Updated May 15, 2019
Situated in the urban setting of East Indianapolis, Hoosier Academy provides a safe learning environment for a diverse group of students with unique needs, including students with anxiety, students who are medically fragile, and students who are on the Asperger’s/Autism spectrum. Most of their student population perform either above or below grade level, and the program provides the students an opportunity to catch up or move ahead with a combination of onsite learning support and virtual learning options. Hoosier Academy has a diverse population of students with over 80% qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch.
Hoosier Academy’s hybrid model is organized around students attending school onsite for two days per week and learning with virtual curriculum and digital support tools for three days per week. While onsite, students attend each of their courses and meet with their teachers as well as participate in project based learning and hands-on activities, including robotics and hydroponics in science. Additionally, Hoosier Academy is incorporating a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program in conjunction with their Graduation Pathways program for high school students, including adding graduation coaches and a CTE coordinator. Courses are offered in the following areas of specialization: Certified Nursing Assistant, Business, Culinary Arts and Hospitality, and Early Childhood Development. High school students can also participate in service learning and work-based learning opportunities. Student Council, National Honor Society, field trips, and service projects help provide students with a well-rounded K–12 learning experience.
Elizabeth Lamey, Head of Schools for Hoosier Academy, shares that socio-emotional resources are also built in to the students’ program to build the social and emotional skills that will help students throughout their lives. With tools such as 7 Mindsets virtual learning program, they are working with their students and families to change the mindset around life’s challenges such that, despite experiencing personal health or trauma in their lives, they can come to a safe school, create a stable environment, and learn. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) are built into the program as well, along with rewards for progress and accomplishments. Students and families can download the school app on their phone and other devices, and the app provides access to their courses and other programs used by the school.
The teachers and school staff focus on “strong starts” and continuous monitoring of student progress that helps set expectations for student learning and success. A multi-tiered support system includes additional math and reading support onsite and virtually, small group, and 1:1 tutoring to help get students back on track with their learning when they fall behind. Hoosier Academy also adds wrap-around services, including home visits, as needed to provide additional support. Lamey reports that Hoosier Academy went from an “F” to a “C” rated school on their state report card in 2017–18, and their goals include reaching their one-year growth goals in reading and math.
This profile was developed through correspondence with Elizabeth Lamey of Hoosier Academy.