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Madison Metropolitan School District

About Us

Welcome to Vel Phillips Memorial High School!

Located in the south central portion of the state, Madison, Wisconsin, has an estimated population of 252,551 and is the home of the University of Wisconsin and the State Capitol. Memorial High School is a microcosm of the city of Madison, reflecting its rich ethnic cultural and economic diversity. The University of Wisconsin-Madison provides numerous enrichment opportunities and brings many national and international experts into our school community to live and work.

We’re glad that you are a part of our thriving, strong, and caring school community. We believe in you. We have high expectations for your academic performance, and will support you in building healthy relationships to support your growth. We hope you take advantage of the many educational programs and extracurricular activities available. This guide has been designed to help you learn more about our school, and to assist you in your journey to become a more self-sufficient and independent learner. Over your years at Vel Phillips Memorial, we will help ensure that you are ready for college, career and community.

Equity Statement We are VPM, where students thrive because we believe in identifying and disrupting educational inequities, creating opportunities for all students that are rigorous, engaging, and relevant to student’s lives, creating a community where students, staff, and families feel a sense of belonging and all identities, abilities, and personal assets are valued, and we believe in being responsive to student needs and invested in student success. We are VPM, We Believe.

Memorial Graduation

Neighborhoods and Smaller Learning Communities

Thanks to a Smaller Learning Communities Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Memorial has structured itself into four Neighborhoods. The structure offers students ways to form connections with other students and with staff, and ways to become involved in the school.

Within each neighborhood, students are supported by an Assistant Principal, Administrative Assistant, Counselor, Social Worker, Psychologist, Positive Behavior Support Coach and Nurse and ideally these connections will stay the same during a students’ four years at Memorial.

Students also participate in a series of grade-level specific developmental guidance activities and a variety of connected classroom lessons and activities which helps students develop what are called Academic and Career Plans (ACP). Development of an ACP is a cyclic process that guides students to explore who they are and what they want to do with their lives, to identify strengths and growth areas, and to chart progress towards both short and long term goals.

Memorial’s Neighborhoods offer opportunities for student-to-student and student-to-staff relationships leading to students’ becoming personally involved in and taking responsibility for their own education. The result of students’ feeling a part of the school’s academics and activities is increased chances for success both in and out of the classroom.

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Two students working together in class

MMSD Vision Connection

Our school supports MMSD’s vision that all students acquire the skills and abilities needed to be successful, including a mastery of content areas, growth mindset, self-knowledge, creativity, wellness, interpersonal skills, confidence, cultural competence, and community connection. We have an even greater sense of responsibility to work every day with students, parents, and staff to see that each student feels part of the Memorial community and graduates with the skills and abilities to be successful in college, career, and community.