The story of our Prescott, AZ charter school
La Tierra Community School, a charter school in Prescott, AZ, began its adventure to provide the innovative and inspiring learning model, Expeditionary Learning, to children of the Tri-City communities in 2010. The school started with 13 students, in three elementary grades, in one classroom. It has since grown to approximately 120 students in grades kindergarten through seven. La Tierra has strong roots in Expeditionary Learning. While we have revised our instructional approach over the years, our school remains committed to delivering the best that EL as to offer!
Genuinely a Community School
We are a tight knit learning community with a sincere love for children and learning, inspiring cultural awareness and citizen scholarship. We believe that to truly effect change in our world, we need to empower children through education. While experiencing the joy of learning, La Tierra Community School students demonstrate Academic Mastery, Social Engagement & the Power of Diversity! We are the only Expeditionary Learning elementary school in the tri-city area.
Currently, our public charter school serves grades K-8. La Tierra Community School is committed to providing a transformative education to all of its students. Our ambition is to inspire in our children the knowledge to become citizen scholars.
Working together to nurture the whole child and inspire passion for learning.
La Tierra Community School provides an experiential approach to learning and values respect for diversity, the whole child, and a commitment to social and environmental justice. Our program uses natural and cultural resources to foster relevant connections for children through learning expeditions. We value children’s sense of curiosity and discovery; their ability to think critically, reflect upon their world, and promote positive change in their community.
La Tierra Character Traits and Design Principles
Courage – The Primacy of Self-Discovery
Learning happens best with emotion, challenge, and the requisite support. People discover their abilities, values, passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected. In expeditionary learning schools, students undertake tasks that require perseverance, fitness, craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline, and significant achievement. A teacher’s primary task is to help students overcome their fears and discover they can do more than they think they can.
Success and Failure All students need to be successful if they are to build the confidence and capacity to take risks and meet increasingly difficult challenges. It is equally important for students to learn from their failures, to persevere when things are hard, and to learn to turn disabilities into opportunities.
Creativity – The Having of Wonderful Ideas
Teaching in expeditionary learning schools fosters curiosity about the world by creating learning situations that provide something important to think about, time to experiment, and time to make sense of what is observed.
Responsibility – The Responsibility for Learning
Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity. Everyone learns both individually and as part of a group. La Tierra encourages both children and adults to become increasingly responsible for directing their own personal and collective learning.
Integrity – Collaboration and Competition
Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear. Students are encouraged to compete, not against each other, but with their own personal best and with rigorous standards of excellence.
Respect – Diversity and Inclusion
Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, and respect for others. In Expeditionary Learning schools, students investigate and value their different histories and talents as well as those of other communities and cultures.
The Natural World – A direct and respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit and teaches the important ideas of recurring cycles and cause and effect. Students learn to become stewards of the earth and of future generations.
Compassion – Service and Compassion
We are crew, not passengers. Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others, and one of an Expeditionary Learning school’s primary functions is to prepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service.
Empathy and Caring
Learning is fostered best in communities where students’ and teachers’ ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust. Learning groups are small, with a caring adult looking after the progress and acting as an advocate for each child. Older students mentor younger ones, and students feel emotionally safe.
Find out more about our EL inspired Instructional Program!
Find out more about La Tierra Community School!