MMSD Foundations of Leadership Course

MMSD Foundations of Leadership Course

MMSD Foundations of Leadership Course

COURSE PURPOSE2015-16 School Year

This course will serve to enhance and draw out leadership skills and social analysis inherent in students. It seeks to foster in students a better understanding of themselves and their capacity for leadership; to empower youth to become active partners in the collective success of the individual and the community with an emphasis on racial justice, LGBTQ issues and social justice. The successful completion of this course will equip youth with the skills necessary to act as driven student leaders with the ability to create and sustain a safe and just learning environment.

  • The Foundations of Leadership Course is a dynamic course focused on the experiences of students of color. Eligible students are those who will be in grades 9-10 by September 2015who show leadership talent or giftedness from any high school within MMSD.
  • Students are nominated through an application process that looks at students’ already-existing leadership skills, their motivation to further develop their skills, and their capacity to commit to regular program participation. Students must have a nomination form completed and the nomination can come from the student directly, another youth, family member or school staff. Application deadline is June 5, 2015. Final candidates will be announced in Summer 2015.
  • The course will meet weeklywith curriculum that is focused on building leadership skills and is inclusive of racial justice, LGBTQ issues, and social justice. The course will meet Mondays throughout the entire school year 3:15-4:45 at the Red Gym on the UW campus. Course credit will be available (1/4 credit per semester) and transportation options will be offered to all students.
  • While the goals for each year of participation will be different, students have the option of continuing the program throughout their high school career. The focus of each year is as follows: Year 1 – Learning leadership skills and providing initial opportunities to apply those skills. Year 2 - Applying leadership skills through a variety of contexts, including presenting on social justice issues with student clubs. Year 3 - Implementing an intensive leadership project and continuing to apply leadership skills through a variety of contexts. Year 4 - Returning students become mentors for first year students.
  • Adult leadership mentors will provide unique support and coaching to interested students. Mentorship will happen once a month at each student’s school during the school day. Mentors will coach students on identifying personal leadership characteristics, setting growth goals, overcoming obstacles and challenges, and measuring student progress.
  • Foundations of Leadership is a collaborative partnership between the Madison Metropolitan School District and GSAFE. With a collaborative of funders, this project is supported by a Talented/Gifted Grant from the Department of Public Instruction, UW-Madison’s Division of Diversity, Equity, & Educational Achievement, CUNA Mutual Foundation, New Harvest Foundation, Madison Community Fund, and EvjueFoundation.
  • The Common Core State Standard’s for English and Language Arts will be a foundation for this course. Students who take this course will be assigned an independent study course credit for these hours and have it highlighted on their transcripts as a leadership course.

MMSD Foundations of Leadership Course

Student Leadership Nomination Form

Student Name: ______Date: ______

Student ID (if known): ______Current Grade Level: ______

Current School: ______

Name of person completing form: ______Phone: ______

Person completing form is:SelfYouth PeerParent/Family MemberSchool Staff

(please circle one)

What leadership skills do you see in this person? Why are you nominating them?

What interest does this person have in racial justice, LGBTQ issues, and social justice?

Evidence of Student’s leadership skill/expertise

Nominations do not require providing these optional materials. However, your acceptance into the class can be impacted by the materials you do/don’t provide.

Special opportunities that highlight student’s role in leadership (current or past school year)

Organization or Event (school or community) / Outcome or results


Recognition/Awards to highlight (current or past school year)


A recommendation letter can be written by the student, youth peer, parent/family members, or school staff. The recommendation letter can answer the following question: How has the student acted as a leader in the community, school, or other setting?