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FernLeaf Students on Sea to Mountains Travel Trip

FernLeaf 's Signature Programs

FernLeaf's signature programs are THE programs that make FernLeaf the incredible, unique, rich and varied learning community that it is!


  1. 8+ Fieldwork Experiences EVERY year for all grade levels

  2. An Overnight Experience for EVERY student, EVERY year

  3. Project Based Learning

  4. FernLeaf Travel Opportunities

  5. Adventure Sports

  6. Mindfulness Programming


FernLeaf Fieldwork

Fieldwork is an integral part of the FernLeaf experience & our educational approach. While many schools are removing field trips altogether, FernLeaf embraces fieldwork as a critical component of the learning process. 



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 into upper grades.


FernLeaf Overnights

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 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 Fundamentals Rich Learning Environment.jpg

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.


Experiential and project based learning provide opportunities for students to develop practical life skills through authentic learning experiences that promote: collaboration, problem solving, communication skills & critical thinking.

Students use real-world problem solving in order to answer complex questions. They demonstrate knowledge and skills by creating public presentations and products for authentic audiences.  

As a result, students develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication skills. Project Based Learning unleashes a contagious, creative energy among students and teachers. 

FernLeaf Belize Field Course Day 5

FernLeaf offers 2 - 4 OPTIONAL international & domestic 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 Adventure Sports

Adventure sports programming allows our students the opportunity to learn a sport that takes advantage of the natural beauty of western North Carolina. 

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 & community. A few of our adventure sports offerings include:


  • Backpacking

  • Rock Climbing

  • Canoeing

  • Adventure Racing/Orienteering

  • Disc Golf

  • White Water Kayaking

  • Hiking



FernLeaf Mindfulness

Mindfulness & Social and Emotional learning is weaved into EVERYTHING we do. 

At FernLeaf mindfulness practices are a part of EVERY morning meeting. Our 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.


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