Eden Prairie schools provide a rigorous and enriching curriculum for each student, at every grade and ability level. While the core curriculum focuses on fundamentals, teachers and families help students achieve their highest potential by choosing special programs that fit their talents, interests, and needs.
Beginning with Early Childhood Education and continuing through high school graduation, Eden Prairie students and their teachers are focused on a trajectory for success. Every year our students achieve some of the state’s most impressive numbers in graduation rate, assessments scores, scholarships, and college acceptance. Students leave Eden Prairie schools well prepared for college and life.
- Central Middle School
- Eden Prairie High School
- Arts Curriculum
- Music Curriculum
- World Language Curriculum
Five traditional K-6 schools, and one K-6 Spanish immersion school, give Eden Prairie’s students a solid foundation for their academic careers. Our dedicated and talented teachers at each school are time and again cited by parents as being our school district’s best asset. They work with your children each day to provide challenging curriculum, support where needed and to instill a love of learning.
The curriculum in each of the elementary schools is the same, and each has the same resources, including special programming, support personnel, media centers and computer labs. Teachers work to incorporate the most current – and always changing –technology in their classroom so that students are constantly exposed to 21st Century learning techniques.
K-3 Literacy Plan
As part of the state’s emphasis on having every student reading at or above grade level by the end of grade three, Eden Prairie Schools has developed its local K-3 literacy plan. The state requires every district to develop a literacy plan.
The local K-3 literacy plan is a systemic approach to help all students learn the necessary reading skills by the end of grade three. The development of this plan continues the district’s emphasis on literacy. The elements of the plan include:
- How the district will ensure reading proficiency for all students by the end of grade three
- The process to assess students’ level of reading proficiency
- How the district will notify and involve parents
- How the district will intervene to assist students
- How the district will provide professional development for teachers in the area of literacy
All seventh and eighth graders in the Eden Prairie School District converge under one roof at Central Middle School. Here, our young adolescents are prepared academically and socially for their next big steps to the high school and beyond.
At CMS, each grade level is organized into four “teams,” identified by colors. Each team of students navigates their school year with the same team of teachers, giving everyone an opportunity to know one another and providing more personalized support for students.
More options are available to students at CMS, including a choice to register for enriched or enhanced classes, and a choice between four World Languages. Also, there are many more co-curricular choices in band, choir, athletics and theater.
Eden Prairie High School offers an extensive and exciting curriculum giving high school students many choices when it comes to fulfilling graduation requirements and exploring their interests.
EPHS follows a block schedule, with an academic calendar of four quarters, divided into two semesters. Students enroll in four courses each quarter. There are distinct advantages to this type of schedule. It allows teachers and students to become more fully immersed in their subject matter with a longer class period. This means, for instance, that science labs are not hindered by time constraints. The block schedule also allows students to “double up" on areas of special interest by taking, for example, two full math courses in one academic year.
Enriched and Advanced courses are offered in many core courses. These cover the same curriculum material but in a more in-depth manner. These are excellent choices for students who are self-starters and highly motivated. Additionally, AP and CIS courses provide opportunities to earn college credits.
A student must successfully complete 54 credits to graduate and complete all courses required of their graduating class. In addition, students are required to pass graduation exams required by the State of Minnesota. Eden Prairie High School expects students to make continuous progress toward graduation. Seniors will be allowed to participate in commencement exercises only if they have completed and passed all graduation requirements, or are fewer than two credits deficient. Students who are deficient in credits may make them up by enrolling for extra classes or attending an approved night school, summer school, or independent study program. It is strongly recommended that the student confer with his/her counselor regarding progress toward graduation.
The Fine Arts are a key component to an Eden Prairie Schools education and we are proud that the district has one of the top arts programs in the state. We believe an education that includes the Arts results in well-rounded individuals who not only know their fundamental academics, but know themselves better. The Arts provide an outlet for emotional expression and help students know and express their thoughts and feelings. Arts – whether musical, visual, theatrical or written – are a universal language for humankind.
While our K-6 schools follow the traditional elementary curriculum, middle and high school students have many curricular and co-curricular options in vocal, instrumental, dramatic and literary arts. Students have a wide-range of fine arts electives to choose from as they set their course schedules.
Eden Prairie’s bands and choirs have traveled internationally and consistently receive high recognition statewide, regionally and beyond. Several CMS and EPHS students have also earned Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards for artwork including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and ceramics.
Several high school publications feature the written works of our students including the award winning Eyrie student newspaper. Students may also contribute to the literary magazine and the yearbook, and there is a student-produced weekly video news broadcast.
Beginning in Middle School, young thespians can be a part of any number of theatrical productions. A fully-staged spring musical is a CMS tradition. At Eden Prairie High School, in addition to one-act plays and musical, there is an improv group and student written/directed/acted production. (link to theater page)
Fine Arts courses and activities are an enrichment of an already comprehensive education program that results in well-rounded young adults who are wholly ready to take their place in our society.
Music is an integral part of a comprehensive education. Students discover and develop their potential through varied, sequential musical experiences in listening, performing, moving, and creating. Musical experiences cultivate critical and creative thinking skills and enhance the student's quality of life through heightened aesthetic awareness. Music integrates understanding from multiple disciplines and leads to an improved self-concept, broader cultural awareness, and a development of life-long skills.
Elementary students in grades k-6 receive classroom music instruction with a music specialist. In fifth and sixth grade, students have the opportunity to also take part in band or orchestra.
At Central Middle School, students are able to further explore and develop their musical skills and understanding through band, choir, exploring music, or orchestra.
In high school, students can continue with band, choir, orchestra, or other music courses. Eden Prairie High School also offers a wide-range of co-curricular activities for band, orchestra, and choir.
As we educate for success in our diverse and changing world, we work to ensure that our students graduate with the ability to effectively communicate in at least two languages.
The Eden Prairie Schools World Language program incorporates Spanish classes through sixth grade and provides the opportunity for students to learn Chinese, German, French, and American Sign Language at the secondary level. Families wanting a bilingual education for their children may choose Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion. The curriculum standards are the same as the traditional elementary program, but students are taught entirely in Spanish. This choice is designed for families who are committed to keeping their child in this environment through 6th grade.
Elementary World Language Program:
Foreign Language Exploratory (FLEX) is a Spanish language-based program designed to promote practical communication skills, cultural awareness and global competence in all students. Its focus is to cultivate useful, transferable skills such as confidence in learning and communication abilities, risk-taking, sensitivity and tolerance towards diverse peoples and cultures. It is performance-based rather than grammar- or vocabulary-list-based. Through exposure to engaging language concepts and culture, presented within a fun and meaningful context, we seek to develop practical communication skills while allowing students to explore the broader concepts of our global community.
Our Objectives: Encourage and support each student in the development of…
- a curiosity about, an openness, and an appreciation for the Spanish-speaking world, other world cultures and the global community;
- good communication skills for any situation, such as listening carefully and empathizing;
- a range of skills necessary for becoming proficient in any world language, such as looking for clues, interpreting words in context, making connections and dealing with different situations;
- knowledge of their own culture and language through learning about another culture and language.
The curriculum is organized in thematic and interdisciplinary units, which present content in a highly-accessible, sequential and cumulative manner. Students are expected to perform at the Novice–low to Novice-mid proficiency levels which is in accordance with the benchmarks set by the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) standards.
Young learners interact with the content in a dynamic and exciting way by exploring a variety of different themes each year. Content is presented sequentially and cumulatively. However, the upward spiral design of the program allows students to comfortably enter the program at any point and be challenged at their immediate level. Differentiated instruction makes the learning meaningful to a wide variety of learners.
Performance-Based Assessments are tasks that generate a more authentic assessment of a student’s knowledge, skills, and abilities by going beyond answering a multiple-choice question. With performance-based items, students can be presented with engaging real-life scenarios, technology enhanced items, open-ended questions, and constructed-response items that help them meaningfully demonstrate their acquisition and application of communication skills, cultural knowledge and work habits.
Secondary World Language Program:
At Central Middle School, students may continue on with Spanish as a world language or they may choose from three other world language offerings: French, German and Chinese.
At Eden Prairie High School, students have additional options. They may continue the language they began at CMS or they may choose to study a different language. They also have an additional language option available– American Sign Language.
Students who excel in their study of French or Spanish may take their language learning to the next level by enrolling in College In the Schools courses. CIS is taught by Eden Prairie World Language staff in conjunction with the University of Minnesota. College credits are earned by students who successfully complete the course.
Eden Prairie Schools has used Math Expressions (grades K-5) and Big Ideas Math (grades 6-8) as the curricular resources since the 2017-18 school year. The adoption is the result of a district wide steering committee recommendation to purchase resources that align with best practices in student learning of math. These resources are a guiding foundation of math instruction that also allow for rich mathematical learning, differentiation, depth and complexity.
- Math Expressions: The program emphasizes understanding, computational fluency, and real life applications through problem solving. Strategies and deep understanding are highlighted through visual representations, mathematical models, and student explorations.
- Big Ideas Math: Students will explore mathematics, communicate in the language of mathematics, ask questions regarding mathematical ideas and processes, and find meaning in the mathematics that they study and use in everyday life. The series provides high levels of mathematical understanding and application for math students in grades 6-8.
- Kendall Hunt is used in Grades 9-11 for Discovering Geometry, Algebra II and Functions, Stats, and Trigonometry (FST).
These resources provide a support for each student’s learning by allowing for real-world mathematical concepts to come alive through rich mathematical problems. Rich opportunities for meaningful math talks are present because of this.
If you have questions regarding these math resources, please contact your child’s principal or Michelle Ament, Senior Director of Personalized Learning.
- 2018 Math Update
- Defining Conceptual Thinking, Procedural Fluency and Contextual Application
- Parent Newsletters