Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a restful winter break. I wish you all a happy and healthy 2009. December was a fairly quiet month for the Board.
Legislative: The Board met with Madison state legislative delegation in December. This meeting was an opportunity to touch base and get an overview of the state budget and school finance plans that are being developed throughout the state. The dire condition of the state budget is certainly going to be their focus in the coming months. The Board will discuss our legislative agenda for the district at the 1/12/09 Board meeting. Once we approve our agenda, we will be working with the community and other school districts on the best way to advocate for the state budget and school finance programs.
Regular Board Meeting: The Regular Board meetings will now be held on the second Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. This is a change from having the meetings on the first Monday of the month. Committee meetings will now be scheduled on the first Monday of each month.
Community Partnerships: The Board approved funding (under Fund 80) proposals for the following organizations to provide specific community service activities for the 2009-10 fiscal year. These are exciting proposals that will benefit our students in the MMSD. The organizations are: Literacy Network; Asset Builders of America; Vera Court Neighborhood Center; Goodman Community Center; UW-Madison Pre-College Initiatives; Children's Services Society of Wisconsin; Lussier Community Education Center; Gay, Straight Alliance for Safe Schools; UW-Madison Center for Biology Education; Urban League of Greater Madison (Bootstrap); African American Ethnic Academy; and Kajsiab House.
Strategic Planning Process: The Board approved the Superintendent's recommendation for the structure and timeline for the MMSD strategic planning process. The strategic planning session will take place during the month of January. We are in the process of finalizing the strategic planning team. We have approved the use of an outside facilitator for the planning process. Dr. Keith Marty has extensive experience in working with school districts in developing strategic plans. I am very excited about the planning process and will update you as we move forward.
What's Happening in January? January will be a busy month. We start our new committee structure on January 5. The community input sessions on the recommendations from the Math Task Force will take place in early January. The strategic planning meetings will also take place.
Arlene Silveira is the president of the Madison Board of Education. She sends out monthly progress reports summarizing the major activities of the board. Comments and questions are appreciated.