Enrollment at Explorations is currently open to students in grades 9-12, and academically ready 8th graders on a case-by-case basis. Beginning in September, 2018, we will open our doors to grades 6 – 8 to grow our International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program.
Urban and Wilderness Field Outings are central to the Explorations experience. From infancy, human beings are hardwired to touch, taste, play, explore, and make sense of our world. By intentionally facilitating field expeditions students expand their limits, overcome their fears, and challenge their assumptions.
Our Field Outings and International Expeditions leave students with a profound and deep sense of their capacity as a human being and a great understanding and appreciation of our world.
An Explorations Academy education is grounded in delivering a meaningful, relevant curriculum. Our experiential approach draws students into the real world with learning opportunities that complement classroom learning.
At Explorations we deliver a dynamic education focusing on the personal, social and global learning of the student. We believe that the core of the student experience is not about accumulating information, but an intentional mix of intellectual complexity, outdoor education, global awareness, and self-directed learning in a small school setting. Students are treated as intellectuals as they explore ethics, philosophy and contemporary issues.
We hold students to high academic standards emphasizing self-directed learning and independent study skills. They work closely together on projects and on a regular basis must organize materials, articulate their ideas, and respond to challenging questions.
Faculty design a customized curriculum each term that weaves together traditional academics, current events and field study. Curriculum is college-preparatory and integrated in a thematic format called a cluster. Instead of attending classes with no relation to each other, student learning benefits with common themes that unite cluster classes through a more in depth, holistic view of the subjects.
Explorations Academy organizes our curriculum into comprehensive, interdisciplinary themes called “Clusters.”
Our most popular Clusters include: Energy, Shelter, Meaning and Purpose, Media, Gender, Revolutions, Food and Gardening. Our integrated topics include English, Science, Social Studies, World Language, Art, Technology, Math, Physical Education, as well as Wilderness Education and Cohort Classes.
The “Salish Sea” cluster, for example, contains Marine Biology, Northwest History, and Northwest Literature courses.
Cohort classes are organized by a student’s grade level and are guided by a Faculty Advisor who works with students as they progress toward graduation.
Creating meaningful assessment strategies is a priority at Explorations Academy. Evaluation methods emphasize individualized assessments, self-reflection and projects which require students to demonstrate knowledge and skills learned. Rather than focusing on standardized tests, students record their milestones of learning in a comprehensive, individualized portfolio maintained under close faculty guidance.