All students in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade have six multi-week transdisciplinary programs of inquiry throughout the year that are designed around the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) Primary Years Programme themes of sharing the planet, who we are, where we are in place and time, how we express ourselves, how the world works, and how we organize ourselves. Our students’ field studies serve as an outgrowth of the program of inquiry so that teachers prepare the students for the field studies in advance and then reflect afterward upon their key learnings and how they relate to the program of inquiry.
Fifth and sixth grade students go to Earthshine each year for a three-day, hands-on, unforgettable educational and bonding experience where they study ecology and early American history.
Our middle school students enjoy bonding and personal growth opportunities through our three- to five-day REACH (Reaching Environmental Awareness Through Conservation of Habitat) trip each fall. Students study ecology and geology and participate in trust- and team-building exercises as they camp, hike, ride horseback, white water raft, and rock climb through areas such as the Pisgah National Forest, Great Smokey Mountain Institute at Tremont, and Camp Kanuga. In the spring, our 8th graders enhance their knowledge of civics through trips to historically significant cities such as Washington, DC and Philadelphia.