Principal Commentary from Madison’s Jefferson Middle School

Logan Wroge:

After a rocky first semester for Madison’s Jefferson Middle School, its interim principal assured parents Thursday she’ll work to address their concerns about safety.

“Here’s what I’m going to promise you, I am always going to be available to you,” said Mary Kelley. “I’m always going to be visible. I’m in the classrooms, I’m in the hallways.”

About three dozen parents showed up to a meeting about the school’s climate and culture, where Kelley outlined what the school would be focusing on and changing during the second semester.

Kelley, a retired Madison principal who most recently spent seven years at East High School, was named the interim head of the West Side middle school last month after the former principal, Tequila Kurth, told the district she was taking an extended leave of absence.

In December, two 13-year-old boys from Jefferson were arrested, one for shooting a BB gun out of a bus window and the other for bringing the BB gun inside the school the next day.

Two girls, ages 13 and 14, were struck by BBs as they were getting off the bus.

Last month, a Jefferson student suffered a concussion and was taken to a hospital after being punched by a classmate he said had been bullying him.

Background notes and links.

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

In addition, Madison recently expanded its least diverse schools.