TEA stretches the imagination by teaching outside the walls of a traditional classroom.
Students are not confined to a desk or a standard.
Instead, they engage in real-world experiences designed to push them to the boundaries of their intellectual, social and personal comfort zones, where the learning really happens.
TEA students spend 30-40 days a year in the field interacting with real-world experts and professional organizations.

Quick Stats (2021-22)

Top Rankings

Tahoe Expedition Academy ranks among the top 20% of private schools in California for:

Sports offered

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades Prekindergarten-12
ADD/ADHD Support
Learning Difference Programs
Year Founded

Student Body

Total Students
234 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 48%
Students by Grade
Tahoe Expedition Academy Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
35 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code
(Prepared for outdoors at all times)

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
Specific tuition rates vary by grade.
% on Financial Aid
Average Financial Aid Grant
Admissions Director
Admissions Team



Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
5 extracurriculars
Club or Organization:
Blacksmithing, Reading club, Robotics Club, Spanish Club

Recreational Athletic Programs:

School Notes

  • Constructive Adversity: TEA`s educational program is centered on this innovative learning theory, designed by TEA`s Co-Founder. We define Constructive Adversity as the intentional construction of and engagement with adverse environments in order to build character, promote ethical engagement and create lasting knowledge and skills. In simpler terms, Constructive Adversity means using intellectual, social and physical challenges to help students engage, grow and thrive. Learn how to excel in dynamic and challenging environments by training in a controlled risk environment. Deepen learning through real-world experience, authenticity, and active learning. Create engaging, authentic and meaningful learning experiences that give purpose, relevance, and meaning to every child`s education.
  • Academic Excellence: First and foremost, TEA is an academic institution that prides itself on providing the core content and skills students need to thrive in school and beyond. Through our academic programs students can expect to:
    • Develop core content and skills for college, career and life readiness.
    • Engage actively in real-world learning by working with industry experts, conducting fieldwork and creating authentic products.
    • Work with incredible TEAchers who view the world as a classroom.
  • Character Building: Building character is not an add-on at TEA, but rather it is embedded into the Crew`s daily routines, integrated into the academic program and cultivated through direct practice, intention and real-world adventures. Through our character building programs our students will:
    • Give back and advocate through service learning and doing good for others.
    • Strengthen critical social-emotional learning character traits.
    • Be known well and participate in the CommuniTEA and beyond.
  • Real World Adventure: This is where the magic happens and the deep, lasting memories are created. Wouldn`t you want to go to a school where Real World Adventure is valued as much as academics? Through our adventure programs our students will:
    • Experience learning firsthand through hands-on exploration.
    • Build physical strength, stamina, and ability through active learning.
    • Receive consistent exposure to numerous cultures, industry experts and facets of nature
  • Make a Positive +Impact: This is why we do what we do to give young people the know-how, skills, and opportunities to improve their own lives and positively impact the world around them. We do this work now when students are in their formative years and they are shaping who they are as human beings. We do not prepare students for the future. We prepare them for today

TEA focuses on the cultivation of eight essential character-based values enabled and strengthened by incredible teachers and role models, Constructive Adversity and real experiences.
  • Performance Character Values & Habits of Scholarship
    • Collaboration: learning how to work together in a variety of environments
    • Craftsmanship: attending to the quality of work in the things we createPerseverance: having resilience in the face of adversity
    • Responsibility: taking accountability and ownership for one`s actions and interactions
  • Relational Character Values
    • Empathy: showing the ability to understand and share the feelings of another
    • Stewardship: taking action and care of the environment
    • Advocacy: showing public support for people, causes, and initiatives
    • Gratitude: giving appreciation for one another, ourselves and our environment
Profile last updated: 03/23/2021

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (7 reviews)
My kids have been at TEA for 8 years. They love going to school every day! How many middle schoolers you know LOVE to go to school? Our kids feel loved by the faculty and staff, they learn by doing real things (not made up busy work); the faculty has outside experts come into the classroom or the class goes to visit them, field studies are part of the curriculum (not an excuse to get off campus), and then there are the adventures. Kids start off close to home in elementary school studying things like stream ecology, but by the senior year of high school they are designing their own international travel experiences (logistics and learning targets included). If your kid graduates from TEA, they will not have taken 18 AP courses, but they will be ready for whatever the world has to throw at them.
- Posted by
We moved from San Francisco specifically to provide our daughters with the opportunity to attend Tahoe Expedition Academy. Having worked in Bay Area schools as a mental health clinician for over 15 years, I have been increasingly worried about our nationwide youth mental health crisis. Students may be churning out excellent report cards but they are suffering tremendously with mental health issues. There is a way to raise healthy, resilient, happy youth that enjoy the journey of education vs focusing on a future goal that may not reap expected benefits. Research and experience highlight the need to reimagine education, as TEA has done. TEA's admin, faculty and staff worked tirelessly to accommodate families' differing needs during COVID. TEA's ability to adapt quickly allowed them to focus on social/mental wellbeing while continuing to provide quality education. We are so grateful for how much our 3rd and 6th graders have thrived during COVID. We can't wait to see what is in store for next year and beyond!
- Posted by
We have 2 girls at the Tahoe Expedition Academy (TEA). Our eldest is graduating this year after 4 years at TEA and has been accepted to all her first college choices. TEA gets students to think outside the box through real-world learning, adventure trips and challenging/fun field trips that build character. The teachers are passionate about what they do and it rubs off onto the kids - and the small class sizes allow for more one-on-one learning. I would recommend any parent to review TEA as an option for their child if they desire a more mind expanding option for learning.
- Posted by
This is our son's second year at TEA (4th grade now), and we couldn't be more pleased with the experience and his daily enthusiasm and growth. Our goal with our son has always been to nurture a beautiful, well-rounded, empathetic, curious, confident and intelligent human being - and TEA is an instrumental component and complement to our approach. He is known deeply (and loved deeply) by all of the staff at TEA. They know his academic strengths and areas for growth, but equally importantly they know his character, his fears, where he can be pushed, and when he needs support. No longer is he in a class doing endless worksheets, but rather he is growing academically by leaps and bounds, all while findings his voice, challenging his own ideas and pre-conceived notions of the world, learning what it means to be crew-member (i.e. community member) and finding his meaning and purpose in this beautiful/crazy world we live in. For this we are forever grateful!
- Posted by
My two kids have attended TEA for the last ten years. Where to begin... TEA has been the best for both my kids socially, emotionally and academically. They are better critical thinkers and investigators, more resilient, confident, and empathetic human beings because of the education at TEA. They dive deep into real world problems, regularly interact with experts, are encouraged to take on hard projects where "failure" is part of the process, make time to reflect and self assess, are taught to be contributors, and are known and cared for by their teachers. I wouldn't want any other education for my kids.
- Posted by
We enrolled our kids (4th and 5th grades) at TEA last Fall after 4 years at another public school elsewhere in Northern California. We were very curious about TEA's radical approach to education and we are so glad we went for it! Our kids have experience personal growth like never before. They have become more responsible outside of school, they are much more physically fit because of TEA's extensive outdoor learning, and they are much happier and healthier kids. Despite COVID restrictions, TEA has been able to successfully provide in-school learning this year. TEA is not a college prep school; it's a life prep school. It's a great choice for families seeking an education that develops character, adaptability in an ever changing world, outdoor learning, compassion, and intellectual curiosity.
- Posted by
It sounds cliche but it's hard not to think "why couldn't I have gone to a school like this" after being part of this school community for a year. Our daughter has been at TEA for 4 years now and has certainly learned all of the "common core" stuff. But she's also become an advocate for the environment, is willing and able to have adult conversations about very adult topics (immigration, gun control, climate change) and has met with countless experts across agriculture, environmental sustainability, even NASA JPL!
- Posted by

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Quick Stats (2021-22)

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in California is $14,381 for elementary schools and $20,890 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in California is 84% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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