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Polaris Charter Academy

The mission of Polaris Charter Academy is to educate students to be self-motivated, creative, critical thinkers, with the ultimate goal of shaping life-long learners and citizens with a strong sense of personal and civic responsibility.

Children thrive at Polaris, the only public elementary Expeditionary Learning school in Illinois. Committed, passionate teachers tap into children’s intrinsic motivation to learn by offering a rigorous, real world, hands-on curriculum that values deep thinking, asking questions and giving children the space and tools to figure it out themselves. At Polaris, children know how to identify who has the expertise they need, how to learn from experts and how to become experts themselves. Polaris is about exploration, discover and learning by doing.

Polaris pursues its mission through an innovative school design that includes a strong school culture with a clear value system (the Five Points of Polaris–Integrity, Compassion, Critical Thinking, Exploration and Active Citizenship).

As Chicago’s first and only Expeditionary Learning School, Polaris develops Learning Expeditions as an in-depth, hands-on approach to teaching social studies and science. Students conduct fieldwork, learn from experts, work collaboratively and create authentic, high-quality final products for audiences beyond the classroom.