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Chávez: Building strong relationships and thriving scholars.

Dear Chávez Families,

Thank you so much for sharing and entrusting us with your young scholars. We continue to call all of our Chávez students “scholars.” We know that as elementary school educators we carry a great responsibility in helping children form and shape their self-concept and how they view themselves as learners. We recognize our students for the scholars they are and can be.

When we define what a Chávez scholar is, we first and foremost think about academic success. It is important to also note that a scholar is so much more than that. We also pay attention to and foster the following as crucial parts to the scholars we are helping to shape and grow, in no particular order: interpersonal skills, confidence, cultural competence, community connections, wellness, creativity, self-knowledge and a growth mindset. These components are a part of the MMSD graduate vision to help our scholars graduate from high school prepared for college, career and community. We know and acknowledge that a successful foundation starts now.

Thank you to everyone who continues to praise our scholars when they receive a Cheetah PRIDE sticker. Our staff continue to praise and notice the positive behaviors we are seeing and the Cheetah PRIDE stickers are one way in which we do this. As a reminder, PRIDE stands for the following:

R-Respectful and Responsible
E-about Excellence

With recent events in the news involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in our community, we want to again remind all families that at Chávez we value all families and believe all of our students belong at Chávez. We work to ensure our building is secure and we are committed to supporting the emotional and physical well-being of our scholars. We have reached out to families and have supported our staff to respond to the needs of our community.

We are grateful to the families and staff who have offered help and support to our community. Visit if you would like to make a contribution to the Immigrant Assistance Fund.

The following links may be useful as families make plans:
Know Your Rights Guide
Information around creating a family emergency plan 
MMSD Resources, including detailed guides for both families and staff

**If you do not have access to these electronic links, please contact Andrea Herrera at (608) 442-2012**

If your family has specific needs, please contact Andrea Herrera at Chávez at (608) 442-2012. If you know of a specific family that needs help, please also let us know.

Our community is stronger because of our diversity. All of our students are welcome and wanted at Chávez. We are grateful for all of you and for your partnership.

Lastly, please remember to watch your emails for information on how to sign up for parent-teacher conferences. We are looking forward to continuing with a great school year!

Kelly Lawler and Ellen Franzone


Chávez is one of the 24 MMSD schools serving as a polling site. While it is an exciting time to participate and support the democratic process, we are aware that we will need to continue to be vigilant of our surroundings. We will do the following:

  • The front entrance will be accessible to the public and all the other exterior doors will remain locked as they would on any regular school day.
  • There will be clear signage for the community members to access only the voting area location.
  • All non-voting school visitors will sign in at the office, wear a name tag and have an intended purpose for their visit which is standard procedure.
  • All Chávez staff will wear an orange vest and MMSD identification badge. We will be present and visible.
  • The office and the Chief Polling Inspector will have contact by 2-way radio.
  • Please continue to be careful during drop-off and pick up times due to the increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic.


Since 2004, the Foundation for Madison Public Schools A Principal Experience (formerly Principal for a Day) has built relationships between Madison’s community leaders and MMSD staff and students. This year, Kristin Gorton, the Pastor of Memorial United Church of Christ in Fitchburg, served as our school’s “Principal Partner” during the event held on Wednesday, October 11th. She learned what it takes to be one of Madison’s public education leaders and also discovered just how much students and staff accomplish in a single day.
If you are interested in becoming a Principal Partner next year or would like more information about the Foundation’s Adopt-a-School program, visit, email or call any of the office staff at (608) 232-7820.


Missing something? The lost and found area is located by the “A” staircase near the front entry. There is a hanging rack to help “display” items for easier identification as well as space under the bench seat that should be checked. The office has a box for small items such as jewelry and eye glasses. We encourage you to tell your scholars to check there and as soon as possible when they are missing something.


Picture retakes will occur on the morning of Wednesday, 11/7. If you ordered a photo package and you wish to have your child's picture retaken, the unwanted photo package must be presented to the photographer during the retake.
If your child was absent on the original picture day, they should have their picture taken on retake day.
Cesar Chavez Elementary School Picture Day ID: FS148004Q0


All field trips taken during regular school hours shall be related to curriculum. Because these trips are part of the school day and curriculum, all students in the class are expected to participate and parental permission is assumed to be given by virtue of the student's enrollment and attendance. A notification form and request for cost of participation will be sent home prior to each trip.


In an effort to raise funds for the ongoing sustainability of the Trail to Success program (after-school and family empowerment for our High Ridge Trail students and families), we will be hosting a fundraising event on Saturday, November 10th from 5:00-7:30 PM. The event will be held at Yahara Bay Distillers, located at 6250 Nesbitt Rd #200, Madison, and will include a night of great food, live music, silent auction and trivia. If you would like an added adventure, you are welcome to sign up for an optional distillery tour & tasting. General admission is $30 and the full event admission (including the tour and tasting) is $50. 

Trail to Success' mission is to strengthen school-community relationships in the High Ridge Trail neighborhood by increasing accessibility to academic and enrichment programming for students and families. This is the third year for this program and our current goal is to expand the after-school program, serving all students interested and eliminating our wait list!!! We had our first Family Empowerment event (open to all) the first week of October and had a great time connecting with those who came out to the bonfire.

All money raised will provide for teachers' salaries for the after-school program. Please come out for a great evening of supporting Chavez' thriving scholars!


Welcoming Schools is a national program being used in MMSD to create more respectful and supportive schools for all students, staff and families. Curriculum, books, inclusive language and professional development for teachers are provided around family diversity, gender and LGTBTQ+ inclusion and preventing bias-based bullying.

  • We are talking about equity.
  • We are talking about safety.
  • We are talking about respect.
  • We are talking about belonging.
  • We are talking about all types of diversity.
  • We are talking about families.
  • We are talking about social emotional learning.
  • We are working on preventing bullying.
  • We are not teaching our own beliefs or trying to change others' beliefs.

Every educator has a professional responsibility, regardless of personal values and beliefs, to provide a safe and accepting learning environment for all students.
MMSD Information
MMSD Welcoming Schools Website

October Celebrated National Bullying Prevention Month

The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) strives to create welcoming learning environments for all students, free from bias, bullying and discrimination. Developing a strong school community in which adults and students feel a sense of belonging is the first step to prevent bullying. If respect and empathy are the norm, bullying behavior is less likely to occur.

Prevention is the key!

MMSD is committed to implementing school-wide programs and practices aimed at creating a positive school climate. MMSD's community-building programs and strategies include:

  • Restorative Approach
  • Welcoming Schools
  • Developmental Designs
  • Second Step


On Tuesday, October 2nd, three students who were selected in our annual 5th grade science cohort lottery from a group of many interested 5th graders, attended their first Science Cohort experience at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.
The students arrived promptly at 9:00am and were quickly put in groups with other schools and taken to their first science experience. Then, after an hour, the group moved to their second experience.
The first was titled Stem Cells: Directed Differentiation and Cryopreservation. The scholars were able to see firsthand the effects of freezing cells. This was an amazing experiment that used liquid Nitrogen to freeze things like lettuce and observe and discuss what happened. They then got to turn pluripotent stem cells into specialized cells during a lab experience!
The next experience was titled Liquid Crystals! The students experimented to find out what heating and cooling the liquid crystals did to them. They made their own liquid crystal slides and were able to see what they looked like under a microscope.
The hungry students then all sat together on the lower level of the Institute for Discovery, underneath the trees growing inside! There were a lot of interesting discussions about the day's experiences!
After lunch, we got back on the busses to get back to school for the last half of the day! All of our 5th grade science scholars, Lily Daniels, Clark Vang and Max Garduno-Alva represented Chávez Elementary wonderfully!


WINTER IS COMING! It’s getting cold outside!!! Please send your child to school with clothes and outer wear appropriate for the weather. If you need help in providing winter gear, please contact the health office or the social worker, Andrea Herrera. We can help.
With cold weather, comes cold and flu season. Let’s try to keep our school as healthy as possible. Here are some recommendations of when to keep your child at home:

  • Fever: A fever of 100.5 degrees or more signals an illness that is probably going to make a student uncomfortable and unable to function well in school. Please wait until your student has been fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea: Students should remain home until they have had 24 hours without vomiting or having diarrhea.
  • Rashes accompanied with a fever or with behavioral changes such as being unusually tired or irritable
  • Bad or persistent cough or difficulty breathing.
  • If antibiotics have been prescribed, students need to stay home until they have had either two doses or have been taking them for 24 hours.

If you have any questions about whether you should send your child to school, please contact the health office.
Hearing Screens for 4K and Kindergartners will take place on November 9th and November 23rd. If your child is not in 4K or Kindergarten, and you have hearing concerns, please contact the health office.  


On Wednesday, October 24th, Chavez celebrated its 2nd Annual Unity Day! This was a day in which our entire school community was encouraged to unite for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion and against bullying. Students took part in a short activity to identify ways they could be an ally to others. Students wrote their ideas on strips of orange paper and then the strips were joined together in one very long chain; representing our togetherness as a school community to stop bullying!


Share your ideas about how MMSD can strengthen services and supports for all students with advanced learning needs.
More information can be found at


11/2 Chávez Spirit Day
Fall Dance 6:00-7:30pm
11/5 Benvenuto's (Fitchburg) Fundraiser (all day)
11/6 Trail to Success Family Empowerment Math Fest 5:15-6:45pm
11/7 Picture Retakes 8:30-noon
11/9 Early Release 11:35am (no 4K classes)
11/10 Trail to Success Fundraiser 5:00-7:30 @ Yahara Bay Distillers
11/14 Fall Fundraiser Order Pickup 3:30-6:30pm
11/15 No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences
11/21-23 No School