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MADISON, Wis. - Local education groups and leaders will be holding meetings to discuss the most effective ways that Madison can help families work with providers, schools and the local government for the well-being of children, according to a release.

Madison is one of 14 cities selected by the National League of Cities to partner with the U.S. Department of Education to hold community conversations with educators, parents and community leaders, according to the release.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the city and the school district to partner with the U.S. Department of Education,” Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said in the release. “The expertise of the federal staffers, combined with the real life experience of our families, community leaders and educators can really be an asset as we work together to provide a more productive and healthy out-of-school experience for Madison’s children.”

Soglin said the community already has a lot of ideas, but the forums will help channel those ideas.

“We know that families are essential partners in our students’ success,” MMSD Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said in the release. “As a district, we are working hard to define authentic family engagement through district-wide standards and to give our schools the resources to make it a reality.”

The conservations will focus on Madison families’ engagement with out-of-school time so that all of Madison’s children and youth have access to comprehensive, high-quality out-of-school-time programs that support positive youth development, educational achievement and career and community readiness, officials said.

National, city school leaders to focus on out-of-school-time programs Monday, March 10 2014, 07:50 PM CDT

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