High School for Recording Arts

1166 University Ave - Saint Paul MN - 55104
Type of autonomy arrangement: Leadership Goodwill
Basic Profile

Opened In



Ages 14-21+






Determine learning program
Set school-level policy
Determine professional development
Determine authorizer assessments
Determine state assessments


Select colleagues
Evaluate colleagues
Transfer or terminate colleagues
Determine tenure policy
Select leaders


Determine school budget
Set staff pattern
Determine compensation
Determine teacher workday
Set schedule
Teacher Authority Is...
De Facto

Authority rests on the goodwill of the director.

About the Learning Program

HSRA is a project-based, public charter school that operates within and around a professional recording studio. Students earn time in the studio by completing academic projects in the core learning areas of English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. HSRA encourages students who may have dropped out or been pushed out from traditional schools to complete their diplomas through a love of music and the music business.

From the April 2019 School Spotlight
High School for Recording Arts is defined by its commitment to find and nurture the genius and creativity of every student despite any life challenges or setbacks. Our school is built around the recognition that every learner arrives with important assets:

  • Special talents and strengths.
  • Passionate interests.
  • Impactful experiences.
  • Unique perspectives.

HSRA envisions an educational landscape where every student has the opportunity to attend a school that truly serves their needs irrespective of the challenges they have faced in their lives. We imagine a world where the students that need the most supports actually receive them and where politically conscious education is the norm. We will continue educating until all students from all backgrounds have an equal chance at realizing their true potential.

How does being teacher-powered impact student success?
HSRA teachers and advisors share power with students to maximize freedom, creativity, student-centered learning and choice, and excitement around learning. Through the creative and innovative pedagogy practiced here, teachers create curriculum and structure learning opportunities with a variety of approaches and a flexible schedule.

These include project-based learning, competency-based assessment, certification pathways, blended learning workshops, and front-end creative lab inquiry through photography, graphic design, visual art, music production, and more. These creative strategies allow choice and power to rest in the relationship a student has with their teacher and advisor. It also serves our mission to re-engage students with culturally responsive, relevant, and interesting opportunities that lead to student success.

How is HSRA structured?
As a dropout recovery program, we consistently serve students who have experienced significant trauma, homelessness or high mobility, conflict or barriers in their homes or communities, a need to work at a young age, and mental health issues. Due to the complexity of our student needs HSRA has a uniquely bifurcated advisory system where advisors and teachers partner together.

Our advisors work directly with students to build their goals, a schedule centered around their learning style and preferences, and to provide or find support for any barriers or needs they show up with. A team of specialized teachers partner with advisors to build guided curriculum, open-walled earning opportunities, personalized projects, and inquiry-focused labs to serve each student. The advisors and teachers are also supported by student support specialists, a social work team, a homeless liaison, a therapist, and a variety of extremely talented community experts. HSRA’s administrative team consists mostly of licensed teachers and experienced advisors working in conjunction with our executive director, founder, and board.