It is my sincere privilege to introduce you to Explore Academy, the newest and most innovative addition to the public school community in the Albuquerque area. I thank you for visiting our website and invite you to take a look around at all that Explore Academy has to offer.
As you explore the website, you will come to find that Explore Academy’s academic program has no comparison to any other school, public or private.
This is by design. Explore Academy’s curriculum is different from anything you will find, as it was constructed through a completely new conceptual approach to what education should be; a smarter approach in which students are the focus. And while all schools will of course claim that students are their focus, I can guarantee that none does so with the focus you will find at Explore Academy charter school.
Early on in my teaching career, it became apparent that the traditional educational model, on which all schools derive their curriculum, no longer fits the children of this generation. This observation is nothing novel or ground-breaking, as anyone in the field of education will confirm, yet our country continues to push such a system, archaic in nature, that was, in whole, designed and structured for a different age and for a different population of young men and women. And now this model stands out of place in this society, stubbornly continuing to resist change amidst an evolving landscape.
Schools have very little autonomy and are thus bound to this model, held captive to its obsolescence. Yet they are put to the challenge of educating children who are, in every way, different from those for which the system was originally designed, and in doing so, are alienating millions of kids who no longer see any purpose in going to school. Charter schools, in part, have filled some need, but many have a particular focus to which only specific students would find attractive.
We live in a time of great individualism, where society has come to focus on customizing and personalizing every aspect of our lives, yet the traditional educational model remains stubborn in this regard, unable to shake its core foundation as it continues to push kids through a system that can be best described as "one size fits all". Schools attempt to do what they can, promoting individuality by providing students with choice, usually among a sparse collection of electives courses. Yet these peripheral programs are minimal and often the first to fold amidst tightening budgets, and as a result, the very courses which promote student individuality are the first to face extinction.
Teachers too have responded, as best they can, by attempting to shift instructional attention to the individual, and thus the advent of differentiated instruction, in which the teacher varies his or her instructional methods so as to allow each student the best chance of success. Yet with teacher cuts and class sizes at all-time highs, it becomes impossible for one teacher to effectively meet the needs of every individual student, and as a result, the ‘one size fits all’ system remains intact and cannot be shaken.
That is, until now.
Explore Academy is not simply another variation of the same educational model; it is a reinvention in the educational system. It represents a paradigm shift toward the student as an individual educational entity, operating under the notion that students should be treated as individuals with a choice in how they will receive their education. Its core foundational value is that there are many paths to success, and that given the opportunity, each student will find the one that best fits his or her strengths and interests. Thus, it is the Explore Academy philosophy that every course is an elective and that by giving students the freedom to determine the path for themselves they will show increased success and preparation for their futures. Because we offer an academic program built on great diversity, we can truly claim that no two students will ever share the same educational experience. Through the Explore Academy model, education can, for the first time, be customized and personalized for each student.
Justin Baiardo, NBCT
Founder, Director, Teacher