Polaris

Expeditionary Learning School

Intensives & Adventure

The purpose of Intensives and Adventure experiences at the secondary level is to teach and practice leadership skills through the  EL Design Principles, and to connect the academic curriculum to life outside the school walls.  Intensive Weeks occur three times per school year at the secondary level.  During this time students suspend their classroom schedules in order to immerse themselves in an Intensive or Adventure experience for an extended period.

Intensives are local experiences in which students typically participate during the regular school hours.  Local agencies and businesses may be visited and field experts are usually accessed during these opportunities.  Some Intensives in the past have included, but certainly not limited to; cooking, glassblowing, songwriting, pine beetle studies, and fashion design.

Adventure trips are typically overnight experiences in which students are travelling with their teachers and classmates.  In some cases, like with our skiing Adventure, kids may arrive extra early and return late in the day.  Although the skiing example doesn’t include overnight stays it is still considered an Adventure experience as it pertains to funding the trip(s).  Our students have been lucky enough to go to the following places through our Adventure program; France, Costa Rica, Peru, the Florida Keys, Yellowstone, Arches National Park, Heifer International’s Global Village in Arkansas, the Grand Canyon, and Grand Gulch, UT.

Intensive / Adventure Funding:  

Polaris asks that each family make a $125 contribution each year.  These contributions help fund our Fieldwork and Intensive experiences throughout the school year.  This is not a required tuition by any means, familes that can't pay will not be denied enrollment.  

In addition to the $125 contribution we’ll be asking families to fund their student’s Adventure trips within a “Menu” process.  The “Menu” process involves families deciding which trips they would like to attend, depending on their grade level, and paying individually per trip. 

Families who are not able to pay for a particular trip will have the option of obtaining scholarship dollars to help fund their student.  Our goal is to make Adventure trips available to all students despite any financial hardships a family may be experiencing.  Funds for Adventure scholarships will be raised mainly by the Polaris Parent Action Crew (PAC) and students are eligible to receive one Adventure Scholarship per academic year.  For extensive trips, one that cost more than $300, partial scholarships will be available in the amount of $200 for these trips.

We will do our best to accommodate as many students as possible on Adventure Trips through our scholarship process, but the scholarships cannot be guaranteed for any predetermined amount due to the variability in the PAC fundraising and the number of requests we receive each year.