November 16th, 2018
Cherokee Heights Chatter

Hello Cherokee Heights friends and families,

The past few weeks have been nothing short of inspiring for so many reason. To begin, our State Superintendent for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Dr. Tony Evers, was elected the next Governor of our state, which carries the potential for elevating public education to a top priority area in the years ahead. 

We’ve also had the release of our State Report Card, which affirmed our work, moving from a school categorized as under-performing in years’ past, into a ranking of “Meets Expectations” at this time.

In addition, we were pleased to see so many of you at Parent-Teacher conferences this week, learning about your student’s demonstrated strength areas and strengths to strive for in the future. We look forward to seeing many more of you this coming Tuesday evening as well, and send an extra large shout out to our PTO, and particularly Suzanne Stute, for coordinating nourishment for our staff with yummy treats and dinner delights.

And lastly, it is with bittersweet news that I announce a change in staffing for a member of our school staff team. This year, we have worked to continuously problem solve around student needs in our sixth grade classes. At this point, in order to best serve our 6th grade students, and especially our students with disabilities, we will be shifting the role of Dean of Students to a Cross-Categorical Special Education teacher, to work largely with the 6th grade team. This change will take effect this coming Monday, November 18th. While we will miss the support on our student services team, we are confident that this change will fulfill a great need for the benefit of our whole building.

I wish you the best with your families and loved ones over the upcoming Thanksgiving break. Stay safe and warm, and as always, if you ever have questions, feel free to contact me directly at or (608)204-1241.

Dr. Sarah Chaja-Clardy,
Cherokee Heights students participate in Restorative Justice Youth Summit with international leaders Fania Davis and Eric Butler. The summit invited youth from middle school to high school to reflect on their leadership to strengthen community and repair harm.

Summary of the event written by Student Maddie Scheer - The YWCA workshop with Eric Butler, was a great experience. I am very grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Bill gave us. The focus of the workshop was how youth can help other youth in schools. It was comprised of both students from middle and high school from all over Dane County. We had a long discussion on what our values are and what we want a person to have to navigate successfully through life. We then looked at a time when someone had been harmed in school and one time they had done harmed. This was to see what would have been helpful to prevent the harm. You could see a clear correlation between our values and our needs. From there, we split into groups and discussed what issues within our schools. We looked at what was needed to be done in order to solve these problems. After we figured out what we necessary to take into action, we looked at how we could get students and/or teachers involved these solutions. Overall, the workshop was an amazing experience. There were a variety of ages, and the attending adults did an exceptional job to make sure the students there feel like their voices of opinions matter.
Important Events and Dates
Important November Dates:
Nov. 19 - Full Day of School
Nov. 20 - Evening P/T Conferences
Nov. 21- 23 - NO SCHOOL for students Thanksgiving Holiday
Nov. 26 - Early Release Day for Students
Nov. 30 - 7th & 8th Gr. DLI Field Trip to UW Campus/Capitol

After-school club opportunity- Please follow this link to learn more MathCounts

Dress Code: Bandanas and Hats Clarification -  MMSD Board Policy states that s tudents may dress in any style they desire as long as their chosen attire does not cause a disruption or distraction in the school environment, reveal intimate body parts or pose a safety risk to the student or others. Bandanas are not specified - only hats are stated as not to be worn in school. Questions have arisen in regards to bandanas, so here is our CHMS clarification-- Students may wear folded bandanas on their head as long as they are not red or blue (these colors have known gang affiliation) and do not cause a disruption or distraction to the school environment.   Students are not allowed to wear hats in the school building at any time. For more information on MMSD's policy,  click here

CHMS School Start Time Communication and FAQs- School Start/Dismissal Times Changing

Securly - Cherokee Heights has a new software program to help with maintaining the security of students on their Chromebooks. If you were unable to attend the Securly parent informational meeting please see the slide shows attached below.

PBIS Update- Positive Behaviors at Cherokee Heights are happening all the time! We have a new system this year of teaching, recognizing and celebrating positive behaviors. Using our data, we have focused on: tardies, hallways, classroom behaviors and positive interactions with peers. Together we are defining The Cougar Way. All of this will help us build positive community. Each month we emphasize different social and emotional standards. For the month of November the focus will be Respecting Others and Their Perspectives. We will kick off this theme with all students participating in a restorative justice circle led by trained student circle keepers and completing lessons on understanding different perspectives. If you have any questions about The Cougar Way and our social emotional learning please contact Elizabeth Hardy at 608 204-1335

Message from our Social Worker- With the upcoming holidays, there are opportunities to receive food for Thanksgiving and gifts for the winter holidays. If you and your family are interested, please contact school social worker, Abby Juzwik, at 204-1276 for more information! 

Message from our Counselor- The University of Wisconsin – Madison’s PEOPLE Program is a college prep scholarship program designed for students of color and low-income students, most of whom are the first in their families to potentially attend college. Their journey prepares them to be a viable college candidate, apply for admission to, and enroll at the University of Wisconsin System institutions, with an emphasis on University of Wisconsin-Madison. PEOPLE provides college prep services by providing programming and opportunities for growth in four areas;
  • Build and Master Academic Knowledge
  • Build Cognitive Skills and Strategies
  • Build Self-Management Skills
  • Build Knowledge about College through Experiential Learning

PEOPLE will be recruiting 8 th  grade students in the Madison Metropolitan School District this year!
Online Applications will open in January 2019. There will be two recruitment sessions scheduled for prospective families to attend and learn more about the program and the time commitment it requires. Please see the information listed below for date, time and location:
  • December 10th at La Follette High School, 5:30 p.m.
  • December 11th at Memorial High School, 5:30 p.m.

Parents can contact the school counselor for more information, Nehemirah Barrett, at 608-204-1269.

Quilts for Sale - Hanging along the UA corridor represents hours of work in quilt making by our own Cougarcitos! These are the first machine sewing projects of most of the students who made them. The quilts were made as group projects in Wellness to acquire sewing skills and to do community service. Families, friends and staff can purchase quilts from Ms. Jo Jensen, in room 112, before or after school. She will take it down for you and collect the money. Please make checks payable to CHMS and write “quilts” on the memo line. The quilts will be up through Parent/Teacher conferences. The money made from this sale will enable the Wellness program to replace materials like scissors, needles and pins, thread, batting other sewing supplies, and supplies for food labs. Thank you very much for your support!

CHMS Food Pantry - Is up and running and stocked with both canned and fresh foods free of charge for families with students at Cherokee Heights Middle School. 
Parents and students can come to the pantry the following times to pick out groceries to take home:
Tuesday afternoons 2-4 pm
Wednesday afternoons 2-5 pm
Parents can come to the pantry to get groceries and food to take home:
Friday mornings 7:30 – 9:30 am

The pantry is located in the main hallway near the technology classrooms and requires anyone using it to sign in at the main office for identification. If you have any questions, or you would like to request specific items, please contact our school social worker, Abby Juzwik, at
Hello Cherokee Heights Families and Friends!

General Information :
  • MSCR Cherokee After-School programming is a drop-in program that runs Monday through Thursday from the time school dismisses until 5:15pm.
  • News and updates will come out in the school bi-weekly Chatter. Please read the Chatter every two weeks to keep updated with events and changes that may occur.
Bus Schedule:
  • Monday-Thursday: The 5:10 bus takes students to all Cherokee districting neighborhoods. 
  • Tuesday-Thursday:  There will be a 4:10 bus that will only take students who live in the following neighborhoods - Leopold, Burr Oaks and Arboretum.
  • Parents are always able to pick up their student early. Due to the school doors being locked, please call the MSCR Site Cell Phone at 608-220-9054.

November Programming:
  • Boys Basketball: M-Th, 2:50-4:10 on practice days/2:50-5:00 on game days -- open to only 7th and 8th graders.
  • 5 K Beasts (5K), M, Tu, Th 2:45-4:00, is a club for experienced runners who are capable of running 3.1 miles without stopping at a medium to fast running pace. Contact Kelly McCarthy at for more info.
  • There is no programming on November 19th - 23rd, and 27th.

Specialty Clubs:
  • Girls Climb It All, Mondays (1:50-2:50) *6th Grade only
  • GSA, Tuesdays (2:50-5:00)
  • Girls Group, Tuesdays (2:50-4:00)
  • 3D Print Club, Tuesdays (2:50-4:00)
  • French Club, Wednesdays (2:50-4:00)
  • Debate Club, Wednesdays (2:50-4:00)
  • Cougar Pride Club, Wednesdays (2:50-3:50)
  • FX Club, Wednesdays (2:50-4:15) *Starts 11/29
  • Art Club, Thursdays 2:50-5:00)
  • Harry Potter Club, Thursdays (2:45-3:30)
  • Tennis Club, Fridays (3:20-4:30)
  • MathCounts Club, Tuesdays (2:45-3:45)

The Schools of Hope Tutoring is through the Urban League of Greater Madison. The focus on this program is to help close the education gap. Tutoring is in math and literacy only. There is a high need of tutor support in Cherokee but a limited amount of tutors. Please apply with the understanding that your student may or may not get a tutor due to this circumstance. 
Important links
Cherokee Heights Middle School
Phone 608-204-1240