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, and Food. 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.
Creating meaningful assessment strategies is a priority at Explorations Academy. Evaluation methods emphasize individualized assessments, self-reflection and projects that 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.
The evidence is clear: adolescents are better learners when they are not sleep-deprived zombies stumbling through the day. Consequently, we have chosen to have our program start later in the day than typical schools. High school students attend 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Middle school students attend 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.