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December 2023

Principal's Message

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As we approach the weeks between Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break, time can certainly pass rapidly. Along with their academic commitments, our students are actively participating in various winter sports, musical concerts, the show choir preview, as well as other co-curricular opportunities.  This always creates an exciting atmosphere leading up to Winter Break.

As we enter the beginning of December, I encourage you to take a moment to review the upcoming three to four weeks with your student. Engage in a discussion about the necessary structures and support required for academic success and help them set achievable academic goals before Winter Break. The progress grades are scheduled to be posted on December 8th, presenting another opportunity for you to assess your student's academic standing. It's worth noting that upon our return from Winter Break, final exams come quickly. Establishing a solid plan during these weeks can not only make the break more enjoyable, but the transition from break back to school much more approachable as well.

When perusing your student's grades in the IC system, please pay particular attention to any recorded "M's." An "M" signifies that the assignment or assessment is missing, and no submission has been made. The "M" is calculated as a zero, significantly impacting your student's overall grade. Students have a grace period of ten school days to submit late work or complete a late assessment, while incurring a 10% deduction for tardiness, which is far more favorable than a zero affecting the grade. Moreover, beyond this ten-day window, students still have the opportunity to complete the late assignment or assessment for up to 59% credit, providing a better alternative to receiving a zero.

We appreciate your continued partnership and support as we navigate through the challenges and successes of the second quarter. I look forward to the possibility of seeing you at some of the exciting co-curricular events lined up for December.


Mitch McGrath

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Main Office: 7:15-4:00

Student Services: 7:15-3:45

Attendance: 7:15-3:45


Main Office: (608) 221-7666

Fax: (608) 221-7690

Student Services:

(608) 316-1373

Athletics: (608) 316-1395

Attendance: (608) 316-1393 or contact via email

School Website
School Calendar
District Website
Digital Flyers


  • Dec 2- Show Choir Preview Show 3:00/7:00
  • Dec 4- Future Freshman Night
  • Dec 6- Band Concert 7:00
  • Dec 13- Financial Aid Night
  • Dec 14- Orchestra Concert 7:00
  • Dec 18- Choir Concert 7:30
  • Dec 25-Dec 29- No School


  • Jan 1- No School
  • Jan 15- No School
  • Jan 22- Parent Forum 6:00 IMC; YAP Family Info Session 6:30
  • Jan 23-25- Final Exams
  • Jan 26- No School
  • Jan 31- Local Scholarship Application Deadline

Family Support Program

Looking for an opportunity to give back to your MGSD community this holiday season?

The MGSD Student Services team is once again coordinating the Family Support Program, which supports our MG families who need help accessing basic needs. Those wishing to support the program can purchase gift cards in $15, $20, and $25 amounts to grocery stores like Woodman's, Walmart, Piggly Wiggly, and Pick N' Save; as well as gas stations like Kwik Trip. These gift cards are collected and delivered to families in need during the year and over school breaks. If you'd like to donate this year, you can drop off gift cards at your student's school, or contact a Student Services team member for more information. We appreciate your generosity and support!

FEL Bake Sale

The Feminist Empowerment League (FEL) at MGHS provides FREE menstrual products to all MGHS students. We are raising money this holiday season by running a Bake Sale on Monday, December 18th and Tuesday, December 19th. Students will be selling baked goods at both lunches for $1 or $2; all items will be nut-free, and there will be vegan and gluten-free options.  

We are also accepting donations (cash or check) in the MGHS main office -- $10 covers the cost of one large box of tampons! If you would like to get involved with the bake sale, please email

News from Student Services


For those sophomores and juniors who took the PSAT/NMSQT this year in October, your scores have been released and are accessible now. You can use your College Board account to access your scores or the BigFuture School app if you provided information during testing to use the App. What to do with your score depends on what year of school you are in.

  • Sophomores: Taking the test this year is good practice for planning to take the exam again next year or as practice for the SAT. Your score report can help you get an idea of which areas you need to study up on. Keep in mind that there are helpful resources to help you prepare for your future tests.
  • Juniors: More information on what the score report means and what your next steps are can be found using the guide linked here. The College Board website located with this link has a great summary of all of these items as well.


Welcome to the class of 2028! Families and current eighth-grade students are invited to attend the MGHS Future Ninth Grade Overview on Monday, December 4. The evening will begin at 5:15 pm with an Activities and Athletics Fair in the commons from 5:15 - 5:45, followed by a short program in the auditorium. The presentation will share general information regarding expectations at the high school as well as provide an overview of the required classes at MGHS. Families will then have an opportunity to visit elective classrooms to learn about the elective offerings at MGHS so that they can make informed choices for the courses they choose. See the “Course Registration Timeline” below for more information.


Important dates for 8th grade students and their families:

  • December 4: MGHS Future Ninth Grade Night at Monona Grove High School
  • December 12 & 13: School counselors meet with eighth-grade students at Glacial Drumlin School
  • Week of December 18: Current eighth-grade students enter course selections into Infinite Campus; students must have their completed course offering sheet - signed by a parent/guardian - and their Chromebook.

Important dates for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students and their families:

  • January 3 - ACP: Students will watch a registration video, view a slide presentation, receive a course selection sheet, and review course offerings in the Course Handbook (online) 
  • January 8 - 12: Tenth-grade students should complete their course selection sheets by Monday, January 8. Each student will be assigned a time for a 15-minute meeting with their counselor to review and enter their course selections. Meetings will begin on Monday, January 8 - 12. 
  • January 29 - February 2: Eleventh-grade students should have their course selections completed by Monday, January 29. Each student will be assigned a time for a 15-minute meeting with their counselor to review and enter their course selections. Meetings will begin on Monday, January 29 through Friday, February 2. Prior to January 29, please ask questions of your teachers for any classes you are curious about learning more.
  • February 8 & 9: During their English 9 classes, ninth-grade students enter course selections into Infinite Campus; students must have their completed course offering sheet - signed by a parent/guardian - and their Chromebook.  


Hello there! My name is Greg Benz, and I am an education professional who is passionate about Career & Technical Education (CTE). I am thrilled to have been chosen as the CTE Coordinator for the Monona Grove School District, where I look forward to connecting businesses and industries to the 6-12 curriculum. I have been an educator for over two decades and have worked in various roles, including technology education teacher, school counselor, school business manager, CTE coordinator for ten years, and post-secondary lecturer for UW-Stout in the CTE field. 

Besides coordinating the Youth Apprenticeship program, I will focus on the 6-12 CTE curriculum, CTE budgeting, Start College Now and Early College Credit Program, Dual Credit, industry-recognized credentials, and supporting teachers and staff in business community outreach whenever possible. You can find me most often at MGHS (rm. 229), but I also spend time at businesses and meetings. The best way to contact me is through my cell phone at 608.209.4997, or you can schedule a meeting with me through my Calendy link. 


What is Youth Apprenticeship?

It is a Department of Workforce Development program that allows 11th and 12th grade students the chance to:

  • Earn school credit—1 full elective credit each semester of work (2 credits for the year)
  • Work with a mentor in a chosen career pathway
  • Have PAID employment
  • Walk away with an industry-recognized certification
  • Take technical-related courses that align with your career interests
  • Be eligible for school-approved YA work release time throughout the year

Visit the Dane County School Consortium website to learn about Youth Apprenticeship and the various program options. 

Interested in Youth Apprenticeship? 

Please have your student use this LINK to schedule a meeting with Greg Benz (Monona Grove’s Career and Technical Education Coordinator) to discuss the Youth Apprenticeship program and their individual career goals. You can contact him at or via phone at 608.209.4997. 

Also, attend one of the Youth Apprenticeship family information sessions that are held over the next few months. Register for one of the following dates using the links provided below:

  1. Monday, January 22 @ 6:30 pm 
  2. Tuesday, February 13 @ 6:30 pm 
  3. Wednesday, March 6 @ 6:30 pm 

Registration for YA Info Nights


Students seeking employment for any Work Based Learning program or just a summer job have a new home to view the opportunities that the school has received. Use this LINK to view the current job openings for students.


Financial Aid Night - Wednesday, December 13, 6:00-7:30 pm

Juniors and seniors and their parents/guardians are invited to join us on Wednesday, December 13 at 6:00 pm for Financial Aid Night in the MGHS Auditorium. Joselyn Diaz-Valdes, Assistant Director for Advising & Outreach for the UW-Madison Office of Student Financial Aid, will provide families with a general overview of the financial aid process as well as to share information about important FAFSA changes that are effective this year. The information that will be shared applies to all colleges and is NOT specific to UW-Madison. The window to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens in December. (For those of you who have older students who have been through the financial aid process, note that this is much later than the typical October 1 rollout and will return to October 1 in future years.) Join us to learn the most current financial aid information from an expert in the field!

** Please note that Financial Aid Night is primarily for current seniors and their parents/guardians; juniors and parents/guardians may also be interested in attending for a preview of the financial aid process. 

College Goal Wisconsin 2024

Seniors - the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens in December! The FAFSA is the form students need to complete to apply for financial aid, such as grants, scholarships, loans and work-study. If you have questions on how to complete it, plan to attend College Goal Wisconsin to receive free information and assistance on completing the FAFSA. Register for a virtual FAFSA completion session at College Goal Wisconsin or attend an in person FAFSA completion session. No registration needed for in person FAFSA completion sessions - just show up; click here for more information including dates, times, locations, and what to bring.

Fair Opportunity Project - College Planning and Financial Aid Resources

The Fair Opportunity Project is a nationally-recognized, federally-funded education nonprofit that aims to help students attend and afford college, while also exploring other opportunities post-high schoo. Click here to learn more about the Fair Opportunity Project Resources for juniors and seniors including mentorshipessay reviewFAFSA Help, and a scholarship list. If juniors are interested in a mentor, they are strongly encouraged to sign up now. Seniors with FAFSA questions may book a 15-minute virtual office hour appointment

Local Scholarship Applications Due on January 31, 2024

All seniors are encouraged to complete the local scholarship application! Students will receive an email on December 1, 2023 with the link to the 2024 Local Scholarship Application. By filling out this application, students will be in the running for 30-40 local scholarships that are selected by either the local scholarship committee, or in some instances, by the donors themselves. Students must access the application through their Monona Grove High School email account by clicking on the link included in the email they receive. The application should take approximately an hour to complete. 

Each sponsoring individual, family, or organization established the selection criteria for their scholarship award. Scholarship criteria may include some or all of the following: GPA, intended major/program of study, co-curricular activities, community service, and leadership. The deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday, January 31, 2024; late applications will not be accepted.


The ACT test will be administered to all MGHS juniors on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The ACT includes reading, math, English, science and writing. It is designed to assess a student’s readiness for college, provide information to build rigorous high school course plans and identify career areas that align with their interests. This ACT is an official test date and students may elect to have scores submitted to colleges for admission purposes. Participation in the ACT is mandatory for all juniors; please schedule non-school related appointments outside of this day. Additionally, juniors will create their MyACT account and complete non-test information during ACP on February 28; students are encouraged to consider which colleges they would like to have their ACT scores reported to so they are prepared to enter codes for each college/university.

Check out these free resources that will help you prepare for the ACT:

Taking the Test (PDF)

Taking the Test - Spanish (PDF)

Get the Practice Test in English

Get the Practice Test in Spanish

There are also fee-based opportunities for test prep. CESA #2 is currently enrolling students for an ACT Prep Course at McFarland High School. Additionally, more information will be coming regarding a one-day, ZAPS ACT Prep Seminar that will be offered on a Saturday in February.


AP exams will be in person and will be administered as paper and pencil exams with the exception of AP Literature, AP Computer Science: Principles, and AP U.S. History which are in person but digital. Please note that AP 2-D Art, AP Drawing, and AP Computer Science: Principles all have a digital portfolio to submit in May. Be sure you note that AP Computer Science Principles has both a portfolio and exam.  

  • AP Exams will take place from May 6 - May 17: 2024 AP Exam Schedule
  • All exams will take place at the District Office at 5301 Monona Drive.  Transportation is not provided. We encourage all students to carpool as parking is limited. If transportation will be problematic for your student, please contact Matt McLaughlin at least two weeks prior to the test date and she will help make arrangements.
  • All students who indicated they will be taking an AP Exam by the registration deadline have had the appropriate exam ordered for them.
  • NO electronic devices INCLUDING CELL PHONES, WiFi ENABLED WATCHES, or other wifi connecting devices will be allowed in the testing room. Please leave safely at home, in a locked vehicle or your locker at school prior to entering the exam building. Failure to do so will result in inability to take the exam.
  • No food or beverages will be allowed in the testing room.  


Attention families of future drivers. If your student is at least 15 years old, interested in getting their learners permit, but know the cost of a driver's education class might prevent them from meeting this goal, the Monona Grove High School and Dane County Driver’s Education Scholarship might be for them. They can apply for this scholarship by contacting Kayla Barnes-Patrick at in student services and she will send them the link to apply. Applications are due December 15th.


The MGSD Student Services team is once again coordinating the Family Support Program, which supports our MG families who need help accessing basic needs. Those wishing to support the program can purchase gift cards in $15, $20, and $25 amounts to grocery stores like Woodman's, Walmart, Piggly Wiggly, and Pick N' Save; as well as gas stations like Kwik Trip. These gift cards are collected and delivered to families in need during the year and over school breaks. If you'd like to donate this year, you can drop off gift cards at Monona Grove High School, or contact Kayla Barnes-Patrick at or 608-316-1394 for more information. We appreciate your generosity and support!

If your family is interested in receiving support for holiday gifts specifically (for students 16 and younger), the Empty Stocking Club is now accepting applications and the last day to apply is December 7th. Gift distribution will be on December 13th-14th at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Please visit this site to apply and for more information: Empty Stocking Application


MG Virtual Calming Room 

The calming room is a tool for families and students that offers an array of options to help manage emotions in a very stressful and strange time. Check it out!

Grief Resources for Parents and Caregivers

Resources for supporting the kids in your life who are grieving and support for yourself

Helping Your Loved One Who is Suicidal: A Guide for Family and Friends 

SAMHSA's new resource guide provides information on understanding suicide, warning signs and action steps to take, and how to prevent future attempts and keep your loved one safe.

Mental Health America of Wisconsin - PRISM Program

A new pilot program to connect LGBTQ+ youth in Wisconsin with trained peer-specialists who can provide mental and emotional support and mentorship. Young LGBTQ+ people around the ages of 16-26 years old may now access this free service by calling 414-336-7974 and leaving a voicemail to get connected with a trained peer-specialist.

Housing, Homeless and Doubled-Up Family Resources 

If you are staying temporarily with someone else because you lost your housing, or staying in a motel/hotel, campground, shelter, or in an outside or inadequate place, you and your children have special rights at school.

MGSD Homeless Liaison: Andrea Fresen,, 608-316-1922

Student Services Department: 608-316-1373

School Counselors:

  • Susan Bishop - students with last names A-F
  • Don Karsh - students with last names G - La 
  • Scott Groff - students with last names Le - R
  • Melissa Burke - students with last names S -Z

School Psychologist: Melissa Smith

School Social Worker: Kayla Barnes-Patrick

Engagement Specialist: Jack Jackson

School Resource Officer: Luke Wunsch

Administrative Assistant: Michelle Boyde

News from the Athletic/Activities Dept.


Athletic/Event Schedules

A great resource is Our event calendar website is the best way to keep up to date with what’s going on with MG Activities providing the most up to date information. You can also easily pull individual athletic schedules, receive reminders about events, and get real-time schedule change information sent directly to you.

MGs Event Calendar

By going to our Event Calendar, you can quickly see any events coming up for the week.

*Note, if the event is bold all the way across that means we are hosting the event. Items not bolded means we are being hosted by another school.

View Individual Schedules

By clicking on the “View Schedules” button to the right of the page, you can choose individual groups schedules to view. Simply check the boxes next to the events you are interested in, and click “View” after that. You will get a report that you can view in a few different formats displaying the schedule as it currently stands for that particular group.

Notify Me

Probably the most convenient part of this scheduling system is the “Notify Me” tool. Simply click “Notify Me” to the right of the page and create an account. From there, you have the option to determine which notifications you receive.

You can schedule reminders to be sent to your email and phone a set amount of time before each activity starts.

You can receive notifications about schedule changes as soon as they happen.


The WIAA has rules in place that govern eligibility when it comes to students who transfer school districts. There are many factors to consider when looking at how eligibility is impacted upon transferring, but below is some general guidance from the WIAA.

Students entering 9th and/or 10th grade at the beginning of the school year and who are within the first four consecutive semesters of high school will be afforded unrestricted eligibility provided all other rules governing student eligibility are met.

Students entering 11th grade as transfer students are restricted to non varsity for one calendar year. 

Students entering 12th grade as transfer students are ineligible to compete at any level for one calendar year, but may practice. 

More information about the WIAA transfer rules can be found on the WIAA Website, and is also found within our activities code handbook.


The MGHS training room is open Monday - Friday after school until 6:30pm. On days where there is an event, the training room might close early. Specific weekly hours are posted on the training room doors.

Any student-athlete who needs athletic training services can stop by the training room during open hours or reach out to Jacqui Landry ( with any questions or concerns.

Travel Opportunities

All MG students and parents interested in traveling abroad, contact Mrs. Rossing at There is a group going to Italy this coming summer, 2024, and a group going to Iceland summer of 2025. There are spots open for each trip.

Monona Grove Education Foundation

The Monona Grove Education Foundation (MGEF) recently kicked off its fundraising campaign – MGEF CARES - Children, Awareness, Resources, Education, Stability. These are the pillars of the MGEF as it supports the Teachers and Students of Monona Grove.

As we kick off this campaign, Mark and Laurie Rundle have generously stepped forward to match the first $25,000 raised between now and the end of the year. Mark and Laurie are continuing the tradition to support the students of Monona Grove just as Mark’s parents, Dick & Marg, had done for many years. The Rundles’ support the programs offered by MGEF, which are instrumental in ensuring comprehensive access to all vital resources and opportunities for all students. 

As a 501 c3, we fund our efforts through tax-deductible donations from families, community members, and businesses from Cottage Grove and Monona. Our original goal was to raise $35,000 this fall, however we would love to count you among our contributors to exceed that goal via the matching funds of the Rundles’. Please visit our website for more information on MGEF CARES, our five other programs and how you can support. It’s important to note that all money stays right here in the MG educational community! And remember that gifts through the end of the year will be matched by the generous support of Mark and Laurie Rundle. Thank you for your consideration – together we can continue to support educational excellence for all students in the Monona Grove community!

December Safety Drill - Lockdown Drill

Monona Grove High School will hold a lockdown drill on December 8th for all students and staff.

The safety of our students is a top priority which is why it’s important for students to be present for monthly drills. A lockdown drill is designed to familiarize students with responding to an active threat. In all cases of a safety drill, our staff will inform students beforehand of the drill and what they can expect so they are fully prepared. We follow best practices to use trauma sensitive language and exercises to mitigate fear and anxiety during the drill.  

What your student will experience: Staff will prepare students by explaining the purpose of the drill, what they can expect and what they will need to do during the drill. The drill will begin when an announcement is made over the speakers that a lockdown drill has started. Staff and students will use the methods of listening for information and the method of Lock, Lights, Out of Sight. Classrooms will be encouraged to practice creating a barricade if safe to do so. Throughout the drill students will be reminded of different ways to manage stress and anxiety (eg: deep breaths, counting to 10, focus on the task, stay in the present, etc.). Doors may be tested during the drill, but students and staff will be alerted of any tests before they occur. After the drill is complete, staff will use trauma sensitive language to help students process the experience.

Students with sensory and other special considerations will be accommodated according to their needs. 

We encourage families to communicate with your student(s) about the importance of safety drills. You can find resources on our website to help guide those conversations. 

Read the full message on safety communication practices on our website.

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5301 Monona Drive, Monona, WI 53716  Phone: (608) 221-7660  Fax: (608) 221-7688

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