Middle School Curriculum

Our middle schools challenge our students to become: 

  • inquiring, lifelong learners with the skills to succeed in the interconnected world of the 21st century
  • engaged citizens who take action in their local, national, and global communities
  • compassionate, respectful, and persevering young people

Within a caring environment that supports students' academic, social, and emotional needs, students are challenged to see the connections between learning and the world around them.

For more information about middle schools and their curricula, call the Office of Teaching and Learning at (651) 407-7568.

Overview of Middle School Curriculum

We strive to achieve our mission through a rigorous curriculum that adheres to the Minnesota Academic Standards. Click on the subject areas below for more information on specific academic standards.

Arts (Music and Visual Arts)

"Artistic literacy is a combination of foundational knowledge and skills in an art form with the ability to work in four processes fundamental to the arts: Creating, Responding, Performing/Presenting, and Connecting. The Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in the Arts include five arts areas: dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts."

For more detail, view the Minnesota Department of Education, K-12 Arts Standards curriculum page. 

Design (Project Lead the Way Pre-Engineering Courses)

The Gateway To Technology® (GTT) cutting-edge program is part of the nationally adopted Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum. This program addresses the interest and energy of middle school students while incorporating national standards in mathematics, science, and technology. GTT is “activity oriented” to show students how technology is used in engineering to solve everyday problems in units of study. There are currently five instructional units that excite and motivate students to use their imaginations and teach them to be creative and innovative, while gaining the skills they need to develop, produce, and use products and services. 

For more detail, view the Minnesota Department of Education, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum page. 

English Language Arts

The ability to communicate and understand language is critical to every aspect of students’ lives and their future college and career readiness. The ELA standards include reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, media literacy, and language.  

The standards also cover Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects and require that students learn to read and write across disciplines. 

For more detail, view the Minnesota Department of Education, K-12 English Language Arts (ELA) Standards curriculum page.  

Family & Consumer Science

The Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) National Standards are based on knowledge and skills needed for home/personal and family life as well as those needed to succeed in related careers. The standards develop the context for many of the individual career areas within Family and Consumer Sciences Education (e.g. dietetics, early childhood, parenting and child development, and interior design)

For more detail, view the Family and Consumer Sciences National Standards webpage.  

Health

"The purpose of health education is to positively influence the health behavior of individuals and communities as well as the living and working conditions that influence their health. Health education improves the health status of individuals, families, communities, states, and the nation."

"The Minnesota Department of Education recommends that districts utilize the National Health Education Standards (NHES). These standards establish, promote and support health-enhancing behaviors for students in all grade levels, K-12. The NHES are behavior based, with health education content integrated across each standard."

-Minnesota Department of Education 

For more detail, view the Minnesota Department of Education, K-12 Health and Physical Education curriculum page.  

Math

"Mathematics is a discipline whose basic ingredients are numbers, shapes, and algebraic relationships. Logical reasoning is used to study the properties of these objects and develop connections between them. The results can be used to understand and analyze a vast array of phenomena arising in all of the sciences, engineering and everyday life."

-Minnesota Department of Education 

For more detail, view the Minnesota Department of Education, K-12 Mathematics Standards curriculum page.  

Physical Education

"The goal of physical education is to develop physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. To pursue a lifetime of healthful physical activity, a physically literate individual:

  • Has learned the skills necessary to participate in a variety of physical activities;
  • Knows the implications and the benefits of involvement in various types of physical activities;
  • Participates regularly in physical activity;
  • Is physically fit;
  • Values physical activity and its contributions to a healthful lifestyle."

-Minnesota Department of Education 

For more detail, view the Minnesota Department of Education, K-12 Health and Physical Education curriculum page. 

Sciences

"Science is the active study of the natural and human-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

For more detail, view the Minnesota Department of Education, K-12 Science Standards curriculum page. 

Social Studies

"Social Studies is the interdisciplinary study of citizenship and government, economics, geography, history, and other disciplines in the social sciences and humanities in which students develop the content, concepts, skills, and dispositions necessary to be informed and engaged citizens in the contemporary world."

-Minnesota Department of Education

For more detail, view the Minnesota Department of Education, K-12 Social Studies Standards curriculum page. 

World Languages

"The study of world languages prepares students to be linguistically and culturally competent and to communicate, work and collaborate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds at home and abroad. Speaking the language of others is essential for understanding their culture, and perspectives and for the global competency students need to be prepared for life and work in the 21st century."

-Minnesota Department of Education 

Minnesota world language standards are locally developed but must align to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) Standards.  

For more detail, view the Minnesota Department of Education, World Languages curriculum page. 

Special Programs

AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination)

AVID is an elective class opportunity available to White Bear Lake Area Schools students in grades 6 through 12. Students are selected to participate in this program on a voluntary basis and are required to take at least one enriched class. Through AVID the students learn valuable skills including writing, note taking, reading, inquiry, collaboration, organization and critical thinking to help them succeed in more rigorous courses, while being immersed in a college-going culture. The AVID elective provides bi-weekly tutoring sessions that are led by college students, adult tutors, and/or peer tutors for support of students’ academically rigorous curriculum. Additionally, students gain access to information about colleges and universities through field trips, guest speakers, college tutors, scholarship opportunities and college admission requirement information.

See the Secondary AVID page for additional information.

English Learner

The purpose of the White Bear Lake Area Schools English Learner Program is to help develop children's Standard American English skills to a level where they can succeed in their mainstream classrooms.

See complete program information here.

Special Education

A comprehensive program is available for students with disabilities from birth through age 21. Services facilitate each student reaching their potential through partnerships that promote life-long learning, independence and self-advocacy.

Academic Standards

Standards approved by the Minnesota Department of Education and the Legislature. (All are in PDF format and require Adobe Reader)