Frequently Asked Questions

What is a learning expedition?

A learning expedition is process of inquiry that merges skill development with real world challenges and leads to a deeper understanding of ones' self and their relationship to the larger world.  To understand learning expeditions in more depth please visit the Expeditions page.

How will students learn the essential skills of reading, writing, and math?

Students will be guided in the process of establishing and monitoring their own personalized learning goals in reading, writing, and math.  Students, parents, and guides will be involved in the analysis of feedback data that will lead to mastery targets and new learning goals.  

Will students be exposed to physical education, art, history, literature, performance?

In short, the answer is Yes! We believe in learning by doing and there will be involvement of all of these elements in the process. Walking, biking, running and playing will be encouraged, physical activity will be expected on many days. Many of our expeditions throughout the year will merge the arts, relate to history and require reading of classic literature. Wondering about celebratory performances? We will have those too!

How much "screen time" will be part of a typical student day? 

Students will be spending approximately 1.5 hours per day on their Essential Skills using adaptive software such as No Red Ink (grammar), Khan Academy/Dreambox (math) to name just a few of the tools available to students.  Students will use computers during their afternoon Learning Expedition (project) time to find information, discover, collect data, analyze data, create, communicate, curate, etc.

How do students go about defining the rights and responsibilities of their learning community?

Students will be guided in the process of creating their own learning community contract that sets expectations for how individuals interface with each other.  Interpersonal challenges that arise during the school year will be viewed as an opportunity to learn and practice communication, leadership, decision making, and self governance skills.  Students will be provided with the tools, frameworks, and the decision making power to successfully address their own community conflicts.

How do you prepare students for college?

College readiness is more than having a set of memorized facts and figures of a prescribed level. We will help students with the college-bound mindset, the passion to learn more about the world around them, they will learn how to learn. Students will be prepared for college by being more broadly prepared for life. 

Will student progress be assessed with grades?

No.  Instead of traditional grades students, parents, and guides will assess progress through student portfolios, learning exhibitions, peer reviews, goal monitoring, and a once-a-year standardized test.

How much homework will there be?

Expedition Academy Santa Cruz honors the value family, sports, and other community activities bring to our students lives.  There will be no assigned homework.

How will my child stay on task in a self-directed learning environment?

The process of setting and tracking goals in order to evaluate progress is essential to success in a student-driven, individualized learning program. Students need a lot of practice setting specific, measurable goals that are challenging but realistic.

At Expedition Academy Santa Cruz, students will set weekly and daily goals, track progress, and establish a rhythm of meeting with peers to hold each other accountable.

Is Expedition Academy Santa Cruz a public or a private school?

Expedition Academy Santa Cruz is a private, independent, school.  We encourage you to connect with us by joining our newsletter or sending us an email on the CONNECT page.

When will Expedition Academy Santa Cruz be opening?

We are offering summer programs in July and our first full school year will begin in September 2018.  

What other resources will help me understand the philosophy behind Expedition Academy Santa Cruz?

We encourage you to engage with some of the resources provided on the EXPLORE page of our website to get a better sense of the ideas and other schools that influence our conception of Expedition Academy Santa Cruz.