Award Year: 2016

Helen A. Hansen Elementary School

616 Holmes Drive
Cedar Falls, IA, 50613-2043

(319) 553-2775

Mrs. Tara Jean Estep, Principal at time of Nomination

Cedar Falls Community Schools

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Hansen Elementary is a community of lifelong learners where students, staff, parents, and community are joined in a partnership towards a collective vision of: students and staff who are innovative, collaborative, and critical thinkers; a differentiated curriculum that engages all students in rigorous and relevant learning; and a safe, nurturing environment where all students are successful, well-rounded individuals who embrace diversity.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 4%
  • White: 84%
  • Hispanic: 2%
  • Asian: 5%
  • Two or more races: 4%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
Embracing 21st century learning skills to enhance individualized learning

Embracing 21st century learning skills to enhance individualized learning

Innovation. Collaboration. Engagement. And a nurturing environment where all students are successful, well-rounded individuals...that is Hansen Elementary. Hansen Elementary is not just a building, it is a community, a family, that embraces a belief in Hansen PRIDE (Positive, Ready to Learn, Insist on our Best, Dependable and Respectful, and Encourage Others to do the Right Thing). This is a place where students, staff, parents, and the community work together to uphold the vision of providing each and every student with high levels of learning.

Without hesitation, Professional Learning Communities (PLC) is the single practice that has been the most influential in Hansen's success. PLC is an ongoing process where educators work together in collective inquiry to achieve better results. Continuous collaboration empowers our teachers to fully understand the curriculum, assessment results, and data that guide instruction. Through this process we are able to provide students with targeted instruction to meet individual needs.

Although student achievement and academic success are important, we work tirelessly to provide opportunities for social and emotional growth. Our positive culture and climate make it possible for students to not only be successful, but feel confident in taking risks in their learning. In addition, through our leadership ambassador program Hansen students have opportunities to develop and employ leadership skills.

We utilize 21st century skills to enhance learning experiences for students. Technology is not isolated at Hansen, but rather teachers are provided tools to integrate technology into their classrooms, providing more opportunity for application and retention. Collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity are infused in daily lessons to aid students in becoming problem solvers as we prepare them to become successful in today's world.