Academics » Academics


At Hiawatha Academies, we believe in the unlimited potential of all scholars. We seek to create a K-12 school experience for scholars that empowers them with knowledge, character, and leadership skills. Our scholars will utilize these skills to navigate, interrogate, and ultimately transform our community. At Hiawatha Academies, we are committed to making our city and our world a more inclusive, equitable, and just place.

At Hiawatha Academies, we strive to create inclusive learning communities that are rigorous, 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

To learn more about each pillar of our academic strategy, click on the segments below.

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 that students will consistently work on grade-level assignments, every day in every classroom. Hiawatha Academies utilizes best-in-class ELA, math, and science curriculum.

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

Cognitively demanding instructional practices that 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.

Central to Hiawatha Academies’ academic strategy is professional development, coaching and using data to drive improvement.

  • Each teacher has an instructional coach for weekly personalized coaching.
  • Instructional coaches, school, and network leaders receive monthly leadership training.
  • Two weeks of teacher training at the start of each school year
  • Friday afternoon professional development 3 times per month
Hiawatha Academies commits to building students’ deep authentic literacy through: 
  • Explicit foundational literacy skills 
  • Regular practice with complex text and  academic vocabulary
  • Grounding writing and speaking in textual evidence 
  • Building knowledge through content-rich instruction 
  • College-ready written articulation as the ultimate indicator of student mastery across content areas
Joyful, demanding, and inclusive school culture practices that maximize time and focus on learning and build student leadership, character, and motivation.

Hiawatha Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

All Hiawatha Academies schools use a multi-tiered intervention system for identifying and supporting at-risk students. Interventions address students’ academic, behavioral, social, and emotional needs. MTSS interventions ARE NOT special education services and are intended to address deficits early in order for students to catch up with their peers. While our MTSS structures may be used to identify students with potential learning disabilities, we also use this process to stem the over-identification of students of color due to the lack of educational opportunities, as well as to support students who need extra instruction but do not qualify for Special Education. Hiawatha Academies involves families in every step of the MTSS process. 


Hiawatha Academies utilizes a 3-tier intervention system:

Tier 1: All students 
All students receive high-quality, research-based instruction provided by qualified educational professionals. Students are screened on an ongoing basis to identify struggling students who may need additional support.

Tier 2: Targeted interventions
Students not making adequate progress in the regular classroom with Tier 1 supports are provided with more intensive instruction targeted to their needs. These interventions are provided in small-group settings in addition to their instruction in the regular classroom. 

Tier 3: Intensive interventions
Students who continue to show little progress at the Tier 2 level are provided with individualized, intensive interventions that target the students’ skill deficits. Students who do not achieve the desired level of progress in response to these targeted interventions may be referred for a comprehensive evaluation and considered for eligibility for special education services. 


If you feel your scholar may need a special education evaluation, visit Special Education

The U.S. Office of Special Education Programs has created an English-Spanish glossary of special education terminology.

Here are some agencies that may help you in understanding your rights and your scholar’s rights under state and federal special education law:

  • Parent rights (procedural safeguards) in English and Spanish
  • ARC MN (Advocacy for Persons with Developmental Disabilities): 651-523-0823 or 1-800-582-5256
  • MN Department of Education: 651-582-8689, TTY: 651-582-8201
  • MN Disability Law Center: 612-332-1441, 1-800-292-4150, TTY: 612-332-4668
  • PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Education Rights): 952-838-9000, 1-800-53-PACER, TTY: 952-838-0190