The purpose of this policy is to establish broad curriculum parameters for the school district that encompass the Minnesota Academic Standards, locally adopted standards, and federal law 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.


    1. “Academic standard” means a summary description of student learning in a required content area or elective content area.
    2. “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.
    3. “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.
      1. Core Curricular Resources – refers to the digital or print versions of units and lessons; the assignments and projects given to students; the books, materials, videos, presentations, and readings used in a course; assessments and other methods use to evaluate student learning.
      2. Teacher Supplemental Resources – are the digital or print versions of resources that teachers use to supplement, not replace, core curriculum to provide additional support/extensions for students.
    4. “Instruction” means methods of providing learning experiences that enable students to meet state and district academic standards and graduation requirements.
    5. “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:
      1. the size of the academic achievement gap and rigorous course taking, including college-level advanced placement, international baccalaureate, postsecondary enrollment options, including concurrent enrollment, other rigorous courses of study or industry certification courses or programs, and enrichment experiences by student subgroup;
      2. student performance on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments;
      3. high school graduation rates; and
      4. career and college readiness under Minn. Stat. § 120B.30, Subd. 1.
    6. “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.
    7. “Experiential learning” means learning for students that includes career exploration through a specific class or course or through work-based experiences such as job shadowing, mentoring, entrepreneurship, service learning, volunteering, internships, other cooperative work experience, youth apprenticeship, or employment.


    1. A. 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:
      1. clearly defined school district and school site goals and benchmarks for instruction and student achievement for all student categories identified in state and federal law;
      2. a process to assess and evaluate each student’s progress toward meeting state and local academic standards, assess and identify students for participation in gifted and talented programs and accelerate their instruction, adopt procedures for early admission to kindergarten or first grade of gifted and talented learners which are sensitive to under-represented groups, and identify 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;
      3. 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, students’ access to effective teachers who are members of populations under-represented among the licensed teachers in the district or school and who reflect the diversity of enrolled students under Minn. Stat. § 120B.35, Subd. 3(b)(2), and teacher evaluations under Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subd. 8, or 122A.41, Subd. 5;
      4. strategies for improving instruction, curriculum, and student achievement, including the English and, where practicable, the native language development and the academic achievement of English learners;
      5. a process to examine the equitable distribution of teachers and strategies to ensure low-income and minority children are not taught at higher rates than other children by inexperienced, ineffective, or out-of-field teachers;
      6. 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
      7. an annual budget for continuing to implement the school district plan.
    2. School district site and school site goals shall include the following:
      1. All students will be required to demonstrate essential skills to effectively participate in lifelong learning.* These skills include the following:
        1. reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing in the English language;
        2. mathematical and scientific concepts;
        3. locating, organizing, communicating, and evaluating information and developing methods of inquiry (i.e., problem solving);
        4. creative and critical thinking, decision making, and study skills;
        5. work readiness skills;
        6. global and cultural understanding.
      2. Each student will have the opportunity and will be expected to develop and apply essential knowledge that enables that student to:
        1. live as a responsible, productive citizen and consumer within local, state, national, and global political, social, and economic systems;
        2. bring many perspectives, including historical, to contemporary issues;
        3. develop an appreciation and respect for democratic institutions;
        4. communicate and relate effectively in languages and with cultures other than the student’s own;
        5. practice stewardship of the land, natural resources, and environment;
        6. use a variety of tools and technology to gather and use information, enhance learning, solve problems, and increase human productivity.
      3. 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.
      4. School practices and instruction will be directed toward developing within each student a positive self-image and a sense of personal responsibility for:
        1. establishing and achieving personal and career goals;
        2. adapting to change;
        3. leading a healthy and fulfilling life, both physically and mentally;
        4. living a life that will contribute to the well-being of society;
        5. becoming a self-directed learner;
        6. exercising ethical behavior.
      5. Students will be given the opportunity to acquire and develop human relations skills necessary to:
        1. appreciate, understand, and accept human diversity and interdependence;
        2. address human problems through team effort;
        3. resolve conflicts with and among others;
        4. function constructively within a family unit;
        5. promote a multicultural, gender-fair, disability-conscious society.
    3. Students will read at or above grade level before entering Grade 4. To do this, every student will:
      1. Receive reading instruction which reflects best teaching practices
      2. Be assessed regularly to plan for instruction
      3. Receive appropriate intervention services as needed
      4. Learn strategies for reading informational and literary text
    4. Cambridge-Isanti strives to provide every child with a solid foundation of literacy skills to expand understanding of what is read, make meaning, and transfer that learning across all subject areas. In order to ensure that all students in Cambridge-Isanti Schools learn to read at a proficient level, staff must be intentional with instruction by aligning curricular resources to the Minnesota State Standards while using best practices in every classroom, every day.
    5. Students proficient in reading are able to identify the words on the page accurately and fluently; they have enough knowledge and thinking strategies to understand the words, sentences, and paragraphs; and they are motivated and engaged enough to use their knowledge and cognitive strategies to understand and learn from the text. They are able to make meaning from text. In order for this to happen, it is our role to ensure that students have the skills they need to read text fluently with good comprehension by providing instructional strategies addressing the Five Big Areas in Reading. They are the following:
      1. Phonemic Awareness - the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds inside spoken words
      2. Phonics - a method of teaching reading based on the sounds of letters, groups of letters, and syllables
      3. Fluency - the ability to read accurately, quickly, effortlessly, and with appropriate expression
      4. Vocabulary - a collection of words used by or known to a particular people or group of persons
      5. Comprehension - ability to understand what is read. It’s the reason for reading.
    6. Students are considered proficient readers when they exhibit phonemic awareness and phonetic skills, have an increasing vocabulary bank, read fluently, and comprehend what they have read in accordance to their age and expected grade level outcomes.
    7. Reading proficiency will be defined as students who score at or above benchmark on state and district measures and who perform at grade level in the classroom. Reading proficiency will be ensured for ALL students in kindergarten through grade 3 by multiple measures of assessment, data driven decision making, and differentiated instruction to support and improve literacy skills for each student. Students who are not reading at grade level will receive research-based interventions and be progress monitored until proficiency is attained. Interventions will supplement core reading instruction. Core curriculum is aligned to the 2010 English Language Arts Standards and Curriculum. Core instruction has been aligned vertically and horizontally by K-12 staff.

    Tier 1: Core Support
    All students receive core instruction in Tier 1. Students who are at or above benchmark and are making sufficient academic growth will have their needs met through instruction in the core curriculum, whole group mini-lessons, small group instruction, and Daily 5/Station practice. Students performing below or significantly above grade level will receive additional services in Tier 2 and/or Tier 3.

    Tier 2: Extra Support Students who are below grade level are supported through small group and one on one interventions delivered by the classroom teachers and/or interventionists during a specific scheduled block of time referred to as “What I Need” Time. The staff progress monitors students using formative assessments.

    Tier 3: Intense Support Students who are significantly below grade level are supported by interventions and specific programming which may occur outside the classroom. Interventions are delivered by the classroom teacher and/or interventionists. Staff monitors the success of interventions using formative assessment and progress monitoring.

    Source: Cambridge-Isanti Schools

    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.12 (Reading Proficiently no Later than the End of Grade 3)
    • 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. (Every Student Succeeds Act)

    Cross References:

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

    Reviewed: 10-18-01, 4-20-06, 7-22-10, 06-23-16, 01-24-19

    Approved: 11-15-01, 5-18-06, 7-22-10, 07-21-16, 2-21-19

Policy Manual