September 17, 2021

By barsotti_p  

Hi Madison Staff,

You’re amazing. I hope you found some moments of joy with students this week. My own 3 kids, came home full of smiles, laughter, and stories about her teachers and friends. From helping anxious students separate from their parents for the first time in 18 months to taking on more coverage, students, or roles, we did what Madison does best – we banded together and figured it out. Thank you.

Mon, Sept 20 Tue, Sept 21 Wed, Sept 22 Thur, Sept 23 Fri, Sept 24
TLC @ 7:45 Climate Team @ 7:45   Justice League @ 7:45  

Madison INFORMATION         

  • Staffing Update: Jamie Asunsolo is starting on Monday afternoon.  She is 0.5 FTE Learning Center teacher. She is sharing her time with Howard Elementary School. Please make a point to go say hi to her. Also, we are in the process of gaining a 7 hr SSD EA.  More information to come.
  • Weekly Focus Slides
    • Fire Drill on Monday
    • PRIDE Tours on Tuesday
    • Expect Agreement Intro on Wednesday
    • Expect Agreement Circle on Thursday        
  • COVID Reminder: Stay Home if You’re Sick: Better to be safe and stay home if you aren’t feeling well. If you are experiencing primary COVID symptoms, please let me know. I will put you in touch with our district COVID team who will work with you on next steps. 
  • Fire Drills: Our first one will be Monday morning.  Please check the Focus Slides for information
  • Additional Supply Ordering: If you discover there are student supplies you need to make life easier, please talk to Mary. If you need basic office supplies (staplers, tape dispensers, etc), check in with Mary first as she has a stash of new items for people.
  • EasyCBM Window: Because of the focus on Care and Connection for the beginning of school, easyCBM testing will begin September 27 and will end on October 14. More info to come.

  • Staff Celebrations: Let us know who deserves recognition this week! 

DISTRICT INFORMATION                     

  • Canvas and Students in Quarantine – Downtown is continuing to work with EEA to reach an agreement regarding how to support students in quarantine. For now, teachers should post materials on Canvas that a student in quarantine could have a window into activities occurring in the classroom. During Inservice week, this slide deck was shared with you the minimum expectations for Canvas.  While Canvas is not exclusively a response to the challenges presented by COVID, this tool will absolutely be critical in our efforts to support students during times in which they are quarantined; something happening with increasing and unfortunate frequency. Teacher should know that beyond just the assignments, they need to post any materials students will need in order to make sense of and complete the assignments.  Examples of this could be the slide decks teachers presented in class, handouts if there are any or videos that were shown to students who were in class that day.  Almost all cases this year have been due to a student being a close contact of someone who had COVID and not because they tested positive. Students officially put on quarantine will be flagged in synergy with a house icon like the ones below.
    Safe Schools: All staff will have Safe Schools (now called Vector) modules to complete by December 31. Your username is your employee ID number. There are about 2 hours worth of trainings to complete. Staff can use time this week to complete the modules, but you have until December. 
  • Upcoming SSD Changes – An SSD Email was sent to principals regarding changes to address significant SSD staffing shortages. Most of the changes involve reassigning duties for a lot of itinerant staff (nurses, consultants, etc.), but SSD admin are also looking at caseloads and may reassign building staff to understaffed buildings. 
  • COVID Testing Partnership: Students can opt into a weekly at-home Covid testing program. Families have to sign up and return a waiver to enroll. If you receive a waiver, please put it in Gina’s mailbox. Our role will be to distribute and collect test kits. The first round of kits will go out on Wednesday.


  • Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15 through October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. The Library of Congress has put together a collection of resources for teachers
  • SELCO’s Educator Grants, Due 9/30: SELCO’s SPARK! Creative Learning Grant Program is now accepting applications for projects up to $1,000 that inspire curiosity, make learning accessible, and spark something new. Applications are open August 16-September 30. Visit the link above for details and to apply.
  • EEF Grants Due Oct 1: Because last year was so different, EEA has moved the grant process to the fall. Visit the website here, under the Grants tab, to complete the application. If you’d like to submit a grant request, please let me know.

Here’s to our first full week with all the students since March 2020! May your feet not hurt and your students be attentive.

Gina and Peter


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