Introducing Acton Academy, a New School
Disclosure: Acton Academy Ann Arbor has sponsored this post.
Acton Academy is a new school coming to the Ann Arbor area. They will be opening for the 2016-2017 school year. They will initially open as a K-4 school and will add a grade each year until they are a K-12 school.
I spoke with Scott Taylor, founder of the Ann Arbor location, to learn more about their school so that I could share the details on this new school option. From our discussion, I would sum up Acton Academy in these two quotes:
“Our goal is to inspire kids to love learning”
“We encourage experimentation. It’s OK to fail as long as you learn from it and keep trying. Great achievements are rarely the result of getting it right the first time.”
About Acton Academy
The first Acton Academy opened in Austin, TX in 2009. The founders of the school took a clean slate approach to designing the educational philosophy of their school. The program was designed based on best practices from educational research to inspire kids to love learning.
They have created a blended school which blends the following concepts into the learning approach:
- Quest-based Projects
- Hands-On Learning
- Self-Paced Core Skill Learning
- Socratic Discussions
Since 2009, a total of 15 Acton Academy locations have opened around the world. For the 2016-2017 academic year, 18 new Acton Academy locations are opening including one in Ann Arbor.
This video from Acton Academy in Houston shows what a typical day is like:
Acton Academy Learning Method
Acton Academy uses a curiosity based approach where students are encouraged to search for their calling in this world. The teacher supports students by inspiring them to learn, asking questions in Socratic discussions, and providing resources for the children to learn. This individualized method allows students to learn by exploring their interests more fully. For example a child who is interested in horses can learn history by studying how horses were integral throughout history, genetics by studying breeding programs, statistics by looking at horse racing, etc. In addition to individual projects, the class will work on group projects.
With a mixed-age classroom, students have the chance to take on various roles in the classroom and contribute based on their own strengths. Older children learn valuable leadership skills in the mixed age group and younger children get role models to look up to.
Students are taught an entrepreneurial mind set which is why they first introduced themselves to the Ann Arbor Community at the first annual Children’s Business Fair in May.
Enrolling at Acton Academy
Acton Academy’s 2016-2017 school year will run from Tuesday, September 6 through Friday, June 9. The school year is divided into 7 “sprints” with a long weekend or week long break between each sprint.
Acton Academy Ann Arbor’s school day will run from 8:30a-3:15p. Families may drop off their children as early as 8a. Tuition is $8500, payable in 10 monthly installments of $850.
Contact Acton Academy to learn more.
Starting a New School
Acton Academy is starting as a K-4 school this year and will add a grade each year. Eventually, it will be a K-12 program. Acton Academy plans to start the school with about 12 students this year and plans to add 6-12 per year. There are currently openings for the 2016-2017 school year, but there are enough students already enrolled for the school to open.
A teacher has already been hired for the 2016-2017 school year. The new teacher is trained in the Montessori method and has a few years experience. She is excited for the new opportunity to implement the Acton Academy methodology here in Ann Arbor.
Acton Academy Ann Arbor is still looking for a site, but it will be located on the West Side of Ann Arbor. They are currently evaluating several possible locations.
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