Hollis Academy's Methods to Improve Academic Achievement for All Students


Hollis Academy focuses on a core curriculum aligned with Common Core, State Standards and District Curriculum Maps.  Instructional programs use research-based materials and resources to enhance the curriculum.  Teachers supplement instruction with curriculum units that are standards-driven and based on Learning-Focused and Single-Gender strategies.  Our research-based programs are supported by the following instructional models:

Balanced Literacy

Balanced Literacy is a framework designed to help all students learn to read and write effectively. The program stands firmly on the premise that all students can learn to read and write. This balance between reading and writing allows students to receive individualized teaching appropriate for their strengths and needs in literacy. Balanced Literacy is a model for teaching children in a student-centered classroom. It is based on the research of Marie Clay, Irene Fountas, and Gay Su Pinnell. Balanced Literacy classrooms focus on different types of reading experiences: read-aloud, shared reading, guided reading, reading conferences, and independent reading. The types of writing experiences include shared writing, interactive writing, guided writing, writing conferences and independent writing.  Additionally, during many daily reading and writing experiences, students are engaged in word study. Listening and speaking are also emphasized in this integrated language approach.  Differentiated Instruction accommodates the needs of different reading ability levels and learning styles within the classroom.

Single-Gender Program

Hollis began a single-gender program in 2008-2009.  Recent brain research shows that there are important differences between boys and girls that impact the way each learns.  Research also shows that Single-Gender classrooms increase students’ ability to learn.  Our students will learn the same content and standards, but will learn it in different ways. Hollis provides classes with all boys and all girls at each grade level in grades K-5. We continue to focus on providing the best and innovative education opportunities for our students. 

Compass Learning Odyssey

The learning activities of the Compass Learning Odyssey program are engaging and enhanced with grade-appropriate content, animations, and audio and video instruction.  The program also provides standards-aligned content, research-based curriculum, individualized learning and differentiated instruction, and dynamic management and assessment tools.  The interactive content fosters an interest in learning, while helping students, educators, and parents in the ongoing pursuit of higher achievement.


Raz-Kids is an online program developed to make reading easier and more fun for students. This program engages them with animation and sound effects as they listen to fluent reading and take quizzes on what they read. Teachers can assess particular reading skills with online assessments. Students earn stars for reading and quiz activity to spend equipping their own Raz Rocket. A classroom management system gives teachers access to several detailed class and individual student reports so they can monitor students’ reading and comprehension progress. Parent access to their child’s report encourages participation between home and school as students improve their reading skills and advance through reading levels.

Response to Intervention (RTI)

RTI is a method of academic intervention to provide early, systematic assistance to children who are having difficulty learning. RTI seeks to prevent academic failure through early intervention, frequent progress monitoring, and increasingly intensive research-based instructional interventions. Reading tools and strategies are taught so children can become independent and successful readers on or above grade level.  A school-wide screening is done three times a year to qualify kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students for the program. Scott Foresman’s Early Reading Intervention (ERI) program is used with Kindergarten students. Leveled Literacy Intervention is used with our first and second graders.

School-wide Academic Vocabulary Focus

Hollis has implemented a school-wide vocabulary program based Marzano’s research.  Our students are introduced to academic vocabulary terms weekly.