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September 2023

September 13, 2023 is Back to School Night at MGHS. If there is one evening you need to be at the high school this school year, this is it!

What is Back to School Night? Parents/Guardians will go through their student’s entire schedule that evening, attending each class for 8 minutes (schedule below). This is a great opportunity to meet each one of your student’s teachers early in the school year, hear about the classes they are taking, expectations in each of those classes and some tips for success. 

By attending Back to School Night you open up so many opportunities to talk with your student about school throughout the school year. Please plan to attend!

Principal's Message

Greetings parents and guardians,

The weeks leading up to the first day of school were filled with great anticipation.  Many staff members were back in the building; some coaching or advising, others just preparing for the upcoming year. Likewise many students were back in the building for co-curriculars. At the end of August, we had three days together as a staff to prepare for the arrival of students on the first day of school.  During that time our staff thought deeply about and planned for meeting our students’ academic needs as well as their social-emotional needs. It is an honor to lead a staff committed to growth and focused on serving students to the very best of our abilities.  We are off to a great start!

On Tuesday, September 5th each class met for 30 minutes in the auditorium and learned about general expectations, guidelines and helpful information. I am sharing the slidedeck from those class meetings here.  Please take time to look through the information we shared with your student and use this opportunity to discuss any key points.  For example, this is the second year of our schoolwide cell phone policy and the expectations around cell phone use may be of interest.  Also, our response to Academic Honesty has changed slightly and will be a point of emphasis this year.  This section of the slide deck may also be of particular interest.  

On Wednesday, September 6 we held our Activities Fair. Freshmen were released early to explore extracurricular activities offered at MGHS. Upperclassmen had tables set up and shared information about their specific club or team and encouraged students to join.  Please ask your student if they found an extracurricular activity that they would like to try this year.

We are entering the second year of our school wide grading guidelines.  We made our changes after a school wide read of the book Grading for Equity by Joe Feldman.  The result of this work is that we now have more consistent and more equitable grading practices throughout the building. I am sharing the MGHS Grading Practices Guide here, which highlights many of the practices now in place.   

In an effort to help you stay organized I am sharing this link to our MGHS Calendar of Events which includes many of the major events you may want to note on your own calendar.

I look forward to our continued partnership making

2023-24 an outstanding year for each of our students.


Mitch McGrath

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Main Office: 7:15-4:15

Student Services: 7:14-3:45

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


  • Sept 8- school picture day 7:15 am-3:00 pm
  • Sept 13- Back to School Night 6:30 pm
  • Sept 18- Parent Forum 6:00 pm IMC
  • Sept 22- No School


  • Oct 9- Picture Retake Day 7:30 am-2:00 pm
  • Oct 13- Homecoming Pep Rally, Parade and Football Game
  • Oct 14- PSAT (optional); Homecoming Dance
  • Oct 16- Parent Forum 6:00 IMC
  • Oct 18- PSAT @ District Office (optional)
  • Oct 25- Choir Concert 7:30

Homecoming 2023

Homecoming is coming up soon! 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. 

News from Student Services

Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year! We are looking forward to meeting our ninth grade students, and families new to our district, and to our continued work with our returning students. 

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

Student Services Department: 608-316-1373

All team members are available to meet with students and parents to support students’ academic, career, and social/emotional needs. Michelle Boyde is available to help students and families with general questions and to set up appointments with a student services team member. Student services welcomes all students! Please remember to stop in or email to make an appointment.


Postsecondary Planning Resources

There are MANY resources for seniors posted on our postsecondary planning page; encourage students to review the site for the following pieces of information:

  1. Senior Presentation: After the Senior presentation in September, we will post the slides for all seniors to revisit as needed. Whether you plan to apply to a 4-year or 2-year college, apply to an apprenticeship or job opportunity, or join the military, this is helpful information for all of you.
  2. Senior Checklist: This is a list of essential steps as you prepare to complete your college applications. It contains helpful tips and links to essential information.
  3. Senior Application Procedures: This is a two-page document that provides step-by-step instructions for completing applications for 4-year and 2-year colleges (page one) and for completing the Common Application (page two).

Senior Meetings

After the school year is underway, all seniors are asked to schedule an individual Senior Meeting with their school counselor. We will discuss your post high school plans and answer your questions. 

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. A 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". Students are responsible for checking this site regularly for updates. 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 on December 1, 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 December 1 roll out. 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


Juniors and seniors are invited to attend a Wisconsin Education Fair (WEF) at Sun Prairie West High School on Friday, September 29th, 2023. Buses leave at 9:30 AM and return around 11:15 AM. Students must take the bus from MGHS and fill out a permission slip in order to attend.

Attending a Wisconsin Education Fair (WEF) is a great step in the process of planning for your future. Each fair may host up to 100+ colleges (including all UW System schools, Wisconsin private schools, and others from around the country) as well as specialty schools and military branches. 

At this fair, students will have the opportunity to talk directly to a representative. Each representative will answer questions students have about tuition & fees, classes, majors, prerequisites, extra-curricular opportunities, financial aid, scholarships & grants, studying abroad, athletics, etc. 

Permission slips are due by Tuesday, September 19th to Michelle Boyde in Student Services. You may print a permission slip using this link or pick one up in the Student Services Office.


Students will have the choice to take the PSAT/NMSQT on one of our two scheduled days this year: Saturday, October 14th or Wednesday, October 18th. Both exams will run from 7:45AM-12:30PM and be held at the District Office Building on the 3rd floor. The PSAT is an optional test for sophomores and juniors only. This is a national test, and therefore, the only two test dates we offer for the PSAT/NMSQT at Monona Grove. You may sign-up for the test from now until Tuesday, September 13 by using this online registration form. A paper version of this can be made available upon request in the main office. Please note that this is not the same form that was sent out at the end of last year. Students must fill out a registration form in order to be able to take this exam. The cost for the exam is $23.00 paid through Infinite Campus, by cash, or check payable to “MGHS” with PSAT in the memo line. If you are eligible for free/reduced lunch, please contact Mr. McLaughlin or Ms. Michelle Boyde to waive the exam fee.

Make sure to pick up the Student Guide when they are available, which includes a practice test, from the front office after you pay for the exam. The PSAT/NMSQT is almost the same test as the SAT, so it is good preparation for the SAT and for juniors, it is the qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship Competition. We strongly encourage you to use official PSAT/NMSQT practice tests before test day. Additional practice tests are available for free, both online and on paper. Khan Academy also has great resources for preparation found here.


The “Early College Credit Program” (ECCP) allows students to take one or more courses at an educational institution within the University of Wisconsin System, a tribally controlled college, or a private, nonprofit institution of higher education located in the state for high school and/or college credit. Individual educational institutions may have specific limitations or rules for students taking an ECCP course(s) at their school. (For instance, to participate in ECCP at UW-Madison, students must be a junior or senior with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 - overall and in the most recent semester.) The cost of attendance for participants in ECCP is split between the district, the state and in some instances, the student. 

“Start College Now” allows high school students in grades 11 and 12 and in good academic standing the opportunity to take college courses at Wisconsin Technical Colleges. The district is responsible for the cost of attendance for students in the Start College Now program. 

If the requested course or a comparable course is offered at MGHS, students may not take the course through ECCP or SCN. Students interested in either program should schedule a meeting with the School to Career Coordinator to discuss their plan and to learn about the application process. The application deadline is October 1 for spring courses, March 1 for fall courses, and February 1 for summer courses. (Note that “Start College Now” does not allow students to take summer classes.)


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 all 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 prior to the registration deadline.


AP Exam Registration: 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. There will be no late registrations nor will refunds be issued for students who choose to not take any exams after the registration deadline.


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!

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

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.

Crisis Text Line

Text "HOME" to 741741

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


or dial 211 for more resources

News from the Athletic/Activities Dept.


The MG Athletic Department  frequently sends out communication via it’s website! Check it out at

Athletic Passes & Event Admission

Monona Grove High School has partnered with Ticket Spicket to offer online tickets to all athletic events this year. Tickets and annual athletic passes can be purchased at this link

Tickets for all regular season events are $5 per person - Monona Grove School District students will receive free admission to all regular season events again this year. Annual athletic passes cost $40 per person and can be used for all home regular season events (please note that tournaments and WIAA postseason events are not included). Cash sales will still be accepted for all home events, but annual athletic passes can only be purchased digitally through Ticket Spicket.

Practice/Late Bus

Please see the Fall 2023 practice/late bus schedule here. The practice/late bus will run on all school days, and will pick up/drop off at the MGHS North Entrance (Door 17).


Athletic/Event Schedules

As we prepare to enter the 2023-2024 school year, 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.

MG's 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.


In general, the training room is open Monday - Friday after school until 6:30pm. On days where event coverage is needed, the training room might close early, but the athletic trainer will still be on site at the event. Specific monthly hours are sent to head coaches and posted on the training room doors.

Reach out to Jacqui Landry ( with any questions or concerns.

Drama Club


The first Drama Club meeting was on Wednesday, September 6th after the activities fair. It was a meet and greet, and they did their first reading of the script. Students were to bring their schedules (sports, show choir, band, Model UN, etc.) If parents have any questions feel free to contact She does her best to work around other sports and activities so the final drama club rehearsal schedule will come out by Monday September 11th.

This years play: A Trip to the Moon

By: Tracy Wells

Important dates:


September 7th 4-7pm

September 8th 4-7pm

Note: Students only need to be at one night of auditions. If they need to leave early or come late that is okay!


Monday - Friday 4-8pm (subject to change as we look at student schedules)

Note: Students must be at 3 rehearsals a week if they are an actor or in the lighting or sound booth. As we get closer to the competition, all players are expected to be there at mandatory rehearsals.

Districts Competitions

TBA (Date is not out yet) Early to mid October

Sectional Competition

November 4th

Home Show

November 10th 7:00pm

            November 11th 7:00pm

State Competition

November 16-18th at University of Green Bay, Wisconsin

The cost for Monona Grove Drama Club is $125 dollars a student. Please reach out to Becky Osman if you need assistance.

Looking forward to a great season!

Becky Osman

Monona Grove Drama Director 

Model UN

As the school year begins MG Model United Nations (MGMUN) is gearing up for another successful year.

This summer we had two amazing events. In July, Schuster’s Farm, longtime supporters of MGMUN, hosted roughly 50 students for an evening of community building, shenanigans, and smores, before a storm shut us down. Towards the end of August, we hosted a simulation to give those interested an opportunity to see what MUN is all about. There was a lively debate regarding the best dessert followed by a lunch of Pizza Hut Pizza. Again, about 50 students participated in this experience. 

MGMUN is an awesome club that builds community, and gives students an opportunity to improve their research skills, public speaking, and collaborative skills. We have anywhere from 70-90 kids participate each year. We meet every Wednesday from 3:45 pm - 5:15 pm. If students are unable to attend our Wednesday meetings we offer a morning option the Thursday after from 7:45 am - 8:05 am. 

Parents and Guardians, are you interested in learning more about this opportunity for your student? Please come to our Back to School Night meeting on Wed. September 13th from 8:30-9:00 p.m. This follows the normal Back to School Night schedule. 

Right now we have several conferences scheduled for the students to put their practice to work:

  • SIMUN - hosted by St. Ignatius in Chicago, 11/4/23
  • MADMUN - hosted by Middleton High School, 11/18
  • CIMUN - an international conference hosted in Chicago, 12/7 - 12/10
  • AMERIMUNC - hosted by American University in Washington D.C., 2/1 - 2/5
  • WHSMUN - hosted by UW here in Madison, 3/21 - 3/22

If you have any questions or would like to support the Monona Grove Model United Nations crew, please email the advisors. 


Jeremy Wallace (

Brian Jefferson ( 


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 . 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 dates for the 2023-24 school year are the following:

September 18

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. 

Work Permits


The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has changed the process for minors to obtain work permits. The requirements have not changed: anyone under the age of 16 years old is still required to have a work permit and work permits are specific to the employer, not the minor [aka a work permit is required for each new job].

Minors used to bring the four necessary documents (employer letter, parent letter, birth certificate, and social security card) plus ten dollars into school and a work permit officer (school administrative assistant) would issue the permit and provide a hard copy for the student to give to their employer.

Now, parents/guardians will complete the application process and payment online and the DWD will print and mail the permit directly to the employer.

Here is a link to the Wisconsin DWD Work Permit website:

There are "buttons" on the middle of the page:

  • If you already have a DWD ID, you will select "Yes, login to create a work permit".
  • If not, you will select "No, help me create a work permit" and it will take you through the process of first getting a DWD ID and then using that ID to create a permit.

If you need more help, DWD technicians are available by phone Monday through Friday from 6 am to 5 pm by dialing 608-266-7252.

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

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