Newsletter #8 - Giving Students Agency

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Welcome to our community and we are excited to share our endeavor to reshape education with you all! In this issue we are sharing our vision for student agency and resources on how student-empowered learning is accelerating learning.

Upcoming Events

Save the Date: OPEN HOUSE - May 12th

Tickets for our Open House are available on Eventbrite. Come check out the studio and get taste of what Expedition Academy offers for middle school students in Santa Cruz. Meet the founders, learn more about the personalized Essential Skills time, exciting interdisciplinary Expeditions and the social emotional approach with Campfire. Spread the word to interested families, bring them with you to Open House and get them on the Newsletter list!

Summer is right around the corner!

We have 4-weeks of summer programs available to students in 4th through 8th Grade starting in July! From Chemistry and Natural History to Robotics and Design, come check out the amazing adventures you can have this summer!

General News

The learning environment at Expedition Academy is centered around student agency. The flexible studio space is designed to allow students to create their own optimal learning spaces. During Essential Skills time, students may choose to read on a couch, tackle math concepts under the shade of a tree or setup a table for a group conversation, in spanish, outside in the sun! When we work as a team on Expedition projects, students collaborate as a team and also have the freedom to explore their own related passions outside of the group with their independent action projects. Our Campfire meetings are structured to be student-led and our school rules are created by the students themselves to encourage ownership of the community learning experience. We believe in student agency and the power it brings to the learning process.

Stay Informed: News and Ideas

What School Could be

by: Ted Dintersmith

From the executive producer of Most Likely to Succeed, Ted Dintersmith explores a variety of school models across the country. Education is in need of an overhaul and to no surprise, those that incorporate student agency and innovative teaching practices are poised for success!


Building Skills Outside the Classroom with New Ways of Learning

by: John Hanc

In order to properly prepare students for the future: high school, college, career and beyond, we need to provide them with purposeful learning experiences based in real world situations. Giving students the power to choose, learn from mistakes and tackle problems with real tangible outcomes is the way real innovation happens in education. New schools and organizations across the country are starting to realize the gains of this type of educational environment, the time for a new way to learn is now.

Inside Design Tech High School

Video by: Great Schools

In a recent visit to D. Tech High, we had the opportunity to see first hand what is possible when you give students agency in learning. D. Tech High provides many opportunities for students to follow their passions. From project partnerships with local businesses in the classroom to their dedicated Lab Day where students choose their own learning pathways one day every week! Their students are actively engaging in their communities and making a difference on their terms. Teaching music, writing plays, creating apps for educational equality or engineering go-karts just for fun, students are accelerating beyond any traditional education environment and they own the outcomes!

We look forward to sharing our continued progress on Expedition Academy Santa Cruz!

Please visit our website: , Follow us on Twitter:@EA_SantaCruz or find us on Facebook:

~ The Expedition Academy Santa Cruz Team!