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Academic Standards

What are academic standards?

The District’s academic standards identify what students should know and be able to do within a given content area or subject. Standards serve as goals and guideposts for both classroom instruction and student learning. The standards also help parents and students gain a better understanding of the District’s expectations for student learning.

Academic standards provide a critical foundation and framework for the District’s sequential curriculum plans and for the District’s student assessments in each content area. However, the standards are not an actual classroom curriculum. The curriculum that the District’s schools implement in the various content areas remains flexible and adaptable, and there are many different instructional techniques and activities that could all be consistent with the District’s academic standards. Stated another way, academic standards attempt to identify and focus on the most essential and fundamental aspects of student learning, but they do not attempt to describe all that can or should be taught. A great deal is left to the discretion of curriculum developers and teachers. In addition, the District’s adoption and use of academic standards should not be confused with standardized testing of students. While the District implements various state and federal testing mandates and also implements various locally-selected student assessments, the District’s academic standards do not mandate the use of any specific standardized test or assessment.

Why does the District have academic standards?

State law requires all school districts, charter schools, and certain private schools to adopt academic standards in mathematics, science, reading and writing, geography, and history. In addition, the School Board and the District’s administrative team believe that identifying and implementing a set of District-wide academic standards in various content areas is highly beneficial to staff, students, and parents.

What are the academic standards that will be in effect during this school year?

State law requires the District to provide the parents and guardians of all enrolled students with notice of the academic standards in mathematics, science, reading and writing, geography, and history that have been adopted by the School Board and that will be in effect during each school year. Accordingly, the District academic standards that will be in effect in these specific content areas for this school year are listed below. Electronic links to the detailed version of the applicable standards are provided when available. 


Content Area / Subject The District’s Student Academic Standards
English Language Arts (includes reading
and writing)

The District has adopted the Wisconsin Standards for English Language Arts, based on Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. 

View a complete copy of these standards.


The District has adopted the Wisconsin Standards for Math, based on Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. 

View a complete copy of these standards


The District has adopted the Wisconsin Standards for Science, aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.

View a complete copy of the WSS and NGSS standards.

Social Studies (includes geography and history)

The District has adopted the Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies. The five strands of the social studies standards encompass history, geography, behavioral science, economics, and political science along with an overarching inquiry arc across all of the strands.

View a complete copy of these standards.


Has the District selected and implemented academic standards in other content areas?

All subject areas have academic standards that guide their curriculum and lesson development.  Wisconsin Model Academic Standards comprise the basis for all course content, except in English/Language Arts and Mathematics where CCSS are in place. View the full list of Wisconsin Model Academic Standards.

How do the District’s academic standards apply to the learning goals and expectations for students who have exceptional educational needs and interests, such as students with disabilities, English language learners, and gifted students?

Students’ unique learning needs are carefully considered and addressed by teachers primarily through differentiated instruction at the classroom level. Teachers gather information on and use student readiness, interest, and learning profile when developing lessons. Instruction incorporates specific strategies that meet the needs of students and are based on the curriculum being presented.  On-going assessment allows teachers to adjust instruction in response to student needs.  Additionally, specialized support teachers are able to work with students, with faculty, and with families on setting appropriate learning goals, accommodations, and modifications when necessary for students who have exceptional educational needs.

Who can I contact for more information about the District’s academic standards?

If you have any questions about this notice or would like to review a copy of the standards in an alternative format, please contact: Lisa Heipp, Director of Instruction for Monona Grove School District at (608) 316-1921.

This notice is issued pursuant to section 120.12(13) of the state statutes.