In Fall 2019, Hiawatha Academies launched a strategic planning process to set the academic program strategy for the next three years. With the support of Great Minnesota Schools, Hiawatha partnered with Bellwether Education Partners to engage the Hiawatha community in forging our path for the next three years.

The result is a detailed and powerful plan for elevating rigor and student engagement each day in each classroom in each of our schools.

Our singular program priority over the next three years will be to ensure that all classrooms are spaces of deep student engagement and rigorous learning.

It sounds self-explanatory – We are a school – Of course, we should be committed to this aim. We explicitly make this commitment because too often in our country schools fail to challenge students with rigorous, grade-level content. Doing the bare minimum on our part is setting our children up for failure. Too often schools are unable to develop teachers in build engaging instruction that light the spark of curiosity and joy in every child. And too often, these failures are amplified in schools serving the most marginalized students in marginalized districts.

At Hiawatha Academies, we redouble our efforts to ensure that schools are a community of learning day in and day out.

To achieve our aim that all classrooms will be spaces of deep student engagement and rigorous learning, we will aggressively pursue the following four levers:

Internalization of curriculum

Support teachers and school-based coaches to deeply internalize curriculum so that they can shift instructional delivery away from the tactical coverage of units, and move to deep student and teacher engagement grounded in interest, relevance, and rigor.

Instructional practices

Hiawatha has documented and begun using an instructional rubric, grounded in foundations. Build consistency of foundations across campuses, and build upon foundations to support the educator’s habits and mindsets that enable deeper levels of instruction and student engagement.

Inclusive classroom culture

Build mindsets necessary to support equitable, engaged classrooms that contribute to the attributes outlined in our scholar profile. Additionally, strengthen inclusive adult culture in parallel to student culture. 

Targeted student supports

Establish stronger multi-tier support structures so that all scholars can fully access Tier 1 (general classroom) instruction. To do so, we must (a) improve systems and habits of data use to inform student supports, (b) ensure ongoing training for all teachers on implementing supports (c) strengthen support systems for Special Education (SPED) and English Language Development (ELD)