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Madison superintendent releases school evaluation, planning report

Report lists five priority areas, plans for next school year

MADISON, Wis. - The Madison Metropolitan School District superintendent released a report Wednesday summarizing what was found during her entry process evaluation of schools.

"I'd like to thank our staff, parents, students and the Madison community for helping me build a shared understanding of our district's strengths and challenges," said Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham in the release. "The work ahead will take urgency, determination and tenacity, but my experience over the past two months has made me so confident because I know that all of the ingredients for success are here in Madison."

Cheatham visited all 48 MMSD schools and several after-school programs, alternative programs, community early childhood care and education centers, and the district's alternative high school, according to the release.

The visits included a meeting with teachers and staff, classroom observations and a meeting with the principal and members of their leadership team, according to the release.

Cheatham included discussions with students and community meetings as part of her visits to high schools, according to the release.

Cheatham also met with parents, elected officials, community leaders, university partners, religious leaders, business leaders and union leaders, according to the release.

The report provides a summary of what was learned during this phase of the entry process and an overview of the five major priority areas that emerged as a result of the data collected.

"These five priority areas are where I believe we need to focus as a school system if we are to ensure that every school is a thriving school that prepares every student to graduate college and career ready," said Cheatham.

According to the report, the district's strengths are their quality of teachers, principals and central office staff, their commitment to action, their implementation efforts in approaching positive student behavior, the promising programs they have in place and the high level of well-rounded education they offer.

The district's challenges, according to the report, are focusing on the day-to-day work of knowing every child well and planning instruction accordingly, creating a cohesive education from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, and working harder to engage students through personalized education.

The report lists five priority areas for the district to focus on starting in the fall.

The district will be focusing on providing students with well-rounded, culturally responsive and coherent instruction, and charting a personalized pathway for students that lead to college and career readiness, according to the report.

According to the report, other priority areas include engaging families and community members as partners, cultivating a work environment that attracts, develops and retains top-level talent, and ensuring accountability at every level.

"This report marks our transition into an aggressive planning stage so that we can start the next school year strong."

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