Curriculum & Instruction


The Department of Curriculum and Instruction supports the district aim of High Achievement for All. We are dedicated to the goal of providing a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all Duluth Public School students.  We believe that all children can learn at high levels when offered quality learning opportunities.

Department Staff List 


Elementary Curriculum

K-5 classrooms provide instruction aligned to state standards in Mathematics, English-Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Health. Students are evaluated on their learning through a variety of benchmark, formative, and summative assessments based on standards. Communication regarding progress is provided in the form of standards-based report cards. Mathematics curriculum is based on the Math Expressions curriculum. English Language-Arts follows the Wonders program. Duluth Public Schools adopted the Reading Wonders 2017 series to be implemented in grades K-5. This reading series is part of a balanced literacy model. "Balanced Literacy" must include instruction in the essential components of read (NRP 2000): oral language, phonological awareness, phonics/decoding, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary.

Elementary students receive standards-based content instruction in art, music, and physical education through specialists on an 8-day rotation basis. 

Additional information regarding curriculum, standards and grading can be found on the Grading and Reporting page. 


Secondary Curriculum 

6-12 students are provided content through a six-period day schedule that includes mathematics, English, science, social studies, music, art, health, physical education, world languages, and career-technical education. Grading and reporting of progress in the secondary grades is through a traditional A-F report card system. Students and families can track progress through our course management system, Canvas

Additional information regarding curriculum, standards and grading can be found on the Grading and Reporting page.  To view graduation requirements and a complete list of courses, please refer to the 6-12 Course Catalogs.

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social-Emotional Learning or SEL has become an integral part of the education process.  As much as we value academic skills such as literacy and math skills, it is SEL that provides the humanistic teaching to assist raising our kids into successful adults and community members.  

According to CASEL, a leader in SEL research and work, "define(s) social and emotional learning (SEL) as an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

SEL advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities."

At Duluth Public Schools we are in our 2nd year of district-wide implementation of Second Step, a leading curriculum for social-emotional learning that impacts our kids pre-k through 8th grade.  Through Second Step we are able to give tools to our teachers and provide a space for all kids to learn SEL skills. Second Step gives us a common language to use and consistent practices to support students. Research shows SEL can improve test scores, while lowering exclusionary discipline such as office referrals and suspensions.  As a district we are grateful to have Second Step for our staff and kids.  We are also grateful for our teachers and many support staff that deliver social emotional learning each day.  

Additional Resources:

SEL Day      Second Step     CASEL      


Accessing Curriculum Documents  (Staff Only) 

Are you a teacher in the Duluth Public Schools and want to know how to access curriculum documents? 

You can access content for your grade level or course by selecting "Shared Drives" in your Google Drive. Then, select "Curriculum and Instruction PERMANENT Drive." Items are found by content area. This drive also contains hub documents in which you can find quick links to various documents like pacing guides, etc. 

If you are having trouble accessing documents, please contact the curriculum office or a content specialist.