Upper Campus

Our Curriculum

Teacher-Led Academic Classes / Thematically Integrated Curriculum (TIC)

Teacher-led TIC classes are teacher directed and student centered. This is an academic classroom portion of the curriculum where students gain knowledge and expertise in the core subjects (language arts, art, mathematics, social science, science).

Community-Led Workshops and Seminars

Community-led workshops and seminars allow students the opportunity to work with a community expert to create a final project on a variety of subjects (e.g. music production, electronics, painting, cooking, fitness, yoga, meditation, wellness, PE and video production).

Student-Led Projects / Project-Based Learning (PBL)

Project-Based Learning (PBL) is an inquiry-based learning process in which students design, plan, investigate, research and present their own projects in response to an essential question, problem, or challenge (e.g., student-designed creative, inquiry, or acquisition projects; or teacher-written, independent study projects). Rigorous projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students create high-quality, authentic products & presentations.

21st Century Skills

21st Century Skills are interwoven into our curriculum. The overall goal is to tie the student’s path and education to their ability to master the following 21st century skills of:

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Curiosity and Imagination
Commitment and Motivation
Community and Service

Sensitive Issues: The curriculum of MG21 is intellectually rigorous and thought-provoking. It will address issues of concern that face our society today. Students will be expected to discuss sensitive issues, watch controversial movies (some of which may be rated R), and read sensitive materials without restriction.

Additional Components of the MG21 Program

These components of our curriculum are integral in creating a sense of value, meaning and community. All students need to feel a sense of belonging at school and believe they can be successful. Ultimately, MG21 must become an educational community that allows this to flourish.

Build, Beautify, Serve (BBS) Service Projects

Throughout the year students work on a variety of service projects including trail work with the Ice Age Trail Alliance, citizen lake monitoring for the DNR, work at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and the Cottage Grove School forest, and work with the city of Monona and the Monona Public Library.

Study Tours

Study Tours occur twice per year for one week where we take the classroom “on the road.” Each study tour is built around a central idea. Past study tours have focused on Architecture, Art, Criminal Justice, Making and Creating Stuff, Nature, Sports & Wellness, Science & Engineering.

Morning Meeting/Advisory

Morning Meeting/Advisory begins our day. All students meet with their advisor to check-in, hear morning announcements, and discuss current events.

Literary Circles

Students join one of 4 teacher-led literary circles to study a text with their peers and practice reading, writing, and discussion strategies.


We utilize a project-based curriculum to create a more hands on, tangible approach to learning math. Students interested in advanced math options will work with their advisor to choose the appropriate class.

Senior Capstone Project

All seniors are encouraged to complete a senior capstone project during their final year at MG21. The senior capstone project is designed to give students the opportunity to explore and equip students with skills and experiences to take the next step. Ideally the capstone project should still be a “life-enhancing” experience that reinforces and strengthens a student’s personal values and interests. As an MG21 student, students have taken charge of their education. This project should function as a capstone in the educational architecture they have built. Students design projects based on one of the following areas of interest below.

Current Projects include internships at local radio station WVMO, restaurants and Sector 67, service work at Winnequah, leadership on the Monona Mural project, attending Business School and Middle College at Madison College, and more!

Career Project Focus

Students who complete this project will gain volunteer and/or internship experience in the field of study the student intends to pursue after high school.

Service-Oriented Project Focus

Students choosing this project focus will devote 15-20 hours on a community service project. If you know that you enjoy helping others and striving to improve your community, this project focus could be valuable.

Self-Exploration and Self-Development Project Focus

This project focus might be nicknamed the “bucket list” or “Into the Wild” project option. Students choosing this project will challenge themselves to achieve something they have never done before, and in the process they will acquire new skills and learn a lot about who they are.

Senior Portfolio

Seniors at Monona Grove Liberal Arts Charter School will present a digital portfolio linked to their website of their work to our Governing Board as a requirement for graduation. The Senior Portfolio gives students the opportunity to reflect upon and be able to demonstrate their accomplishments at MG21 as a requirement for graduation.