Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of the most commonly asked questions we receive from students prior to arriving at Explo Chef. These questions address a wide range of potential concerns from living accommodations and dining options to medical needs and internet availability. If you have any additional questions, please contact our Admission Office.



General


What is Explo’s mission?

Why is a summer at Explo a particularly good investment for this age group?

Is Explo more like a school or a camp?

What experience does Explo have running summer programs?

Is Explo the only summer program offered on the campus of Wellesley College?

How do I get in touch with families who have attended Explo in the past?

What happens at an informational session? May I enroll while I’m there?

 

Residential Students


Where do students live on campus? What are the dorm rooms like?

Do boys and girls live in separate living areas?

How does the housing/rooming situation work at Explo?

How do students do their laundry? What if a student doesn’t know how to do laundry?

This would be my child’s first time away from home. How can I tell if he or she is ready? What should we do to prepare?

How do you handle homesickness at Explo?

What are your policies regarding cell phones and calling home?

What are your policies regarding laptops and other electronics?

Is there internet access for students?

What is the food like?

How do you accommodate special dietary requirements?

How do you coordinate air travel to and from Explo on arrival and departure days?

Does Explo offer any assistance in planning travel to and from campus?

Is there any flexibility around arrival and departure days?

May I visit my child or sign out my child during the session?

If parents have concerns during the summer, whom should they contact?


International Students


Why have so many international families chosen Explo over the years?

Do international students really get to experience authentic American culture while at Explo?

Where do your international students come from?

How does Explo approach cultural difference?

What level of English proficiency is necessary to attend Explo?

What kind of visa do I need to attend Explo?

What if I am unable to obtain a visa? May I get a full refund?

Will my insurance work in the U.S.? How do I enroll in Explo’s insurance?

What is the best way to get payment to you?

How do you coordinate travel to and from campus on arrival and departure days?


Activities, Trips, + Main Events


When students are not in class, what do they do?

How much unstructured time do students have?

Are students required to participate in activities?

What athletic options do you have available?

What are the evening Main Events?

What types of weekend trips do you offer?

How and when does trip selection occur?  Are top choices guaranteed?

How are trips supervised?

 

Healthcare and Medical Issues


What medical facilities are on campus?

How are medications distributed to students?

How do you accommodate students with food allergies?

Is my child required to be covered by U.S. health insurance?


Safety + Supervision


How are safety and security handled at Explo?

What is the staff-to-student ratio?

What is the hiring process for summer staff?

How do you ensure that all students receive personal attention?

What is supervision like around male/female interactions?

Are students allowed to go wherever they want on campus?

Is the town of Wellesley a safe area for middle school students?

How are trips supervised?




General


What is Explo’s mission?
Exploration Summer Programs creates a dynamic environment of intellectual inquiry, responsible decision making and spirited adventure. Led by enthusiastic teachers, our students are encouraged to respect the differences that make us individuals and to find the common ground that makes us a community. At its heart, Explo inspires students to challenge themselves, discover the world of people and ideas, and experience the joy of learning.

Why is a summer at Explo a particularly good investment for this age group?
A summer at Explo exposes young adults to worlds they might not otherwise experience. With a focus on an area that they would not otherwise have exposure to, students can actively pursue a developing interest or try something completely new. With weekend trips throughout New England, students see things and have experiences unlike anything they have seen or done before. And with a student body from more than 40 states and 65+ countries, students have the chance to become friends with people from around the globe, and are exposed to new ideas and new perspectives on a daily basis. The most frequent comment we receive on our parent and student surveys is that Explo significantly increases a student's self-confidence — socially and academically. Explo’s balance of structured and unstructured time ensures that students have the freedom to grow without sacrificing any of the care and attention they need.

Is Explo more like a school or a camp?
Learning is central to Explo’s mission. We believe that learning occurs throughout the entire day at Explo — both inside and outside of the classroom—and our staff strives to create moments of learning for students in all areas. We recognize the value of teaching within a classroom, but also know that learning occurs outside of it, during spontaneous conversations in the dorms, on trips, and during a pick-up game of soccer. In this way, Explo is a unique program that combines the best of school and the best of camp, fusing interactive teaching within our instruction with opportunities for fun and social engagement. We create a dynamic environment of learning in all facets of student life.

What experience does Explo have running summer programs?
Explo has been a leader in educational enrichment for more than 35 years, and our programs have always reflected a dedication to the best practices in education and student life. Founded in 1976, Explo has since expanded to three campuses. Senior members of Explo leadership are often asked to consult with schools and other organizations on topics ranging from student life to training teachers.

Is Explo the only summer program offered on the campus of Wellesley College?
No, although Explo at Wellesley is by far the largest and most extensive summer program offered. Explo has exclusive use of the residential quad dormitories, and we have our own classrooms on the academic quad. In addition, most recreational spaces are scheduled for our exclusive use during activity periods. From a student perspective, there is minimal interaction with other Wellesley-based programs.

How do I get in touch with families who have attended Explo in the past?
Our Admission Office (781.762.7400) has lists of families from previous years who have agreed to serve as references. Please feel free to call to get contact information for a family who will be happy to speak with you.

What happens at an informational session? May I enroll while I’m there?
At an on-campus informational session, there is a 30-minute presentation, usually given by the Head of Programs. You will learn more about Explo’s general mission and philosophy, the different aspects of our program, and the schedule of a typical day. Afterward there is a brief tour of the campus and a chance for questions. All of our enrollment now takes place through our website. We encourage you to fill out the application online.


Residential Students


Where do students live on campus? What are the dorm rooms like?
The architecture of Wellesley College is gorgeous, and Explo students live in architecturally significant buildings that are more than a hundred years old. Explo students reside in a complex of dormitories surrounding a grassy common. All residential students have one or two roommates, and two Residential Advisors who supervise the single-sex floor. The dorms are also home to Explo’s administrative offices, dining halls, computer lab, and health center. Each residential room is furnished with beds, dressers, and closet space. Though the rooms vary in shape, size, and configuration, they all have at least one window and a locking bedroom door. Dorm rooms are not air conditioned, so many roommates share a fan to help cool the room on warm nights. The dormitory bathrooms have enough sinks, toilets, and showers for all of the students on the floor.

Living on the campus of Wellesley College is a lot of fun and it is also a great learning experience. For many students, Explo is their first time living with a roommate or the first time they do laundry on their own. And while students learn what it's like to live away from home, they aren’t on their own. Residential Advisors live on the hall with students and are with them every step of the way, making sure they are comfortable, safe, and happy.

Do boys and girls live in separate living areas?
Boys and girls live separately, with clearly defined physical boundaries, and it is considered a serious violation to be in the entryway, hallway, room, or any part of a residential space of a student of the opposite sex. During times when students are able to return to their rooms, staff members are stationed throughout the dorms to ensure that students are not going into the residential space of the opposite sex.

How do students do their laundry? What if a student doesn’t know how to do laundry?
Our dormitories are equipped with coin-operated laundry rooms. The charge for each complete cycle is one dollar in quarters. Students may use the machines during their free times: during meal times and in the late afternoon. The laundry rooms are staffed during these free times in order to help students who need assistance (or a laundry lesson!).

This would be my child’s first time away from home. How can I tell if he or she is ready? What should we do to prepare?
If this is a child’s first time away from home, it is important to openly discuss his or her thoughts and feelings about it. Developmentally, most students by this age are ready for an overnight program. That doesn’t mean, however, that students won’t experience some nervousness about attending or that they won’t become homesick. Many students who leave home for the first time are both excited and nervous, and it is important to help them to understand that those feelings are not only normal, but quite common. Having open conversations about homesickness and what a student can do if they are feeling homesick while at Explo is essential and will help them to understand the support network that will be in place with their residential advisors and other members of the Dean’s Office.

How do you handle homesickness at Explo?
During the week of staff training and orientation, Residential Advisors are trained to identify signs of homesickness and how to work with students who are experiencing homesickness. If a student is identified as homesick, a member of the Dean’s Office who has spoken with your child will contact you to find ways to help your child transition through these natural feelings. After several days, most homesick students at Explo have created their own network of support and return home after the summer with newfound confidence.

What are your policies regarding cell phones and calling home?
While we encourage students to keep in touch with those close to them, we want them to be fully engaged in our programming throughout the entire day and evening. As such, using a cell phone at the Explo at Wellesley program is a privilege and carries several restrictions.

Students at Explo at Wellesley are not allowed to have cell phones during the first five full days of the program. Experience has shown us that students who communicate with family and friends at home during the early days of the program often miss out on developing a new network of support and friendships at Explo. This policy encourages students to become fully engaged at Explo and helps them make the transition from home. Upon arrival on campus, students will be required to turn in their cell phones; the phones will be locked safely away and returned early on Friday evening. Students traveling unaccompanied to Explo will be given the opportunity to call a parent or guardian to confirm their safe arrival before turning in their phones. If a parent has any concern or question before cell phones are returned, he or she may call the Dean’s Office for a report on their child's well-being.

Students may make phone calls starting at 4:30pm on the first Friday of each session. Phones will be available for students without cell phones, but will require the use of a calling card. To ensure students are getting enough sleep, cell phones may only be used 7:00am-8:45am and 3:45pm-9:45pm. To make the most of their Explo experience, students are discouraged from using their phones for purposes beyond the occasional check-in and may be asked to limit their use should it become excessive. Students may not remove their cell phones from their rooms, with the exception of bringing them along on most field trips.

What are your policies regarding laptops and other electronics?
The use of laptops, tablet computers, portable video game consoles, and other electronics are strongly discouraged because of their tendency to limit student’s engagement in the community. Therefore, these electronics may only be used on Living Group floors and in student rooms. They may not be used during any class, activity, or meal. If you decide to disregard our advice and send your child with one of these devices, we recommend you become familiar with how your homeowner’s policy will handle loss, theft or damage. Explo will not be responsible for the loss, theft or damage of students’ electronics. Wireless internet is not available for students on their personal devices. Students who wish to use email to keep in touch with family and friends may use the Explo computer lab during free time beginning on the first Friday of the session.

Is there internet access for students?
Students may access personal email accounts via the Internet during open hours in supervised Explo computer labs, starting at 4:30pm on the first Friday of each session. Access is limited to 15 minutes to give all students the opportunity to use the computers and Internet. Wireless internet is not available for students on their personal devices.

What is the food like?
All meals at Explo are provided through the Wellesley College Dining Services at dining halls on the residential quad. There are hot options at every meal. Breakfast has items like eggs, bagels, a selection of cold cereal, and waffles. At lunch, in addition to the hot option, there is also a deli bar and salad bar, and students can eat picnic-style out on the quad. Dinner includes items such as pizza, fajitas, and pasta. Vegetarian options are available and clearly labeled at each meal.

How do you accommodate special dietary requirements?
We work closely with Wellesley Dining Services to meet students' needs. Foods are labeled for common allergies, and the Dining Services staff is available to meet with students as needed. One of our dining halls is designated "peanut-free." Please keep in mind that although Explo maintains strict policies regarding food allergies on the Wellesley Campus, that may not be the case when students travel off campus. Special dietary concerns should be brought to our attention prior to the start of summer by calling the Head of Programs at 781.762.7400.

How do you coordinate air travel to and from Explo on arrival and departure days?
For those traveling to and from Explo by plane, we provide transportation from Boston's Logan Airport for students whose flights are scheduled to arrive from 12pm until 5pm. Our staff, wearing bright orange Explo T-shirts and photo IDs, will be located at the baggage pickup area of each of the major terminals of the airport. Again, please schedule flights to arrive between 12pm and 5pm. On departure days, all students must leave campus by noon. Our buses take students to the airport from approximately 5am until 12pm. If transportation is needed earlier than that, we help students arrange for a cab or car service, but we do not have staff available to chaperone. 

If you would like assistance planning your travel to Explo, we invite you to work with our travel partner, Colpitts World Travel. Please see the next FAQ for full information.

Does Explo offer any assistance in planning travel to and from campus?
In order to help families make travel arrangements for their children, Explo has partnered with Colpitts World Travel. Colpitts is a leader in international travel assistance and helps families plan safe, full-service travel arrangements to and from Explo. By booking through Colpitts, you can quickly determine how many other students are already on a flight and whether the flight arrives during our regular airport pickup hours. If it does not, Colpitts can book travel between the airport and campus through another Explo transportation partner, BostonCoach. Colpitts negotiates discounts with the major airlines and their pricing is very competitive.

We did quite a bit of research to make sure both companies could serve our families worldwide, and because we are dealing with students under the age of 18, it was imperative that we find partners who would meet our high standards. Colpitts, a leader in the travel industry, will be able to assist families with unaccompanied minor paperwork as well. 



Families are not required to use the services of either company, but if you would like to do so, please call Colpitts at 781.326.7800 ext.460 and mention that you are calling for an Explo student. Families interested in car service can reach BostonCoach directly at 800.672.7676. You are welcome to use Explo account number 91030 with BostonCoach to receive a discounted rate.

Is there any flexibility around arrival and departure days?
We want our students to experience every possible moment at Explo. A student who arrives late to the program misses much of the important bonding that occurs on a residential floor the first night. Similarly, a student who leaves early misses out on the eagerly anticipated closing ceremonies and final party, where students have the opportunity to be with their friends one last time before going home. Occasionally exceptions are made, but they require a discussion with the Head of Programs at Explo at Wellesley, who can be reached at our Norwood Office at 781.762.7400.

May I visit my child or sign out my child during the session?
Students may be signed out and receive visitors starting on the first Friday of the session, which allows ample time for students to get accustomed to being away from home. All visitors must check in at the Main Office upon arrival. Only guests age 21 or over will be permitted to visit or sign a student out. All visitors must be specifically named by parents or guardians on the Authorized Visitor Form and must present a picture ID and leave complete information about intended destination, temporary guardian, and time of return. Students may not be signed out during a course or workshop, and signing out a student overnight is strongly discouraged. Please contact the Dean’s Office in advance if you would like to visit or sign out your child.

If parents have concerns during the summer, whom should they contact?
If parents have concerns during the summer they should contact the Dean’s Office at 781.283.3781 to speak with Residence Directors, who supervise the Residential Advisors and can help answer questions and respond to concerns.


International Students


Why have so many international families chosen Explo over the years?
There are many reasons why international families continue to choose Explo. We have been told by many families that our long history with international students has made them comfortable trusting us. At Explo, international students enter into a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that incorporates them into activities, athletics, classes, and trips, while also being open to the cultures of all students.

It is an exciting opportunity for international students to come to America and meet students from the United States and the rest of the world. For students who want to practice their English speaking skills, Explo is an accepting and supportive environment that immerses international students in American culture and language.

Our weekend trips — which go into Boston and New York City, as well as all over New England — are a great attraction for international students as well. Seeing the historical and cultural sites of Northeast America provides an eye-opening experience and a lasting memory for many students.

Do international students really get to experience authentic American culture while at Explo?
The ideal way to experience a new culture is to be completely immersed in it. All of our instruction, activities, and events are conducted in English, and our enthusiastic staff represent many regions of the United States. Every weekend, students leave our campus to explore sites all around New England.

Where do your international students come from?
One of the most exciting facets of Explo at Wellesley is our geographically diverse community. Students have come to Explo from over 65+ countries, spanning every continent but Antarctica!

How does Explo approach cultural difference?
We recognize that cultural differences naturally exist among many of the students in our geographically diverse community. Part of Explo’s mission is to encourage students to discover the world of people and ideas, respecting the differences that make us all individuals and finding the common ground that makes us a community. Our staff is trained to be sensitive to cultural differences, while not shying away from engaging students in honest, safe discussions for the purpose of greater understanding. Our residential advising staff and Dean’s Office create an environment of support that is a catalyst for long-lasting cross-cultural friendships.

What level of English proficiency is necessary to attend Explo?
Because all of our courses, activities, and correspondence with students are conducted in English, it is crucial that students have an advanced level of English proficiency to attend Explo and to take advantage of everything we have to offer. Non-native English speakers are required to have an interview with a member of the Explo Admission Office prior to enrollment.

What kind of visa do I need to attend Explo?
International students need to obtain a B-2 visa for a short visit. The B-2 visa is normally available at the United States embassy in your home country.

What if I am unable to obtain a visa? May I get a full refund?
It is rare for a student who is enrolled in an Explo program to have difficulty procuring a visa. Should this happen, we will provide a full refund upon receipt of evidence showing the student was denied a visa.

Will my insurance work in the U.S.? How do I enroll in Explo’s insurance?
International students are required to carry American accident and health coverage, which may be purchased through Explo. International participants and others without this coverage will be billed each session for a short-term accident/health policy.

What is the best way to get payment to you?
Payments may be made by check or international wire. Credit cards are accepted for online deposits only, not for final payments. All payments, including deposits, tuition, and cash advances must be made in US funds. We will not accept checks drawn on a foreign bank.
To request wiring instructions, please contact our Admission Office at 781.762.7400.

How do you coordinate travel to and from campus on arrival and departure days?
Explo provides transportation to and from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts to the Wellesley campus on arrival and departure days during designated times. If students choose to fly in to other airports, they are responsible for coordinating and covering the cost of their travel to the Wellesley College campus.

Students should schedule flights to arrive at Logan International Airport between 12:00pm and 5:00pm on arrival day. Departure day flights should be scheduled to leave Logan International Airport between 8:00am and 2:00pm. Enrolled students complete an arrival and departure form in the spring, which asks for the airline, flight number, and the arrival and departure times of the student's flights.


In order to help families make travel arrangements for their children, Explo has partnered with Colpitts World Travel. Colpitts is a leader in international travel assistance and is capable of helping families plan safe, full-service travel arrangements to and from campus. By booking through Colpitts, you can quickly determine how many other Explo students are already on a flight and whether the flight arrives during our regular airport pick-up hours. If it does not, Colpitts can book travel between the airport and campus through another Explo transportation partner, BostonCoach. Colpitts negotiates discounts with the major airlines and their pricing is very competitive.


Activities, Trips + Main Events


When students are not in class, what do they do?
Students at Explo typically, students choose from around 20 different activities each recreational period: sports, arts and crafts, theater games, boating, swimming, discussion groups, engineering challenges, nature walks, cooking, and more. Students do not need to pre-enroll in these activities—they will make decisions in the moment each day. Students check in with group advisors throughout the day, and are encouraged to take advantage of everything Explo has to offer by trying new activities.

How much unstructured time do students have?
Students at Explo have the freedom to choose from a variety of structured activities and events for most of the day. However, we also recognize the importance of independent downtime for middle school students. “Period 5” runs from 4:30pm to 6:30pm each day. During Period 5, students may choose to participate in a number of structured activities run by the staff, hang out with friends on the quad, quietly read in a student lounge, or do their laundry. Several staff members are on duty during Period 5 and are present and available in all the areas where students might be. Twice a week, we offer students an opportunity to walk into the town of Wellesley during this free time.  Additionally, every evening, students have a 45-minute “winding down time” to catch up with friends on our quad, or return to their dorms early.

Are students required to participate in activities?
Yes, students are required to choose from approximately 20 different activity options during recreational periods in the afternoon. Recreational activities include athletics, arts and crafts, theater games, boating, swimming, discussion groups, engineering challenges, nature walks, cooking, and more. Advisors assist students in making informed decisions and challenge students to try new things.

What athletic options do you have available?
Students attending Explo benefit from having access to the Wellesley College athletic fields, courts, and field house. We offer a variety of athletic activities each afternoon, including soccer, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, tennis, squash, ultimate Frisbee, football, and more. Our activities are generally structured in a way so that experienced players can jump right into the game, while students who are trying a sport for the first time can learn the rules and skills necessary to play. In the afternoons, students can enroll in athletic workshops oriented around skill development.  Finally, Wellesley College coaches offer several weekend clinics that students can attend for an additional fee. For more information on our sports clinics, see the athletics page.

What are the evening Main Events?
After a day filled with stimulating study and innovative activities, evenings are filled with a wide array of events designed to entertain students, expose them to new ideas, and give them a chance to have some fun. On a typical evening, students choose from two or three different Main Events, such as Carnival Night, talent shows, open mic night, karaoke, magicians, staff improv night, and dances. Once a week, we take everybody off campus for special evening trips like Cruise Night, when we charter a boat from Boston Harbor and dance the night away under the stars.

What types of weekend trips do you offer?
Our trips offer unique opportunities to experience the sights and sounds of the Boston and New England area. Each weekend students will choose from 15-20 different trip options. We offer trips into greater Boston and to many destinations throughout New England. Some of our offerings include horseback riding, rock climbing, the New England Aquarium, Boston Duck Tours, sailing in Boston Harbor, Six Flags, and trapeze school. We also offer a variety of on-campus staff-led clinics for students who prefer to stay closer to home.

How and when does trip selection occur?  Are top choices guaranteed?
Students rank their top choices from 15-20 different weekend trip and clinic options by Tuesday of each week. Because some of our trips are limited, we process student choices through our specialized software, ensuring balanced trip assignments over the course of a session. It is unusual for a student to get every top choice all summer, just as it is unusual for a student to never get a top choice. Students are notified of their trip assignments by Thursday each week.

How are trips supervised?
Weekend trips are coordinated through our Programming Office and are supervised by our faculty. Faculty members have detailed information about the itinerary and are prepared with additional site information to provide an engaging and safe experience for every student. On some trips, such as a visit to an amusement park, there are staff checkpoints, and students walk around in groups, checking in with staff members on a regular basis. At other destinations, such as museums, students are accompanied by staff leaders throughout their visit. Our staff members wear bright orange Explo T-shirts when off campus so they can be easily recognized, and students must wear their photo IDs at all times. Attendance is taken before we leave for the trip and as we board the buses to return home. All of our buses are driven by professional drivers, most of whom have been with us for years. In fact, the average driver has been driving with Explo for more than 15 years.


Healthcare and Medical Issues


What medical facilities are on campus?
Experienced nurses are available on campus 24 hours a day. Our nurses office is centrally located in one of our dorms and has regular hours to treat ill students and to administer student medications. We are able to schedule appointments with medical doctors and nurse practitioners at local medical practices. Newton-Wellesley Hospital is nearby for emergencies, appointments, and consults.

How are medications distributed to students?
All medications must be administered by our nursing staff. Most students who take daily medications do so at regular times throughout the day, and our nurses make the process as brief as possible. Nurses are always happy to speak directly with parents who have specific concerns.

How do you accommodate students with food allergies?
We are very familiar with some of the more common food allergies, such as peanut allergies and celiac disease. Explo at Wellesley designates several residential halls and one dining hall as "nut-free." Food in the dining hall is carefully labeled, and Wellesley College's Food Service managers are on-hand to answer questions. Our staff is also trained to use Epi-Pens, should the need arise. Please keep in mind that although we are well equipped at Explo to handle food allergies on the Wellesley campus, that may not be the case when students travel off campus. If you are planning to send a child who has severe food allergies to Explo at Wellesley, please contact the Head of Programs at 781-762-7400.

Is my child required to be covered by U.S. health insurance?
Yes. We can provide your child with U.S. health insurance for the session for an additional fee, if necessary. Please indicate your interest in enrolling in the insurance plan on the application.


Safety + Supervision


How are safety and security handled at Explo?
The most important aspect of ensuring the safety of our students is to make sure that a good supervision process is in place. To that end, we have an excellent staff-to-student ratio and we make sure that our staff is highly visible not only in classes and extracurricular activities, but during free time on the quad, in the dormitories, in the dining halls, and in town. We work closely with the Wellesley College Police Department to ensure a safe summer. Every person affiliated with Explo is issued a photo ID on a brightly colored lanyard. Even visitors must check in with our Main Office to receive a special visitor ID while on our campus. Student group advisors check in with their students regularly throughout the day and we take attendance regularly.

What is the staff-to-student ratio?
Our staff-to-student ratio is 1-to-6.

What is the hiring process for summer staff?
We recruit at many of the top colleges and graduate schools throughout the country, looking for energetic, caring, and accomplished college and graduate students who are passionate about teaching and caring for adolescents. Our faculty members go through a rigorous application and interviewing process, including comprehensive background checks, and we are extremely selective with whom we hire. In addition to this hiring process, all of our faculty work hard throughout the winter and spring, preparing curricula for their classes under the guidance of experienced teachers, mentors, and field experts. We also work with faculty throughout the spring, and during our Faculty Orientation, on the non-teaching components of their jobs, ensuring that everyone who is charged with caring for our students has the tools to respond to the variety of student needs and concerns that arise throughout the summer.

How do you ensure that all students receive personal attention?
Because of the low staff-to-student ratio, personal attention is the rule at Explo, rather than the exception. Each student is part of a living group, and each group has two Residential Advisors who are directly responsible for addressing the needs of their students. In addition, each dorm has two Residence Directors who handle larger needs and concerns. Living groups check in several times per day, and advisors make it a point to get to know the students in their groups. In fact, the advisor’s job is to make sure that each student is finding his or her niche at Explo. For some students that happens very quickly, while other students need more assistance.

Throughout the day, our staff members lead activities and supervise all aspects of student life. Explo is designed to have as much staff involvement in student life as possible, and a desire for personal attention informs all of our staff assignments—from chaperoning the sports center, to supervising the quad in the evening, and beyond.

What is supervision like around male/female interactions?
All of our dormitory floors are single-sex spaces. Students are not permitted to be in the entryways, hallways, rooms, or any other part of the residential space of a student of the opposite sex. Single-sex dormitory rules are strictly enforced.

Are students allowed to go wherever they want on campus?
No, but students do have free reign in the residential quad. Additionally, twice a week, students have an opportunity to walk into the town of Wellesley (about five minutes away), where Explo staff surround the perimeter of our designated boundaries. Once again, students are responsible for returning to campus before their living group check-in.

Is the town of Wellesley a safe area for middle school students?
Yes. Wellesley is a safe small town, the heart of which is only a five-minute walk from campus. Students have the option of going into the village of Wellesley, also known as “the Vil,” twice a week for up to two hours. In the Vil, students visit convenience stores, small restaurants, and ice cream parlors. Students must sign out to the Vil and are required to stay within the designated boundaries set by EXPLO. Staff are assigned to the Vil during town time and there are clear rules about return times. Spending time in the Vil is very popular, and many students enjoy the feeling of independence, and the ability to get a slice of pizza, or to pick up things they might need such as shampoo, soap, or snacks for their rooms.

How are trips supervised?
Weekend trips are coordinated through our Programming Office and are supervised by our faculty. Our faculty members have detailed information about the itinerary and are prepared with additional site information to provide an engaging and safe experience for every student. On some trips, such as a visit to an amusement park, there are staff checkpoints, and students walk around in groups, checking in with staff members on a regular basis. At other destinations, such as museums, students are accompanied by staff leaders throughout their visit. Our staff wear bright orange Explo T-shirts when off campus so they can be easily recognized, and students must wear their photo IDs at all times. Attendance is taken before we leave for the trip and as we board the buses to return home. All of our buses are driven by professional drivers, most of whom have been with us for years. In fact, the average driver has been driving with Explo for more than 15 years.