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October 2023

Principal's Message

Greetings Parents and Guardians,

We are off to a great start to the 2023-24 school year.  September has moved by quickly with students finding their academic routines, engaging in athletics and co curriculars and supporting each other in each of these areas.  Each school year begins with the potential for new connections and relationships- student to student and student to staff. This year has been no exception and it has been exciting to see those connections form.   


Homecoming Week is just around the corner.  It is always fun to see students and staff show their school spirit during this week and come together as a school community.  The week will include spirit days, a pep rally, parade, and of course the Homecoming Dance. In addition, this year, there will be Powder Puff football. There will be teams from each grade level with games kicking off at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, October 11.  We are hopeful this event brings people together for fun and healthy competition, building on our Homecoming Week activities.

As parents and guardians, we understand that events like Homecoming Week are important to your students. It's an excellent time to have conversations about your expectations during this exciting time. Clear expectations and open communication will help students navigate the week successfully and enjoy all the events.

Believe it or not, we are almost at the halfway point of the first quarter.  That means that midterm progress grades will be posted on October 5th. If you're discussing progress grades with your student or their teachers, we encourage you to start by focusing on how we can maximize engagement during class time. Our block schedule provides ample time for students to access their classroom teachers for assistance and the classroom teacher is their best resource.

We also offer the Overtime program every Tuesday-Thursday from 3:45-4:45 in the library, with two teachers available for academic support. If your student needs a dedicated space to focus on schoolwork, this is an excellent resource.

Now that our 9th graders have settled in, we are scheduling 15 minute meetings with each individual 9th grader to meet with their School Counselor.  This is an early opportunity for your student to get to know their counselor better and learn about the valuable support and resources available to them during their four years at MGHS. We encourage you to ask your student how their meeting went and to reach out to our counselors with any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your continued partnership as we move through the fall semester.  We are looking forward to a spirited Homecoming Week and a successful second half of the quarter. Mark your calendars now for fall parent/teacher conferences: Thursday, November 9th and Wednesday, November 15th from 4:00-7:00pm.


Mitch McGrath

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Main Office: 7:15-4:15

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


  • Oct 9- Picture Retake Day 7:30 am-2:00 pm
  • Oct 13- Homecoming Pep Rally, Parade and Football Game
  • Oct 14- PSAT @ District Office(optional); Homecoming Dance
  • Oct 16- Parent Forum 6:00 IMC
  • Oct 18- PSAT @ District Office (optional)
  • Oct 20- No School
  • Oct 23- No School (Staff Professional Day)
  • Oct 25- Choir Concert 7:30


  • Nov 2- Orchestra Concert 7:30
  • Nov 3- No School (Staff Professional Day)
  • Nov 9- Parent Teacher Conference Night (1 of 2) 4:00-7:00
  • Nov 10-11- Drama Club presents A Trip to the Moon
  • Nov 15- Parent Teacher Conference Night (2 of 2) 4:00-7:00
  • Nov 20- Parent Forum 6:00 IMC
  • Nov 22-24- No School

Homecoming 2023

Homecoming is almost here! Homecoming 2023 is the week of October 9th-14th, and this year's theme is Harvest Moon. The dress up days are as follows: Monday (10/9) is Construction Day, Tuesday (10/10) is 2000s Day, Wednesday (10/11) is Class Color* Day, Thursday (10/12) is Flannel Day, and Friday (10/13) is MG Spirit Day. On Friday, October 13th, the Homecoming Parade begins at 4 pm on Nichols Drive, starting at the Monona Grove District Office and walking west to Midmoor Drive. Later that day, the MG Football team will play Fort Atkinson for the Homecoming Game at MGHS at 7 pm. Finally, the Homecoming Dance will be on Saturday, October 14th at MGHS starting at 8 pm and ending at 11:30 pm. If you have any questions, please contact Natalie Nielsen (, Emily Arenz (, and Emily Moses ( 

*Class Colors are as follows: Seniors (2024) wear black, Juniors (2025) wear red, Sophomores (2026) wear green, and Freshmen (2027) wear purple. Staff is encouraged to wear Carolina Blue or their Team MG t-shirt. 

Choir Concert

News from Student Services


Registration for the PSAT/NMSQT is closed. For those that are registered, an email should have been received with information on testing location. For those testing on Saturday, October 14th, the testing location is at the District Office on the 3rd floor. For the test on Wednesday, October 18th, there will be two testing locations due to a large number of testers this year. You, and your student, will have received an email message communicating testing location and ways to prepare. Testing for both dates will take place from 8:00 AM until 12:00 PM (12:30PM at latest). Students may begin checking in at 7:40 a.m. at their testing location. Please bring your school-issued Chromebook fully charged, student ID, #2 pencils, and an approved calculator if you like. There is a calculator built into the digital test.


It is important to take some time to review how the digital version of the test will go. A helpful video can be found using this link or searching “video what to expect PSAT/NMSQT” using your favored search engine. Please review this carefully before taking the test. It includes information about the test and materials (i.e. calculators, no cell phones, etc) that can be helpful in advance. More information and practice tests can be found using this link or searching “preparing for digital psat/nmsqt college board” the first result is generally the right one. This site includes a sample of a complete exam as well as a link for more review from Khan Academy. Information about the National Merit Scholarship Program for juniors can be found using this link or searching for “national merit psat/nmsqt” and selecting the student guide from the National Merit Scholarship organization. Additional information and practice can be found at CollegeBoard, Kaplan, and Googling “Free PSAT/NMSQT Practice and Tests”.


Advanced Placement (AP) courses are designed to be introductory, college level courses taught at our high school, by our teachers. They are rigorous courses that offer students the opportunity to prepare themselves for their post high school academic plans. A student enrolled in an AP course has the option to take the AP Exam(s) at the end of the year. To see how AP exams will transfer at UW System campuses use this tool.


AP Exams are standardized exams designed to measure how well the student mastered the content and skills of a specific AP course. Exams at the end of the year are designed to test the student’s accumulated knowledge from their learning through a multi-part exam. This year some AP courses will move to a digital format for assessment. This means that all tests are completed using a school-issued Chromebooks on test day. Courses with a portfolio, such as AP Art and Design have students submit a portfolio of work for scoring online. Regardless of the exam format, based on a student’s score as well as the college or university a student attends, college credit may be awarded which is another benefit of taking an AP class and exam. The cost for each AP Exam is $98, with an additional Monona Grove administration fee of $5.00 per exam for a total of $103 per AP exam. If there is a financial hardship that would prevent a student from choosing to take an AP exam, please contact Matthew McLaughlin at or talk to your counselor prior to the registration deadline.

Students will need to commit to and pay for any AP Exams that they will take in May by November 3, 2023. More information will be provided directly to students in their AP classes. Please note there is also an Advanced Placement Course Page on the MGHS website with helpful resources for parents/guardians and students where a Registration Form (or click on the text) will be able to be found. Please be sure students and parents/guardians fill out this form together when possible. There will be no late registrations nor will refunds be issued for students who choose to not take any exams after the registration deadline of November 3, 2023.


Postsecondary Planning Resources

There are MANY resources for seniors posted on our postsecondary planning page; please encourage students to review the site for more information.

Senior Meetings

All seniors are asked to schedule a Senior Meeting with their school counselor. We will discuss your post high school plans and answer your questions. You will also turn in a copy of your senior information form.

Letters of Recommendation 

Many students plan to ask a teacher, employer, or coach for a letter of recommendation. Quality recommendations take some time to write! Please remind your student to request their letters at least two weeks - preferably more - prior to their deadline. senior information form should be provided to anyone asked to write a letter and a copy given to the student's school counselor.

Scholarship Information

Scholarship information can be found on the MG website in the student services tab under "Post-Secondary Planning". Most colleges/universities also offer their own scholarship opportunities for incoming freshmen. Students are highly encouraged to explore these by contacting their future school(s) of choice or by visiting school websites.

FAFSA Changes and Financial Aid Night

The FAFSA is undergoing a makeover and the new version is scheduled to roll out in Decembe of 2023. (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.) Please watch your email for additional information regarding the MGHS Financial Aid Night which will be held closer to the roll out of the new form. Financial Aid Night will provide families with a general overview of the financial aid process as well as share information about important financial aid changes. Go to the Federal Student Aid site to learn more about the FAFSA Simplification Act or click here for an article explaining the changes


The Goodman Community Center Thanksgiving Basket program is now accepting registrations from MGSD families! This program provides a FREE Thanksgiving meal basket to families in need. If you would like to sign up for a Goodman Center Thanksgiving basket, use this link and register by October 15th for early registration! Call or text Kayla Barnes-Patrick at 608-316-1394 with questions or to register over the phone.

¡El programa Canasta de Acción de Gracias del Centro Comunitario Goodman ahora está aceptando inscripciones de familias de MGSD! Este programa ofrece una canasta de comida GRATUITA para el Día de Acción de Gracias a las familias que tienen necesidades. Si desea inscribirse para una canasta de Acción de Gracias del Goodman Center, use este enlace y inscríbase antes 15 de octubre para la inscripción anticipada. Llame o envíe un mensaje de texto a Kayla Barnes-Patrick al 608-316-1394 si tiene preguntas o para registrarse por teléfono.


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

Crisis Text Line

Text "HOME" to 741741

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


or dial 211 for more resources

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.


Registration for winter sports is just around the corner! The registration process is new this year, but will still be completed through Infinite Campus, in both the Parent Portal and the Student Portal. Please keep an eye on your Infinite Campus messages in the next couple of weeks, for instructions on how to register.

For the 2023-24 school year, the WIAA requires athletes to have had a physical on/after April 1, 2022. If your athlete needs a physical, please be sure to get that scheduled prior to the start of their sport season. Physical forms can be scanned and emailed to, dropped off at the MGHS Main Office, or mailed to MGHS.


As many are aware, the WIAA is in dire need of licensed officials as the total number of registered officials has declined by 39% since 2010 and is down by 1,400 in just the past year.  That number goes up to over 3,000 less officials since the 2018-2019 school year.

Adult behavior and poor sportsmanship is considered one of the main factors in this reduction.

In the spring of 2021, the WIAA passed a ban for fans who are removed from an athletic contest for one additional game due to “flagrant harassment or unsporting conduct.” 

Lets all do our part, represent MG well, and provide a positive environment for our athletes, coaches, spectators, and officials!


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.

CANVAS for Guardians/Families

Hello Families! Welcome back to a new school year. I am Ms. McIntosh, your high school librarian, and I wanted to reach out to you with information about our learning management system, CANVAS. Guardians/families have the ability to sign up as an OBSERVER to see what is happening in students’ classes, when assignments are due, and to find instructions on what students are working on. Please see this document: Canvas Guardian Observer - How to Sign Up for directions. If you have any questions, please contact me at Wishing everyone a wonderful school year!

Travel Opportunities

If your son or daughter is interested in travelling abroad they should reach out to Stephanie Rossing in the English Department at MGHS ( All are welcome whether you have traveled outside of the US or not. In July, 2024 there is a group going to Italy.  In July, 2025 there is a group going to Iceland, and there is still time to join! These trips are all-inclusive and are 10-11 days trips. Contact Mrs. Rossing for the details of the itinerary and how to make it possible for you and/or your child.

Notes from the Health Team

Health Guidelines for Attendance

As we enter cold and flu season, it’s timely to review the guidelines for school attendance. We encourage families to send students to school each day as long as injury or illness does not significantly compromise the student’s health & there is no risk of illness transmission to the school community. A phone call or email to the attendance line at your student’s school is required to explain an absence on days they will remain home. 

Students should remain home & will be sent home from school if they: 

  • Have been experiencing episodes of vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours 
  • Have a temperature of 100°F or higher. Students must be fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication before returning to school. 
  • Are experiencing any symptoms severe enough to hinder participation in class & school activities (i.e., headache, body aches, fatigue, pain). 
  • Have cold symptoms that are not well contained (i.e. constant coughs, sneezes, runny noses).
  • Possibly have an untreated communicable illness (i.e. strep throat, impetigo, scabies, draining pink eye).
  • Rashes or patches of broken, itchy skin need to be examined by a physician if they appear to be spreading or not improving. Some rashes may need to be covered while your child is at school.
  • Tested positive for Covid-19 (please remain home for five days from symptom onset or positive test). Free tests are now available for ordering at & a limited number of rapid tests are available in our schools upon request.

Students may attend / return to school: 

  • When symptoms are improving 
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea free for 24 hours 
  • Fever free (100 degrees F or greater) for 24 hours without fever reducing medication 
  • If evaluated and cleared by a health care provider

Monona Grove Education Foundation

The Monona Grove Education Foundation (MGEF) is the non-profit foundation that supports educational excellence in MGSD. We expand educational opportunities for our students of all ages through scholarships and grants, & we fund projects that benefit students & teachers both inside & out of the classroom. We do this through the following five programs:

  • The Pay It Forward Program (PIF) provides financial assistance to MG students struggling with food stability or clothing; & those needing additional educational support.
  • The Monona Grove Weekend Snack Pack Program strives to support district students who are struggling with food insecurity on the weekends.
  • The Summer Scholarship Program is designed to help support summer educational & enrichment opportunities for students in the district that may otherwise be out of reach.
  • The MGEF Teacher Innovation Grants support efforts to bring innovative new ideas & programs into the district that fall outside of traditional funding.
  • The Starting Line Fund was established in 2023 by private donors & supports the idea that every student should have an equal opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities or clubs, & that access to equipment or needed items should not be a barrier.

As a 501c3, we fund our efforts through tax-deductible donations from families, community members, & businesses from Monona and Cottage Grove. As a volunteer organization 100% of donations are used to support our mission. Our next event will support the Weekend Snack Pack program via a Cribbage Tournament on October 21st – 7pm @ Oakstone Recreational in Cottage Grove. To support the Foundation, or learn how to get involved in delivering these programs to our students and educators, please visit our website & be sure to follow us on Facebook!

October's Safety Drill Notification

Monona Grove High School will hold a classroom hold drill on October 26 for all students and staff. During the month we will also hold a student safety training to inform and prepare students for the potential of a threat or hazard (i.e. hazardous material) inside or outside the building.

The safety of our students is a top priority which is why it’s important for students to be present for monthly drills. This hold drill is designed to help students understand what they can do to protect themselves in the unlikely case of a critical event. A classroom hold is called when students would be in the way of staff or emergency responders responding to a crisis, such as a medical or behavioral incident. 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 building hold has started. Staff will clear students from the hallways and collaboration areas as needed, and then remain in their classrooms until the classroom hold is lifted. Instruction will continue as normal until an announcement has been made that the drill has ended. Staff will use trauma sensitive language to help students process the experience. For the student safety training, staff will talk through scenarios and classrooms may plan and generate ideas together for action plans on potential threatening situations that could happen while at school. 

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.


This letter was mailed to the parent(s)/guardian(s) of seniors in August. It includes information about Ads for Grads and Senior Pictures. Both are due by November 30th.

This message was sent to all MGHS students and parent(s)/guardian(s) on August 24th. It includes information on yearbook ordering.

High School Parent Forum

The MGHS Parent forum is a monthly meeting that allows for parents to come and listen to the happenings at MGHS presented by Principal Mitch McGrath. In turn, the parents can ask questions, give feedback and hear about upcoming events in a casual setting. There is no fundraising at this meeting. The meeting is purely informational to bridge the home and school environment. 

The meetings will take place on the following days for the school year at 6 pm in the High School IMC (which is located off of the commons/cafeteria area). Meetings typically last about one hour. A parent volunteer will take notes and send out a brief summary of the meeting each month. If you have further questions after any meeting, the administrative team welcomes you to reach out to them directly for clarification or questions. A parent volunteer will send out a reminder email prior the meeting each month. Your email will only be used for this purpose.

The remaining dates for the 2023-24 school year are the following:

October 16

November 20

January 22

February 19

April 15

Please contact Cathy Bernards at to be added to the MGHS Parent Forum email list.

Attendance Notes


The phone number for attendance is 608-316-1393. If you call the main office number, you do not have the option to "press 1 for attendance", so please add the attendance number to your phonebook.

Thank you in advance to all of our parents for sending your students into school after medical/dental appointments with doctor's notes! Please note that doctor's notes are required in order for students to participate in sports and extra curricular activities.

An Anticipated Absence Form is required for all absences of 3+ days. It must be signed by each teacher plus a parent/guardian and then turned in to the attendance office at least 3 days prior to the anticipated absence. The form can be picked up from the attendance office.

Students cannot call themselves out of school unless they are 18 and have completed an 18 year old adult form. These are available for pick up in the Attendance Office.

School Nutrition


What are the high school meal prices for 2023-24? 

Breakfast: $1.75

Breakfast (reduced): free

Lunch: $3.75

Lunch (reduced): $0.40

Where do I find menus?

Meal menus are found on the high school website under "Resources".

How do I check balances, add money, or set reminders and/or recurring payments?

Families can check balances, add money, set reminders and set up recurring payments all through Infinite Campus. 

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

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