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Explorations Academy

Private | 8-12 | 40 students

We are best known for cultivating 21st Century skills.
 
 

 
 

Living in Bellingham

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $240,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $820.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 3 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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17 reviews of this school


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Posted December 21, 2013

My son has just completed his first term at Explorations Academy High School. He began his freshman year of high school at a good public high school here in Bellingham. Within that first year he came to realize that he wanted to learn in smaller classrooms, have more dedicated attention from his teachers because of the smaller class size and be challenged to find his destiny and his fullest human potential. He seems to have found that here at Explorations Academy. Each of the teachers challenge him to find his own voice, to be held accountable for his finest work and acknowledge the unique human being that his is. The curriculum and the teachers model the possibility of crafting a life rather then just living their life. They encourage the students to find a life of "meaning" rather then simply "doing". We are very happy to have found such a supportive place for our son as well as a place that prepares young people to enter their world with the confidence and compassion to make a difference.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 18, 2013

As the father of a 16 year old daughter attending Explorations Academy, I am nothing short of amazed at what this team is accomplishing. My daughter is inspired, engaged, activated, charged with energy and thriving. I could list many areas in which I have seen growth since she began, but I will mention just one: her ability to express herself. Since starting at Explorations, Samia's ability to articulate her ideas and in particular, her opinions have blossomed substantially. This is no doubt the work of the intellectually potent class environment... Adding to and reinforcing these abilities have been a huge leap in her vocabulary. What you are doing is academically expansive - no explosive - while staying exceptionally relevant to the life of an adolescent and at the same time to the needs of a rapidly changing world which is in many ways in crisis. All the while, you have incorporated the arts, exercise and movement, wilderness exploration and international excursions - not as isolated items, but integrated seamlessly into the organic nature of how the terms are designed. The teacher s dedication, creativity and enthusiasm for the curriculum is clear. Well done!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 2, 2013

My son is in his first year at Exploration. I am excited to see how he has developed confidence as a student. The caring staff has supported and encouraged him in his development. They teach the students to be comfortable with who they are while encouraging them to strive for excellence. My son is learning amongst a peer group that respects each person s individuality both socially and academically. It is a psychologically safe environment where students do not have to be distracted with social posturing and can focus on learning in a cooperative, healthy social environment. Through practical involvement in the local and global community, students develop a sense of hope and capability while learning in and about the world. I am happy to see my son excited about going to school and enthusiastic about learning.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 8, 2012

I have spent quite a bit of time at Explorations as a visiting educator. I have been blown away by the curriculum, field opportunities and sense of community I have seen. It is highly evident that the staff is very passionate about teaching, but also about learning. They consistently strive to create meaningful curriculum and present it in a fresh, exciting way to tailor to many different learning styles. In turn, the students feel comfortable discussing, analyzing, thinking critically, and immersing themselves in what they are learning. Because they are committed to their education, and have faith in their teachers, they have respect for each other as individual thinkers, their facility, and the ongoing opportunities they have as students. I have been in many different schools, but have never seen the students and the staff come together to build a foundation of wellness, education, and community that thrives. They go beyond jumping through educational loopholes; the learning is meaningful and applicable. The students are becoming passionate, respectful critical thinkers that will benefit the well-being of their communities.


Posted January 5, 2012

I visited the site last night. Students, parents and staff gathered for a potluck dinner and presentation by the head administrator. It was refreshing to be lead as a group to discuss current topics in our lives and our community. Each table was a mix of parents, students and staff, therefore we had an opportunity to hear from three aspects of the school community. Not only do I get a sense of the students' perspective, but I get to share with them how I value their learning environment and share with them my desire to support them in their academic and personal growth.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 19, 2011

My son attended Explorations Academy for four years and recently graduated. He is a very bright and unusually creative young person who just didn't fit into the institutional school mold. At Explorations, he was able to find his own path and express himself in his own ways -- while being exposed to very bright and creative teachers and a highly relevant academic curriculum. Further, Explorations provided him the opportunity to travel to India, Peru, and Kenya during his high school years, which gave him a window on global citizenship most young people only dream of. He is now in his second year at university and our family is very grateful for the experience he had at Explorations Academy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 1, 2011

It is hard to overstate what a great experience Explorations Academy has been for my son. He graduated last month with a wealth of experience most don t receive in a life time. Not only did he do well in his studies he got to travel to Cuba this year to learn firsthand the differences between our two countries. (He had gone to Guatemala for a month his first year at Explorations and to Indonesia for a month his junior year.) He ranked in the top 90 percentile of all American students when he took his SATs this year and if this wasn t enough to be impressed with the job Explorations was doing just ask my son and he will tell you that he really enjoyed going to school there. As a parent I can only say how proud I am of my son and how happy I am with Explorations Academy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 14, 2011

Explorations Academy is providing the best possible atmosphere for learning and engaging in community based activities. My daughter can wake up knowing it is going to be a rough day and still WANTS to go to school because she feels committed to doing her best. An outstanding staff combined with a curriculum that addresses education in a holistic manner. Academics, while rigorous, are meaningful and relevant in todays world. I feel extremely grateful to be a part of this foreward thinking educational institution. Parent of 14 yr old current student
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 20, 2010

My daughter attended Explorations Academy 10 years ago and is still filled with the glow of experiential learning. The staff is so engaged in teaching, it was hard to resist their contagious enthusiasm. My daughter's learning style was finally recognized and appreciated by the staff and with her new confidence, propelled herself through university with goals for graduation. She is now a happy well adjusted employed person who is engaged in the world.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 15, 2010

Pinch me, I must be dreaming. I asked my son how his day at school was. His response, and I quote, "It was reallyygood." I thought to myself - did he just say IT WAS REALLY GOOD!?!?!?! WOW!!!! I am quite certain that he has NEVER sad that before. In the short time he's been there we already see the seeds of change - he feels like he belongs, he feels like he counts, and that he has a responsibility to himself to take charge of his education, and his life.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 4, 2009

This school teaches by taking the kids into the world and showing them what's out there, then talking about it. Experiential learning about what's really going on.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 17, 2009

This is a dream school my teenage son is participating in leading edge school with subjects and teachers preparing him for life . He is engaged , challenged and responding with enthusiasm. Experiential education involves losts of outdoor activities, service work in the community , international travel options balanced with a rigorous academic curriculum. I highly recommend Explorations High School.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 25, 2009

Explorations Academy has been truly influential in shaping the man my son is becoming. My 17-year old son has had four years at Explorations. This fantastic school has really focused on character building. All of the students are self-aware, confident and appreciative of themselves and others. The theme-based curriculum and international travel program are challenging and thought-provoking. These students have a global outlook on life that instills confidence.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 29, 2008

Explorations is a school with an unique relationship between teachers and students. The teachers go much beyond their job descriptions. The students are expected to observe, think and process... Great school for those who want more than suceeding at multiple-choice.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 23, 2008

For my 14-yr old daughter, this school is the best thing in years. It's small, academically excellent but has a wide range of students, has hands-on learning as much as possible. They go on multiple day field trips every month and there is an international trip every winter! They teach personal development (the theme is Integrity this year) and I see my daughter growing in response. They don't take the WASL, which I think the public schools have to spend too much time and energy on. However, the kids are comfortable with standardized tests. Each kid has a close relationship with an advisor, who is also one of their teachers. Lastly, they focus on social responsibility and are out in the town just about every week. I just think Explorations Academy is great.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 11, 2008

I wish a school like Explorations had been around when I was a teenager. Teaching there is a non-stop adventure, from exploring nearby cities to backpacking on the coast and spending a month in India. The students are really what make the school special though; they are creative, open-minded, and always keep us thinking!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted November 26, 2006

This is a phenomenal school! Teaching social responsibility often is at the bottom of public school teachers' 'to do lists'--but not at Explorations Academy. A student centered education is just one of the the tremendous attributes that sets this school apart from the rest. Kids gain real skills, confidence and of course a world of knowledge, paving their way to a bright and successful future!
—Submitted by a former student


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 79% 60%
Hispanic 17% 20%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 3% 7%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 2%
Black 0% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Two or more races 0% 6%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Chinese (Mandarin)
German
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Teacher of the Year award received (2012)
  • TEDx Bellingham Speaker (2013)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics
  • Science
Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Gardening

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Jazz band
  • Rock band
  • Theory
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • German
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Gardening
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school: ends at 5:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Daniel Kirkpatrick
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Block scheduling
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Fax number
  • (360) 671-2521

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • College prep
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
  • Independent Study
  • Individually guided instruction
  • Internships
  • Multi-aged
  • Project-based
  • STEM
  • Teacher-run
  • Virtual school
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Business
  • Environmental
  • Foreign languages
  • Global
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Science
  • Service learning
  • Social justice
  • Visual arts
  • Writing
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Cooking/Nutrition teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • German
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Career/college counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Transportation options
  • Field Outing Travel
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Performance stage
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Hiking, Backpacking, Running
Girls sports
  • Hiking, Backpacking, Running

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Jazz band
  • Rock band
  • Theory
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Gardening
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Photos

School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2014-2015 school year
$10000 - $15000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
Outside scholarships

Planning ahead

College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

1701 Ellis Street Suite 215
Bellingham, WA 98225
Website: Click here
Phone: (360) 671-8085

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