WAPS Curriculum Mission Statement
To empower students of all ages to be life-long learners who demonstrate creative thinking, critical analysis and problem solving skills in an ever changing and challenging world.

In striving to fulfill our mission, we believe every student has the ability to learn given the right opportunity. The Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment will provide a rigorous and relevant curriculum, professional development for instruction, assessments that provide performance feedback and targeted services for those needing intervention or acceleration.

903 Gilmore Avenue, Winona, MN 55987
Phone: 507-494-0865
Fax: 507-494-0863

Curriculum Advisory Committee Meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of each month at 4:00 p.m. at the WAPS District Office, Conference Room 2.

Staff Development Advisory Committee Meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of each month at 4:00 p.m. in the WAPS District Office, Conference Room 2.

Personalized Learning with Technology

What is successful technology integration?
Technology integration is the use of technology resources -- computers, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, digital cameras, social media platforms and networks, software applications, the Internet, etc. -- in daily classroom practices, and in the management of a school. Successful technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is:

  • Routine and transparent
  • Accessible and readily available for the task at hand
  • Supporting the curricular goals, and helping the students to effectively reach their goals
When technology integration is at its best, a child or a teacher doesn't stop to think that he or she is using a technology tool -- it is second nature. And students are often more actively engaged in projects when technology tools are a seamless part of the learning process.

Why is technology integration important?

Technology is ubiquitous, touching almost every part of our lives, our communities, our homes. Yet most schools lag far behind when it comes to integrating technology into classroom learning. Many are just beginning to explore the true potential tech offers for teaching and learning. Properly used, technology will help students acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based economy.

Integrating technology into classroom instruction means more than teaching basic computer skills and software programs in a separate computer class. Effective tech integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process. In particular, it must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts. Effective technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent and when technology supports curricular goals.

Many people believe that technology-enabled project learning is the ne plus ultra of classroom instruction. Learning through projects while equipped with technology tools allows students to be intellectually challenged while providing them with a realistic snapshot of what the modern office looks like. Through projects, students acquire and refine their analysis and problem-solving skills as they work individually and in teams to find, process, and synthesize information they've found online.

The myriad resources of the online world also provide each classroom with more interesting, diverse, and current learning materials. The Web connects students to experts in the real world and provides numerous opportunities for expressing understanding through images, sound, and text.Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means. It also enhances the relationship between teacher and student. When technology is effectively integrated into subject areas, teachers grow into roles of adviser, content expert, and coach. Technology helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun.

"Edutopia Staff (2008). Why integrate technology into the curriculum?: The reasons are many. Retrieved 9/12/2014, from

Choice Program - Ríos Spanish Immersion

Rios Logo

The goal of Ríos Spanish Immersion program is to provide educational experiences, beginning in kindergarten and sustained through Grade 12, that support academic and linguistic development in two languages and that develop students’ appreciation of their own and other cultures.

Features of the Program

• 90% of the K-2 student’s academic time will include learning subject matter in Spanish

• Students will become proficient Spanish listeners, speakers, writers, and readers

• Students will master content in the same subject areas as their counterparts who do not attend the program

• Students will participate in art, music, and physical education taught in English

• When students enter 3rd grade, Language Arts is taught in English

Jefferson School Model

Jefferson Elementary houses the Ríos Spanish Immersion program for Winona Area Public Schools. A minimum of 20 students will participate at each grade level. The program will accept a maximum of 24 students in kindergarten. Each school year WAPS will add an additional grade level of immersion. In 2018- 2019, 5th grade will be included in the program.

Interested parties must apply for entrance into the program. If the number of applications exceeds maximum enrollment, the district will hold a lottery to determine which students are accepted.

All WAPS elementary schools offer the same rigorous core curriculum in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. Immersion students will study the same core curriculum and Minnesota academic standards which connects subject areas.


Rios Spanish Immersion Flyer


Literacy Plans

According to a statement released by the Minnesota Department of Education and embraced by Winona Area Public Schools, “Literacy is the cornerstone of all learning. In each subject area, the ability to read and produce written material is the highest importance. Supporting the development of capable readers at every level is our goal as educators, parents and as a community.”

With this philosophy, the state of Minnesota passed legislation that seeks to have all of Minnesota’s children reading well by third grade. The bill requires local school districts to adhere to certain expectations, including:

  • All students are provided reading instruction that is scientifically based.
  • Parents are notified of student progress at least annually for all students and must give parents of students not reading at or above grade level (in K-3) timely information. This timely information includes reading assessments administered, services available and strategies parents can use at home to support their child(ren).
  • Students not reading at or above grade level are given intervention evidence based practices to accelerate their growth toward grade level expectations.
  • Assessment methods and data points used to determine grade level proficiency are reported to the Minnesota Department of Education annually.
  • Sufficient training is provided for all licensed staff to improve reading instruction
  • A Local Literacy Plan is developed and posted to the official district web site.

Full Literacy Plan

STEM Elementary Curriculum


Winona Area Public Schools incorporate STEM styled learning. Students study the same core curriculum and Minnesota academic standards which connects subject areas within the STEM curriculum. STEM students also participate in art, music, and physical education classes. Each subject area will support learning through the application of theory and fundamental skills. In WAPS STEM curriculum there is an intentional infusion of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics into the standards based curriculum. We believe true STEM education reflects a greater shift in our approach to the teaching and learning process in our effort to promote critical thinking, construct meaningful knowledge, and develop of 21st century skills.

WAPS STEM curriculum gives students access to the following educational programs/ resources in addition to the STEM curriculum:

  • English Learner
  • Special Education
  • Title I
  • Reading Corp
  • Gifted and Talented

STEM Resources

  • Individualized, Balanced Reading Program (Daily 5 structure)
  • Data-driven (standards based) math curriculum with common benchmark assessments
  • Science (STEM) labs
  • FOSS Kits and Engineering is Elementary
  • Units utilized in Science Reading and Math Specialists
  • SMART Boards in every classroom
  • Mobile laptop computer labs (wireless)
  • I-pads

Title I Programs

Title I is the United States Federal Government’s largest education assistance program for schools.

The purpose of Title I is to:
  • help every child receive a high quality education.
  • achieve the high standards set by the State of Minnesota.

Learn More


Parents Right to Know

School districts must notify parent of children attending Title I schools that they can request information regarding their children’s teachers, including at minimum, information on (1) completion of state requirements for licensure and certification; (2) emergency or other provisional status; (3) educational background and (4) whether paraprofessionals are serving the child and, if so, the paraprofessionals’ qualifications. Washington-Kosciusko, Jefferson, Goodview and Madison Elementary Schools are Title I schools.

Parents can request information about teachers

Under the Every Student Success Act (ESSA), parents have the right to request information regarding the professional qualifications of their student’s classroom teachers. Parents who would like to receive this information should write to the Human Resource Department, Attn: ESEA Teacher Qualifications, Winona Area Public Schools, 903 Gilmore Ave, Winona, MN 55987.

Parents can designate which of the following information they want:

  1. Whether the teacher has met state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction;
  2. Whether the teacher is teaching under an emergency or other provisional status through which state qualification or licensing criteria have been waived;
  3. The baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of the certification or degree; and
  4. Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

Title III ELL Programs

The focus of Title III, a component of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), is to help school district's ensure that English learners (ELs) and immigrant students attain English proficiency and meet the same challenging state standards required of all other students.

Winona Area Public Schools licensed EL teachers provide direct English language instruction to students in four domains of instruction: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.
In addition, EL licensed teachers provide consultation support to classroom teachers and student support staff, based on each student’s English language learning needs.
The WAPS EL curriculum and program are aligned with the district's curricula in English literacy, WIDA national standards, and Minnesota state content standards.

Winona Area Public Schools offers the following EL program models:

  • Intensive Newcomer Instruction
  • Pullout English Instruction
  • Collaborative Teaching Model
  • Sheltered Content Classes
  • Dual Language Immersion

Learn More:

Gifted & Talented

Kindergarten and First Grade Enrichment Program:

Kindergarten and first grade students will be introduced to Literature Circles, Reader’s Theatre, and will participate in many hands on activities to reinforce and enrich their reading skills.

Second Grade Reading/Math Enrichment Program:

We will read about several different countries around the world.  They will learn the geographical locations, cultures, and customs.  There is fictional literature to support the learning of each country as well.

Students will complete a project called Mr. Shapey that combines work with geometry, measurement, and problem solving.  Students will also use tangrams and solve multi-step problems.

Third Grade Reading/Math Enrichment Program:

We will start the year with a Fractured Fairy Tales Unit.  We will read the real fairytale and compare and contrast it with the “fractured” fairy tale.  Literature circle groups, figurative language, word puzzles, and numerous research opportunities using the chromebooks, will be some of the ways we will enrich our third grade curriculum.  

The third graders will take part in STEM engineering and math challenges.  They will also play math games, complete projects, and solve problems.

Fourth Grade Reading/Math Enrichment Program:

Literature will be used to journal, summarize, question, and predict.  “The One and Only Ivan” will be read together and numerous engineering challenges will come about from the novel.  Teamwork and partnership comes into play!  Poetry, solving logic puzzles, and mysteries will also be part of the learning.

The fourth graders will take part in STEM engineering and math challenges.  They will also play math games, complete projects, and solve problems.

Project Fair: (Grades 2-4)

In April we will be having a district Project Fair for all students in grades 2-4.  You are able to research a topic of interest, create a report, and a visual display board.  Finished products will be displayed at the WMS for the families and community to enjoy.  All are encouraged to participate.  

Dr. Maurella Cunningham

Director of Learning and Teaching
District Office

Emily Cassellius

Winona Area Learning Center, Goodview Elementary School