Pillars of Service

Core Academics & Project Based Learning (PBL)

All students will investigate, explore, and engage a complex question, problem, or challenge.

A key component to our instructional model is an experiential, project based learning approach, which teaches the 21st Century Learning Skills. Explore!’s application of this framework is represented in our teaching by a series of three, long-term projects where students examine a place, the people, and a problem.

This project work is community driven, and the students identify problems within our local, national, or global community and develop projects and products to address the problem and positively impact the people and the place. They apply the standards and skills that they have learned across subject areas. 

Students showcase their projects or products in presentations called Exhibitions of Learning, where families and community members are invited to attend. 

Whole Child Approach

We will serve the academic and non-academic needs of all students.

We want our students to have strong minds, hearts, and bodies. Our whole child approach is grounded by our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program. This program as well as our five core values (curiosity, community, compassion, courage, and craftsmanship) form the basis for how we govern ourselves within the school.  

As part of our SEL program, we use a curriculum called Move This World which equips students with skills on self-regulation, self-advocacy, and conflict resolution. We use restorative practices as a part of our school discipline framework to emphasize the importance of relationships within our school community. Additionally, we have three mental health clinicians on our team and five counseling interns from neighboring universities to support the social needs of our students, staff, and families.

Our students have multiple opportunities for daily outdoor activity with Fitness & Adventure, recess, and gardening with Plant the Seed. Also, on Fridays, students can participate in Friday Enrichment, which has students taking classes from community partners in areas of the arts to further teach and expose them to new ideas and identify new interests.

All of this comprises our whole child approach which is a highly valued component of our school’s model by students, staff, and families.

Diverse and Inclusive Community

We will create an environment that is inclusive and values all community members and voices.

Our school aims to reflect the diversity of our growing city. Nashville, in general, and East Nashville, specifically, is thriving with growth and diversity. Our school intentionally recruits both students and staff members to compose a school with representation from various cultural, socio-economic, religious, and lifestyle backgrounds so that we can have as inclusive a community as possible.

We have worked intentionally to ensure that diversity exists across all stakeholder groups, including our staff, our Board of Directors, and community partners. For example, organizations such as Plant the Seed, Heroes Guild, Book ‘Em, and Southern Word are all community partners who represent different perspectives, and all come to Explore! in order to expose our students to new interests and perspectives. Our students benefit from the content expertise of these diverse partners.

Our school team continuously receives ongoing training and development on cultural responsiveness so that we can ensure our diverse community provides equity and inclusion for all of its members.