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At AXL Academy, we believe that education is about exploration, not only exploration of the four core subjects of English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies, but of practical and creative skills typically found outside of the classroom. AXL Academy seeks to weave together opportunities for critical thinking, invention, innovation, and leadership through our Specials program for grades K through 4 and our Electives offered for grades 5-8. K-4 scholars rotate between Art and Adventure throughout the year, whereas our 5-8 scholars select one of five different electives each trimester that they are enrolled at AX Academy.  


Crafting, known affectionately among scholars and adults as “Old Lady Crafts”, is a creative and entertaining middle school elective class in which scholars work in teams and independently to design and create projects of their choice, using the skills of knitting, hand sewing, machine sewing, macrame, and more. In Crafting, scholars who have never touched a crafting needle in their lives make stuffed animals, bags, knitted graphics based on their favorite anime characters, and other unique items connected to scholar interests. Not a single scholar who has been placed in Crafting has not thoroughly enjoyed this class, which integrates hand-eye coordination with academic skills such as math, process development, and project management.


Environmental Education & Service Learning, or “CAP”, as it is known, is a course for our 7th and 8th grade scholars taught by one of our content partners, the Cottonwood Institute. Scholars connect the Expeditionary Learning core value of Service Learning with opportunities for leadership development, environmental conservation, outdoor survival skills, and team-building. Each trimester, the CAP class travels to the mountains for a two-night camping adventure that serves as an opportunity to link what they have learned to authentic outdoor and team-building experiences.


One of our core values of Expeditionary Learning, Adventure, is lived through our physical education class available for all scholars from kindergarten through 8th grade. Our Adventure teacher leads scholars through a variety of fun experiences that combine living the best parts of Crew with movement, physical fitness, and athletics. Our younger crew members focus on play and opportunities to explore how their bodies move and how to take care of their physical health, while our older scholars build on those skills and experiences to practice physical fitness and team collaboration through organized sports such as kickball, volleyball, football, basketball, and more.


Our K-8 scholars have the opportunity to take Art and explore their skills and creativity in AXL’s fully equipped Art classroom. Scholars have creative freedom to experiment with materials including watercolors & acrylic paint, basic sculpture, sculpture using recycled materials, and more. Our Art teacher engages with our Crew Leaders to design and support project-based art exploration connected to the core academic curriculum. It is common at Expedition Night to marvel at how our scholars have demonstrated critical thinking and content mastery through creative art projects. In 8th grade, our scholars spend intentional time focused on projects connected to their Passages projects, with the use of art to explain and design their high school choices and career explorations.


Social Justice is a new middle school class for 5th and 6th graders in the 2022-23 school year. Life happens outside of the classroom and we believe that learning should too. We explore real world issues by studying and discussing social justice issues that matter to our scholars and developing solutions to those issues. Classes will relate themes to topical issues and projects relate to matters facing our communities right now. As a No Place For Hate school, we are building a culture of inclusiveness where the cultures of scholars and families are represented in the schools’ curriculum and are valued by every member of the school community, and our Social Justice coursework will support those goals from a scholar-developed perspective.

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