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FernLeaf Signature Programs are THE programs that make FernLeaf the incredible, unique, rich and varied learning community that it is!


Click the program below you'd like to learn more about!

FernLeaf Students on Sea to Mountains Travel Trip
FernLeaf Kindergarten on a field trip to Catawba Falls_edited.jpg

FIELDWORK is an integral part of the FernLeaf experience and our educational approach.


While many schools are reducing or removing field trips altogether, FernLeaf embraces fieldwork as a critical component of the learning process. ALL STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN AT LEAST 8 FIELDWORK OPPORTUNITIES PER YEAR!


Fieldwork provides opportunities to build school community while providing students with access to rich and meaningful experiences that support their education and enrich their lives. Fieldwork becomes more advanced as our students grow. 


ANNUAL OVERNIGHT EXPERIENCES begin for FernLeaf students in Kindergarten and become increasingly more complex as students get older.

An important part of FernLeaf's mission is to help students grow in numerous ways beyond just academics, and multi day overnight fieldwork experiences are an important part of this.  Time away from families in a safe, structured, and fun environment with trusted adults allows students to develop self-confidence and build independence in ways that are just not possible in other settings.  And because these opportunities are run by FernLeaf, a trusted partner in their child's education, parents are able to feel confident about their children's safety and the quality of the experience. 


Overnight experiences also help students to develop stronger interpersonal skills along with deeper, more meaningful relationships with peers and teachers.  In addition to all of these benefits, overnights simply help students to love school, and contribute to a rich and meaningful life.

FernLeaf Community Charter School Overnights
FernLeaf Project Based Learning

PROJECT BASED LEARNING unleashes a contagious, creative energy among students and teachers. 

Project Based Learning brings learning to life for students as they work on projects over extended periods of time, from weeks to months, while engaging in real-world problem solving in order to answer complex questions.


Students demonstrate knowledge and skills through creating public presentations and end products for authentic audiences.  ​

As a result of the rich learning environment that Project Based Learning creates, students develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication skills.


FERNLEAF TRAVEL EXPERIENCES are an OPTIONAL addition to a FernLeaf student's school journey.

FernLeaf offers 2 - 4 OPTIONAL domestic and overseas travel experiences each year to places like Belize, the NC Coast, Costa Rica, Florida Keys, Chicago, and MORE.


These trips are an EXCELLENT way for students to build independence, develop strong interpersonal skills and discover their unique passions and aptitudes.

During these travel experiences FernLeaf students write blog posts documenting their time away. Read the blog here.

FernLeaf Sea to Mountains Trip 2022.jpg
Adventure Sports
FernLeaf Mountain Biking Club

ADVENTURE SPORTS programming allows our students the opportunity to learn a sport that takes advantage of the natural beauty of western NC!

The ability to participate in adventure sports at school gives students the opportunity to learn a life-long skill that will promote wellness for years to come and builds confidence and community. See some Adventure Sports offerings below!

  • Mountain Biking

  • Hiking

  • Backpacking

  • Rock Climbing

  • Canoeing

  • Adventure Racing/Orienteering

  • Disc Golf

  • White Water Rafting

  • and MORE!


MINDFULNESS as well as Social and Emotional Learning is weaved into EVERYTHING we do!

Research abounds to validate mindfulness education in the classroom. The researchers at Harvard have shown mindfulness education in the classroom "reduces the negative effects of stress and increases students' ability to stay engaged, helping them stay on track academically and avoid behavior problems."

At FernLeaf mindfulness practices are a part of EVERY morning meeting. Older students are given the opportunity to be "Mindful Leaders"during our Whole School Mindfulness practice which happens weekly. Students are also given the opportunity to be a "Peer Mentor"to assist other students who may be having problems socially. 

FernLeaf students are invited to investigate and practice the skills and mindsets needed for emotional regulation, conflict resolution, compassion, problem solving, identity formation, value creation and social justice.  FernLeaf's daily SEL activities help students connect body, heart, and mind.

FernLeaf Community Charter School Mindfulness_edited.jpg
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