Inspiring children and teachers to reach higher.
Tahoe Expedition Academy utilizes our unique natural setting as base camp to create an experiential academic environment where students journey toward their personal summits as courageous and respectful world citizens. Through project-based, hands-on experiences, Tahoe Expedition Academy inspires, engages, and transforms your student into a leader of their own learning.
We measure student success based on three indicators: academic achievement, quality of student work, and evidence of engagement. Rigorous academic learning happens through collaborations with peers, teachers, the environment and the community.
Tahoe Expedition provides students with the opportunity to learn both indoors and outdoors. This includes adventure and field based instruction as well as the delivery of traditional curriculum in the classroom setting. Our instructional practices emphasize student inquiry, critical thinking, problem solving, and craftsmanship. Students put their knowledge and skills to work in addressing real problems and issues. They engage in original research and create high quality academic products to share with outside audiences. Each year, students participate in a number of school-wide multidisciplinary project-based Expeditions of rich academic topics.
Our award-winning educational philosophy, Expeditionary Learning, is based on 17 years of experience and research and is used in over 165 schools across the nation. Learn more about the powerful results of Expeditionary Learning.
Meaningful Academic Rigor and Deep Understanding: Learning Expeditions support the acquisition of knowledge ‘an inch wide and a mile deep’ in language arts, history and science. Our mathematics program instills discipline, heightens aptitude and builds confidence, while enrichment classes and unique “Guilds” nurture creativity, curiosity and craftsmanship.
Small Class Sizes: Low student-to-teacher ratios create an intimate educational setting where each student is challenged individually, held highly accountable and known well by teachers, peers and the school community.
Best Practices in Expeditionary Learning: Our inter-disciplinary classes, project-based learning, outdoor adventure and active pedagogy exemplify experiential learning. By researching, evaluating and implementing best practices in curriculum, instruction and assessment, as well as culture and character, we serve as a model and inspiration for education in the 21st Century.
Born to Learn: Our students are excited to come to school. Through earnest engagement, reflection and gratitude, students demonstrate that they inherently possess the aptitude and the desire to learn.
Character is Built In: Character development serves as the foundation for each student’s personal, social and academic growth. Each student cultivates character by developing five character traits: courage, respect, community, discovery and craftsmanship.
Developing Healthy Students and a Healthy Environment: Participating in regular outdoor adventures enhances each child’s physical health and self-confidence, while local volunteerism and service increase social awareness, support our community and contribute to the health of the natural environment.
Preparedness: In addition to the academic skills, knowledge and habits of a scholar, each student gains the critical thinking, self-advocacy and self-reliance necessary to achieve success in higher education and beyond.
We are ‘World Citizens': Using the Lake Tahoe Basin as our classroom, each student attaches knowledge to something accessible, tangible and memorable – their local environment. As students discover that Tahoe and its inhabitants serve as microcosms of the world, they develop empathy, appreciation for nature and a global consciousness.
1/ THE PRIMACY OF SELF DISCOVERY
Learning happens best with emotion, challenge and the requisite support. People discover their abilities, values, passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected. In Expeditionary Learning schools, students undertake tasks that require perseverance, fitness, craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline, and significant achievement. A teacher’s primary task is to help students overcome their fears and discover they can do more than they think they can.
2/ THE HAVING OF WONDERFUL IDEAS
Teaching in Expeditionary Learning schools fosters curiosity about the world by creating learning situations that provide something important to think about, time to experiment, and time to make sense of what is observed.
3/ THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR LEARNING
Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity. Everyone learns both individually and as part of a group. Every aspect of an Expeditionary Learning school encourages both children and adults to become increasingly responsible for directing their own personal and collective learning.
4/ EMPATHY AND CARING
Learning is fostered best in communities where students’ and teachers’ ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust. Learning groups are small in Expeditionary Learning schools, with a caring adult looking after the progress and acting as an advocate for each child. Older students mentor younger ones, and students feel physically and emotionally safe.
5/ SUCCESS AND FAILURE
All students need to be successful if they are to build the confidence and capacity to take risks and meet increasingly difficult challenges. But it is also important for students to learn from their failures, to persevere when things are hard, and to learn to turn disabilities into opportunities.
6/ COLLABORATION AND COMPETITION
Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear. Students are encouraged to compete, not against each other, but with their own personal best and with rigorous standards of excellence.
7/ DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, and respect for others. In Expeditionary Learning schools, students investigate and value their different histories and talents as well as those of other communities and cultures. Schools and learning groups are heterogeneous.
8/ THE NATURAL WORLD
A direct and respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit and teaches the important ideas of recurring cycles and cause and effect. Students learn to become stewards of the earth and of future generations.
9/ SOLITUDE AND REFLECTION
Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas. They also need to exchange their reflections with other students and with adults.
10/ SERVICE AND COMPASSION
We are crew, not passengers. Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others, and one of an Expeditionary Learning school’s primary functions is to prepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service.