Mission & Values


Girls Volleyball Team's "Good Game" high fives.

Girls Volleyball Team’s “Good Game” high fives.

Explorer West Middle School embraces the energy and enthusiasm of diverse young people on the journey to adulthood by fostering confidence and discovery. Offering the benefits of a small learning community, Explorer West views the complexity of adolescence as a unique window of opportunity to develop the academic, creative, and social skills required for a sustainable future.


Explorer West produces students with a global perspective who will actively contribute to a sustainable future. The entire community—teachers, students, parents and administrators, and the board—aspires to values that promote a strong and healthy learning environment. These values inform our school culture and aim to maximize learning and achievement with an emphasis on challenge, inquiry, expression and reflection.

We believe that challenging classroom content and experiences encourage all students to actively engage in their learning, and all classes are equally important for fostering and developing a vibrant citizenry. A balance of disciplines exposes students to the material and skills they will need as members of communities large and small.

Personal and Community Responsibility – being accountable for one’s own words and actions and respecting the right of others to that same opportunity.  We recognize that one’s membership in a community requires active participation, and sometimes the needs of the community trump the needs of the individual.

Integrity – behaving and speaking in such a way as to foster trust from individuals and the community at all times. This includes honest, moral and ethical speech and actions. Open and honest communication is critical to the healthy functioning of the school.

Creativity and Inquiry – encouraging multiple or novel solutions that take advantage of all available resources in independent and collaborative settings. Gathering information and interpreting meaning lead to a broad range of options and applications.

Confidence – working persistently toward a state of mind that allows the student to perform his or her role comfortably and courteously. Students are encouraged to seek a healthy balance between leading and supporting as they work together for the good of the classroom and the school community.

8th graders taking a break from a hike near Mt. Rainier National Park.