Natural Environment – The Lake Tahoe Basin
Cobalt-blue Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, famous for its clarity, deep blue water, and surrounding snow capped peaks. Straddling the state line between California and Nevada, it lies 6,225 feet above sea level in the Sierra Nevada. The lake was formed about 2 million years ago and is a part of the Lake Tahoe Basin with the modern lake being shaped during the ice ages.
Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California. It is home to a number of ski resorts, outdoor recreation, and tourist attractions. Snow and skiing are a significant part of the area's economy and reputation. Mountain and lake scenery, trails and access to the natural environment are attractions throughout the year.
Tahoe Expedition Academy is fortunate to call this place – of such natural beauty, geologic history and ecological diversity — our home. During the school year and the summer months, we take advantage of our good fortune by using our natural environment as a classroom for local field studies, extended backpacking trips around the Tahoe Rim Trail and daily adventures out our back door. We are proud to call the Lake Tahoe Basin our Base Camp.
For more information about our locale:
We are proud to call ourselves Crew. Being part of a Crew necessitates collaboration, gratitude, responsibility, empathy and stewardship. Our school culture encourages risk-taking as well as success and failure. We hold high standards for ethics and expect our students, volunteers, staff, teachers, administrators and parents to abide by our agreed upon school-wide Relational and Performance based Character Values, which guide our behavior and interactions with others. Note that these Character Values are not listed in order of importance; in many senses they are of equal value and in all cases play off of and inform one another.
- Stewardship - ownership, preserving, guardianship, responsibility, protecting
- Advocacy - championing, upholding, sponsorship, aid
- Gratitude - thankfulness, appreciation, gratefulness, recognition, honor
- Empathy - understanding, compassion, insight, awareness, responsive, friendship
Whereas relational character refers to skills that enable students to work well with others and to be a good person, performance character refers to skills that enable students to realize potential and to do good work. These traits are assessed and are used to measure each student’s academic progress and performance. Both types of character are essential to success for academics and citizenship.
- Creativity - inventive, imaginative, open&minded, flexibility, limitless
- Collaboration - partnerships, cooperation, teamwork, combining minds, engaged
- Perseverance - grit, moxie, tenacity, stamina, persistence, determination
- Responsibility - accountability, duty, ownership, reliability, capable
Partnerships & Local Experts
Tahoe Expedition Academy collaborates with local organizations, businesses, schools and community experts and integrates this collaboration into the curriculum. Over the past year, students have engaged with professionals, educators and volunteers from a variety of local organizations such as:
We want to thank the following experts and local organizations who dedicated their time, experience and expertise to our students' learning and engagement during the school year.
- UC Davis Science Center for Environmental Sciences
- Boys and Girls Club in Kings Beach
- Tahoe Rim Trail
- National Forest Service
- Lake Tahoe Basin Land Management Unit
- Incline Village / Crystal Bay Historical Society
- Tahoe Connection for Families
- Space Science for Schools
- Project Mana
- Space Science For Schools
- Paul Guttman
- Twin Peaks Catering
- Project Mana
- Lawrence Hall of Science
- UC Berkeley
- Commonwealth Gardens
- US Forest Service
- Point Reyes Bird Observatory
- Striker Forge
- Laird Blackwell
- Josh Root - Root of Design
- Sugar Pine Foundation
- Turtle Island Restoration Project
- Keith Hansen Studios
- Animal Ark
- Tahoe Institute of Natural Science
- Tahoe SAFE Alliance
- Fish and Wildlife Service
- PUD Truckee
- Fire Dept Truckee
- Copy Masters
- Darren Cooke, CA State Parks
- Steve Rubin
- Truckee Hospital
- Truckee Library
- Stove Store
- Post Office Truckee
- Napa Auto Parts
- Music Store Truckee
- International Migratory Bird Festival
- John Brokaw
- Mark McLaughlin
- Truckee Historical Society
- Bill Odeguest
- Chaun Mortier
- Ron Scoffield (Fiddletown Ranch)
- Walt & Sue Stanton
- Donner State Park Museum
- Sutter’s Mill & Sutter’s Fort
- Highway 50 Association
- DL Bliss State Park
- Rockwood Tree Service
- Dr. Tree (Beth Moxley)
- Sugar Pine Point State Park
- Tahoe Rim Trail Association
- Anita Thompson
- Dr. Bill Chaney, PhD
- Mark Ferris
- Incline Creek Condominiums
- Discovery Museum
- Equus Insight
- MWA Architecture
- Sierra Nevada College
- Cedar House Sport Hotel
- Truckee Airport
- Placer County SAR
- Striker Forge
- Fallon Naval Air Station
- ZIP Upham
- Lt. Kristen Levasseur
- Oracle Team USA
- Tahoe City Yacht Club
- North Sails
- Lawernce Hall of Science
- Tahoe Center for Health & Sports Performance
- Truckee Geodome / Four Season Growing
- Susie Sutphin
- Base Camp Collaborative
- Rob Laurie
- Evo Funds Real Estate
- UC Davis - Tahoe Environmental Research Center
- Reno Planetarium
It is a primary goal of Tahoe Expedition Academy to give back to the community it serves. Students provide acts of service by volunteering their time for local non-profits, participating in community events and taking initiative to make a positive change. Community Service is integrated into the curriculum and fulfills the school’s Mission to educate world citizens. Over the past year, our teachers, students and families have provided acts of service to a variety of local organizations such as:
- Sugar Pine Foundation – Tree Planting
- Boys and Girls Club in Kings Beach
- Tahoe Rim Trail – National Winter Trails Day
- Sierra Nevada College – Community Science EXPO
- North Tahoe Business Association - KB Clean Up Day
- International Migratory Bird Festival - Taylor Creek, South Lake TahoeO
- Native Species Day - Taylor Creek, South Lake Tahoe
- Project MANA - Incline Village, Nevada
- Tree Lighting Events at North Tahoe and the Ritz Carlton
- Flag Ceremony at the Kings Beach Town Council Meeting
- Point Reyes National Bird Observatory - Bird Banding
- King Beach Library - TEA Usborne Book Fair donation
- US Forest Service - Boca Townsite Trail Sign Building
Rituals and Traditions
Rituals and traditions are school-wide practices that help build a strong school culture and climate. These rituals and traditions align with and focus on TEA’s Character Values and Mission.
Adventure in Learning – The thesis of our school is based on each student’s willing participation in adventure&based experiences. We believe facing challenges, overcoming, constructive adversity and difficult situations promotes and enhances academic achievement, character development and personal growth. All of our students are expected to participate in the adventures we design to create these experiences, and they are given a grade for their participation and involvement. Students are pushed beyond their comfort zone, whether out of school in the community or in nature, or in school through challenging work, performances and presentations—the shared success of overcoming fears, challenges and constructive adversity creates a bond among students, teachers and parents alike that allows for an environment of trust, high&level academic engagement and character building.
Crew Morning Meeting – Each morning, students gather with their Classroom Crew to build relationships, monitor progress, foster character as well as prepare for the day ahead.
Crew Daily Debrief – Each day, Crew Leaders conduct a daily debrief during which students practice both Relational and Performance Character Values and take time to reflect on their experiences and progress over the course of the day or week.
Character Values Positive Reinforcement – “Gotcha Being Good” cards are handed out by teachers to students who are observed manifesting any one of our Relational and Performance Character Values.
Dine-In Days – TEA offers a catered lunch program that is facilitated by Tahoe Central Market in Kings Beach, which is owned and operated by the Habeger family. Tahoe Central Market is committed to offering fresh, local, organic produce and high quality and specialty foods. This is an optional lunch program for an additional though minimal cost that will be served on Mondays, mid& October through the end of school for grades K&10.
Science Fridays – Each Friday, multi&aged student groups in grades K&8 participate in science centric activities in an effort to foster collaboration and to develop a heightened sense of community. Science Fridays enrich the culture of the school by allowing children to engage in intellectual activities across grade levels, while pursuing areas of individual interest and passion.
Friday Forum – Each Friday at the end of the day, the entire school community comes together to bring closure to the school week. This is a time to reflect, celebrate accomplishments, show gratitude, apologize for mistakes and provide all students in the school with the opportunity to express themselves publicly.
Rites of Passage – Throughout each Learning Expedition, each student consciously and actively participates in a series of planned rite of passage experiences, which highlight and celebrate key experiences in regard to academic achievement, character development and adventure.
Challenge Hikes – A challenge hike is an all&school adventure when students and teachers participate in a rigorous physical and emotional outing into the wilderness. Older students are partnered with younger ones to provide support and to help create trust and teamwork amongst the student body.
Exhibitions, Performances and Passage Presentations – An exhibition is a public demonstration or performance that lets students show parents, teachers and members of the greater community what they are learning and doing in school. Passage Presentations allow students to demonstrate their growth and development over the course of long periods of time and to prove that they are ready to move on to the next grade level.
Displays of Student and Teacher Work and Learning – Student and teacher work is displayed and shared throughout the school, community and internal / external locales.
Celebration of Learning – The school celebrates the learning and products of students/classes by allowing them to showcase their work during this event, which is open to the school and local communities.
Your family’s involvement in our school creates an effective and supportive community, where all students have the opportunity to succeed. Parents and guardians are welcome to visit the school if prior arrangements have been made and/or you check in with the school’s front office personnel. Your participation in social, outdoor and academic activities is made possible by communicating with your child’s Crew Leader(s). Your presence is valued at community events, parent conferences and, of our course, school, since we know constructive learning occurs when you are actively engaged in your child’s educational experiences.