Poudre School District

Educate Every Child, Every Day

Polaris Expeditionary Learning School

1905 Orchard Place
80521 Fort Collins
United States
Principal: 
Joe Gawronski
Grades: 
6 - 12
Colors: 
Blue & silver
Mascot: 
Penguin
Phone: 
970-488-8260
Fax: 
Teacher Education Level: 
11 of 18 teachers hold master's degrees or above
Average Teaching Experience: 
8

Expeditionary learning
Polaris is the only school within PSD contracted to work the national education reform model of Expeditionary Learning. Polaris utilizes the 10 design principles of Expeditionary Learning to achieve our mission to develop 21st century learners through rigorous academic course work, high quality adventure experiences, character development, and leadership opportunities. Together—as parents, students, faculty, and staff—we strive to create the ideal learning environment for adolescents. Our environment supports adolescent development, experiential curriculum, critical life skills, and connections between kids and their community.

Learning culture
Classes consist of approximately 20-25 students per class. The fundamental idea behind Expeditionary Learning is that students learn more by experiencing the world around them. Expeditionary Learning harnesses the students’ natural passion to learn and helps children develop the curiosity, knowledge, skills, and personal qualities they need for successful adulthood.

Academic environment
Colorado standards are utilized to design Expeditionary Learning curriculum, along with student-teacher-parent developed expectations emphasizing personal responsibility for learning.

In addition, Polaris employs assessment tools such as student portfolios, Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing, self-assessments and presentations of learning to provide a complete picture of student development. Students are required to take state assessments and meet district goals for achievement.

Instructional & enrichment programs
Learning is a journey, not a destination. At Polaris, we emphasize personal accountability and pro-active learning while honoring the natural process of developing young adolescents of any background. At Polaris, our goals are to:

  • Achieve high academic standards;
  • Enhance students’ character development and social responsibility;
  • Engage families in the educational process;
  • Connect schools and communities; and
  • Challenge and support students’ inherent inquisitiveness.

Opportunities for parents
Parent and community participation is highly encouraged through intensives, adventure and fieldwork and our Parent Action Crew.