Thank you for your interest in our Deep Creek Learning Center: An Acton Academy. We are honored you are here to learn more about us.
This post will walk you through our learning design, school culture, space, and give you an opportunity to meet our team. We’ll also be asking questions at the end to get a better understanding of who you and your child are. Please read through this information carefully and contact us if you feel we are a great fit!
We are an Acton Academy
First, we invite you to watch this virtual tour video created by the founders of Acton Academy, Laura and Jeff Sandefer. Our question of the year is, What is a Hero’s Journey?
You might be interested to listen to this podcast that Jeff did with Jesse McCarthy of MontessoriEducation.com.
Laura wrote this informative and helpful book about Acton Academy: Courage to Grow, which you can download to your kindle for only $1.10. We have a limited number of paper copies at the school to give away — please fill in your information on the home page to receive a free book today!
21st Century Learning is happening here
After going through the information above, you have likely realized something special is happening here and we are quite different from programs using traditional education. If you aren’t sure what 21st Century Learning is, we invite you to read this Forbes article explaining that. There are quite a few differences between “modern” learning and traditional learning, with the key one being that the focus is on skill development rather than information regurgitation: process over content.
The content is viewed as the vehicle on the road to developing mastery in important skills like: critical thinking, resolving conflict, problem solving, and project management to name a few. Thankfully we are not relying on “curriculum development” as it happens in traditional schools where a committee of government-appointed people discuss how to change the curriculum. It is not surprising that this method means that curriculum only changes over decades but we are in a fast-paced technologically driven society where things change much, much faster than that. As an Acton Academy, are able to keep up to those changes!
We have “Studios” and “Guides!”
Our Learning Design in Action
You won’t find grades or report cards at our school. Our Lions (that’s what we call our learners) and Guides (that’s what we call our adults) use a software program unique to Acton Academy to track progress and see what the daily, weekly, and “session” plans are in real time. A session is a period of time used for the duration of a project.
You can see that the morning is focused on academics: math, reading, writing, spelling, and foreign language (French). As mentioned in the Acton Academy video at the very top of this post, we use a variety of tools for the academics including game-based software, group problem-solving challenges, and hands-on materials.
The afternoons are when we work on the art of writing and the project-based learning (“Quest”). Those projects hit all the major areas of learning like: art, music, history, the sciences — chemistry, physics, biology, life, environment, and specific technology like coding, robotics, software development, or graphic design.
Student-led Learning Environment
Everyone in our program has a significant role to play here. Each Lion and Guide has a responsibility to be a contributing member, committing to the process of supporting each other in their learning goals.
Our learners “audit” each other’s work, dive into deep learning and also deep conversations that sometimes might be tough. We value the messiness that comes with making mistakes or not getting something quite right — we view mistakes more like experiments that lead us to necessary corrections and improvements.
Our Lions, through the democratic process, suggest changes to the system if they feel those are warranted, work in groups to dig into tricky problems, and learn how to support each other even when that feels hard. Over time we see growth in their character, grit, and ability to persevere.
The learners here enjoy independent learning, are self-autonomous, show a willingness to collaborate and problem solve, and want to take on responsibility.
Ready to take your next step?
If you can answer “yes” to all of the questions below, we invite you to complete our enrollment questionnaire to better understand your and your child’s learning goals and why you’d like to join Deep Creek Learning Center: An Acton Academy.
Have you watched all the videos linked in this post?
Have you looked at the tuition page and understand that due to our small size, we have limited scholarships?
Are you keen to engage in a learning process that hands the responsibility of learning to the child and his/ her family?
Are you open to being on a hero’s journey with us?
After reading through everything above carefully, do you believe your child would thrive in this kind of learning environment?
If yes to all, please click here to schedule a tour!