The following is a typical day in the life of a scholar at Hiawatha College Prep-Kingfield
Hiawatha College Prep-Kingfield (HCP-K) scholars begin arriving on campus at 7:20 a.m. Most scholars arrive by bus, while others are dropped off by parents on their way to work. The sound of car doors shutting mingles with morning chatter. Friends quickly catch up as they walk into HCP-K’s bright, wide hallways, each wearing their HCP-K uniform; tan bottoms, and a HCP-K polo shirt that is earned by scholars. The front office to the right of the main entrance is a bustle of quick waves and “hello’s” as scholars hurry past to their classes.
Most HCP-K scholars eat breakfast at school every day. Breakfast is served in the scholars’ classrooms from 7:20- 7:40 a.m. Having breakfast in the classrooms allows scholars to begin setting up for their day of learning as soon as they arrive. Teachers are also able to engage with their students while they eat, building relationships with them that extend beyond instruction. While eating breakfast, HCP-K scholars and teachers can often be found taking part in a team building exercise or game before the school day officially begins.
Teachers hold morning advisory circles, drawing each scholar’s attention to the front of the room and the agenda for the day. These morning meetings are a Hiawatha Academies best practice that lets scholars know what is expected of them. Morning advisory circles are also a time for our budding critical thinkers to engage in stimulating discussions about collective goals for the day and beyond. And they provide an opportunity for scholars to get to know each other better, grow as a team, and develop important, lifelong character skills.
As first period begins, students sit in small groups of 4-6, allowing for more focused learning. Many classrooms have two instructors to offer scholars more one-on-one time with teachers. The small groups also allow teachers to structure lessons at different learning levels, so no one gets left behind. The classroom walls themselves are a lesson waiting to be found; peppered with inspirational quotes, the week’s plan, and fast facts, both fun and weird.
All scholars eat lunch together in the cafeteria, where Miguel Peña, the Hiawatha Academies Cafeteria Manager makes sure scholars’ appetites are nourished. Friends in different classes and grades sit together, catching up on the day’s events, and sharing their learning achievements.
RECESS & MOVEMENT
In the afternoon, if the weather permits, scholars take recess. Kids chase each other in a game of tag, others kick a ball. Even when scholars are inside, they are often encouraged to move around. Hiawatha Academies recognizes the importance of physical activity to health and concentration.
As the minutes tick into the afternoon hours, scholars gather in self-selected classrooms for their enriched learning electives. For example, you might catch scholars in the Great Team engineering cordless speakers from recycled materials. In the Computers and Technology classroom, scholars are hunched over in quiet pairs staring intensely at computer screens as they learn to develop websites.
As scholars spend time in enrichment classes, teachers meet to share information about how each scholar is progressing, and to make plans for helping student who are behind catch up – and giving more challenging work to students who are already on track.
For scholars who still have a lingering question from the day’s lessons, or just need some more one-on-one time with their favorite teachers, the extension block provides just this. Scholars seek out their teachers for extra homework help, and find themselves in detailed discussions of how and why things work as they do, satisfying the HCP Curiosity all of our scholars have.
Satisfied, stimulated scholars flood out of the building, looking forward to a rest and then another day of learning ahead.