Deeper Learning at HVA

Deeper learning fosters and demands a more sophisticated intellectual capacity from teachers.

HVA is at the leading edge of deeper learning based on the principles and practices below. We work with a sense of urgency, and we embrace a strong work ethic and accountability for student outcomes.

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Intrinsic Motivation

HVA has been at the forefront of deeper learning, with a set of core practices that foster intrinsic motivation. Students are intrinsically motivated when questions are intriguing, tasks are challenging, and learning experiences spark intellectual curiosity.

Restorative Discipline

HVA has exceptionally high expectations for respectful behavior. Discipline at HVA is grounded in the restorative process, in which students earn a logical consequence, take responsibility for their actions, and repair any harm they’ve caused to the community.

Performance Assessment

Performance assessment requires students to produce the authentic work of the discipline, measuring the quality of student thinking and depth of understanding through open-ended questions and complex tasks.

Student Self-Direction

Maria Montessori pioneered self-direction in learning. At HVA we foster student self-direction with structures that guide and empower students to take ownership of their learning.

Application of Knowledge

Deep understanding requires that students apply knowledge in new, complex contexts. As Ted Sizer said, “The real test for students is when they are presented with something unfamiliar and asked to use what they have learned.”

Culturally Responsive Teaching

Through our work with Zaretta Hammond, we understand that culturally responsive teaching is a conceptual framework that informs instructional decision-making. We employ ambitious instruction based on cognitive rigor along with relationship building to allow students to perform at a high academic level and to become independent learners.


Mindfulness fosters inner peace and teaches students empathy and emotional self-management. All students from PreK through 12th grade practice mindfulness each day at HVA, and teachers and staff have the opportunity to practice mindfulness as well.

Compelling Curriculum

A well-crafted curriculum is designed around important ideas, exceptionally challenging work, and meaningful questions, while cultivating higher order cognitive skills.

Independent Thinking

HVA teaches students to be strong independent thinkers, not passive followers. Students probe beneath the surface of books and ideas and learn to discern the validity and accuracy of information.

The Deeper Learning Institute

We are a community of educators and activists with a passion for deeper learning and a commitment to social justice. We select graduate students who share our vision and are willing to put in the hard work to achieve it.

Enroll Your Child

Space is limited but there’s still time to apply for PreK–6th grade for Fall 2024. Don’t miss out!


Join Our Team

HVA is at the leading edge of deeper learning. Explore opportunities to teach with our passionate, caring community of educators.