Upper School (Grades 5-8)

(Grades 5-8)

Upper School Academics

The Upper School program at Explorations Preparatory School (EPS) offers academically advanced and enriching classes to strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving using Project-Based Learning and interdisciplinary instruciton. Specialists in various subjects (history, science, math, language arts, foreign languages, etc.) lead instruction, guide learning and facilitate meaningful experiences. Students have opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom through numerous cultural and travel learning experiences, building increased independence and a sense of community.

Students are taught to balance their school work with life events and activities. Students learn to become more independent, responsible learners who can make important, informed decisions and take responsibility for their work, thoughts and actions. EPS students learn valuable life skills such as strong communication, leadership, time management, perseverance and ownership in learning. Coupled with rigorous, challenging course work, EPS lays the foundation for students to acquire the skills they need to achieve success in future academics and in life.


Advanced Learning

Starting in 5th grade, students transition from a primary teacher-based learning environment to a specialist teacher-based structure where students receive academic instruction from a variety of teachers with a specific subject specialization. The nature of the specialist structure enables students to learn from teachers who have a demonstrated passion for a specific subject and who have very high standards for the level of mastery that is required. EPS students typically perform at an advanced academic level and are given course work that reflects this distinction. Projects, research, essays and regular collaboration that facilitate critical thinking, problem solving and understanding advanced concepts are regular requirements for students. High expectations and rigorous course work combine to ensure that EPS students are well-prepared for advanced learning in high school and beyond.


Character, Community & Service

EPS provides a dynamic, innovative and caring environment where students are challenged to participate in leadership and community-building activities which shape both character and compassion; preparing students to be involved global citizens who make a difference in their community and in the world. Explorations students are creative problem solvers who value service and are actively engaged leaders in the school community and beyond.


Student Voice

EPS believes in the power and importance of each individual student’s voice and works to cultivate a safe environment where student views are acknowledged, valued and discussed. Students are encouraged to advocate for themselves and are taught the appropriate way to handle conflict and disagreements as well as the most effective way to present new ideas or initiatives for the school or community. Being able to speak up for yourself and others, present and discuss new ideas and handle disputes and struggles are equally important to a quality and effective education as rigorous academics. EPS provides both, empowering students to excel in their studies while positively advocating for themselves throughout their life journey.



Upper School (5th – 8th grade) is a time when students discover new passions and interests. Enrichment classes such as music, speech, photography, technology, drama, and art are provided throughout the course of their upper school experience. This diversity of enrichment classes is an important aspect of their intellectual development and serves as an enhancement to their academically challenging and engaging coursework.

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