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Madison Metropolitan School District

Current Weekly Announcements

Final Demonstration of Learning (DoL) Schedule

Communication has been shared with students and families regarding our Final Demonstration of Learning (formerly Bridge Week) happening at the ends of Semester 1 and 2.  Here is our schedule for the week of January 22nd.  Although we will be following a modified schedule on January 23-25, students are still expected to be in attendance at the designated times that their classes are meeting to complete the required DoL assessment.

Access English Testing Begins December 4th/Las pruebas de inglés ACCESS comienzan el 4 de diciembre

The annual ACCESS English tests taken by the majority of our multilingual students will begin on December 4 and continue through January. More than 400 Vel Phillips Memorial students will take four different tests: listening, reading, writing and speaking. Students who have earned an overall score of 5 or higher on the tests in previous years do not have to take them.

The objective of these tests is to verify the progress in the development of the English language of our students, in order to provide them with the services to which students and families are entitled. The tests have no impact on students' grades.

During the week of December 4, students will complete reading comprehension and listening comprehension tests during two class periods. Later, they will complete the writing and speaking tests in two other class periods. We will do everything possible to reduce the academic impact for students and their classes.

This is a process that can be tedious and frustrating for some students. We thank you for your collaboration and for encouraging them to do their best. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Ms. Anné Knezevic, head teacher of the Multilingual Education Department at Memorial, can assist you at 608-663-6114.

Las pruebas anuales de inglés ACCESS que toman la mayoría de nuestros estudiantes multilingües comenzarán el día 4 de diciembre y continuarán hasta el mes de enero. Más de 400 estudiantes de Vel Phillips Memorial tomarán cuatro pruebas distintas: comprensión oral, lectura, escritura y expresión oral. Los estudiantes que han obtenido una calificación general de 5 o más en las pruebas en años anteriores no tienen que tomarlas.

El objetivo de estas pruebas es verificar los avances en el desarrollo de la lengua inglesa de nuestros estudiantes, para poder brindarles los servicios a los que estudiantes y familias tienen derecho. Las pruebas no tienen ningún impacto en las calificaciones de los estudiantes. 

Durante la semana del 4 de diciembre, los estudiantes completarán las pruebas de comprensión lectora y comprensión oral durante dos periodos. Más adelante, completarán las pruebas de escritura y comunicación oral en otros dos periodos. Haremos todo lo posible para reducir el impacto académico para los estudiantes y sus clases. 

Este es un proceso que puede resultar tedioso y molesto para algunos estudiantes. Les agradecemos su colaboración para que hagan su mejor esfuerzo. Por favor, no dejen de comunicarse con nosotros si tienen alguna duda. La señora Anné Knezevic, meastra cabecera del Departamento de educación multilingüe en Memorial, podrá atenderles en el 608-663-6114.

Early College STEM Academy Application is OPEN

The online application for Early College STEM Academy (ECSA) is OPEN, and will remain so until January 26, 2024. Any students are encouraged to apply with the following guidelines:

  • 10th grade; Minimum 2.25 grade point average; 90% attendance rate
  • Special emphasis on those who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM and related fields, including students who identify as female and students of color.

Student Panels- Hear from VPM students now attending the ECSA in our VPM Literacy Center 

  • December 6, 2023 - 12:00-12:45pm
  • January 17, 2024 - 12:00-12:45pm

Virtual Family Informational Sessions (go to district page for links)

  • December 6, 2023 - 6-7 pm

  • January 17, 2024 - 6-7 pm

Attention Senior Families!!

DIPLOMAS: Soon it will be time to order diplomas for the 2024 Senior Class. Please check Infinite Campus and verify that your name is spelled correctly. If your middle name is missing or your name is incorrect in ANY way, you must contact Rachel Braun in the Wisconsin Office at your earliest convenience. She can be reached by email at or by phone at 663-6101 (Monday-Friday 7:30-4:00). Please correct mistakes NOW! If it is wrong in IC, it will be wrong on your diploma.

CAPS & GOWNS: Packets from Midwest Scholastic, our official provider of caps, gowns, announcements, and other Senior paraphernalia were distributed in English classes last week. Midwest Scholastic will be at Memorial High School during lunch in the cafeteria on Wednesday, December 13th, to take orders for caps and gowns in person. You will also be able to place orders through Midwest Scholastic's online store. If your student did not receive the packet for some reason, there will be extras available in the Wisconsin Neighborhood Office.

If you should have any questions, feel free to contact Rachel Braun in the Wisconsin Neighborhood Office. Remember to check our Graduation Web Page regularly for updates on all things Senior related.

Athletics and Online Ticket Sales & Live Event Streaming

As we get started with our winter sports season, a reminder that all of Wisconsin’s Big 8 High School Conference teams are integrating their scheduling, ticketing, streaming and athletic websites into one place with Elite One programming. Two of the biggest updates to the 2023-24 athletic seasons are online ticketing and streaming of all sporting events. 

  • Online Ticket Sales: Visit the GoFan website ( or download the GoFan app from the Apple Store or Google PlayStore, search for Memorial, and buy tickets for any sporting event. For more information on the ticketing service, watch this  introductory video by Madison West Athletic Director Corvonn Gaines (  Please note, cash sales are no longer available at ticketed athletic events and refunds cannot be issued for tickets purchased in error. 

  • Event Streaming: Through Elite One programming, every sporting event within the Big 8 conference, both home and away, will be streamed online. Watch a streaming tutorial video by MMSD Athletic Director Jeremy Schlitz to learn more (

No Admit List & Winter Sport Events

Weekly attendance continues to be used to determine if students are on the No Admit List for the following week.  Memorial students that have 5 or more tardies and/or 2 or more unexcused absences during the preceding week receive an email on Monday morning letting them know they are on the No Admit List for the current week. To remove themselves from the No Admit List, students need to have 4 or less tardies and 1 or less unexcused absences during the week prior to any school event they wish to attend.  Please note that the No Admit list is now in effect for girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball, and hockey games.  When arriving at a game, Memorial students need to have their school IDs scanned and hand stamped to ensure they are eligible to attend BEFORE purchasing an online ticket.  Students who buy an online ticket to a sporting event and are on the No Admit List will not be given a refund.

West Towne Mall Lunch Policy

As we know many of our students visit the mall, especially for lunch.  Mall staff have requested that we proactively share their policy.  Here is the policy: "As per Code of Conduct, attendance by any minor under the age of 16 during school hours for the period of 10am to 3pm at the mall, are to remain in the food court area and not allowed to enter the common mall area unless the minor is accompanied by a parent, teacher or legal guardian. Security personnel will monitor the food court and other areas of the mall to ensure all students stay in the permitted area".

Arrival, Dismissal, and Visitor Parking

VPM parents are reminded that the lane closest to school on Gammon Road is a bus lane.  It is illegal and unsafe to stop in the bus lane to drop off or pick up students.  Please pull into our lot or along Memorial Way to drop off and pick up students.  Please avoid using the Gillespie parking lot for drop off and pick up as well.  The only doors open in the morning before school starts are the A-foyer doors by the Welcome Center and the doors by the flagpole on Gammon Road.

If you are visiting the school and need to park, there are 12 visitor parking spaces in the lane in front of the visitor’s center.  Please park in one of the green stalls next to the yellow berm and come into the visitor center to get a visitor parking pass.  Always sign in and sign out at the visitor center when you come into the building.

Accessing Meal Balances on School Cafe

In response to a number of requests about meal balance payments, MMSD is requesting we share the enclosed letter with families. The letter includes information on how families can pay balances or add supplement funds to their student’s School Cafe account. Spanish and Hmong translations are included in the document.

Attendance Updates

Attendance is important to us at VPM.  Please review this brochure to learn about our Attendance Policy.  We want all of our students to be on time every day to their classes.  We will be communicating to families through emails and phone calls when students are missing class time. 

We know that 5th hour, right after lunch, is a time where many students arrive back to school late, extending an already 50-minute lunch period.  Starting Tuesday, September 5th, if students arrive back to our building more than 5 minutes late from lunch. they will meet with their Neighborhood Assistant Principal or Dean before being allowed to go to their 5th hour class.  We will also follow-up this communication with your student by sending an email to parents/guardians letting you know that your student did not arrive back to school on-time after lunch, so that together we can support your student in getting to their classes on time.

Cell Phone Practices for the 23-24 School Year

With the start of the new school year, all MMSD High Schools will be implementing consistent, universal expectations regarding personal electronic devices in classrooms with the goal of establishing clear rules and expectations regarding the appropriate use of personal electronic devices with our high school-aged students.  Please review this information and know that teachers will be introducing and reinforcing these expectations across the school year.

Bus/ Madison Metro Information

Find bus routes and bus stop reminders, as well as additional information for students riding Madison Metro buses at Students can ride the Madison Metro Transit bus to/ from school for free during the first days of school.  Students eligible for free bus passes can pick them up in their neighborhood offices.

This Year’s Daily Schedule

Be sure to review our 2023-2024 Bell Schedule.  Please note that Monday early release occurs every Monday for high school students.

Health & Safety Planning

Please refer to the MMSD COVID Health and Safety Guidance for updated information.