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Thoreau Elementary

We have a diverse student population of 450 students with 22 home languages spoken by our families. Thoreau is a contemporary building tucked into a hillside of oak trees located on the west side of Madison.

Welcome to Thoreau Elementary

A child-centered school.

Thoreau is a wonderfully diverse learning community that provides inclusive schooling for all. The staff is energetic and provide a safe, supportive learning environment. We will be using flexible grouping and students may go to other classrooms for certain subjects. We’re committed to providing an excellent academic program within a culturally relevant curriculum where students are active participants in the learning process.

What Makes Thoreau Elementary Unique

Ensuring that everyone feels they belong.

  • We take a multilingual approach to learn world languages by using each of the languages to create project based learning. This helps us learn about each other’s culture and language, which helps us understand about our wonderful differences.
  • Students spend 120 minutes each day in a literacy block using the workshop model as their temple. Infused into this literacy learning is the study of academic language in order for students to learn what words mean to make sense of their reading.
  • Scholar Circles of 10 students has a staff facilitator that stays with them their entire career at Thoreau and meet monthly.
  • We have the highest percentage of African American students who feel they belong at their school.
  • After school groups offer foreign language, drama, math, and problem-solving. Fifth-grade students have the opportunity to participate in the strings program.
  • K-3rd-grade classes are kept at 15-18 students.


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Get In Touch

Contact Thoreau Elementary

Thoreau Elementary
3870 Nakoma Road
Madison WI 53711

Office: (608) 204-6940

Thoreau Elementary Alumni

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Meet Our Adopt-a-School Sponsors

Bodden Insurance Agency


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Through the Foundation’s Adopt-a-School program, Madison’s public schools are “adopted” by a local business, organization, or government agency, forming mutually enriching partnerships.

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