Tahoe Expedition Academy

Powered by Constructive Adversity

We are using calculated risk taking, adverse learning environments and real world challenges to change the face of education.

TEA stretches the imagination by teaching outside the walls of a traditional classroom. Students are not confined to a desk or a standard. Instead, they engage in real-world experiences designed to push them to the boundaries of their intellectual, social and personal comfort zones, where the learning really happens. TEA students spend 30-40 days a year in the field interacting with real-world experts and professional organizations.



Our graduates are thriving in top schools across the country from UC Berkeley to Georgetown University while our current students are changing the world every day in school. And while we do not “teach to the test” our students outperform national averages in standardized tests. We’re proud to be the only WASC accredited K-12th-grade private school in the Reno/Tahoe area.

Changing the World




Changing the World


From the University of California at Berkeley to Georgetown University, our students are being recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and breadth of real-world experiences. View Class of 2020 acceptances here, Class of 2019 acceptance here, Class of 2018 acceptances here, and Class of 2017 acceptances here.



We are excited to announce that we just earned the highest accreditation possible through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), with six years of accreditation for our entire K-12th-grade program! We received our letter yesterday and have attached it to this post. We are the first K-12th-grade fully accredited independent school in Tahoe, Truckee, and Reno.



While we do not teach to standardized tests, our students do perform above national averages. The ACT is the standardized test that is most aligned with our program. All of our high school foundations courses are UC A-G approved.

Changing the World

From creating renewable energy devices to saving the Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Mountain Frog from extinction, our students tackle real-world problems starting at age 4. Here are some of the highlights from our students in action.

11th/12th-grade students traveled to Iceland to study geothermal energy implementation

7th/8th-graders study immigration issues via canoe on the US/Mexico border

5th-graders created a green energy device for a local wildlife park

2nd-graders work with local Washoe tribe to keep their native language alive

Kindergarteners raise money and awareness for endangered frogs



Our Guiding Principles

1) Constructive Adversity®: TEA’s educational program is centered on this innovative learning theory, designed by TEA’s Co-Founder. We define Constructive Adversity as the intentional construction of and engagement with adverse environments in order to build character, promote ethical engagement and create lasting knowledge and skills. In simpler terms, Constructive Adversity means using intellectual, social and physical challenges to help students engage, grow and thrive. Learn how to excel in dynamic and challenging environments by training in a controlled risk environment. Deepen learning through real-world experience, authenticity, and active learning. Create engaging, authentic and meaningful learning experiences that give purpose, relevance, and meaning to every child’s education.

2) Academic Excellence: First and foremost, TEA is an academic institution that prides itself on providing the core content and skills students need to thrive in school and beyond. Through our academic programs students can expect to:

  • Develop core content and skills for college, career and life readiness.
  • Engage actively in real-world learning by working with industry experts, conducting fieldwork and creating authentic products.
  • Work with incredible TEAchers who view the world as a classroom.

3) Character Building: Building character is not an add-on at TEA, but rather it is embedded into the Crew’s daily routines, integrated into the academic program and cultivated through direct practice, intention and real-world adventures. Through our character building programs our students will:

  • Give back and advocate through service learning and doing good for others.
  • Strengthen critical social-emotional learning character traits.
  • Be known well and participate in the CommuniTEA and beyond.

4) Real World Adventure: This is where the magic happens and the deep, lasting memories are created. Wouldn’t you want to go to a school where Real World Adventure is valued as much as academics? Through our adventure programs our students will:

  • Experience learning firsthand through hands-on exploration.
  • Build physical strength, stamina, and ability through active learning.
  • Receive consistent exposure to numerous cultures, industry experts and facets of nature

5) Make a Positive +Impact: This is why we do what we do – to give young people the know-how, skills, and opportunities to improve their own lives and positively impact the world around them. We do this work now when students are in their formative years and they are shaping who they are as human beings. We do not prepare students for the future. We prepare them for today.