Welcome to Gillespie Middle School!

The 2023-2024 School Year is almost here, so we wanted to welcome all of our former Jefferson Jaguars, as well as our new Gillespie Grizzlies! 

The Gillespie PTO is ready to continue the forward momentum that we began last year and we would love to have you as part of the team in any way you wish to be involved, as much or as little – click here to let us know! (If you would like to help during the school day while students are present, you must complete the MMSD volunteer process, which can be found HERE.)

One of the ways that the PTO supports our school is through Staff Appreciation. Our teachers work so hard to not only educate, but guide our students and they will be returning to school this week for professional development. We will be providing lunch for our staff and would appreciate any donations from families in order to help fund the meal. You can make a donation here! 

As the start to the 2023-2024 school year nears, we will be working with staff and administration on some fun events, fundraiser and ways for PTO and families to be involved. Below are some dates to remember (and listed on the PTO calendar here) . Stay tuned for more information and welcome to Gillespie Middle School, home of the Grizzlies!

August 21 – Schedules/Bus Information available on Infinite Campus (be patient, changes are still being made)Also view bus schedules here!

August 28 – 6th Grade Orientation 6pm-7pm **Cancelled – see communication from the school HERE

September 1 – First Day of School for 6th Grade ONLY

September 4 – No School, Labor Day

September 5 – First Day of School for 7th & 8th Grade (2nd Day for 6th Grade)

September 22 – Picture Day

7th Grade Mad City Challenge

On Thursday, May 18th and Friday, May 19th, our Jefferson 7th graders will be doing the MAD CITY CHALLENGE!

The Mad City Challenge is similar to the television show The Amazing Race, wherein each group is required to locate and document a previously selected item on display at various locations in and around downtown Madison as well as the UW-Madison campus. As the individual groups follow their self-determined routes throughout downtown, they will visit a number of sites, locate the object(s) as instructed, document their discovery, and then move on to their next location. This is a wonderful and exciting event as the students will have the opportunity to experience downtown Madison and the UW campus in person and on foot for the better part of the day!

The Jefferson PTO is providing lunch to all participants upon their return to the school and we are asking families to help by donating dessert items like cookies, brownies, etc. Your help is greatly appreciated!  

***Drop off in the office that morning or send with your 7th grader to drop in the office.***

Click Here to Sign Up: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C094CA9AA22ABFFC61-7thgrade

New Cell Phone Policy

Highlights of the new policy:

  • Starting after Spring Break, students will be required to keep their cell phone in their locker or to turn it in with a trusted adult at the beginning of the school day.
  • If a student is found with their cell phone during the day, they will be asked to give it to a staff member who will lock it up in a secure location until the end of the school day.
  • If the student does not turn over their cell phone to the initial staff person, another staff person will be called. In this scenario, the cell phone will be secured and parents/guardians will need to pick up the phone at the end of the day. Staff will communicate with families to work out details in these situations.

Please read the entire policy, which is located HERE.

February 2023 Update: Jefferson Middle School Renaming Process

Thomas Jefferson Middle School’s new name may be Ezekiel Gillespie or Maya Angelou. The MMSD Board of Education votes February 27 at the Board Meeting held at Jefferson in the lecture hall at 6:00pm. If you’d like to share feedback with the Board about the final names ahead of this vote, use the form below – Board members would appreciate hearing from you!

The Board’s regular meeting on Feb. 27 will be held in person at Jefferson Middle School. Before the vote, there will be time for public comment at the beginning of the meeting; members of the community can submit written feedback or register to speak – details here.

All information about the Jefferson renaming process can be found here.


March 27th & 28th

Hosted on the UW-Madison Campus

Celebrating its 11th year, Latino Youth Summit is free two-day STEAM and college preparatory program for Latinx 7th and 8th grade students in the Dane County and surrounding areas across the state. Summit participants gather onto UW-Madison’s campus learning about the transition from middle school to high school to college, exploring possible college majors and career paths and learning about the resources available in the Dane County community to continue this exploration beyond the summit. Students attend workshops through a culturally relevant curriculum focusing on learning opportunities with Latinx identities and college admissions pathways.

For more information contact kate.ryan@wisc.edu or visit our website https://precollege.wisc.edu/latino-youth-summit/

Happy New Year 2023!

Welcome back to Jefferson – we hope everyone had a restful, happy winter break! The Jefferson PTO is working on some great things for 2023. Keep an eye on the this page and on our calendar for events and information. If you’d like to help us plan, or simply help out at an event, CLICK HERE!

Jefferson Middle School PTO is a non-profit organization that is run completely on donations and fundraising. We would love your input on how we raise funds:

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Renaming Jefferson Middle School

The Committee has narrowed down the original list of 42 proposals. The four names remaining for consideration are:

Following Board policy, a (virtual) public hearing has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6, 2022. The meeting will be live-streamed via the Board of Education’s YouTube channel. The community is invited to participate in the hearing by submitting written comments or registering to speak. Please note the following time frame:

  • Written comments can be submitted via the Board of Education portal at noon Friday, December 2 through 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6.
  • The registration portal to speak during the hearing will open at noon on Tuesday, December 6, and will close at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6.

The Ad Hoc Committee will meet immediately following the public hearing. At that time, they will determine which name(s) to forward to the Board of Education. The Board will receive the names at the January 9, 2023 Instruction Work Group meeting. The Board may vote on the renaming as soon as the January 30, 2023 Regular meeting. At both of these Board meetings, there will be time for public comment where the community can submit written feedback or register to speak.

Additionally, public input/comments can be given at any time to the committee via the Jefferson Renaming webpage (scroll to the bottom of the page).