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Academics Overview

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At Hiawatha Academies, we strive to create inclusive learning communities that are rigorous and joyful and build student agency.  At Hiawatha Academies, we believe a great school is one in which:

  1. Students have consistent access to rigorous, high-quality curriculum
  2. Teachers utilize engaging and demanding instructional practices
  3. Authentic literacy practices are embedded in all subject areas
  4. Students are motivated through effective school culture practices
  5. Multi-tiered support systems reach all learners

Hiawatha Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

student smiling at the camera

Hiawatha Academies strives to meet the individual learning needs of each student through a rigorous yet differentiated academic program. At times, some students demonstrate a need for additional support in order to meet grade-level academic standards.

As a result, Hiawatha provides targeted support through a collaborative process to help students succeed. Hiawatha uses a three-tiered system of intervention to address the behavioral and academic needs of students. The following plan outlines the multi-tiered systems of support provided by Hiawatha Academies.

For all tiers of instruction, we commit to:

  • Using a racially conscious lens to interrogate current and ongoing practices of the Hiawatha community
  • Providing a comprehensive, layered continuum of support for each and every student in the areas of academic, social, emotional, behavioral, trauma-related, developmental, & linguistic needs.
  • Engaging in data-based decision-making about student supports is rooted in evidence of student learning and growth.

For more information go to the MTSS webpage.

Click below to read how we approach education

As part of Hiawatha’s multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), universal screening in math, reading, and social-emotional skills takes place every fall, winter, and spring. During a screening period, every student completes a brief math assessment, reading assessment, and social-emotional survey in order to check their current skill level, measure their progress, and determine if they need additional support to be successful.

If screening results indicate that a student does need additional support, teachers will provide targeted interventions to meet their needs and track their progress toward goals. Depending on the student’s grade level and needs, interventions could include small group or individual reading or math practice, check-ins with a staff member, or additional courses to catch up on foundational skills.

Consistent access to relevant, engaging, standards-aligned, grade-level appropriate curriculum and texts in every core class. Hiawatha Academies uses purchased curricular resources in addition to supplemental Hiawatha-developed curriculum in some subject areas.

Hiawatha Academies commits to ensuring that students consistently work on grade-level assignments every day in every classroom.

Click here to learn more about Hiawatha Academies’ curricular resources.

Cognitively demanding instructional practices require students to pursue conceptual understanding, develop procedural and skill fluency, acquire academic language, and apply knowledge. Hiawatha utilizes shared core instructional practices in every classroom.

At Hiawatha Academies’ we prioritize academic strategy in our professional development opportunities for staff. Coaching and using data to drive improvement are common practice

  • Each teacher has an instructional coach for weekly personalized coaching.
  • Instructional coaches, school, and network leaders participate in monthly leadership training.
  • Two weeks of teacher learning academy before the start of each school year
  • Friday professional development, called content day, three times per month

Hiawatha Academies commits to building students’ deep, authentic literacy through: 

  • Developing foundational literacy skills 
  • Regular practice with complex text and vocabulary
  • Grounding writing and speaking in textual evidence 
  • Building knowledge through content-rich instruction 
  • Utilizing translanguaging to connect to languages other than English
  • Development of academic language
  • College-ready written articulation as the ultimate indicator of student mastery across content areas

Learn more about Hiawatha Academies’ Literacy Program and How we are implementing the READ Act here.

Joyful, demanding, and inclusive school culture practices that maximize time and focus on learning and build student leadership, character, and motivation. We use the concept of restorative practices to guide our work. To learn more