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Principal Message


We’ve had a great first few days of school here at Cottage Grove School! We loved welcoming your students to the 2023-2024 school year. Students have been quickly learning school and classroom routines and are already building meaningful relationships with their teachers and classmates. This week, students will dive right into their reading and math curriculums and continue to build upon their prior knowledge while learning new skills.

I can not tell you how proud I am of our amazing group of teachers and staff who worked tirelessly to get our school ready and help successfully kick off the year. We have such a dedicated group of educators here who are committed to helping our students succeed. 

I’ve loved having the opportunity to visit most classrooms during the first few days of school. It’s been so fun watching them settle into their classrooms and become more comfortable each and every day.  

This week, I’ll continue to share with students more about myself while having a little fun. As an Illinois native, I’m a deeply rooted Chicago Bears fan. As the NFL season kicks off this weekend with the Bears vs. Packers, we will have a “Sports Day” this Friday, September 8th. Students will be invited to wear an outfit to celebrate their favorite sports team. This can be professional, college, high school, or even a youth sport that they are involved in. If sports aren’t their thing, that’s totally ok, and students can always choose to wear whatever they feel most comfortable with. I’ll be proudly representing my blue and orange for Da Bears, and am totally preparing to be outnumbered by many.

I’m grateful for this opportunity to help lead CGS during Dr. Wright’s absence. Thank you to everyone who has welcomed me so far. It truly has been a great start at Cottage Grove School.


Jesse Starr

Interim Principal

Cottage Grove School

Sports Day - Friday, September 8th

Students and Staff are invited to wear an outfit to celebrate their favorite sports team.  This can be professional, college, high school, or even a youth sport that they are involved in.  If sports aren’t their thing, that’s totally ok, and students can always choose to wear whatever they feel most comfortable with.

Car Pick-Up Line Reminders

As a reminder, please ensure that you are continuing to pull all the way around the car pick up line before stopping to let your child in the vehicle.   We know that you’re excited to see your child and that it is hard to drive right past them as they are staged in the pick up area.  Our process helps to keep the line moving as we do our best to avoid backing up traffic on Cottage Grove Rd.  Our car-pick up team in the high-visibility vests will continue to direct traffic and ensure your student gets to you safely.

Educational Assistants

We are continuing to look to hire a few more Educational Assistant to support CGS.  These positions are particularly important in supporting lunch and recess times, and also provide opportunity to work directly with students in a classroom setting.  The hours of these positions can be flexible for those looking for more of a part time position.

A link to these positions can be found here.

Lunch/Recess Volunteers

As we continue to recruit for our open Educational Assistant positions at Cottage Grove School, we’d love to offer you the opportunity to volunteer during our lunch and recess times.  We have a great team of staff supporting students during these times, but the extra set of hands (especially in the beginning of the year) are always appreciated.  If you or someone you know are interested in volunteering, feel free to reach out to Mr. Starr at  

Our lunch and recess times are listed below.  Even if you’re only available to volunteer for one of the grade level times, we’d gladly have you.

1st Grade Lunch and Recess -   11:20 - 12:05

2nd Grade Lunch and Recess - 12:10 - 12:55


7:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.


Main Office: (608) 839-4576

Attendance: contact via email

School Website
School Calendar
District Website
Digital Flyers


  • Sep 4 - No School - Labor Day
  • Sep 8 - Sports Day
  • Sep 22 - No School for Students
  • Oct 3 - Picture Day

September Safety Drill

Cottage Grove School will hold a Fire Drill on Tuesday, September 26th, 2023

The safety of our students is a top priority which is why it’s important for students to be present for monthly drills. This fire (evacuation) drill is designed to help students understand what they can do to protect themselves in the unlikely case of a critical event. 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 the fire alarm sounds throughout the building. The noise of the alarm will be loud and there will be blinking lights from the alarm device. Staff will calmly and quietly guide students out of the classroom by instructing them to walk through the building to the nearest exit. Once all students and staff are evacuated at a safe distance away, staff will call roll to ensure everyone is accounted for. Staff and students will be given the all clear after the building has been identified as safe to re-enter. Once inside, 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.


MGSD commits to ongoing curriculum review and renewal on a six-year cycle so that all teachers are able to use high-quality instructional materials when engaging students in standards-based grade-level learning.  Every content area is given time and attention, and 4K-12 teachers, along with principals and curriculum specialists, participate in the process of instructional materials selection.  To start the 2023-24 school year, our elementary school teachers are using new foundational resources for English Language Arts: Amplify’s CKLA.  The CKLA K-5 curriculum provides teachers with coherently sequenced lessons based on standards and, with regard to reading, based on a structured literacy approach connected to the “science of reading.”  In addition to the strong explicit and systematic foundational reading skill programming, another significant strength of CKLA is the program’s dual approach of skill building and knowledge building content. Further, our teachers found that integrating writing into the Skill and Knowledge Blocks helped students find purpose and connection with their writing.  We are excited to see how all of our elementary students grow in their ELA skills throughout this and subsequent years.  If you are interested in learning more about Amplify’s CKLA, please contact Lisa Heipp, our Director of Instruction, or feel free to explore the CKLA website.

Cottage Grove PTO

Cottage Grove Parks and Recreation

Cottage Grove Village Guide - Fall/Winter

2023-24 Crossing Guard Map and Policy

Questions? Please contact:

JJ Larson

Deputy Administrator/Director of Administrative Services

(608) 209-8920

Infinite Campus

Please keep your information on Infinite Campus up to date!

Be sure to check your phone number(s), addresses, emails, and emergency contacts.

Infinite Campus Q&A

Volunteer Form

Want to get involved at Cottage Grove School?

Fill out a form to become a volunteer!


for more information!


If you know your child is going to be absent please email or call (608)-839-4576.

Pre-arranged absence? Fill out the form and turn it into attendance.

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

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