+Impact School is a fully accredited, independent high school at Lake Tahoe, CA designed to give students the tools they need to flourish in college and beyond.

+Impact School’s uses a forward thinking, educational approach that involves three central elements: expedition-based learning, constructive adversity, and radical personalization.

Expedition-Based Learning

In an upcoming +Impact Study, one of the programs we use to implement this approach, high school students will design and build a Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) on-site and spend ten days off-site collaborating with industry professionals at NASA / JPL and SpaceX and field testing their work in the waters off the Santa Cruz Islands.

Expedition-based Learning Features

Deep Dive Projects

Weekly Deep Dive Projects give students the time, space and support they need to apply their core academics in meaningful, real-world ways. These are Impact School’s signature extended learning blocks during which your child conducts local fieldwork, works alongside experts, and experiences a myriad of real-world learning opportunities.


+Impact Studies

+Impact Studies are semester-long, interdisciplinary projects that encourage intensive investigation of real world problems. Your child gets to choose his or her +Impact Study project, which involves working alongside experts, conducting service and engaging in a peak experience aimed at creating memories that have meaning and that last.

Seniors will create, develop and implement their own multi-week +Impact Study. This capstone experience empowers your child to take complete ownership of their learning and to demonstrate what they are able to do, before they head off to college or the real world.

Expedition-based Learning Outcomes

An Educational Experience of a Lifetime

Expedition-based learning provides practical, real-world connections to the concepts students learn in the classroom. Interdisciplinary projects draw from Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and the National Council of Social Study standards (NCSS), and culminate with a project that has a positive impact on the world. To ensure your child never forgets the lessons and experiences from high school, we give them memories that last a lifetime.


Real World Problem-Solving

Your child works alongside industry professionals and for organizations to the develop the tools and knowhow to solve real world problems. Over the years, our school has collaborated with hundreds of experts from organizations like Patagonia, Tesla, National Geographic Society, NOAA and the 5 Gyres Institute to identify, address and combat issues that are happening now, like environmental degradation, energy usage, and water conservation. By directing their attention and efforts into the world, your child will learn how to think and act like an author, a scientist and activist. And they will have the portfolio to prove it.


World View and Appreciation for the Natural World

By spending over 125 days and nights in the field during high school, your child will gain comfort and connectivity with the world around them as well as with the ability to navigate it. Through stewardship and service learning, which are embedded in expedition-based learning, your child will develop an intimate relationship with and a deep appreciation for the natural environment as well as the people and societies who inhabit it, something we do not take for granted in this fast-paced age of technology.

Check out what our current senior class has been up to over the past three years.

9th Grade Field Study Trips

  • Crossing Lake Tahoe – Kick-Off Fall Semester – 8 mile kayak across Lake Tahoe (Day Trip)
  • Stinson Beach – Visit and Campout – Bolinas Bay Restoration, Kayak (5 days, 4 nights)
  • Sea to Summit – 40+ mile hike from SC mountains to Red Triangle / outlet of Waddle Creek (6 days, 5 nights)
  • Tomales Bay – Kayak camping trip to explore the conservation efforts in Tomales Bay (4 days, 3 nights)
  • Black Rock Desert: Kick-Off Spring Semester – Natural Survival (Camping without synthetic stimulus) in Black Rock Desert (3 days, 2 nights)
  • Winter Camping in Tahoe Backcountry – testing out synthetic materials and products students have created (3 day, 2 nights)
  • Panama Immersion Experience – Students travel to and explore the country of Panama, especially in relation to synthetic byproducts, how the country manages these byproducts and the global economy. Students also look at the native and primitive peoples of Panama in order to see how they identify and express their authentic selves. (13 days, 12 nights)
  • Homeward Bound – Carson City to Tahoe Backpacking Mission – 30+ mile backpacking with students leading the way (5 days, 4 nights)

10th Grade Field Study Trips

  • Velma Lakes – Crew Building Experience- TRT – Fire Rescued (3 days, 2 nights)
  • Farm Visits – Agriculture, Biology, Physiology, Anatomy (day trips)
  • Winter Camping – Canceled due to Weather (4 days, 3 nights)
  • Death Valley Trip – Manzanar, Death Valley National Park Camping, Las Vegas Body Exhibit (6 days, 5 nights)
  • European Adventure – Studying European History and experiencing what they studied live and in person (18 days, 17 nights)

11th Grade Field Study Trips

  • Kayaking Across Lake Tahoe – Kick-Off Crew Building – (3 days, 2 nights)
  • Washington DC – Chesapeake Bay – National Geographic data collection, college visit (8 days, 7 nights)
  • San Francisco – Cultural visit, Urban experience (5 days, 4 nights)
  • Hawaii: Chemistry of Catastrophe studying the Legacy of the American Dream through geo and atmospheric chemistry, Pacific plastic waste, and nuclear testing. (8 days, 7 nights)
  • New Mexico, Los Alamos/Project Y, Trinity Testing Site & Bandelier National Monument (7 days, 6 nights)
  • Yosemite National Park: implementing and field testing solutions to the Legacy of the American Dream (5 days, 4 nights)

Constructive Adversity

What sets constructive adversity apart from just plain adversity is our approach. We start by preparing each student with a strong academic foundation and the tools they’ll need to succeed at the challenge at hand – we never throw anyone into the deep end of the pool and expect them to swim. Next we engage them with challenges that push their intellectual, social and physical boundaries. Finally, we process and reflect on each experience to help ensure that it was productive and constructive rather than simply reactive.

constructive_adversity-1

Constructive Adversity Features

We Are Crew, Not Passengers

At +Impact, your child is a member of a Crew, not a passenger on this educational journey. Crew is a small, supportive group designed to ensure your child is known well by peers and has the time, space and support to prepare for challenges and debrief and learn from them. It is in Crew where students work with one another and the Crew Leader to build critical attributes like responsibility, advocacy and gratitude. It is in Crew where students learn how to be part of a team as well as how to lead one.


Guidance Counseling Program

With our Guidance Counseling Program, your child learns how to build strong relationships, set and achieve personal goals, and develop a growth mindset. Our trained counselor meets individually or in small groups with every child, every week, providing social emotional support and guidance as needed. If we are going to push the boundaries of what’s possible in education, then we need to do so in a close-knit and supportive environment. Our trained Guidance Counselor, along with Crew Leaders, teachers and administrators, actively build that culture.


Community Meetings

Your child will attend weekly Community Meetings with all +Impact middle school and high school students. This fun-filled, student-driven event provides opportunities to share current events, present work and socialize, helping build a strong culture, where every child is supported and can be heard.

Constructive Adversity Outcomes

Empower Students with Adaptability, Collaboration and Resilience

Through the use of constructive adversity, students proactively develop important character traits like adaptability, collaboration and resilience, which they apply in real world situations and +Impact Studies around the globe. Students learn the importance of a community and how to build one. They learn how to embody a growth mindset, a mindset that helps manage the pressures high school students face, like high-stakes testing, new social relationships and college admissions.


Inspire Student Engagement and an Excitement for Learning

When facing real intellectual, social and physical challenges, students find meaning in school and true engagement in learning. The work they do matters, and the efforts they put forth have purpose beyond the school walls. This is the kind of education that gives your child purpose and can inspire a lifetime love of learning.

Radical Personalization

With today’s educational technology, academic content and skills can be taught more efficiently and effectively. +Impact School uses this progressive method to create a personalized learning plan for each student, enabling student learning to be self-paced, accelerated, and engaging. Class sizes can be as small as 3- 5 students. Students, teachers, and parents know in real time where students are on their educational journey.

Radical Personalization Features

Personalized Learning Time (PLT) and Teacher Instruction

Using our inspiring teachers and the latest software created by Stanford on the Summit Basecamp Learning Platform, our blended approach to learning provides students with a solid foundation of academics in core classes. With flexible schedules and meeting times, students learn how to take responsibility for their time, pace their own learning, accelerating as desired and work with teachers individually and small groups to deepen their understanding. Your child can choose their own path of study for enrichment classes in art, music and computer science, all the while meeting the demands of college admissions.

Teachers use a variety of methods to promote student growth and acceleration and to differentiate within the classrooms. With small groups and classes, teachers can tailor their approach to meet and fit each student’s needs and to deliver content and skills efficiently and effectively.

CLICK HERE FOR A DAY IN THE LIFE


Standards-based Education

At the core of our curriculum you will find the Common Core, Next Generation, National Social Science and Foreign Language Standards. We use
these content and skills as foundational building blocks for our educational program, though we go way beyond them with expedition-based
learning and constructive adversity.


Personalized Adventure Program

We personalize support for students who endeavor to participate in their own adventure-based endeavors outside of school. Individual pursuits have included: ski racing, free-skiing, rock-climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking and/or dance. If you child has a demonstrated passion outside of school, we can help them achieve their dreams by:

  • Creating a healthy social contract of respect and support between the students, families, teams and School
  • Providing support in-house to facilitate the ongoing interaction between teachers, students, tutor, coaches and teams and organizations.
  • Offering excellent training routines in the fall and spring seasons for student-athletes

Personalized Learning Outcomes

Fluent in the Languages of “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics)

In order to be prepared for the future professions, 40% of which have not even been created yet, graduates need to be able to understand the key “STEAM” areas of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. With the help of teachers and experts and the engagement with a science heavy curriculum, students learn how to think like scientists who produce useable scientific data, understand the design process and solve problems systematically. Working with professionals in exciting fields like biotech, robotics and environmental science, +Impact students do real world work that integrates these critical subject areas.


Multicultural Understanding of History, Art and Humanities

By gaining a solid liberal arts education in history, arts and the humanities, students are able to recognize global trends patterns, comprehend diverse perspectives and acquire a clear sense of from where humans have come as a species. From geography to history to economics to foreign language, students become well-versed in social, political, economic, religious, geographic, environmental and ethical constructs.


Persuasive Communication Skills, Critical Thinking and A Creative Mindset

Research shows that communication ranks as one of the most valuable skills a person can possess for success in life.Through rigorous coursework in the humanities, including literature, reading, creative writing, art and music, students learn powerful storytelling and narrative techniques that serve them well across all fields of study. Students also learn how to speak well before a wide range of audiences and in a wide range of voices. Further, critical thinking and a creative mindset are fostered throughout core and enrichment subjects alike, as students are empowered to ask why, to question everything and to be creators.


Creators and Problem Solvers

To create solutions to real world challenges, students engage with projects and courses of study that enable them to think and work outside of the classroom walls. By doing the work of professionals and by applying their learning in meaningful ways, students learn how to apply, synthesize, evaluate and create.

As importantly, +Impact students develop a strong portfolio of work that shows what they are capable of doing – something that will serve them well for college admissions, procuring externships, internships and mentorships and career paths.


Ready for Outstanding Colleges and Universities

+Impact School graduates are ready for outstanding universities, having completed an accredited course of study, developed character, pursued individual passions and received one-on-one guidance from the school’s College Counselor.

+Impact

Imagine if all high school students and teachers directed energy and efforts outward, beyond the classroom walls, towards making positive contributions to society. The results would be Earth moving.

+Impact School is starting to make that vision come true by putting students and teachers in the driver’s seat to effect positive change in the world. With authentic projects and real-life experiences embedded into an +Impact education, students have the pathways to create real differences in the world. All the while students deepen core academic knowledge, develop the character values and gain the knowledge they need to become supreme problem solvers who are ready to face challenges with creativity and grace.

What are the Results and +Impacts?

Excellent PSAT Test Scores. Over 90% of our students with at least ONE full academic year at TEA, met or exceeded national benchmarks on the PSAT.

 

PSAT socres chart


Excellent ACT Scores. 11th grade class has an average 28 composite score. The national average ACT is a 22.

ACT socres chart_V2 (1)


Global Awareness and Life Experiences:

The senior class has gone on 17 trips and spent 100+ days and nights in the field over the past three years.


+Impact projects conducted by students just in the past year :

  • San Francisco Oceanographic Film Festival – Earned 2 Spots as Finalists
  • NOAA & National Geographic: Collected Scientific Data through FieldScope
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Analyzed Heavy Metal Chemical Contaminants in Chesapeake Bay
  • 5 Gyres Institute: Contributed to International Education Project & Promoted Organization by Creating and Publishing Videos
  • Quivira Coalition: Contributed to Sustainable Agriculture and Nuclear Waste Remediation Practices
  • TEDx Talks – Delivered 8 TEDx Talks about Innovative Products Students Created
  • Dominican Republic: Conducted a Service Work and Learning for Haitian Refugee Populations in Botay Communities

Courses And Electives

Our curriculum uses Common Core, Next Generation Science, National Social Science and Foreign Language Standards as foundational aspects of the academic program. In addition to these rigorous courses, we offer 1000’s of APEX courses.


English (4 credits required)

  • Western Literature
  • World Literature
  • Literature & Composition
  • AP English Literature and Composition

Math: (4 credits required)

  • Math I
  • Math II
  • Math III
  • AP Calculus AB

Science (4 credits required)

  • Physical Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • AP Environmental Science

Social Science: (3 credits required)

  • World History I
  • World History II
  • US History
  • AP Government

Additional Courses Include:

  • Foreign Language (2 credits required)
  • Spanish I, II, III, AP Spanish
  • French I, II,
  • Mandarin I, II
  • Enrichments: 3 Credits (at least one year of visual and performing arts is required)
  • Visual Art
  • Music: BanD
  • Computer Science

Apex Electives: Choose Your Own Path to Academic Success

+Impact School also offers over 1000 online electives through Apex Learning, K12 and other leading providers. These include courses such as anthropology, psychology, video game design, and many world languages. Carefully monitored and supported, this enables +Impact to offer a course catalog that matches any school in the country.


WASC Accredited
All courses are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

College And Test Prep

College and Career Counselling

+Impact School provides your family with a comprehensive College Counselling program with attention to your individual needs. The goal is for your child to find their best fit college or university and a place where they will excel, contribute and create.

The College Counselor is an advocate for each high school student and family, helping them to prepare for college by encouraging a holistic development of the student. The College Counselor guides your child and family with all facets of the college admissions process including test-taking preparation, completing applications, choosing undergraduate programs which fit their intellectual, academic and social needs and helping them make connections with admissions offices. Our College Counselor starts meeting with students and families as early as 8th grade to develop a four year plan with the understanding that the majority of the work begins in the junior year with the Spring seminar.


High-Stakes Test Prep

High-Stakes test preparation is vital for each student’s pathway to colleges and universities. +Impact School begins preparing students for the PSAT starting in 8th grade, and core classes use the Common Core State Standards, precisely the ones assessed on high stakes testing like the SAT and ACT. Further, students work with teachers and the College Counselor to plan and execute their own strategy for tackling this challenge.