For Immediate Release: September 30, 2014
Contact: Rachel Strauch-Nelson, (608) 663-1903


innovation logoThe Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is pleased to announce that Gompers and Thoreau Elementary Schools have been selected to receive the first-ever MMSD Innovation Grants, generously supported by the MGE Foundation through the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools. The MMSD Innovation Grants will be an annual opportunity for schools to plan and implement an innovative school-based project in support of their School Improvement Plan.

“As we stay focused on the day to day work of great teaching, key innovation projects help us challenge assumptions, plan for the future and inform our strategy,” Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said. “We are excited about the potential of these projects for their schools and for the district as a whole.”


Gompers Elementary School will receive $50,000 to develop and implement the Elementary Restorative Justice Initiative in partnership with the YWCA. Restorative practices, aimed at teaching positive behavior and restoring relationships in a school community, are deeply embedded in middle and high schools in MMSD, but they have never been implemented at the elementary level. Aligned with the Behavior Education Plan, this program aims to unify school-wide interventions, social emotional teaching and reinforcement of Positive Behavior Systems – and to inform the district’s vision around the future of restorative practice within our schools.

Thoreau Elementary School will receive $9,500 to implement the Academic Parent-Teacher Team model and Parent School Partnership training program, targeting Latino parents whose primary language is Spanish. The proposed activities hold promise in changing the way in which educators and parents interact and increasing parent engagement within the school. This model will inform MMSD’s Family and Community Engagement department’s development of parent training and improvements to parent-teacher conferences district-wide.