School Board Policy 604 - Instructional Curriculum 

Adopted: September 8, 1997
Revised: January 10, 2011
revised: March 11, 2013
revised: February 10, 2014
revised: June 8, 2020
Revised: June 12, 2023
Revised: September 11, 2023

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide for the development of course offerings for students.

II. General Statement of Policy

A. Instruction must be provided in at least the following subject areas:

1. basic communication skills including reading, writing, literature, and fine arts;

2. mathematics and science;

3. social studies, including history, geography, economics, government, and citizenship, that includes civics;

4. health and physical education;

5. the arts;

6. career and technical education; and

7. world languages.

B. The basic instructional program shall include courses required for each grade level by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and all courses required in all elective subject areas. The instructional approach will be gender neutral and multicultural.

C. Public elementary and middle schools must offer at least three and require at least two, of the following four art areas:  dance, music, theater, and visual arts. High schools shall offer at least three, and require at least one, of the following five art areas: media arts, dance, music, theater, and visual arts.

D. The school district must establish and regularly review its own standards for career and technical education (CTE) programs. Standards must align with CTE frameworks developed by the Department of Education, standards developed by national CTE organizations, or recognized industry standards.

E. The School Board, at its discretion, may offer additional courses in the instructional program at any grade level.

F. Each instructional program shall be planned for optimal benefit taking into consideration the financial condition of the school district and other relevant factors. Each program plan should contain goals and objectives, materials, minimum student competency levels, and methods for student evaluation.

G. The Superintendent shall have discretionary authority to develop guidelines and directives to implement School Board policy relating to instructional curriculum.

H. The school district or charter school may not discriminate against or discipline a teacher or principal on the basis of incorporating into curriculum contributions of persons in a federally protected class or state protected class when the included contribution is in alignment with standards and benchmarks adopted under Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.021 and 120B.023.

III. Required Academic Standards

A. The following subject areas are required for statewide accountability:

1. language arts;

2. mathematics, encompassing algebra II, integrated mathematics III, or an equivalent in high school, and to be prepared for the three credits of mathematics in grades 9 through 12, the grade 8 standards include the completion of algebra;

3. science, including earth and space science, life science, and the physical sciences, including chemistry and physics;

4. social studies, including history, geography, economics, and government and citizenship that includes civics;

5. physical education;

6. health, for which locally developed academic standards apply; and

7. the arts.

B. Elementary and middle schools must offer at least three and require at least two of the following five arts areas: dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts.  High schools must offer at least three and require at least one of the following five arts areas: media arts, dance, music, theater, and visual arts.

IV. Parental Curriculum Review

The school district shall have a procedure for a parent, guardian, or an adult student, 18 years of age or older, to review the content of the instructional materials to be provided to a minor child or to an adult student and, if the parent, guardian, or adult student objects to the content, to make reasonable arrangements with school personnel for alternative instruction. Alternative instruction may be provided by the parent, guardian, or adult student if the alternative instruction, if any, offered by the School Board does not meet the concerns of the parent, guardian, or adult student. The School Board is not required to pay for the costs of alternative instruction provided by a parent, guardian, or adult student. School personnel may not impose an academic or other penalty upon a student merely for arranging alternative instruction under this section. School personnel may evaluate and assess the quality of the student's work.

V. CPR And AED Instruction

The school district will provide at least one unit in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automatic external defibrillator (AED) procedures as part of its grade 7 to 12 curriculum.

A. At the school district’s discretion, training and instruction may result in CPR certification.

B. CPR and AED instruction must include CPR and AED training that have been developed:

1. by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, and incorporate psychomotor skills to support the instruction; or

2. using nationally recognized, evidence-based guidelines for CPR and incorporate psychomotor skills to support the instruction. “Psychomotor skills” means hands-on practice to support cognitive learning; it does not mean cognitive-only instruction and training.

C. The school district may use community members such as emergency medical technicians, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, and representatives of the Minnesota Resuscitation Consortium, the American Heart Association, or the American Red Cross, among others, to provide instruction and training.

D. A school administrator may waive this curriculum requirement for a high school transfer student regardless of whether or not the student previously received instruction under this section, an enrolled student absent on the day the instruction occurred under this section, or an eligible student who has a disability.

VI. College and Career Planning

A. The school district shall assist all students by no later than grade 9 to explore their educational college and career interests, aptitudes, and aspirations, and develop a plan for a smooth and successful transition to postsecondary education or employment. All students’ plans must:

1. provide a comprehensive plan to prepare for and complete career and college-ready curriculum by meeting state and local academic standards and developing career and employment-related skills;

2. provide educational experiences designed to develop skills defined by the following learned attributes: fundamental learning, flexible and critical thinking, community engagement, character, communication, and teamwork;

3. emphasize academic rigor and high expectations and inform the student and the student’s parent or guardian, if the student is a minor, of the student’s achievement level score on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments that are administered during high school;

4. help students identify interests, aptitudes, aspirations, and personal learning styles that may affect their career and college-ready goals and postsecondary education and employment choices;

5. set appropriate career and college-ready goals with timelines that identify effective means for achieving those goals;

6. help students access education and career options;

7. integrate strong academic content into career-focused courses and applied and experiential learning opportunities and integrate relevant career-focused courses and applied and experiential learning opportunities into strong academic content;

8. help identify and access appropriate counseling and other supports and assistance that enable students to complete required coursework, prepare for postsecondary education and careers, and obtain information about postsecondary education costs and eligibility for financial aid and scholarship;

9. help identify collaborative partnerships among pre-kindergarten through grade 12 schools, postsecondary institutions, economic development agencies, and local and regional employers that support students’ transitions to postsecondary education and employment and provide students with applied and experiential learning opportunities; and

10. be reviewed and revised at least annually by the student, the student’s parent or guardian, and the school district to ensure that the student’s course-taking schedule keeps the student making adequate progress to meet state and local academic standards and high school graduation requirements and with a reasonable chance to succeed with employment or postsecondary education without the need to first complete remedial coursework.

B. The school district may develop grade-level curricula or provide instruction that introduces students to various careers, but must not require any curriculum, instruction, or employment-related activity that obligates an elementary or secondary student to involuntarily select a career, career interest, employment goals, or related job training. 

C. Educators must possess the knowledge and skills to effectively teach all English learners in their classrooms. School districts must provide appropriate curriculum, targeted materials, professional development opportunities for educators, and sufficient resources to enable English learners to become career and college ready. 

D. When assisting students in developing a plan for a smooth and successful transition to postsecondary education and employment, school districts must recognize the unique possibilities of each student and ensure that the contents of each student’s plan reflect the student’s unique talents, skills, and abilities as the student grows, develops, and learns.

E. If a student with a disability has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or standardized written plan that meets the plan components herein, the IEP satisfies the requirement, and no additional transition plan is needed.

F. Students who do not meet or exceed the Minnesota Academic Standards, as measured by the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments that are administered during high school, shall be informed that admission to a public school is free and available to any resident under 21 years of age or who meets the requirements of the compulsory attendance law. A student’s plan under this provision shall continue while a student is enrolled.

Legal References:
Minn. Stat. § 120A.22 (Compulsory Instruction)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.021 (Required Academic Standards)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.022 (Elective Standards)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.023 (Benchmarks Implement, Supplement Statewide Academic Standards)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.101 (Curriculum)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.125 (Planning for Students’ Successful Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment; Personal Learning Plans)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.20 (Parental Curriculum Review)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.234 (Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Education)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.236 (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Automatic External Defibrillator Instruction)

Cross References:
WBLASB Policy 603 (Curriculum Development)
WBLASB Policy 605 (Alternative Programs)