Attending a pre-college program helps students prepare for the independence of college. That being said, EXPLO does not believe that high school students should be supervised as if they are college students.
In order to create an atmosphere that allows learning to be both fun and meaningful, we know that our students (and their loved ones back home) need to feel (1) that our campuses are safe, (2) that our staff is observant and trained to respond, (3) that our procedures are in compliance with both the laws of the states in which we live and work, and also (4) the more subtle laws of common sense. Our first priority is our students — and their safety is paramount.
Bullying has become big news at all schools recently, but EXPLO has been responding vigorously to bullying for decades. We have dismissed students who did not live up to our ideals of respect and care. More importantly, we have always worked hard to create the kind of communities where bullying would make no sense — whether on floors, in classrooms, on playing fields, or on the campus at large. Bullying has no place on an EXPLO campus.
Our students’ physical and emotional health is a priority. EXPLO’s Health Center is staffed 24/7 with registered nurses who are there exclusively to care for EXPLO students. All prescription and over-the-counter medications are distributed through the health center, because state law — and common sense — dictate that students should not self-medicate or keep medications in their rooms. Should the need arise, EXPLO has a consulting psychologist on-call 24/7, and we have access to a local teaching hospital as well as a close relationship with a well-regarded pediatrics practice located ten minutes from campus. Any time that a student has to go to an outside health professional, she is always accompanied by a member of our staff.
We believe you cannot supervise students well if you do not supervise the staff well. That is why we have an intensive staff training program. In addition, we support staff members via an extensive supervisory structure to give them professional development feedback and to hold them accountable. We are regularly told by former staff members that the professional development and supervision they received at EXPLO was the best of their professional lives.
We deliberately keep our staff to student ratios quite low with a dedicated faculty for our Bioengineering for Girls program within the EXPLO at Wheaton staff. With their own specific professor, teaching assistants, residential advisors, and residence directors, the Bioengineering for GIrls students are known, and more importantly, feel known.
According to leading research in the field, nothing is more essential to thriving in an educational setting.