The mission of Explore! Community School is to develop the love for learning, critical thinking, and communication skills of a diverse community of students as they master the academic and social emotional building blocks necessary for college and career success. Drawing upon sponsor agency Martha O'Bryan Center's extensive experience in the community and the success of East End Preparatory School, Explore! Community School will become one of Nashville's highest achieving schools, a hallmark of what a school can be in terms of providing an excellent, joyful education for all children, regardless of socioeconomic, racial, and cultural background. The educational program of Explore! will be built upon the following key components: - A culture of excellence and joy. We believe that when students are held to high standards and create works of excellence that they take pride in and ownership of, they realize their true potential, unlocking that capacity for excellence in every area of their loves. Children are born with a love for learning and we will cultivate that love by providing a joyful educational experience that encourages each student to explore their creativity and passions in a supportive and rigorous environment. - Project-Based Learning. Daily, students will engage in hands on, real-life learning activities that reinforce taught skills and concepts while developing the critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity skills necessary for success in the 21st Century. - Integrated character development. In order for students to be truly prepared for success, character traits such as self-control, perseverance, responsibility, empathy, and hope must be purposefully taught and encouraged. Explore! students will benefit from integrated character development that ensures they are equipped with the academic and developmental foundations to create excellence in every aspect of their life. - K-8 school community. Explore! will create a supportive community of teachers and learners in which students at every grade level feel safe to take risks, express themselves, and strive towards excellence. This community will enable students in early adolescence to focus on developing the academic and character foundation necessary for success in high school in a familiar and supportive environment. - Family engagement. At Explore! we enroll families, not just students, and will be responsive to families' needs and interests. Recognizing that caregivers are children's primary teachers, we will work purposefully to engage families and empower them to participate meaningfully in their child's education. - Celebration of diversity. Our school community will reflect the diversity of Nashville and each student and family's unique background will be celebrated and utilized as an opportunity for learning. Our school depends upon approaching diversity as a strength-based model, learning from our differences as well as our shared experiences. - Community programming. It is a high priority to engage with families and the community in which Explore! is located and to make them a significant part of the Explore! learning community. We will make it clear, through our school philosophy, design, policies, and practices, that we believe that children learn everywhere, all the time and that partnering with our families and the community is a critical element in student learning.