The entire staff and student body of the Academy at Trails Carolina undertake quarterly place-based learning expeditions to unique geographic locations in the Southeastern United States.Unlike other boarding schools in North Carolina, these place-based learning expeditions integrate adventure, exploration, and community-building. What makes The Academy at Trails Carolina stand out from other boarding schools in North Carolina is the application of classroom knowledge and 21st Century Skills to the “real world”, interacting with local experts, and use the local community as the primary source for their learning. The time dedicated to these expeditions is integrated into the overall curriculum of each student at the Academy.

 Our latest expedition at one of the best boarding schools in North Carolina 

The Academy student body undertook a two week learning expedition to northern Florida for the

second half of the month of February.  During the course of their 13-day, two-phase Learning

Expedition (river & urban), the students of the Academy engaged in place-based learning,

applying their core-subject skill sets to the experiential exploration of:

– The 5 unique ecosystems of Crystal River State Park & Preserve

– The Pre-Columbian Native American Midden & Burial Mounds of Crystal River State

Park & Preserve

– The mathematical foundations of the artistic works of Salvador Dali at the Dali Museum

– The natural history and ecological observations of the Suwannee River watershed

– The colonial history and architecture of Castillo de San Marco as well as North

Carolina’s attempted invasion of Florida

– The history and folklore/ghost stories surrounding the St. Augustine Lighthouse

– The literary elements and geographic connections of a work of fiction set in the

Everglades region of Florida (excerpts from Killing Mr. Watson)

Students were asked to gather and apply data/information from various sources throughout the

trip, documenting their learning in curriculum books.  Various activities required them to apply

prior skills and knowledge from Science, Mathematics, History, and English, offering both a

continuation of their curriculum at the Academy as well as a concrete connection to the use of

their education in a “real world” environment.

Upon their return to campus, students spent a week synthesizing the information gathered and

activities completed into several collaborative capstone projects  that were shared with Academy

families during the most recent Family Seminar.