Frequently Asked Questions
everything You Need To Know
We believe that each of us has a special calling in life and a series of trials and tests that must be faced with integrity and purpose in order to live a satisfying and fulfilled life. Our mission is to prepare your child for his or her special Hero’s Journey.
Tej Acton Academy believes that each one of us is fundamentally good and has infinite potential within us. Our mission is for each child to discover this inner Genius so he/she can reach their highest potential and make a positive change in this world.
Acton Academy first opened its doors in 2009 with seven students in Austin, Texas. It was founded by Jeff and Laura Sandefer with a simple goal of establishing a new model of education that would inspire lifelong learners and equip young people for life in the 21st century. Acton Academy is now a global network of more than 200 parent-owned studios in more than 30 states and 20 countries offering grade levels K-12. It has graduated its first classes of high school seniors who have gone on to pursue their calling, including acceptance into prestigious universities, research fellowships, and internships.
We have mixed-grade classrooms to prepare learners for the real world and to foster independence, as well as social and emotional growth. Experience has shown this approach works better than splitting learners up into groups based solely on age. The curriculum is still individualized, but students develop a habit of collaborating in groups of all ages; younger learners gain mentors, and older learners gain leadership skills as they guide those younger than them.
No, they don’t. We have a tremendous capacity to direct our own learning. Real learning is not about the transfer of information, it is about learning how to learn and what to learn. Though challenging at first, children can develop habits that aid them for the rest of their life. In terms of staying on track, the community of students learn to hold each other accountable for their learning with the help of multiple systems and tools. In addition, our Guides (teachers) spark curiosity, encourage learners, and sit with them to set and monitor goals that can be tracked in real-time.
We respect and incorporate Maria Montessori’s philosophy, but we are not a Montessori school. In addition to Montessori methods, we use the latest interactive technologies, hands on projects and the Socratic Method for discussions.
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 (reading, writing and math) work 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.
Acton encourages 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.
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.
Deep at the core of Tej Acton Academy is our commitment to serving those students and families in our community and receiving transparent feedback. Because of this, we ask families to participate in a bi-weekly Customer Satisfaction Survey, where we ask them to rate us 1-5 on how well we accomplished our promises. We then share the results with the community. These surveys are our most important metric to measure the success of the learning community.
As our older students, and our own children (4 and 7 years old in 2020), progress through the program, we plan to expand to allow children up to 18 years of age. We are committed and invested in ensuring that the children who attend Tej Acton Academy will have access to this type of learning model for their entire education.
Yes, the academy is accredited through the International Association of Learner Driven Schools.