District 196 middle school students have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of subject areas through curricula designed to meet the needs of middle-level learners. The core curriculum for middle school students is closely aligned with state standards and includes math, science, social studies, and English-Language Arts. Students also study in a variety of elective areas beyond the core content areas, which are also aligned to state and national standards. All curriculum is reviewed regularly through a district-wide curricular review process. We are committed to providing middle school students with the support they need to see the infinite possibilities that await them in high school and beyond.
The District 196 middle school computer science curriculum also includes app development and robotics connections. Please visit your middle school website for information specific to your child’s school and courses.
We believe that literacy is thinking, and we strive to support the growth of our students as lifelong learners and critical thinkers. We are committed to building strong foundations in literacy for all of our learners through responsive instruction and early intervention while providing opportunities for choice, voice, and inquiry.
An effective language arts program supports learners in developing strategic actions in order to make meaning while engaging with a wide variety of texts, multiple perspectives and cultures, and collaborative learning experiences.
Our instructional units are grounded in the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in English Language Arts concentrating on literature, informational text, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, media literacy and language.
We believe language arts instructional practices should foster the joy of literacy while being responsive to the cultures, language, and experiences that learners bring to the classroom community.
Family and Consumer Science (FACS)
We believe that FACS education builds students’ twenty-first century skills, including problem-solving and decision-making. The needs of learners are met through experiential learning opportunities that have real-life applications and align with core instruction and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives. FACS education supports college and career readiness skills by exploring career possibilities and emphasizing positive work ethics. FACS education strengthens relationship and communications skills enabling students to be productive members of family and society.
Connecting mathematical experiences to the world around them, children are challenged to become increasingly sophisticated in dealing with mathematical concepts. The mathematics curriculum builds on students’ math understanding, skills, and proficiency at each grade level, as appropriate, by integrating concepts such as number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability. Students also engage in problem solving, reasoning, and communicating ideas while making connections to the world around them.
Performing Arts - Instrumental Music
Our instrumental music curriculum is a critical component of our performing arts program that contributes to the lifelong development of the whole student – intellectual, physical, social, and emotional. Instrumental music provides sequential experiences in creating, analyzing, and performing that are an integral component of a quality, comprehensive education. Instrumental music gives students the opportunity to develop their own creative potential while exploring world cultures and one another’s diverse backgrounds. Instrumental music serves as an important form of communication that reflects and affects society, culture, and history.
Performing Arts - Vocal Music
Our vocal music curriculum is a critical component of our performing arts program that contributes to the lifelong development of the whole student – intellectual, physical, social, and emotional. Vocal music provides sequential experiences in creating, analyzing, and performing that are an integral component of a quality, comprehensive education. Vocal music gives students the opportunity to develop their own creative potential while exploring world cultures and one another’s diverse backgrounds. Vocal music serves as an important form of communication that reflects and affects society, culture, and history.
We believe that physical education is an integral component of a student’s education. Our physical education curriculum is designed to contribute to the lifelong development of the student by providing opportunities that positively impact and increase the intellectual, social, emotional and physical fitness of the student. It enhances social development by emphasizing personal achievement, character, and integrity through individual and team activities and sports. Physical education promotes respect for the uniqueness and dignity of self and others through physical activities.
Science is the active study of the natural and man-made world, including processes, structures, designs, and systems. Science students use their senses and tools to observe, record and analyze data about the world and make conclusions based on evidence. Scientifically literate young people can understand basic science concepts, use skills for doing scientific investigations, solve technical problems, and design technologies for today’s world. – Minnesota Department of Education
We are committed to developing future citizens who are informed and able to contribute to our democratic system. The social studies curriculum provides the opportunity for each student to acquire knowledge; gain a deeper appreciation of the commonalities and the diversity which makes our national and world societies culturally unique, and develop skills necessary for responsible social, political and economic participation in a diverse, interdependent and changing world. A variety of integrated experiences drawing on such disciplines as history, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology and anthropology enables students to function effectively and contribute constructively within society.
Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing
We believe technology, engineering, and manufacturing are essential life skills for all students so they may confidently use, manage, assess, and understand technology. Technology, engineering, and manufacturing education provides the fundamental knowledge and technical skills students will need to participate in society. It enhances the opportunities for students to develop college and career readiness skills with direct and significant employment opportunities. Technology, engineering, and manufacturing education develops an understanding of how technology is changing the human-made world and the natural environment and develops students’ pride in accomplishments that benefit personal, community, and global quality of life.
Our visual arts curriculum makes valuable connections to the individual, to society, and to culture. The growing complexity of our contemporary culture requires of every individual a capacity for visual analysis and critique. In the production and in the contemplation of artworks, we are helped to understand ourselves and the world around us. Learning through the visual arts develops creative problem-solving skills as students face problems which often have multiple solutions. Art brings individuals together to share feelings, beliefs and values and develop a sense of community.
We believe the study of world languages provides students is an important part of a comprehensive education and provides students with the worldwide perspective necessary to become global citizens. High-quality language learning uses of a variety of technologies that expose students to resources aimed at developing their listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural awareness skills. Language learning is interdisciplinary by nature and supports success in other academic areas. Learning another language increases awareness of other cultures, promotes creativity and critical thinking skills, and fosters the learner’s overall development and growth. The study of world languages enhances personal enrichment and increases opportunities in education and employment.