Thank you for this opportunity to share Explore Knowledge Academy, where we create leaders, one project at a time. I am proud of our accomplishments and know that our school provides quality student education in Nevada.
Charter Schools are meant to be unique and different; EKA has taken this to its greatest extent. We are a project based school which means that our students learn through hands on, self directed research. The Common Core and Nevada State Standards guide our curriculum, but it is the student’s interests and curiosity that determine the method and the type of project they create to show that they have met those standards.
Because our students drive the curriculum, our teachers are called advisors, as they truly advise, and support student learning. Our classrooms are in turn referred to as advisories and instead of rows of desks facing a board, our advisories are fluid, adapting to the needs of the students at the time. Our advisories are also multi-grade except for Kindergarten and 1st grade. This enables our advisors to instruct and support students at their educational level rather than at a specific grade level. Moveable walls in our pods, or multi-advisory areas, allow for team teaching and group work. At the secondary level, some advisories span grades 6 – 12 for a collaborative dynamic that engages students and allows them to reach their own unique educational potential.
As a public school, we enroll students from all over the Las Vegas Valley and our ethnic and social strata demographics are as diverse as the valley itself. We are looking for students that can multi-task, communicate well, use technology efficiently, organize and schedule their time, are adept at problem solving, and that can work as a team. We believe that students that have these abilities will be our future leaders in the community and will be sought out by employers everywhere.
In addition, the introduction of iPads and Chromebooks to the school enables our students to have a one to one, technology to student ratio. Macbook Pros have also been added to sync student iPads in their storage carts and for advisor use in lesson planning and application discovery. Apple TV’s are allowing advisors to project lessons and student project presentations, enhancing student participation and engagement.
The best part of all of this though is the depth and creativity of student project presentations that have stemmed from the increase in readily available technology. Garage Band is used to put music to slide shows, iMovie is used to showcase student vignettes, Apps are used in advisories so that students can actively follow as an advisor lectures or to give them practice with new concepts. Access to the Internet at the touch of a finger allows EKA’s students to investigate the world without limitations.
The greatest achievement for the school though has been the new campus. With over 59,000 square feet, we are able to provide the physical infrastructure needed for our educational programs. Being a K – 12 campus allows students at all grade levels have come together for assemblies and meetings. Older students can be seen reading and mentoring younger students on any given day at the school. Campus wide projects are ongoing and being supported by advisors at all grade levels. Technology is being used at all levels in ways we never imagined. A K-12 sports venture in collaboration with Coast to Coast Sports allows us to have intramural sports and to compete with other small schools now that we have a field and courts for practice.
EKA charter school has built a strong foundation for student success through its project based learning platform, campus unification and introduction of state of the art technology. I hope that you are as excited as I am to see what the future holds for us.
Superintendent of Schools
About the Superintendent: