Expeditionary Learning

Expeditionary Learning (EL) is a cornerstone of our innovative educational approach, propelling students beyond the traditional classroom and into authentic environments where their learning comes to life. Fostering a profound understanding and a tangible connection to their education, this dynamic method empowers our students to explore the real-world applications of the foundational literacies they are developing.

During an expedition to Trader Joe’s, Grade 4 researched how much their ingredients would cost and used fractions and decimal numbers to determine the exact cost of bulk ingredients during the “Big Dinner” Project-based Learning Unit.

While visiting the grocery store felt like an adventure to most students, they were engaging in fundamental literacies within a real-world setting! The real-world setting provides essential practical skills and deeper sense of learning.

Expeditionary learning exemplifies how our students intersect with the community, developing critical skills and making a difference in the world.

Delta Logo

In the Upper School, members of Innovation Diploma conducted fieldwork at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport problem-solving for Delta Airlines. How are 16 – 18-year-olds able to do this work? These learners spent Grades Nine and Ten doing laps with framework tools, embracing ambiguity, learning the culture, and prepping for this kind of responsibility in an intentional skills progression that leads to confidence, motivation, engagement, excitement, and capability to drive this work themselves.

By engaging with diverse professionals and participating in hands-on field visits, Mount Vernon students make observations, collect data, and curate artifacts, enhancing their knowledge through meaningful, experiential interactions.


During a single weekend, students explored the cultural impact of jazz with an expert at the National Jazz Museum, attended live performances at historic Harlem venues, and took a walking tour with a local historian. They gained deeper understanding through visits to academic research institutions, viewed original signed editions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and participated in site-specific readings and reflections at Riverside Church.


AP Government class took an expedition to the heart of justice as they attended oral arguments at the Georgia Supreme Court. This unique opportunity allowed students to witness legal proceedings firsthand and gain insight into the complexities of the judicial system. Students examine landmark Supreme Court cases and then simulate the justices’ deliberations.

Through Expeditionary Learning, we equip our students to become informed, active participants in their own learning journeys, driving them to innovate and excel in a rapidly evolving world.