‘We will lean on one another to make our district a better district’: Meet MMSD’s new Superintendent

MADISON, Wis. — For the first time, the public got the chance to meet Madison Metropolitan School District’s new Superintendent, Dr. Carlton Jenkins.

Jenkins addressed a wide range of questions from members of local media outlets about his goals for the upcoming school year.

“We will lean on one another to make our district a better district and to make our community a better community,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said improving reading scores is one of his top priorities on top of building trust within the community.

“You need to be open with people and be willing to have the tough conversation,” he said. “We’ve made some progress but there’s still some progress to come. I’m going to work with our community to be transparent and I’m going to ask our community to take some responsibility for this too. We cannot change the school district just by the people in the school district.”

He said starting the new school year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic will bring many new challenges, especially because the school year will begin virtually. Jenkins said although this poses challenges, virtual learning is a move he supports as long as public health keeps instructing them that it’s the right move.

“We are going to be making decisions for our school district based on the evidence of the science and what’s going to be good for our students. We will not put at risk any student, any staff or any parent, any community person coming into our schools.”

Jenkins said this sense of community is what will help address the lack of student resource officers in schools, the obstacles that come with the learning and achievement gap and making sure the progress that’s been made continues.

“Trust me, I want our academics to move forward fast,” he said, “but not at the expense of harming our children, harming our staff and harming our community.”

To watch the full press conference click here.