Northwest Expedition Academy



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News & Updates

  • Registration / New Students 2019-20

    If you are registering a new student, you will need to have the following information:

    • proof of residency

    • current immunization records

    • state certified birth certificate

    Click here for Kindergarten Registration 2020-21 Info

    Free & Reduced Meals for 2019-20

    Your children may be eligible for free or reduced-price lunches and breakfasts. Families that have previously qualified will need to reapply each year. Download the application or get more information on the School Nutrition Services department webpage.

    School PLUS Childcare Program at NExA

    School PLUS is a reliable, quality, licensed before and after school childcare program offered in our school and schools across our district. Registration for the 2018-19 school year will begin August 1.  Visit the School PLUS page for more details and registration information.

    Inclusion Article by Vanessa Staudacher

    Coeur d'Alene Public Schools Mobile App

    We are pleased to announce our new mobile app designed specifically to keep our families better informed and connected to what’s going on in our schools. The new Coeur d'Alene Public


    Schools mobile app is available for both Apple and Android devices

    Download the free CdASchools App!

    google play store button   apple app store button

    The app will deliver real-time school news to a smart-device for fast, up-to-date access. The app will feature:

    • The latest district and school news and celebrations
    • Push notifications about breaking news, closures, weather, events, and more
    • School breakfast and lunch menu calendar
    • Easy access to e-Funds and Skyward Family access
    • School and district calendars
    • Directory with school and district office staff contact information
    • A whole host of parent tools and resources

    How to Download 

    The app is FREE and available for download today:

    1. From a smart-device, go to the Apple App Store® or Google Play®

    2. Search Coeur d'Alene Public Schools

    3. Then select the “Coeur d'Alene Public Schools” app for free download

    The new mobile app is just a few taps away. Download it today!


About Our School

  • About Northwest Expedition Academy

    Aesthetics-The Beauty of Learning

    “Engagement is often connected to a learner’s sense of the aesthetic-engaged children can describe moments when they find something beautifully extraordinary, captivating, hilarious or unusually meaningful.  They may speak of a book or illustration, a painting or idea in science or math that seems to have been created just for them. They are drawn back to view it, discuss it, read again and again. They claim the idea as their own.” Ellin Oliver Keene


    “It is a serious investment of time and resources to fill the walls with generative student and teacher work, to curate one’s classroom and school well-to make it a living museum of learning and accomplishment-but the payoff can be profound.” Ron Berger


    Our What

         Welcome to NExA. I’m excited to start our third year as an elementary school in the Coeur d’Alene school district. NExA is a Project-Based Learning and Expeditionary school which allows our students to learn both inside and outside the classroom. Hands-on learning is promoted as is critical thinking and student agency. 

         NExA is an inclusive school where general education teachers and special education teachers work together to meet the needs of students.  All of our students are served whenever possible, in general education classrooms. This allows students of all abilities, to receive the support they need in their least restrictive environment.  All students benefit from the additional resources and support offered in inclusive classrooms.  

         Pulling students out of the classroom to offer interventions and remediation forces the student to miss out on grade-level instruction. NExA believes in acceleration, not remediation. We push into the classroom Title I, Resource, and ALP services in a co-teaching model ensuring all students receive core instruction and individualized instruction from certified teachers. This research-based model of instruction ensures academic rigor and student confidence and success.        

         Our students own their education which is facilitated by a highly trained staff of dedicated educators. In our short existence, we have become a high achieving school academically. NExA students earn some of the highest Idaho Reading Indicator scores in the district and our students have been on over 100 expeditions and have completed over 30 projects. 

         I am thrilled to announce, we are building a new school campus on Prairie Avenue this fall with a completion date of July, 2020. This new building will offer new technology, a farm, outdoor learning centers, a makerspace, a media center and a performing arts center and much more. This school will open for the 2020/2021 school year and is capable of educating 650 students. Drive by the school site and watch our new facility grow.

         This year we have many exciting additions to our programs at NExA. The first is all day kindergarten for all students. This is an amazing benefit allowing our youngest learners to get a jumpstart on their education. Our new kindergarten teacher, Karissa Wise was a long-term sub for NExA last year. Secondly is the addition of a half-time Principal Assistant. Brianne Weinberger will share this position with her ALP duties. This addition allows for leadership in my absence while providing teacher and student support. We also added an additional special education teacher, Emily Buscema to support Vanessa Staudacher in her work. Exciting changes.  

         More about our work. This expeditionary school is exemplified by project-based learning expeditions (using the Buck Institute PBL philosophy), in a workshop model (using inquiry based learning and thinking strategies) with the world as our classroom. Students take physical and academic journeys using critical thinking, hands-on learning, journaling, observation, exploration, collaborative learning and strategic and scientific methods to truly understand their world. Using the Idaho Core Standards, academic work is rigorous, challenging and purposeful.       

         Key to academic success is strong character. Our school embraces the work by Angela Duckworth and Paul Tough which focuses on grit, curiosity, self-control, social intelligence, zest, optimism and gratitude. PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) is the framework to support students to make good choices and to work hard. Rather than telling students what not to do, our school focuses on preferred behaviors. Kindness is embraced and taught and bullying is not tolerated. Our three rules for success are Be Kind, Work Hard and Be Safe.  

         Learning must be purposeful and make a true difference in the community we live. For this reason, an authentic audience with community partnerships are paramount for all PBLs at Northwest Expedition Academy. Our advisory committee continues to search for positive role models, innovative community members and interesting people to increase the diversity of our learning. 


  • NExA

    Our new school will be coming soon!

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    new school

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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What are expeditions?

    Our students will go on academic and physical expeditions of learning. We believe students must learn outside the walls of the traditional school. Students will visit their community, job sites, businesses, lakes, forests, colleges, parks, mountains and museums to broaden their understanding of the world. Students will learn from real people, doing real work in the real world.

    During these journeys, students use critical thinking, hands-on learning, journaling, observation, exploration, collaborative learning and strategic and scientific methods to truly get to understand their world. Using the Idaho Core Standards, academic work is rigorous, challenging and purposeful.

    What is Project Based Learning?

    Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.

    Learning must be purposeful and make a true difference in the community we live. For this reason, an authentic audience with community partnerships are paramount for all Project Based Learning (PBLs) at Northwest Expedition Academy.

    What is Genius Hour?

    Genius hour is a time of learning where students explore deeply their PBL and prepare for the exhibition of their work. This time is 2:15-3:15 for all students. The school will be buzzing during this time of learning  

    What is an exhibition?

    Exhibitions are an opportunity for students to exhibit the learning they are doing. The audience for these exhibitions will be parents, teachers, students, and community members. Students will be evaluated on the authenticity of their project, the project's focus on making a positive difference in the community, the academic rigor of the project and the student’s ability to present the project.  

    Why will parent teacher conferences feel dramatically different at NExA?

    At NExA, students are in charge of their learning, with purposeful nudging and encouragement from their teacher. We believe the best person to explain a child’s academic progress is the child. Therefore, the student will exhibit his/her work during the district's scheduled parent teacher conference.

    What will the Advanced Learner Program look like?

    ALP students will have an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) developed by the ALP teacher, the student and the parent. In this plan, the student's special needs will be outlined, addressed and detailed. Students assigned to ALP will be students who perform in the top 5% of their grade using nationally normed assessments.

    ALP students, grade 3-5, meet with the ALP teacher weekly to determine if the student is meeting his/her academic goals, to assess academic progress and to offer encouragement and support.

    During genius hour, students in grades 3-5 will work on their projects with the ALP teacher in the ALP classroom. Students in this classroom will be expected and encouraged to perform in an academically rigorous manner and will be challenged to reach their full potential.   

    What is inclusion?

    NExA believes that students learn best in their homeroom classroom, taught by a highly-trained teacher with specialized academic support pushed into the classroom learning. This means that students with special needs, students who have holes in their learning and students of exceptionality, will remain it their homeroom classroom for the majority of the day.  The special education teacher will work with the IEP team to ensure that all student needs are being met.

    There will be times when a child needs to be pulled out of the classroom to work on specific goals or progress monitor IEP goals, but this time will be minimal.  

    In the U.S. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), least restrictive environment (LRE) means that a student who has a disability should have the opportunity to be educated with nondisabled peers, to the greatest extent appropriate.  IEP’s may need to be reviewed and amended to ensure each IEP is meeting this requirement.

    NExA has a Life Skills program for students with varying disabilities. Students in this program will be included in the classroom. It is important for students with disabilities to be with their nondisabled peers and it is just as important for nondisabled peers to learn beside a student with a disability.   

    What are the school rules?

    At NExA we believe that a large list of rules and regulations is difficult to remember, hard to teach and ineffective in positively changing a child’s behavior. For this reason, we have three rules at NExA-Be Kind, Work Hard, Be Safe. If a child is playing on the playground too roughly we ask, “Are you being safe? Are you being kind?” If a child is not putting forth his or her best effort in class we ask, “Are you working hard?” These three rules are taught to daily and will generally take care of most issues we see, everyday.   

    What does art look like?

    Art will be purposeful and follow the guidelines of our expeditions. Students will learn to make paper for their journals, tan hide for their journal covers, create sketches of what they observe in the natural world, draw buildings and engineer bridges; the list goes on.

    What does PE look like?

    Students will learn to move and play in their natural environment.This will include urban trekking, fishing, rock climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, camping, team sports and individual sports.

    Is NExA a private or charter school?

    No. we are a public school in the Coeur d’Alene with a focus on Project Based Learning. We have a school zone and kids in this zone attend our school. Students outside our zone may apply for a transfer into our zone. These applications will be approved on a space-available basis.