harbor Middle, JMMemorial High

Marta Staple - Lapham and Marquette

Jill Pfeiffer - Hamilton Middle School & Randall Elementary School

Justin Skillings - Van Hise Elementary

Jason Wiley - Van Hise Elementary (granddaughter)

Jessica Gilkison - Malcolm Shabazz City High School

Kathi Seiden-Thomas - Randall Elementary

Jean Potocki - Lowell and Marquette Elementary, O'Keeffe Middle School

Miranda Hassett - Falk and Spring Harbor

Lane Hanson - Hamilton Middle School and West High School

Kimberly Fisher - Whitehorse Middle School

Camille Bernier - Crestwood Elementary and James Madison Memorial

Jordan Williams - Badger Rock Middle School

Jasmine C. Banks - Marquette Elementary (grandchild)

Martin Griffin - Sherman Middle School

Kelda Roys - West High, Thoreau Elementary (next year)

Mary Reines - Whitehorse/ Kennedy

Bridget Duffy - Sandburg elementary

Laura McNeill - Okeeffe Middle school and East High School

Anthony Conard - JC Wright Middle School

Robin Stephens - Hamilton & Van Hise Elementary

Rose Manjon - Marquette & Lapham

Susan Ramspacher - Marquette Elementary

Cynthia Burnson - Lowell Elementary

Beth Johnson - Badger Rock (grandson)

Allison Tiefenthaler - Crestwood Elementary

Jane Jones - Chavez Elementary

Gloria Castillo - East high school

Evelyn Gildrievoyles - Randall Elementary and West High school

Joanna Griffin - Sherman Middle School

Michelle Murphy - Memorial High School

Atsede Asfaw - Hamilton Middle School (grandson)

Julia O’ - Lafollette

Amy Hefty - Orchard Ridge

Mallory Shotwell - Lowell Elementary

Rosabel Hernández - East high school

Daniel Earixson

Luella Shapiro - Glendale Elementary School

Brandy George-Copeland - Schenk Elementary

Allison Volkman - Cherokee and Thoreau

Erin Wicke Dankert

Katrina Daly Thompson - Thoreau Elementary

Anthony Luebbert - Thoreau Elementary

Kate O’Donohue Eckhardt - Lindbergh Elementary

Wendy Crabb - Van Hise and Hamilton

Nichole Baumbach - Crestwood, Spring Harbor Middle and Memorial

Ophelia Bailly - Shabazz High

Jordan Bingham - Lapham Elementary

Leah Varnadoe - Jefferson Middle School

Karen Nielsen - East High School

Dlivia Dumas-Henriquez - Whitehorse Middle Kennedy Elementary

Amy Kazda - Lapham Elementary

Linda M. Sime - Toki Middle School

Shelly Duffield - Franklin Elementary

Jessica Havens - Lakeview, Sherman, East- Alumni

Rowan Atalla - West High School

Susan Fritts - Chavez Elementary

Charlene Smith - Memorial High School

Jennifer Rodgers - Franklin Elementary

Jael Currie - Nuestro Mundo/Sennett

Laura Dresser - East High School

Scott Stetson - Franklin Elementary

Dani Rischall - Lowell Elementary (future)

Howard A. Hayes - Okeeffe, Sherman, & Whitehorse

Allison Bell Bern - Emerson Elemntary

Eileen Snyder - Velma Hamilton Middle School and West High School

Dianna Murphy - Memorial High School

Becki & Jessica Ralyn

Lisa Williams - Stephens Elementary

Adam Welch - Van Hise Elementary, Hamilton Middle School

Cherri Sorrells - Marquette

Maha Aldaoud-Brown - Crestwood Elementary and Memorial High School

Chris Barcelos - Shabazz

Leanna Worrall - Franklin Elementary

Larissa Duncan - Thoreau Elementary

Kelly Witkins - LaFollette and Sennett

Molly Tupta - Marquette Elementary, O'Keeffe Middle, East High School

Elisabeth Kuisis - Nuestro Mundo Community School & Badger Rock Middle School

Erica Ramberg - Thoreau Elementary

Beth Lynch - Hamilton middle school, West high school

Shalon Atwood - Stephens Elementary

Lorena Raynor - Lowell Elementary

Stacy Broach - James C. Wright Middle School

Stephanie Symes - Midvale, Lincoln, Cherokee

Jason Symes - Midvale, Lincoln, Cherokee

Amber Thompson

Grace Trewartha - Van Hise Elementary School

David Wasserman - East High School

Cailin O'Connor - Crestwood Elementary

Jennie Maunnamalai - Lapham

Emily Winner - Orchard Ridge Elementary

Eugenia Highland Granados - Emerson elementary

Michelle Szabo - Hamilton, West

Jennifer Korz - Crestwood Elementary

Carl Korz - Crestwood Elementary

Liz Windsor-Engnell - Sherman Middle School and Mendota Elementary School

Takeyla Benton - Glendale Elementary

Kevin Murtaugh - Orchard Ridge Elementary

Lucas Ball - Van Hise Elementary

Michelle Russell - Sandburg

Ender Tekin - Thoreau Elementary

Skye Boughman - Kennedy Elementary

Janine Gardner - Oregon School District

Jessica Steenlage - Lowell Elementary

Jacquetta Frechette - Sherman Middle School

Lisa Newman - East High School

Jeanne McLellan - Memorial High school

Katie Hayden - Nuestro Mundo

Jodi Streicher - Van Hise, Hamilton and West HS

Larissa Ako - Jefferson middle school

April Kigeya - Chavez and West

Wayne Prophet - Hamilton, Van Hise, West

Anna Ironside - Hawthorne/O'Keeffe

Ali Hellenbrand - Gompers Elementary

Karen Corbeill

Rachael Wellington - Toki Middle School and Thoreau Elementary

Tammy Pineda - LaFollette

Kathie Magin - Crestwood Elementary

Keena Atkinson - Lafollette

Sara Gregoire

Beth Esser - Nuestro Mundo

Nick Andreano - Marquette Elementary

Dadit Hidayat - Hamilton Middle School & West High School

Christopher Pierce - Van Hise

Leslie Shear - West High (grad. 2016)

Samantha Sadler - Gompers Elementary

Angelica Salinas - Sherman Middle and East High School

Rebecca Oglum - Lowell

Erin Curtis - Emerson Elementary

Jessica Ralyn - Leopold, Cherokee

Amy Rountree - West High

Ben Erdman - Emerson Elementary

Isabel Spooner-Harvey - Schenk

Nola Risse-Connolly - Glendale Elementary

T. Banks - Memorial, East

Sarah Karls - Van Hise

Leah Adams - Lafollette

Susan Gaeddert - Crestwood Elementary, Jefferson Middle

Karen Lindau - West High School

Alexia Ware

Anna Moffit - Cherokee and Thoreau

Cayan Somersett - Whitehorse, Lafollette

Jonathan Rubin - East High, O'Keeffe Middle

Christina Martin-Wright - West High School

Wendy Wilbur

James Howard - East High School

Heather Knox - LaFollette

Cal Smith

Claire Siegrist - Falk Elementary, Jefferson Middle

Susan Kaye - Shabazz City High School

Bianca Tomasini - West High School

Rosemary Russ - Stephens Elementary, Jefferson Middle

Kari Stetson - Franklin

Amy Hilgendorf - Lapham Elementary

Danielle Bailey - Sennett Middle School

Mollie Kane - West High

Phil Leggate - Emerson

Suzanne Swift - West High

Jennifer Greenwald - West High

Amethyst Begley - Huegel Elementary

Jessica LeClair - Emerson Elementary

Kristin Forde

Amanda Rickers - Madison Country Day School

Karen Thomas - Glendale Elementary, La Follette High school

Megan Massino - Emerson Elementary

Stacia Corona - Hamilton Middle School

Brianna Wolbers - Glenn Stephens

Amy Lachuk

Sally Lehner - Franklin & Randall Elementary

Karen Reppen

Martin Alvarado - Lakeview Elementary, Sherman Middle School

Jane McKenna - Shorewood Hills Elementary

Sandrine Pell - Randall Elementary and Franklin Elementary

Andrea Dearlove - West High School

Daniel Steinbring - Jefferson MS/Memorial HS

Rachel Ellett - Franklin

Karen Odegaard - Schenk Elementary School

Janet Parker - Emerson Elementary

Elisa Dunkin - Stephens Elementary School

Sylvia Johnson

Shelby Connell - Hamilton

Laurel Bastian - Eagle Heights 4K

Martha Pings - East High School

Jesse Bell Bern - Sherman Middle School

Andy Bruno - Lowell Elementary

M.Rose Sweetnam - West High School

Nancy Wyngaard

Desiree Friedel - Capital High (East location), Sennett Middle School and Frank Allis Elementary

Bridget Cremin-Bringman - Kennedy, Whitehorse & La Follette

Katherine Fincutter - Concerned community member

Raelene Freitag

Leslie McKinney

Ali Hurckes Dwyer

Kimberly Ritz - Blackhawk Middle, East High

Tracy Peterson

Lindsey Sadler - Lakeview Elementary

Keia Otkins - Whitehorse and Kennedy Elementary

Naomi Chesler - Randall Elementary, Hamilton Middle School, West High School

Guido Leplae - O'Keefe, Lowell, East High School

Essie Jallow - La Follette High school

Andrea Kehrein Riley - Emerson Elementary, Sherman Middle School

Kristen Nelson - East High School

Ashley Mitchell

Sharon Lezberg - East High School

Eric Theis - Schenk

Kavin Senapathy - Chavez Elementary

Jessica Smith White - James C. Wright Middle School and Randall Elementary School

Cody Sorlie Theis - Schenk

Rachel Byrd - Schenk

Annik Dupaty - Sherman Middle and Mendota Elementary

Kay Galuska - Emerson Elementary

Aaron Bonk - One City, Kennedy

Drew Greenhalgh - West High

Lauren Van Buren - Velma Hamilton Middle School

Maggie Nowicki

Michele Hatchell - West High

Stuart Isaac - Jefferson Middle School, Crestwood Elementary

Jake Schuldies - Lapham

Angela Schuldies - Lapham

Kimberley Neuschel - Lowell Elementary

Aubrie Divine-Scotf - Lake View and Blackhawk

Sam McDaniel - Lowell Elementary

Jenna Klink - Stephens Elementary

Madeleine Michel - O’Keeffe Middle and Lowell Elementary

Tyonna Listenbee - Lafollette High School & Lowell Elementary School

Sky Chandler - West

Tyonna Listenbee

Dawn Liska-Tollefson - Midvale and Lincoln Elementary

Scott Willdman - Muir Elementary and Spring Harbor Middle School

Felix Giboney - Huegel Elementary

Erin Drewes - Lake View Elementary

Jodie Thill - Van Hise Elementary

Julia Cremin - Lapham Elementary

Lavenia Washington - Falk & Jefferson

Peter Bovenmyer - Marquette, Lowell

Sara Christopherson - Lapham Elementary, Marquette Elementary

Melissa Hayes - Lowell Elementary

Kat Schuknecht - Lowell Elementary School

Ben Charles - Lowell Elementary

Michael Richardson - O’Keefe Middle School and Lowell Elementary

Dawn Cunningham - O'Keeffe Middle School and East High School

Susanne Benton - West High School

Melissa Hayes - Lowell Elementary

Mary Bridget Samson - Van Hise Elementary

Julia Hilmer - Van Hise

Andrea Novotney - Falk Elementary School

De’Kendrea Stamps - La Follette High School

Camie Morris - Van Hise

Lara Ostrander

Ellie Thomas - Emerson Elementary

Hannah Lund - Emerson

Autumn Shiley - Lowell Elementary

Marian R Quarles - Franklin-Randall

Jessica Culberson - Crestwood Elementary

David Gevers - Franklin & Randall Elementary

Cassidy A Kirkpatrick - O'Keefe

Rainbow Marifrog - Emerson Elementary

Jonathan Rubin - O'Keeffe, East

Amy Harr - Memorial High School

Toral Livingston-Jha - Sherman Middle School

Simon Livingston-Jha - Sherman

Nicole Louie - Midvale Elementary

Jenna Weidner - Van Hise Elementary

Julie Qualle - Mendota Elementary and Lincoln Elementary

Julie Kallio - Shorewood Hills Elementary

Cara Jenkins - Falk Elementary, Jefferson Middle, Memorial High School

Devin Wixon - Van Hise Elementary, Hamilton Middle School

Amy Gentry - Van Hise Elementary

Becki Fiegel - Van Hise Elementary; West High School

Nicole Gardner - Emerson Elementary School

Melissa Hornung - Velma Hamilton MS, West HS

Alison Stites - Franklin & Randall Elementary

Abbey Thompson - Van Hise Elementary

Martha Kemble

Brendon Panke - Franklin Elementary

Katherine Curtis - Lapham Elementary, Glendale Elementary, La Follette High

Brad Coleman - Velma Hamilton Middle School and West High School

Melissa Moss - Midvale Elementary

Marcia Gevelinger Bastrian

Romina Soria - Van Hise Elementary

Amanda Veith - Franklin and Randall

MaraLee Olson

Brian Samson - Van Hise

Lisa Reusch - Lapham & Marquette Elementary

Nicholas Thomas - Whitehorse Middle School and Schenk Elementary School

Stephanie Steigerwaldt - O'Keeffe

Amelia Berendt

Ronda Conner - James C Wright Middle School

Lisa Standing - East High School

Kat Nichols - Franklin Elementary School

Lorrie Hurckes Dwyer - Emerson Elementary

Caleah Heim

Orion Wells - Franklin

Lynsey Genevieve - Sherman Elementary, IMAP Montessori Public, East High

Cathy Auger - West HS

Abby Halloran - Emerson Elementary

Zaia Hartman-Semtry - One City Schools

S Krislov - Lowell Elementary

Connie Brown

Tanya Morin - Lowell Elementary

Kristin Klingman - Madison Waldorf School

Carol Van Hulle - Lincoln Elementary

Lydia Partee - Lowell Elementary School

Paquita Purnell - Olson Elementary

Kendra Gassner - Hawthorne and O'Keeffe

Anna Schwartz - James Madison Memorial High School

Heather Banschbach - Sherman

Nathan and Jessica Dufault - Emerson Elementary

Aleen Tierney - Lapham Elementary

Scott Robison - Shorewood Hills Elementary

Rachel Martin - Capital High West

Kathryne Auerback - West

Alyssa Ryanjoy - Lapham Elementary

Christina Kantor

Lynn Jenkins

Rachel Lavin - Sherman Middle School

Kate Hewson - Lowell Elementary

Amber Lefers - Hamilton Middle School and Randall Elementary School

Susan Missett-King - Community Member, Preschool Teacher

Jessica Courtier - Lowell Elementary

Jennifer Barry - Mendota Elementary

Justin Martin - Elvehjem Elementary

Jessica Klehr - West High School

Jalanda Giboney - Huegel Elementary

Catina McAlister - Orchard Ridge Elementary

Kelsie Morschauser - Hawthorne

Judy Skog - Midvale, Lincoln, Cherokee, West

Susanne Treiber - West

Kristin Burki O’Keefe and Lowell

Trish Grant - Lake View Elementary

Lea Wolf - East High School

Alison Dodge

Cecil Leigh Wilson

Kristen Cooper Borkenhagen - Van Hise Elementary

Michelle Dunphy - Crestwood Elementary

Claire Baker

Connie Lambeth

Brian Standing - East High School

Lindsay Riesch - Thoreau Elementary School

Karyn Chacon - East High School

Carlos Chacon - East HS

Jill Fahrlander - East HS

Kristin M Mathews

Jess Guffey Calkins - Lowell Elementary

Ceri Jenkins - Lincoln Elementary School

Nikki Anderson - O'Keefe Middle School and East High School

Jeremiah Zuba

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