Augsburg Fairview Academy
About the Learning Program
Augsburg Fairview Academy offers a teen-friendly, and family-friendly, atmosphere in which students are deeply respected and everyone is held to a high standard of personal honor. Students find their place among people who care a great deal about them and their future. They encounter adults who use positive, strength-based approaches to help them succeed. Students are given a great deal of trust and independence with the expectation that they will, in turn, conduct themselves as responsible and self-directed learners.
The following responses were provided by Max Clark-Vail, lead teacher at Augsburg Fairview Academy.
Q: Tell us a bit about about your school and the learning program.
A: AFA is a public charter high school that offers a teen and family-friendly atmosphere in which students are deeply respected. Our teachers develop curriculum and educational experiences rooted in valuing students as individuals and valuing students as a part of our community. We work diligently to meet the needs of all learners, with a special focus on those who have found more traditional systems unfulfilling or inadequate.
- Small Classes
- Supportive,Trauma-Informed Staff
- Tutoring & Academic Support
- Unlimited Metro-Transit Go-To Card
- Social Work and Special Education Departments
- College & Career Fairs
- Up to $8,000 off of tuition at Augsburg University
- Indian Education Program, including American Indian History & Culture, Dakhóta Studies, Indigenous Literature & Indigenous Arts
- Work Based Learning Program
- Qualify for PSEO and the Power of You Scholarship
Q: How does being teacher-powered impact student success?
A: Being a teacher-powered school enables us to not only leverage all of the strengths of our staff members, but it also allows us to model what we want to see out of our students. We expect our students to be engaged, empowered, and to express their voice in their pursuit of their education and likewise, we expect our colleagues to be invested in co-constructing this school throughout its evolution. When students see that their teachers make an impact on how the school is operated, then students are more likely to believe that they can have an impact as well. Lastly, being a teacher-powered school allows us to be flexible and innovative in the ways we adjust to the changing needs of our students.
Q: How does your team make decisions and which decisions are made by who?
A: At AFA we have an unusual organizational model in which we have our Board of Directors (comprised of 4 teachers and 4 community members), our Executive Team, and our Partnership. The Partnership is comprised of all staff members and is our venue for democratic decision-making and work that impacts the whole group.
Our new mission and vision, pay scale, annual calendar, programmatic model, PTO policy, parental leave policy, have all been developed by Partnership. Often a proposal may originate with the Partnership and then, through collaboration with the Executive Team member whose domain is most closely related, be more fleshed out along the way to Partnership approval. Once approved by Partnership an item may need to move to the Board Finance Committee (including a representative of the Partnership Finance Committee), the whole board, or Executive Team for final approval.
The Partnership has 5 standing committees which report back each month including; Equity and Diversity, Human Resources, Academics & Attendance, Recruitment & Retention, and Finance. All Partnership members serve on one committee or two at the most. Click here to view AFA’s Governance and Management Framework.