A culturally-specific school supports academic achievement by instilling a sense of pride, a source of motivation, and a sense of understanding between students, teachers, parents, and community leaders. Cultural identity and pride is a cornerstone but is used to build bridges to the mainstream community. HmongAcademy will be bicultural and bilingual, emphasizing that success in school is necessary for successful integration into the community. While the Academy is a college-prep focused school, its goals are to develop students that measure up to all academic expectations.
- high expectations are established for every student.
- we create a peaceful and quiet classroom structure conducive to effective learning that will help all children grow to their full potential.
- there is mutual respect, harmony and trust between staff, teachers, parents and community.
- parents, teachers, staff and the community work together and are fully involved in the education of all children.
- students, parents, and community can have a sense of ownership and be a part of decision making in all aspects of the school.
- students can learn self-identity, languages and cultures.
A central tenet of our approach to teaching and learning is the recognition of the importance of “who” does the teaching and of relationships. It is critically important that Hmong College Prep Academy employs as many highly qualified mainstream and bilingual teachers as possible – for both the academic courses and for Hmong cultural course offerings. It is important for students to see competent teachers in action; it is equally important to see Hmong elders and parents actively involved in school governance and volunteering in the schools. In addition, we know that the quality of the relationships between students and adults (teachers; elders; mentors) is related to positive educational outcomes. The relational climate of the school is important – one where there is a Hmong sense of pride, a collegial relationship between teachers, a recognition of the importance of adults in the lives of students, a strong connection to community leaders and elders, and a strong sense of caring and trust between teachers and students. We believe that these qualities are enhanced in a culturally-specific environment that honors the culture and provides a support network for young people.