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Austin Public Schools

Policy 601 - School District Curriculum and Instruction Goals

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[Note: Minn. Stat. § 120B.11 requires school districts to adopt a comprehensive long-term strategic plan that addresses the review of curriculum, instruction, student achievement, and assessment. MSBA/MASA Model Policies 601, 603, and 616 address these statutory requirements. In addition, MSBA/MASA Model Policies 613-615 and 617-620 provide procedures to further implement the requirements of Minn. Stat. § 120B.11.]


The purpose of this policy is to establish broad curriculum parameters for the school district that encompass the Minnesota Graduation Standards and the federal No Child Left Behind Act and are aligned with creating the world’s best workforce.


The policy of the school district is to establish the “world’s best workforce” in which all learning in the school district should be directed and for which all school district learners should be held accountable.


  • “Academic standard” means a summary description of student learning in a required content area or elective content area.
  • “Benchmark” means specific knowledge or skill that a student must master to complete part of an academic standard by the end of the grade level or grade band.
  • “Curriculum” means district or school adopted programs and written plans for providing students with learning experiences that lead to expected knowledge, skills, and career and college readiness.
  • “Instruction” means methods of providing learning experiences that enable students to meet state and district academic standards and graduation requirements.
  • “Performance measures” are measures to determine school district and school site progress in striving to create the world’s best workforce and must include at least the following:
    • student performance on the National Association of Education Progress;
    • the size of the academic achievement gap by student subgroup;
    • student performance on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments;
    • high school graduation rates; and
    • career and college readiness under Minn. Stat. § 120B.30, Subd. 1.
  • “World’s best workforce” means striving to: meet school readiness goals; have all third grade students achieve grade-level literacy; close the academic achievement gap among all racial and ethnic groups of students and between students living in poverty and students not living in poverty; have all students attain career and college readiness before graduating from high school; and have all students graduate from high school.


  • The school board, at a public meeting, shall adopt a comprehensive, long-term strategic plan to support and improve teaching and learning that is aligned with creating the world’s best workforce and includes the following:
    • clearly defined school district and school site goals and benchmarks for instruction and student achievement for all nine student categories identified under the federal 2001 No Child Left Behind Act and two student gender categories of male and female;
    • a process for assessing and evaluating each student’s progress toward meeting state and local academic standards and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of instruction in pursuit of student and school success and curriculum affecting students’ progress and growth toward career and college readiness and leading to the world’s best workforce;
    • a system to periodically review and evaluate the effectiveness of all instruction and curriculum, taking into account strategies and best practices, student outcomes, principal evaluations under Minn. Stat. § 123B.147, Subd. 3, and teacher evaluations under Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subd. 8, or 122A.41, Subd. 5;
    • strategies for improving instruction, curriculum, and student achievement;
    • education effectiveness practices that integrate high-quality instruction, rigorous curriculum, technology, and a collaborative professional culture that develops and supports teacher quality, performance, and effectiveness; and;
    • an annual budget for continuing to implement the school district plan.
  • School district site and school site goals shall include the following:
    • All students will be required to demonstrate essential skills to effectively participate in lifelong learning.* These skills include the following:

      [*Note: The criteria for acceptable performance in basic skills areas may need to be modified for students with unique learning needs. These modifications will be reflected in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Rehabilitation Act Section 504 Accommodation plan.]
      • reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing in the English language;
      • mathematical and scientific concepts;
      • locating, organizing, communicating, and evaluating information and developing methods of inquiry (i.e., problem solving);
      • creative and critical thinking, decision making, and study skills;
      • work readiness skills;
      • global and cultural understanding.
    • Each student will have the opportunity and will be expected to develop and apply essential knowledge that enables that student to:
      • live as a responsible, productive citizen and consumer within local, state, national, and global political, social, and economic systems;
      • bring many perspectives, including historical, to contemporary issues;
      • develop an appreciation and respect for democratic institutions;
      • communicate and relate effectively in languages and with cultures other than the student’s own;
      • practice stewardship of the land, natural resources, and environment;
      • use a variety of tools and technology to gather and use information, enhance learning, solve problems, and increase human productivity.
    • Students will have the opportunity to develop creativity and self-expression through visual and verbal images, music, literature, world languages, movement, and the performing arts.
    • School practices and instruction will be directed toward developing within each student a positive self-image and a sense of personal responsibility for:
      • establishing and achieving personal and career goals;
      • adapting to change;
      • leading a healthy and fulfilling life, both physically and mentally;
      • living a life that will contribute to the well-being of society;
      • becoming a self-directed learner;
      • exercising ethical behavior.
    • Students will be given the opportunity to acquire human relations skills necessary to:
      • appreciate, understand, and accept human diversity and interdependence;
      • address human problems through team effort;
      • resolve conflicts with and among others;
      • function constructively within a family unit;
      • promote a multicultural, gender-fair, disability-sensitive society.

Legal References:

  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.018 (Definitions)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.02 (Educational Expectations for Minnesota Students)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.11 (School District Process)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.30, Subd. 1 (Statewide Testing and Reporting System)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.35, Subd. 3 (Student Academic Achievement and Growth)
  • Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subd. 8 (Employment; Contracts; Termination)
  • Minn. Stat. § 122A.41, Subd. 5 (Teacher Tenure Act; Cities of the First Class; Definitions)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123B.147, Subd. 3 (Principals)
  • 20 U.S.C. § 5801, et seq. (National Education Goals 2000)
  • 20 U.S.C. § 6301, et seq. (No Child Left Behind Act)

Cross References:

  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 104 (School District Mission Statement)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 613 (Graduation Requirements)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 614 (School District Testing Plan and Procedure)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 615 (Testing Accommodations, Modifications, and Exemptions for IEPs, Section 504 Plans, and LEP Students)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 616 (School District System Accountability)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 618 (Assessment of Student Achievement)

Policy Adopted: 6/12/06
Revised Policy Approved: 4/14/14
Policy Reviewed: 1/11/16