Thursday, January 12, 2012

The view from my window today features a light snow falling, and wet streets.   I know that some of our students woke up thinking they would have a snow day.   My bet is that even with the flakes falling through Friday morning, we will not need  to interrupt scheduled classes.   By the way, we are offering text alerts for severe weather.  Did you sign up yet?   Go to our homepage and click on the Text Alerts graphic.  Entering your data will take barely a minute.

Over the past several weeks I have been growing more concerned with student safety.   I am talking about safety in all aspects of our students’ lives, including the hard reality of trouble on the streets.   We were jolted by the loss of three students recently.  Two of the students were victims of gun violence in their neighborhoods. We extended our sympathies to the families, and provided grief counseling at the schools the children attended.    

As a result of our concerns for the challenges in our students’ lives, and because of our concerns for the safety of all children, I convened a meeting of high-level city officials, including the Chief of Police and the County Sheriff, to discuss ways in which we can work together to keep kids safe.   It is unfortunate that we have a handful of students who are disruptive in school, on buses and in the community. Some of our children need placements in alternative settings where they can receive special support.  I am adding additional alternative school seats for this reason.    

Finally, a word on enrollment.   I am proud to say that our district debuted online registration this week.  Few districts in Wisconsin do enrollment electronically.  I am proud that our technicians, along with the staff of MPS Family Services, created a system that allows parents the ease of registering from home at any time of the day or night.  We still have walk-in service, but are seeing fewer parents in person this first week of enrollment, while hundreds are accessing the digital form.  

Parents, please take time this month to enroll your “top grade” children in MPS schools.  At the very least, spread the word to your neighbors and friends that it is time to choose – and that the choice should be MPS!