Eighty-eight percent of MMSD fifth through 12th graders who are at-risk of not graduating are low-income students. The district report did not specify if the data includes students who have already withdrawn from school.
Before the At-Risk plan was developed, the district would only send a letter home to guardians. Caroline Racine Gilles, the director of multi-tiered systems of supports at MMSD, said the new approach allows schools to collaborate with students and families to develop a path forward.
Now, MMSD is taking a “proactive approach” using data and other early warning systems to identify students before they qualify as at-risk, Racine Gilles said.
“No one likes to get a bad news letter,” she said. “We want to make that personalized contact and really use it as an opportunity to build relationships with our families. We want to partner with them to understand what the barriers are to learning and ensure that we build support to address those barriers.”
Racine Gilles said that each plan will be tailored to the students’ individual needs and parents will receive a copy of the plan and dates to follow-up. Options range from tutoring and mentoring to alternative programs and extended graduation timelines.
We have long spent far more than most government funded school districts (now nearly $20,000 per student), yet we’ve long tolerated disastrous reading results. Yet, Madison’s non diverse governance model continues unabated, aborting the proposed Madison Preparatory IB Charter school and more recently a quasi Montessori charter proposal.