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Middle School Student Agency/Culture - Hiawatha Academies

Posted on 9/8/2017 2:18:01 PM

Listing expires 10/6/2017

(ADA/Text Version)

Hiawatha Academies is a growing network of high-performing, K-12 open enrollment public charter schools. We are driven by our mission that, “All Hiawatha Academies scholars will be empowered with the knowledge, character, and leadership skills to graduate from college and serve the common good.”  

We have demonstrated success in student achievement, consistently recognized by the Star Tribune as Beating the Odds Schools. Hiawatha Academies is proof of what happens when we give every child the opportunities they deserve.  Our vision is to expand our impact by growing to five schools by 2020. At scale, we will be putting five percent of all school-age scholars in Minneapolis on the path to and through college.

About our Project

In 2018 Hiawatha will open a new innovative middle school.

Our program emerged from a community-rooted Design Team that dreamed of a school that includes significantly higher levels of student agency, has an interdisciplinary approach to curriculum, and connects the learning in the school to real social-justice action in our communities. Our design is more child-centered, more individualized in its approach, and more equity-centered and dynamic.

Designing a school around these concepts is new for Hiawatha, and the ideas are complex with tensions to explore. As such, the design features need significant building, testing, and iteration in the year ahead.

Therefore, we are hiring a Build Team. This team of passionate and disciplined innovators will take our new vision for a school, and, working with the Principal of the school and the Senior Leadership of Hiawatha Academies, will make the vision come to life through further definition and clarity.  The Build Team will build the features of the program, testing the effectiveness of the design elements, iterating along the way, and codifying our learning so that we can use them across Hiawatha and the sector more broadly.


Roles and Responsibilities:

Co-create approach to school culture, and personal development work that move students to develop a critical consciousness.  

  • Develop a strategy that integrate research on critical conscious pedagogy, trauma informed teaching, and student support practices.  

  • Integrate social emotional development and metacognitive practices into various aspects of the academic and school culture experience.

Design and build curriculum tools, practices, and protocols aligned to the school model canvas.

  • Draft a vision for each priority area that aligns to the school model and pedagogical beliefs around student agency.

  • Create assessment models that show rigorous outcomes aligned to standards and 21st Century Skills but that transcends traditional standardized assessment methods.  

  • Develop and integrate strategies that implicitly develop habits of mind within core academic courses.

  • Outline a set of deliverables and budget that you would build vs. source, vs. curate.  

  • Prototype all aspects of the program build deliverables.  

Conduct Trials and Research Cycles

    • Identify key research questions and assumptions to pilot.  

  • Collaborate with school design team to develop a system and process for testing and iterating on components of our school model.

  • Create and manage instruments for data collection, analysis, and synthesis.

  • Foster collaboration and disseminate findings and lessons to maximize cross-pollination of ideas and practices.

Lead in-school coaching and adult development

  • Model how to execute research based strategies and/or interventions.

  • Build the capacity (through coaching, training, etc.) of the school design members to:

    • make meaning of their data and pivot accordingly

    • execute research-based interventions and strategies

    • develop metrics, and collect and interpret data

Codify Knowledge (practice and content) that is clear and sharable

  • Draft and refine core practices and store them in an accessible way.

  • Compile ‘implementation plans’ so that the team understands what worked and what didn’t work during execution.

  • Create and document curriculum that can be implemented in the school model.

  • Conduct research to help schools make stronger shifts, inform our learning agenda, and/or support Transcend publications.

  • Summarize our findings and progress in the form of compelling research briefs, blogs, etc.

Skills and Characteristics

You are an entrepreneurial and ambitious educator

  • with a passion for innovation and an eagerness to strategically redesign schools because kids could be learning much faster and deeper than traditional school models allow.

  • who enjoys working in a fast paced, iterative and creative environment.

  • who thinks boldly about the possibilities for change.

  • who embraces an all hands-on deck start up environment mindset, is flexible, and lives to synthesize and refine what can be seen as messy ideas.

  • who is an independent worker self starter that takes initiative and is resourceful.

  • who can’t wait to work at the vision level AND in the weeds.

You believe and embody our Hiawatha core values of:

  • Children are at the center of everything we do.

  • Our mission requires bold thought and action.

  • We choose optimism.

  • We push ourselves to improve.

  • We are stronger together.

  • We create fun and a little weirdness.

You have demonstrated a commitment to equity and will operate with an equity growth mindset in service of Hiawatha Academies’ equity vision: We honor the humanity of all people, we actively disrupt systemic inequity in pursuit of an equitable world. To learn more about our equity vision, click here.

Educational Background and Work Experience

  • Bachelor's degree, Master's degree preferred.

  • A minimum of 7-10 years of relevant work experience as an educator or related field working directly with schools.

  • Proven record of success.

  • Experience training and coaching teachers and support staff.

  • Expertise in implementing and revising social-emotional programming and/or critically conscious curriculum.

  • Adept in conducting rapid cycle testing to build and iterate on program model elements, preferred.  

  • User centered design experience a plus.

  • Experience working with students of color and/or students growing up in under-resourced communities.

Special Work Requirements

Minneapolis is the preferred location for this role, but we will consider candidates who live outside of the Twin Cities area.   If you do not live in the Twin Cities, there will be about 40% travel required for this job.  Travel will consists of visiting Hiawatha schools in Minneapolis to observe, prototype, or work with small groups of students/staff to learn about the strengths and weaknesses in our model.


Salary for this position is competitive and based on prior experience. Hiawatha offers a collaborative and committed team of colleagues, and a comprehensive benefits plan including medical, dental, life, and retirement.

Anti-Discrimination Policy and Commitment to Diversity

Hiawatha is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. People from all diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

To Apply

Please click on the link here