April 13, 2021
May 4-5 – GiveBig 2021
May 5-7 – High School Backpacking Trip
May 12-14 – Middle School Backpacking Trip
May 17-21 – Washington State History Trip, High School
May 31 – Memorial Day, No School
Greetings from the northern Chihuahuan desert and thank you to the whole school community for the warm welcome as the next Head of School. In the dried river bed of the Rio Grande on the historical land of the Mimbres Apache and under the gaze of Turtleback Mountain, I observe the passage of time hardened in the rocks and minerals of the land formations and the geologically more recent effects of human impact on the environment around me. In these observations, I can read the environmental health indicators which provide feedback on the effectiveness of our social, political, and economic systems to result in favorable conditions for the healthy growth and development of our next generations. Over the past 17 years, I have been working with hundreds of schools and communities to strategically plan and implement whole systems change to integrate the skills, knowledge, and understandings necessary to educate for sustainability within the existing curricula.
As I go into this next phase of my life, I am excited to explore the school-community of Explorations Academy and work in concert to establish its next phase of sophistication for the best interests of our students, families, teachers and surrounding communities of people, plants, and wildlife. Over the next year I will be focusing on developing the school as a learning organization by prioritizing the establishment of a 3-5 year strategic plan, a curriculum mapping system, formal stakeholder feedback systems to inform teacher professional development, course improvement, and organizational development, a needs assessment and report, and metrics indicative of the environmental, societal and educational outcomes of the student learning experience.
During this important state of human development, young people consciously create their own identities, unveil their own values and need their ideals confirmed. We will continue to engage our students in authentic experiences that contribute to their sense of connection to the world and a meaningful relationship with it in a balanced science, arts, mathematics, engineering and literature project-based curriculum. Over the next few months you can expect regular and open lines of communication and transparency in decision-making as we plan for the coming school year and need your input. I look forward to seeing the potential of this institution to realize and perpetuate an educational model that develops the full measure of human potential and allows for the recognition of one’s life work and service to the sustainability of humanity.
State Street Bridge Closure
The city is about to begin work on replacing the bridge over State Street. We are excited about the environmental repair that this work will accomplish; however, it is likely to mean a series of detours that may make getting to school more challenging. Those students arriving via car should allocate an extra few minutes to get to school starting April 19th.
All students 16 or older become eligible for Covid vaccines starting 4/15. We are happy to assist in making appointments for any family that has difficulty in that process.
Next week is midterm conference week. Your child’s advisor is happy to meet with you to discuss progress thus far and address any concerns that you might have. Please email your child’s advisor to make an appointment.
National Poetry Month
In recognition of National Poetry Month, we encourage everyone to join in the Passing of the Laurel event for Washington’s New Poet Laureate: Rena Priest. Not only is Rena a member of the Lummi Nation (on whose ancestral land Explorations Academy is located), the event is also being produced by our good friends and neighbors: Children of the Setting Sun Productions.
You can register for the event here.
Middle School Hike
The middle school will be going for a hike on April 23rd. More details to follow; however, we will ask families who are able to do so to drop kids off at a local trailhead. We can provide transport for students who need a ride from EA, but we request that you notify Nora if you need that ride.
What did the EA staff do over Spring Break?