Our Adolescent Program is designed to offer age-appropriate academic, physical, and social challenges in an authentic community setting. Here, students in 7th and 8th grades embark on a journey of self-discovery, leadership, and academic excellence. 
From hands-on learning to active participation in community service projects, students are encouraged to explore, question, and immerse themselves in the world around them. Through collaborative projects and immersive experiences, they develop critical thinking skills, cultivate empathy, and gain a deep appreciation for diverse perspectives.
Our curriculum is designed to foster creativity, resilience, and leadership. Whether through artistic expression, entrepreneurial endeavors, or outdoor adventures, students are empowered to unleash their full potential and become agents of positive change in their communities. With a focus on individualized instruction and student-driven learning, we honor and celebrate each student's unique talents, interests, and learning styles. It is an authentic community experience wherein each student is called upon to contribute large and small acts of leadership.
As students progress through our program, they not only gain academic knowledge but also develop essential life skills such as collaboration, problem-solving, and time management. Whether they're preparing for high school or exploring future career pathways, our goal is to instill in them the confidence, competence, and curiosity needed to thrive in an ever-changing world.
Students cooking and preparing empanadas in the Adolescent kitchen Students showing off their work plan for assessing the chicken coop Students working in the Adolescent garden Students working with a guide on the outside picnic tables A picture of Cinderella and her stepsisters in the Adolescent play, Into the Woods, Jr
What Sets Us Apart
Holistic Development: Our program fosters self-expression, self-awareness, emotional regulation, and character development through mindfulness lessons and creative expression opportunities.
Experiential Learning: Students participate in ambitious experiential trips, including community-building experiences, peace studies, and solo rites of passage, allowing them to explore the world firsthand.
Preparation for Adulthood: Through our micro-economy venture as well as care for the community garden and beehive, students gain valuable business skills and environmental stewardship experience, preparing them for the adult world.
Student Choice: We prioritize student autonomy by offering opportunities for individual exploration and project-based learning across various disciplines.
Three students working in the makers space Students working on props for their play, Into the Woods, Jr Three students collaborating on a class project Students eating at their camping grounds for the team building trip Two students working on a project together
Small Community, Big Impact: Our close-knit community provides a supportive environment where each student is known, valued, and challenged to reach their full potential. Regular community meetings within the program foster group decision-making, conflict resolution, and the development of interpersonal skills.
Cross-Curricular Integration: Teachers work together to highlight connections between different subjects, blending various perspectives to approach material, and often, class projects.
Focus on Executive Functioning: We teach essential executive functioning skills such as time management, organization, and problem-solving to empower students for success.
Academic Integrity: Our rigorous assessment and evaluation process promotes academic honesty, individualized feedback, and goal-setting for continuous improvement.
Transformative Travel Experiences
Our Adolescent students embark on a series of transformative trips designed to broaden their horizons, deepen their understanding of the world, and foster personal growth.
  • Community-Building Trip: This three-day experience with an outdoor focus introduces the mindfulness curriculum and establishes the norms and values of our close-knit community through team-building activities and reflective exercises.
  • Spring Expeditions: The Adolescent Program alternates between going on the Peace Studies and Odyssey Trip every spring.
    • Peace Studies: Students engage in a week-long exploration of peace and social justice issues, traveling to destinations such as the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Through service-learning projects, cultural immersion experiences, and dialogue with local communities, students gain a deeper understanding of global interconnectedness and the importance of compassion and empathy.
    • Odyssey Trip: Students embark on an eight-day odyssey through the American South, tracing the footsteps of historical figures and exploring landmarks of cultural and historical significance. From civil rights sites to natural wonders, each stop on the journey offers valuable insights into the rich tapestry of American history and culture.
  • Eighth Year Solo Rite of Passage: Guided by mindfulness practices and reflective exercises, eighth-year students embark on a solitary quest to reflect on their personal growth, aspirations, and the journey ahead. This transformative experience serves as a bridge to the next chapter of their lives, instilling confidence, resilience, and a sense of purpose.
A student looking at a mural at a civil rights museum on the class's road trip through the South Students getting ready to do a ropes course on their team building trip The students hiking in Puerto Rico to go canoeing on one of the bioluminescent bays Students sitting by the water on a hike on their team building trip Students working to rebuild houses in Puerto Rico that have been destroyed by hurricanes
Preparing for High School and Beyond
We are committed to preparing students for success not only in high school but also in their future endeavors beyond academia. Here's how we help students transition to the next phase of their educational journey:
  • Academic Readiness: Our rigorous curriculum, aligned with North Carolina State and National Standards, ensures that students are well-prepared for the academic challenges of high school. By focusing on critical thinking, problem-solving, and interdisciplinary learning, we equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in diverse academic environments.
  • Individualized Support: Each student receives personalized academic advising, guidance, and support from our dedicated team of educators. Whether it's navigating course selection, exploring extracurricular opportunities, or preparing for standardized tests, we empower students to make informed decisions and pursue their unique interests and goals.
  • Tech-Enabled Learning: We integrate technology seamlessly into the learning experience. Students acquire vital digital literacy skills, learning to navigate software tools, conduct research, and present ideas effectively. Our emphasis on responsible digital citizenship prepares students for success, fostering critical thinking and ethical engagement in an ever-evolving digital landscape.
  • Transition Assistance: Our Adolescent Program guides work closely with students and families to facilitate a smooth transition to high school. From assisting with the application process to providing guidance on course placement and extracurricular involvement, we ensure that students feel confident and supported as they embark on this new chapter of their academic journey.
  • College and Career Readiness: We believe in preparing students not only for high school but also for the opportunities and challenges they will encounter beyond graduation. Through career exploration activities, college counseling sessions, and real-world learning experiences, we help students develop the skills, confidence, and resilience needed to thrive in an ever-changing world.
  • Lifelong Learning Skills: Beyond academic knowledge, we emphasize the importance of lifelong learning skills such as adaptability, resilience, communication, and collaboration. By fostering a growth mindset and a passion for continuous learning, we empower students to navigate complex challenges, pursue their passions, and make meaningful contributions to their communities and the world.
  • Partnering with Families: We recognize that the transition to high school is a significant milestone for students and families alike. That's why we maintain open lines of communication, provide resources and support, and work collaboratively with families to ensure that each student's transition is successful and fulfilling.
Student working in the garden Three students de-beaning in the Adolescent kitchen Two students working on an art project The princes singing "Agony” in the class play, Into the Woods, Jr Students working independently in the classroom with one student looking at the camera and giving a peace sign