The Madison School District is committed to continuous student improvement through the development and implementation of a rigorous and relevant curriculum and identification of effective instructional resources and strategies that challenge all students to maximize their potential.

Language Arts


Kindergarten through Grade 6 use the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill reading program titled Treasures. This comprehensive, research-based reading program offers a wealth of high quality literature and non-fiction to engage learners. Explicit instruction and ample practice ensure students’ growth in reading proficiency. Each week’s lessons integrate grammar, writing, and spelling for a total language arts approach. This program follows the current research for reading involving specific instruction in Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Comprehension and Vocabulary development. Grades 7 through 8 use the anthology found within Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Bridges to Literature. All grade levels will be implementing the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards (AZCCRS) that emphasize greater rigor in text complexity, non-fiction reviews, and a greater emphasis in writing.

Reading Resources


The 6+1 Traits Writing framework is a powerful way to learn and use a common language to refer to characteristics of writing as well as create a common vision of what ‘good’ writing looks like. Teachers and students can use the 6+1 Traits model to pinpoint areas of strength and weakness as they continue to focus on improved writing. The Traits are as follows:

  • Ideas: The Ideas are the heart of the message, the content of the piece, the main theme, together with all the details that enrich and develop that theme.
  • Organization: Organization is the internal structure of a piece of writing, the thread of central meaning, the pattern, so long as it fits the central idea.
  • Voice: The Voice is the writer coming through the words, the sense that a real person is speaking to us and cares about the message.
  • Word Choice: Word Choice is the use of rich, colorful, precise language that communicates not just in a functional way, but in a way that moves and enlightens the reader.
  • Sentence Fluency: Sentence Fluency is the rhythm and flow of the language, the sound of word patterns, the way in which the writing plays to the ear, not just to the eye.
  • Conventions: Conventions are the mechanical correctness of the piece–spelling, grammar and usage, paragraphing (indenting at the appropriate spots), use of capitals, and punctuation.
  • Presentation: Presentation combines both visual and verbal elements. It is the way we “exhibit” our message on paper.

Writing Resources


The Madison School District has a very rich history of student achievement in the area of mathematics.  Years of data have shown that students benefit greatly from hands-on mathematical experiences that build conceptual understanding. Students also need opportunities to develop proficiency in mathematical skills. To support students in a well-balanced approach to mathematics, the district has adopted two sets of resources at each grade level.  Grades K through 5 are provided TERC Investigation in Number, Data, and Space as well as Harcourt Mathematics.  Grades 6 through 8 are provided Connected Mathematic Project (CMP) and Glencoe Mathematics: Applications and Concepts.  Arizona College and Career Ready Standards guide the instruction of mathematics in the Madison School District. To learn more please visit:

Madison School District is in the process of adopting a new math program in grades K – 8. View this letter to learn more: English / Spanish

Kindergarten-5th grade Mathematics

TERC Investigation in Number, Data, and Space®
This standards-based curriculum, developed in partnership with classroom teachers, provides a complete mathematics program for grades K-5. Activity-based investigations encourage students to think creatively, develop their own problem-solving strategies, and work cooperatively. Students write, draw, and talk about math as well as use manipulatives, calculators, and computers. Mathematics content includes: the number system; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; collecting, sorting, and representing data; probability and statistics; measurement; changes over time; 2-D and 3-D geometry; fractions; computation and estimation strategies; and tables and graphs. Assessment is embedded within the investigations.

Harcourt Mathematics

Harcourt Math © 2004 is a research-based, complete and comprehensive math program for Pre-K through Grade 5. Harcourt Math was designed to help build conceptual understanding, skill proficiency, problem solving facility, and logical reasoning while carefully developing concepts within and across the mathematics strands.

6-8th Grade Mathematics

Connected Mathematics
The Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) was funded by the National Science Foundation between 1991 and 1997 to develop a mathematics curriculum for grades 6, 7, and 8. The result was Connected Mathematics, a complete mathematics curriculum that helps students develop understanding of important concepts, skills, procedures, and ways of thinking and reasoning in number, geometry, measurement, algebra, probability, and statistics.

Glencoe Mathematics

Visit the links below to view Glencoe’s applications and concepts.

Grade 6

Online Glencoe Support

Grade 7

Online Glencoe Support

Grade 8

Online Glencoe Support


Throughout the K-6th grade classrooms, Madison School District uses the Full Option Science System (FOSS). The FOSS program materials are a kit-based program where all unit materials are distributed to teachers.  They are designed to meet the challenge of providing meaningful hands-on science education. Science is an active enterprise, made active by our human capacity to think. Scientific knowledge advances when scientists observe objects and events, think about how they relate to what is known, test their ideas in logical ways, and generate explanations that integrate the new information into the established order. Thus the scientific enterprise is both what we know (content) and how we come to know it (process). The best way for students to appreciate the scientific enterprise, learn important scientific concepts, and develop the ability to think critically is to actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. The FOSS program was created to engage students in these processes as they explore the natural world. 7th and 8th grade science is supplemented by Glencoe Science Voyages.

Social Studies

The social studies program is structured to engage and promote American Citizenship, world knowledge, and history to be a more productive citizen in global society. The 2008 curriculum maps were updated in the spring of 2012 to include the AZCCRS language. They are standards focused, adding reading and writing to this curriculum.

District Events:

  • Geography Bee
  • Kids Voting
  • Mock Trials
  • Social Studies Fair
  • EgyptFair
  • Constitution Fair


The Madison School District Music program is a systematic and sequential curriculum based on the Arizona State and National Music Standards. This quality program offers a diverse and balanced array of learning experiences that include creating, performing, listening to, and analyzing music. Personal musicianship will be developed through vocal, instrumental and creative movement instruction. Current technologies are integrated to give students new and better perspectives in making music. Curriculum maps were updated in 2009 to reflect the new Arizona State Standards.


Art in Madison School District is an area in which students’ ideas, hopes, values and dreams can take physical forms. Art requires thinking and communicating, helps develop self-esteem and addresses multiple intelligences. It also personalizes content and experience through all the senses. In a visually based, multi-media environment, the world demands art as a literacy response. Art completes the curriculum for total literacy. Art curriculum was updated in 2009 to reflect the new state standards.

Physical Education

Physical education in Madison School District offers students an opportunity to learn and improve skills in a variety of physical education areas while gaining knowledge about the relationship between fitness and wellness. With this information, students will be better prepared to make important choices leading to healthy lifestyles.

To view the Arizona State Standards for all areas, visit:

Madison Traditional Academy Curriculum

Like all Madison Schools, MTA provides a curriculum that follows the standards set forth by the Arizona Department of Education. The difference is in the materials used and how that curriculum is presented. MTA implements Core Knowledge aligned to the Common Core Standards.

Core Knowledge provides a coherent, cumulative, and content specific, grade by grade, outline of topics helps ensure academic excellence, greater equity, and increased literacy. Children enter each new grade ready to learn – with a strong foundation of relevant background knowledge. The intentional sequencing of topics also helps prevent repetitions and gaps that so often characterize education.

MTA Language Arts

Spalding Phonics

The Spalding Method is a total language arts approach providing explicit, sequential, multi-sensory instruction in spelling (including phonics, handwriting, writing, and listening/reading comprehension).

Spalding incorporates these four essential elements:

  • Spelling: Students build a basic speaking and reading vocabulary while learning to understand the rules and concepts of the written language.
  • Writing: Writing reinforces word meanings, applies knowledge of the rules of English, teaches higher level thinking and enhances reading.
  • Comprehension: Students analyze characteristics that make a piece of writing exemplary and understand that an author writes for different purposes, fostering a love of reading.
  • Philosophy: The Spalding Method has high expectations of students. It promotes skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation, which enable the children to think on a higher level.

MTA Mathematics

Saxon Math

Saxon is renowned among traditional schools for its incremental, circular approach to mathematics. Saxon breaks the whole subject of math into smaller increments. Mathematical concepts are constantly reviewed with new concepts gradually incorporated.

Through reasoning, representation, connections, and in particular, problem solving, Saxon provides students with a connected, coherent, ever-expanding body of mathematical knowledge and ways of thinking.

All new concepts are developed through hands-on activities and rich mathematical conversations that actively engage students in the learning process. Concepts are developed, reviewed, and practiced over time through:

  • Sequential Instruction and Review
  • Quick Recall of Math Facts
  • Oral Practice
  • Standard Formulas and Algorithms

Text books and homework contain full instructional conversations with examples, and students can follow along as the teacher presents the explanation and refer back to the explanation when necessary.

About the Department

The Curriculum and Instruction Department is part of Madison’s Educational Services Division. This department links teachers and instructional staff with the resources and support they need to help students achieve the 21st Century and Global Community.

This department of the Madison School District provides support for:

  • Aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessment with the Arizona Academic Standards and MSD 38 Grade Level Expectations
  • Expanding instructional and assessment strategies used in the schools
  • Leading a comprehensive curriculum review and adoption process
  • Providing a wide array of differentiated professional development opportunities
  • Overseeing the evaluation process for special programs of the district and supporting the school improvement planning process

For more information contact:

Michael Winters
Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Cynthia Dael
Administrative Assistant