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Lifelong Learning


About Our K-12 Instructional Program

In Moorhead Area Public Schools, we believe all children will learn and develop to the best of their abilities. When students finish their education they will be knowledgeable and proficient in traditional basic academic skills, as well as effective communicators, decision makers and users of technology.

The district's instructional program offers curriculum that establishes the knowledge and skills to be taught in each subject at each grade level and develops benchmarks and objectives to assure student achievement and progress.

All of our students receive instruction in the core curriculum areas of literacy, mathematics, science and social studies. In addition, students are taught to think creatively, solve problems and work collaboratively. These are just some of the 21st century learning skills integrated in our teaching that are essential for students to develop their maximum potential.

Elementary Schools

Elementary curriculum focuses on providing children with skills needed to read, communicate, solve math problems, use technology and apply this knowledge to everyday situations. Students experience one-on-one, small-group and whole class learning opportunities with teachers who know their students' needs. Specialists provide instruction in art, music, physical education, media and technology to further enrich the curriculum.

Our elementary schools operate on a system of cycle days. A cycle schedule differs from a weekly schedule in that each day school is in session is numbered from one to five or one to six. The system is used to schedule classes such as art, physical education, music, health, technology, etc. so students receive consistent programming.

As a result of this schedule, our classroom teachers and specialists are able to:

  • Provide equitable and enriched learning experiences for all students;
  • Have protected teaching time during core instruction with the goal of a minimum of 90 minutes of reading instruction and a minimum of 30 minutes of writing instruction daily;
  • Provide intervention or enrichment according to individual needs;
  • Address students' varying learning styles with small groups; and
  • Have regular opportunities for classroom teachers to meet during the day and without the use of substitute teachers to review students' reading and math data and plan corresponding instruction.

Read the elementary planning and registration guide for K-4 course descriptions or review specific grade-level curriculum in the following guides:

Middle School

Moorhead Area Public Schools serves students in grades 5-8 in a middle school setting at the Horizon Middle School Campus. Students attend core classes in grade-level teams. Each team has its own space (referred to as houses) with core classrooms, common areas and team offices. This “school-within-a-school” design provides a more personalized education for students and meets the needs of middle-level students as they transition from one education level to the next.

The schedule for fifth- and sixth-grade students at Horizon Middle School West Campus includes literacy, social studies, math, science and advisory connections. On a four-day rotating schedule students have physical education/health, music and art. Additionally, students have the opportunity to take band or orchestra beginning in grade 5 and choir beginning in grade 6. The Spanish Immersion Program for grades K-6 is integrated into grades 5 and 6 with multi-age classes for students who are continuing the program from Ellen Hopkins Elementary School. Read the Horizon Middle School West Campus planning and registration guide for course descriptions and information about programs and student support, or review specific grade-level curriculum in the following guides:

Besides taking core classes in mathematics, science, social studies and language arts, Horizon Middle School East Campus students take exploratory classes in art, world language (Spanish and Mandarin Chinese), health and theatre arts. At each grade level, Horizon East students take a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) exploratory class that is part of Project Lead the Way. Students have physical education every other day alternating with their choice of a music class (band, choir or orchestra) or an individual learning time. Read the Horizon Middle School East Campus planning and registration guide for course descriptions and information about early college options, high school and post high planning, and student support.

High School

Moorhead Area Public Schools is home to Moorhead High School, a comprehensive high school serving grades 9-12. Secondary education allows students to become involved in a wide range of curricular and extracurricular classes and activities. Curriculum is designed to assist high school students in gaining the necessary skills to meet Minnesota's graduation standards. Activities, including arts, academic, special interest or athletic groups, allow students to continue learning outside the classroom.

A major goal of the high school curriculum is to prepare students for post-secondary educational options or to enter the workforce. The district delivers coursework to students through a variety of teaching methods that lay a foundation for community, vocational or traditional college, military service, apprenticeships or other training.

The district high school curriculum focuses on the core areas of English, mathematics, science and social studies, but also requires classes in art, physical education and health. Moorhead High School has a modified block schedule. The schedule, which combines 45-minute and 90-minute periods, accommodates student options for elective courses. Elective courses include world language (Spanish and Mandarin Chinese), business, industrial technology, journalism, family and consumer science, arts, band, choir and orchestra classes. Sophomores, juniors and seniors also have the opportunity to take an extensive selection of Advanced Placement courses or courses at the local colleges through post-secondary enrollment options (PSEO). Read the Moorhead High planning and registration guide for course descriptions and information about early college options, high school and post high planning, and student support.

Requirements for Graduation

The number of credits required for high school graduation is 26. (Registration guidelines list 29 credits.) The district requires:

  • 4 credits of language arts
  • 3 credits of mathematics, encompassing at least algebra, geometry, and statistics and probability sufficient to satisfy the academic standard. Students must satisfactorily complete an algebra 1 credit by the end of grade 8 and must satisfactorily complete an algebra II credit or its equivalent.
  • 3 credits of science, including at least one credit in biology and chemistry or physics.
  • 3.5 credits of social studies, encompassing at least United States history, geography, government and citizenship, world history and economics
  • 1 credit of art
  • 1 credit of physical education
  • .5 credit of wellness
  • .5 credit of Grade 9 Explore Class
  • Minimum of 9.5 credits of electives

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