Ch. 118 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See definitions in s. 115.001.
118.001 118.001 Duties and powers of school boards; construction of statutes. The statutory duties and powers of school boards shall be broadly construed to authorize any school board action that is within the comprehensive meaning of the terms of the duties and powers, if the action is not prohibited by the laws of the federal government or of this state.
118.001 History History: 1995 a. 27.
118.001 Annotation This section expresses the legislature's intent to give school boards broader powers and wide discretion in exercising those powers, but does not mean that when the legislature had previously authorized the board to take particular actions using specified procedures the board has the authority to follow other procedures in taking those particular actions. Madison Metropolitan School District v. Burmaster, 2006 WI App 17, 288 Wis. 2d 771, 709 N.W.2d 73, 05-0875.
118.001 Annotation The duties and powers under ss. 118.001, 120.12 (14), and 120.13 extend to individual teachers as employees of the school board. It would be absurd to require teachers to obtain special permission from the school board with respect to every detail of their teaching. Summer homework, particularly for an honors class for which students receive additional credit, fits comfortably within the range of what is reasonable and is not unconstitutional. Larson v. Burmaster, 2006 WI App 142, 295 Wis. 2d 333, 720 N.W.2d 134, 05-1433.
118.01 118.01 Educational goals and expectations.
118.01(1)(1)Purpose. Public education is a fundamental responsibility of the state. The constitution vests in the state superintendent the supervision of public instruction and directs the legislature to provide for the establishment of district schools. The effective operation of the public schools is dependent upon a common understanding of what public schools should be and do. Establishing such goals and expectations is a necessary and proper complement to the state's financial contribution to education. Each school board should provide curriculum, course requirements and instruction consistent with the goals and expectations established under sub. (2). Parents and guardians of pupils enrolled in the school district share with the state and school board the responsibility for pupils meeting the goals and expectations under sub. (2).
118.01(2) (2)Educational goals.
118.01(2)(a) (a) Academic skills and knowledge. Since the development of academic skills and knowledge is the most important goal for schools, each school board shall provide an instructional program designed to give pupils:
118.01(2)(a)1. 1. Basic skills, including the ability to read, write, spell, perform basic arithmetical calculations, learn by reading and listening and communicate by writing and speaking.
118.01(2)(a)2. 2. Analytical skills, including the ability to think rationally, solve problems, use various learning methods, gather and analyze information, make critical and independent judgments and argue persuasively.
118.01(2)(a)3. 3. A basic body of knowledge that includes information and concepts in literature, fine arts, mathematics, natural sciences, including knowledge of the elements of agriculture and the conservation of natural resources, and social sciences, including knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of the family as a consumer, cooperative marketing and consumers' cooperatives.
118.01(2)(a)4. 4. The skills and attitudes that will further lifelong intellectual activity and learning.
118.01(2)(a)5. 5. Knowledge in computer science, including problem solving, computer applications and the social impact of computers.
118.01(2)(b) (b) Vocational skills. Each school board shall provide an instructional program designed to give pupils:
118.01(2)(b)1. 1. An understanding of the range and nature of available occupations and the required skills and abilities.
118.01(2)(b)2. 2. Preparation to compete for entry level jobs not requiring postsecondary school education.
118.01(2)(b)3. 3. Preparation to enter job-specific vocational training programs.
118.01(2)(b)4. 4. Positive work attitudes and habits.
118.01(2)(c) (c) Citizenship. Each school board shall provide an instructional program designed to give pupils:
118.01(2)(c)1. 1. An understanding of the basic workings of all levels of government, including the duties and responsibilities of citizenship.
118.01(2)(c)2. 2. A commitment to the basic values of our government, including by appropriate instruction and ceremony the proper reverence and respect for and the history and meaning of the American flag, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. constitution and the constitution and laws of this state.
118.01(2)(c)3. 3. The skills to participate in political life.
118.01(2)(c)4. 4. An understanding of the function of organizations in society.
118.01(2)(c)5. 5. Knowledge of the role and importance of biological and physical resources.
118.01(2)(c)6. 6. Knowledge of state, national and world history.
118.01(2)(c)7. 7. An appreciation and understanding of different value systems and cultures.
118.01(2)(c)8. 8. At all grade levels, an understanding of human relations, particularly with regard to American Indians, Black Americans and Hispanics.
118.01(2)(d) (d) Personal development. Each school board shall provide an instructional program designed to give pupils:
118.01(2)(d)1. 1. The skills needed to cope with social change.
118.01(2)(d)2. 2. Knowledge of the human body and the means to maintain lifelong health, including:
118.01(2)(d)2.a. a. Knowledge of the theory and practice of physical education, including the development and maintenance of physical fitness;
118.01(2)(d)2.b. b. Knowledge of the nutritive value of foods, as outlined in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a publication of the federal departments of health and human services and agriculture, and knowledge of the role of a nutritious diet in promoting health, preventing chronic disease, and maintaining a healthy weight.
118.01(2)(d)2.c. c. Knowledge of physiology and hygiene, sanitation, the effects of controlled substances under ch. 961 and alcohol upon the human system, symptoms of disease and the proper care of the body. No pupil may be required to take instruction in these subjects if his or her parent files with the teacher a written objection thereto. If a pupil does not take instruction in these subjects as a result of parental objection, the pupil may not be required to be examined in the subjects and may not be penalized in any way for not taking such instruction, but if the subjects receive credit toward graduation, the school board may require the pupil to complete an alternative assignment that is similar to the subjects in the length of time necessary to complete. Instruction in physiology and hygiene shall include instruction on sexually transmitted diseases and shall be offered in every high school.
118.01(2)(d)2.d. d. Awareness about drug abuse, including prescription drug abuse, and prevention.
118.01(2)(d)3. 3. An appreciation of artistic and creative expression and the capacity for self-expression.
118.01(2)(d)4. 4. The ability to construct personal ethics and goals.
118.01(2)(d)5. 5. Knowledge of morality and the individual's responsibility as a social being, including the responsibility and morality of family living and the value of frugality and other basic qualities and principles referred to in article I, section 22, of the constitution insofar as such qualities and principles affect family and consumer education.
118.01(2)(d)6. 6. Knowledge of the prevention of accidents and promotion of safety on the public highways, including instruction on the relationship between highway safety and the use of alcohol and controlled substances, including prescription drugs, under ch. 961.
118.01(2)(d)7. 7. The skills needed to make sound decisions, knowledge of the conditions which may cause and the signs of suicidal tendencies, knowledge of the relationship between youth suicide and the use of alcohol and controlled substances, including prescription drugs, under ch. 961 and knowledge of the available community youth suicide prevention and intervention services. Instruction shall be designed to help prevent suicides by pupils by promoting the positive emotional development of pupils.
118.01(2)(d)8. 8. Knowledge of effective means by which pupils may recognize, avoid, prevent and halt physically or psychologically intrusive or abusive situations which may be harmful to pupils, including child abuse, sexual abuse and child enticement. Instruction shall be designed to help pupils develop positive psychological, emotional and problem-solving responses to such situations and avoid relying on negative, fearful or solely reactive methods of dealing with such situations. Instruction shall include information on available school and community prevention and intervention assistance or services and shall be provided to pupils in elementary schools.
118.015 118.015 Reading instruction.
118.015(1)(1)Purpose and intent. It is the purpose and intent of this section to provide for a developmental reading program for pupils at all grade levels.
118.015(2) (2)Employment of reading specialists. Each school district shall employ a reading specialist certified by the department to develop and coordinate a comprehensive reading curriculum in grades kindergarten to 12. At the discretion of the state superintendent, a school district may contract with other school districts or cooperative educational service agencies to employ a certified reading specialist on a cooperative basis.
118.015(3) (3)Duties of reading specialist. The reading specialist shall:
118.015(3)(a) (a) Develop and implement a reading curriculum in grades kindergarten to 12.
118.015(3)(b) (b) Act as a resource person to classroom teachers to implement the reading curriculum.
118.015(3)(c) (c) Work with administrators to support and implement the reading curriculum.
118.015(3)(d) (d) Conduct an annual evaluation of the reading curriculum.
118.015(3)(e) (e) Coordinate the reading curriculum with other reading programs and other support services within the school district.
118.015(4) (4)School board duties. The school board shall:
118.015(4)(a) (a) Develop a program of reading goals for the district for grades kindergarten to 12.
118.015(4)(b) (b) Make an assessment of existing reading needs in grades kindergarten to 12 in the district based on the reading goals established under par. (a).
118.015(4)(c) (c) Make an annual evaluation of the reading curriculum of the school district.
118.015(4)(d) (d) If the school board maintains an Internet site for the school district, include a link to the guidebook related to dyslexia and related conditions that is published on the department's Internet site under s. 115.28 (56) (b).
118.015 History History: 1977 c. 29; 1995 a. 27 s. 9145 (1); 1997 a. 27; 2019 a. 86.
118.016 118.016 Assessments of reading readiness.
118.016(1)(a) (a) In the 2014–15 and 2015-16 school years, each school board and the operator of each charter school established under s. 118.40 (2r) or (2x) shall, using the appropriate, valid, and reliable assessment of literacy fundamentals selected by the department, annually assess each pupil enrolled in 4-year-old kindergarten to 2nd grade in the school district or in the charter school for reading readiness. The department shall ensure that the assessment evaluates whether a pupil possesses phonemic awareness and letter sound knowledge.
118.016(1)(b) (b) Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, each school board and the operator of each charter school established under s. 118.40 (2r) or (2x) shall, using the appropriate, valid, and reliable assessment of literacy fundamentals selected by the school board or operator, annually assess each pupil enrolled in 4-year-old kindergarten to 2nd grade in the school district or in the charter school for reading readiness. The school board or operator shall ensure that the assessment evaluates whether a pupil possesses phonemic awareness and letter sound knowledge. A school board or operator may administer computer adaptive assessments.
118.016(1)(c) (c) The department shall pay to the school board or operator, from the appropriation under s. 20.255 (1) (f), the per pupil cost of the selected assessment. If the appropriation under s. 20.255 (1) (f) in any fiscal year is insufficient to pay the full amount of aid under this paragraph, the state superintendent shall prorate state aid payments among the school boards and operators of charter schools entitled to the aid.
118.016(1g) (1g)If a pupil is enrolled in a special education program under subch. V of ch. 115, the school board or operator of the charter school under s. 118.40 (2r) or (2x) shall comply with s. 115.77 (1m) (bg).
118.016(1r) (1r)The school board or operator of the charter school shall report the results of a pupil's assessment under sub. (1) to the pupil's parent or guardian.
118.016(2) (2)The school board of the school district or operator of the charter school in which the pupil is enrolled shall provide a pupil whose assessment under sub. (1) indicates that he or she is at risk of reading difficulty with interventions or remedial reading services, as described under s. 121.02 (1) (c).
118.016 History History: 2011 a. 166; 2013 a. 20; 2015 a. 55.
118.017 118.017 Foreign language instruction.
118.017(1)(1)All instruction shall be in the English language, except:
118.017(1)(a) (a) Those programs established under subch. VII of ch. 115 where instruction shall be in the English language and in the non-English language of the bilingual-bicultural education program.
118.017(1)(b) (b) The school board may cause any foreign language to be taught to pupils who desire it.
118.017(1)(c) (c) The school board may cause any course to be taught in a foreign language if the purpose is to facilitate the instruction of English speaking pupils in that language.
118.017(2) (2)A school board may grant foreign language credit to a pupil who has satisfactorily completed a high school course in American sign language.
118.017 History History: 1983 a. 412 ss. 4, 5; Stats. 1983 s. 118.017; 1989 a. 280.
118.019 118.019 Human growth and development instruction.
118.019(1)(1)Purpose. The purpose of this section is to foster a partnership between parents of pupils attending schools in the school district and the schools in the school district to promote the optimal health and well-being of the pupils. The provisions of this section are in addition to, and do not supplant, the requirements under ss. 118.01 (2) (d) 2. c. and 8. and 118.13 (1), which are critical to maintaining the physical and psychological health of each pupil.
118.019(1m) (1m)Definitions. In this section:
118.019(1m)(a) (a) “Age-appropriate" means suitable to a particular age group of pupils based on their developing cognitive and emotional capacity and consistent with adolescent development and community standards.
118.019(1m)(b) (b) “Medically accurate information" means information that is scientifically-based and published, where appropriate, in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks.
118.019(2) (2)Subjects. A school board may provide an instructional program in human growth and development in grades kindergarten to 12. If the school board elects to provide an instructional program under this section, when the school board establishes the curriculum for the instructional program, the school board shall make determinations as to whether and, if so, for what subjects covered in the curriculum the pupils shall be separated by gender. If an instructional program is provided, the following instructional program is recommended:
118.019(2)(a) (a) Present medically accurate information to pupils and, when age-appropriate, address the following topics:
118.019(2)(a)1. 1. The importance of communication about sexuality between the pupil and the pupil's parents or guardians.
118.019(2)(a)2. 2. Reproductive and sexual anatomy and physiology, including biological, psychosocial, emotional, and intellectual changes that accompany maturation.
118.019(2)(a)5. 5. The benefits of and reasons for abstaining from sexual activity. Instruction under this subdivision shall stress the value of abstinence as the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and shall identify the skills necessary to remain abstinent.
118.019(2)(a)7. 7. Methods for developing healthy life skills, including setting goals, making responsible decisions, communicating, and managing stress.
118.019(2)(a)8. 8. How alcohol and drug use affect responsible decision making.
118.019(2)(a)9. 9. The impact of media and one's peers on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to sexuality.
118.019(2)(a)10. 10. Adoption resources, prenatal care, and postnatal supports.
118.019(2)(a)11. 11. The nature and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.
2021-22 Wisconsin Statutes updated through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on February 7, 2023. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after February 7, 2023, are designated by NOTES. (Published 2-7-23)