Core Practices

Our core practices address five key dimensions of life in school. Taken from the Expeditionary Learning website:


Our approach to curriculum makes content and skill standards come alive for students by connecting learning to real-world issues and needs. Academically rigorous learning expeditions, case studies, projects, fieldwork, and service learning inspire students to think and work as professionals do, contributing high-quality work to authentic audiences beyond the classroom.


Our classrooms are alive with discovery, inquiry, critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration. Teachers talk less. Students talk and think more. Lessons have explicit purpose, guided by learning targets for which students take ownership and responsibility. In all subject areas, teachers differentiate instruction and maintain high expectations in order to bring out the best in all students and cultivate a culture of high achievement.


Our schools build cultures of respect, responsibility, courage, and kindness, where students and adults are committed to quality work and citizenship. School structures and traditions such as crew, community meetings, exhibitions of student work, and service learning ensure that every student is known and cared for, that student leadership is nurtured, and that contributions to the school and world are celebrated. Students and staff are supported to do better work and be better people than they thought possible.


Our leaders, teachers, and students embrace the power of student-engaged assessment practices to focus students on reaching standards-based learning targets and drive achievement. Students continually assess and improve the quality of their work through the use of models, reflection, critique, rubrics, and work with experts. Staff members engage in ongoing data inquiry and analysis, examining everything from patterns in student work to results from high-stakes tests.


Our school leaders build professional learning communities that focus sharply on student achievement and continuous improvement, use data wisely, and boldly shape school structures to best meet student needs. Leaders celebrate joy in learning and build a school-wide culture of trust and collaboration. Leadership in our schools goes beyond a single person or team – it is a role and expectation for all.