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:
At Tahoe Expedition Academy, we are proud to call ourselves Crew. Being part of a Crew necessitates collaboration, respect, responsibility, diversity and inclusion. Our school culture encourages risk-taking and allows for success and failure. We hold high standards for ethics and expect our students, volunteers, staff, teachers, administrators and community to use the 5 R’s to guide Crew Code and Core Values so that we may effectively develop the character traits of courage, respect, community, discovery, and craftsmanship.
Crew Responsibilities: The 5 R’s
Combined with our Character Traits, the 5 R’s dictate our behavioral expectations for our community. Students and teachers alike are expected to practice these behaviors regularly, be it in the field, in the classroom or in the community.
Respect for One’s Self - Students demonstrate respect for themselves as human beings. Each member of a Crew has the ability to make meaningful and constructive contributions to their community that will provide individual benefit in the absence of egocentrism.
Respect for Others – Students actively practice respect for others and will refrain from making character judgments that adversely affect the well being of peers, family members and other community players.
Respect for the Environment – Students will be stewards of the land. Identifying with the affects, costs and benefits of environmental degradation and preservation are paramount to TEA’s culture.
Responsibility for One’s Actions - Oftentimes, students will be put in a position where they will learn as a result of natural consequences. In addition, it may be necessary for crew to consciously engage in making decisions about how to address the consequences of both positive and negative circumstances that have a personal effect on their own well being or the well being of others.
Reflection - Self-reflection is practiced by students in a variety of ways during each school day. This process is a standard practice for intellectual metacognition, conflict resolution and personal growth.
We see character as having two dimensions - relational and performance. 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. Both types of character are essential to success for academics and citizenship. Fostering character is not an add-on to our program. It is embedded in all aspects of the school culture and permeates academics, field studies and service learning. Character is a focus all day long, each school day and is designated as a class each morning for which students earn a grade. TEA’s Character Traits and Core Values act as the cornerstone of the habits, work, learning and relationships we develop in our community of learners.
At Tahoe Expedition Academy, we practice the following five character traits:
Courage - Our students use courage to explore and express understanding of their experiences.
Respect - Our students respect their Crew, one another and themselves.
Community - Our students give service to the local community.
Discovery - Our students discover the universe through the Tahoe lens.
Craftsmanship - Our students develop craftsmanship by revising and refining their work.
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 2012-2013 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
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 Traits and Mission.
Morning Meeting – Each morning students gather with their Classroom Crew to build relationships, monitor academic progress and foster character as well as prepare for the day ahead.
Daily Debrief – Each day, Crew Leaders conduct a daily debrief during which students practice Character Traits and the 5 R’s.
Character Trait Positive Reinforcement – “Gotcha Being Good” cards are handed out by teachers to students who are observed manifesting any one of our five character traits.
Dine-In Days – Food brings us together each day and especially on Fridays, when students are served healthy, specialty foods provided by local farms, restaurants, parents, Classroom Crews, etc.
Guilds – Each Friday, students participate in Guilds, which are based on projects of special interest. Currently, our Guilds consist of Explorers, Artists, Nutritionists and Technology.
Friday Forum - Following Guilds, the entire school community comes together to bring closure to the school week. This is a time to reflect, celebrate accomplishments, show gratitude and provide all students in the school with the opportunity to express themselves publicly.
TEA Parties – These events are a time for our entire community to come together, celebrate and build the strength of our group. Events range from a Celebration of Learning to dinner gatherings to school wide camping trips to school-wide BBQ’s.
Rite of Passage – Throughout each learning expedition, each student consciously and actively participates in a series of planned rite of passage experiences for which they may receive a Summit Bead at Friday Forum.
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.
Celebration of Learning – Once each year, the school celebrates the learning and products of students/classes by allowing them to showcase their work during an event that 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.