About Explorations Academy
Explorations Academy is a Washington-based school with a goal to ignite a passion for learning that inspires participants to collaborate effectively and take responsibility for positive global change.
Explorations Academy is a Washington-based school founded in 1995 by the Global Community Institute (GCI) with a goal to ignite a passion for learning that inspires participants to collaborate effectively and take responsibility for positive global change.
The GCI is a nonprofit educational organization formed in Bellingham, WA in 1988. Explorations Academy is a core program of the Global Community Institute. The founders of GCI were motivated by two needs: the need for effective strategies that fully engage and provide meaning for learners and the need for educational organizations that address issues of social justice and ecological balance.
The school was created in 1993 and was originally called Explorations High School. It began operating in the spring of 1995 as a pilot program and moved into full operation in the fall of 1995. In 1998 they gained full accreditation as a secondary school and have been linking experiential education with academic challenge ever since. In 2018, they expanded their offerings to include a middle school program.
Explorations Academy values experiential learning, healthy individuals and communities, and environmental awareness. Since their founding, they have incorporated environmental education, field study, and ecological literacy into their core academics and summer programs. They say that this helps students build an ethic of environmental stewardship and volunteerism into their life as a direct result of first-hand experiences where nature is the classroom. Community responsibility is also central to the school’s mission, and students engage in service learning work with a variety of environmental, social justice, and other organizations.
Explorations Academy was founded on three pillars of thought that a REAL education (Relevant, Engaged, Applied Learning) is personal, social, and global. These pillars shape Student Outcomes and are reinforced in every aspect of their program whether academic or meta-curricular. Their goal is to have students find real purpose in school through timely, relevant curriculum and experiences. They hope to have students build genuine connections with others through positive relationships and self-discovery through an education integrated with service, travel, and community involvement built into school.