Acton Academy first opened its doors in 2009 with seven students in Austin, Texas. It was founded by Jeff and Laura Sandefer with the goal of providing a better education for their children that would inspire lifelong learning and prepare them for life in the 21st century. Acton Academy is now the largest global network of microschools (with greater than 300 schools) in more than 30 states and 25 countries offering grade levels K-12. It has graduated classes of high school seniors who have gone on to pursue their calling, including starting their own businesses, and acceptance into prestigious universities, jobs, research fellowships, and internships.
Acton Academy has been praised by the US Education Secretary as a leading model of K-12 education and by the likes of Sal Khan and Seth Godin (author, entrepreneur, Stanford Business School graduate), amongst others.
Due to the learner driven and self-paced method, as well as the stress-free learning environment, a typical student in Acton learns at greater depth and speed than a traditional school student.
Experience shows Acton students, who spent at least 3 years in Acton, learn on average 2.5 grade levels ahead of their peers at traditional schools (Results based on the IOWA standardized test). Some students have graduated high school by the age of 16 and many have earned years of college credits before graduating high school.
Very much so! The Acton Academy curriculum covers everything (and more) taught in a traditional school.
In terms of structure, a day at Tej Acton Academy is well-planned, intentional, productive, and most importantly, fun! Our learners always have freedom but within boundaries made possible by our Guides and by the learners themselves. Acton’s numerous, well established systems empower our learners to develop habits that help them become independent thinkers and self starters for life. At your tour, ask us about our accountability systems such as Journey Tracker, badge plans, studio contracts, points board, and freedom levels.
Check out our sample schedule below:
Yes, the academy is accredited through the International Association of Learner Driven Schools.
Absolutely! We plan to grow with our learners to provide them with this awesome Acton way of learning and supportive environment all the way through 12th grade. We plan to add high school once our oldest learners reach that age. If your child is of that age, send us a message for the latest update!
Whether it’s college or a start-up, Acton Academy students have been high achievers, displaying responsibility, maturity and a diversity of experiences that is rare among their peers. Acton students have gone on to prestigious universities including MIT, UC Berkeley, and UCLA to name a few; while others have started their own businesses, earned jobs, research-positions, leadership roles or internships at top-tier organizations around the world. There are no limits for Acton graduates – they are ready to follow whatever path they choose.
With over 300 Acton’s now all over the world, our systems have been tried and tested.
We are constantly seeking a balance between utilizing the advantages of tech-based learning while minimizing technology practices that isolate or disengage. Students use computers for core skills work (reading, writing and math) in the morning for 1-2 hours, depending on the week. Individualized learning goals are regularly established and tracked with running partners and guides. A student-created Internet Use Policy ensures technology tools are used appropriately. That said, you and your child are empowered to plan non-tech alternatives for core skills work with the only requirement being that mastery checks are done via the online platform. If you have questions on this subject, please contact us.
We respect and incorporate Maria Montessori’s philosophy, but we are not a Montessori school. In addition to Montessori methods, we incorporate the Hero’s Journey philosophy, Socratic Method, the latest interactive technologies, and hands-on, real-world project based learning (PBL).
We encourage exploration and independent learning as we feel it is important to value and respect each individual’s beliefs. Students are exposed to the importance of mindful spirituality, character development, and to universal concepts from both eastern and western cultures that can aid in their growth as caring and grateful human beings.
We will cover the significance of religion in history and in the development of society, but we do not promote any one religion.
A general point to keep in mind is that Guides at Acton never teach or indoctrinate children and will always use the Socratic Method by asking questions and providing choices.
Acton students may submit either a portfolio or a transcript to their future school, both of which are accepted broadly. Acton’s badge system can also be converted to a more traditional transcript format. With over 300 Acton Academies all over the world, these processes have been tried and tested.
It is also important to note that experience shows Acton students, who spent at least 3 years in Acton, learn on average 2.5 grades levels ahead of their peers at traditional schools (Results based on the IOWA standardized test).
We have seen young heroes with various special needs succeed in this environment, however we are not trained to offer the resources for those needing additional support.