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Our Approach

Why We Are Unique

What Makes Irrawaddy Academy Unique?

Our commitment to the community. 

We are here to serve the families in St. Paul and surrounding towns with culturally-responsive teaching, in-the-moment communication about student progress, and meaningful collaboration. 

Our mastery-based learning system.

With our innovative curriculum planning, no student is left behind. Our teachers meet students where they are and make sure that they have the skills to grow. 

Irrawaddy Academy provides students with the appropriate materials to grow from their current academic capabilities and build a solid base from which to thrive. While two students may engage on the same topic, each will have reading and writing expectations tailored so they can realistically grow. 

A critical component of this differentiated learning is mastery tracking of a student’s subskills so Irrawaddy can determine what has been mastered and what should come next. This is a different approach than the traditional letter-based grading seen in most schools. It is also a different approach than is seen in most district “Grade-Level Standards” in which a student is compared against his grade level and given a 1-4 rating of how well the standards are met. Rather than simply declare that a 4th grade student is failing to meet grade-level standards, Irrawaddy identifies the level he is mastering so the faculty can build off that foundation and ultimately catch up to the desired grade level. 

Our active, hands-on learning.

Irrawaddy’s curriculum has students actively engaged and interacting throughout the day, including science experiments, board games, and discussions that lead to significant oral communications across subjects. Hands-on learning brings the concepts to life, engaging students while ultimately leading to deeper understanding. 

Our focus on life skills. 

We want to see your child succeed, not just academically, but in life. Students encounter opportunities for meaningful development of critical thinking, executive functioning, problem solving, creativity, communication, and community collaboration each and every day at Irrawaddy Academy. Our focus on these Life Skills encourages students to take a broader view of what it means to be successful in school, allowing students who excel academically to continuously work to reach new highs and helping students who struggle academically to achieve a different kind of success. 

Our use of technology that allows teachers and students to thrive.

Irrawaddy Academy uses a Learning Management System and Digital Learning Platforms to provide students ample skill practice and immediate feedback on the skills they are developing. With much of the automatable and mundane work being done electronically, faculty can focus on teaching the things they love to teach: phonics, comprehension, communication, deeper understanding, and the life skills students will need to thrive. Irrawaddy’s system puts faculty in a position to develop caring, mentoring relationships that help students get through all of life's challenges.

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