Frequently Asked Questions

What grades do you offer?

We accept ages 5 through 18.

What is the calendar?

Acton Academy runs eleven months a year, typically with five to seven-week “sprints” followed by a week off.

Is Acton Academy Placer a Montessori program?

We respect and incorporate Maria Montessori’s philosophy, but we are not a Montessori program. In addition to Montessori methods, we use the latest interactive technologies, hands on projects and the Socratic Method for discussions.

Is Acton Academy Placer a religious program?

While we expose children to the importance of mindfulness, ethical principles, and the significance of religion in history and the development of society we are not a religious program. We value and respect each individual’s beliefs.

What do you mean by “a hero’s journey”?

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 journey.

What is an “independent learner”?

Someone who can research questions, follow instructions, solve problems—admit that they don’t know something and figure out a solution when they hit a roadblock without asking an adult for help — participate in discussions, and strive for mastery.

Does Acton Academy Placer serve special needs children?

We are not trained to serve children with serious learning disabilities but have been able to serve young heroes with dyslexia if they receive special training and believe that many minor learning disabilities are commonly misdiagnosed.

What do you mean by “every child can change the world?”

We believe each of our students will find a passion — something they love and have a gift to do. They will use this gift to serve others and fulfill a need they are passionate about in the world. This may be by becoming a shoe-shiner who tells stories and makes people’s day just by doing his job with love and vigor; it may be by becoming a coach who sees the light in a child’s eyes and guides her to pursue a dream; it may be by becoming a father or mother who leads a family on a Hero’s Journey; it may be becoming an entrepreneur or business leader guided by compassion and integrity; or it may be by becoming an artist or writer who brings beauty to people’s lives.

What is a “running partner”?

Running Partners are classmates who meet together regularly to set goals and hold each other accountable for meeting those goals. Running Partners encourage and inspire each other by asking good questions, listening and providing affirmation.

Will children be grouped together by grades?

We believe that children learn best when working with those younger and older than themselves rather than split up into groups based solely on age. In addition to individualized curriculum, all ages of students work together in multi-age groups within each studio.

What is a “learner driven classroom”?

At Acton Academy Placer, the students run the studio (classroom) by agreeing together what their rules are for behavior and treatment of one another. These are called their “Studio Covenants” and “Rules of Engagement”. In the elementary studio especially, they are provided with appropriate guidance throughout this process. These rules and covenants are prominently displayed in the studio and revisited. Often, these are revised by the students as they work through challenges and discover better ways of interacting with one another.

Students also budget their time and choose their areas of focus for the day and adjust these based on their performance. We believe strongly that students achieve more when they have control of their learning.

Why a learner driven classroom?

At Acton Academy Placer we believe in learning to be and learning to do and an important part of this is encouraging kids to take responsibility for their own behavior and hold those around them to a high standard. When something isn’t working, we want our students to work together to solve the problem, not look for an adult to solve it for them. This creates a sense of independence and confidence that will serve them well in all areas of life.

Is Acton Academy Placer accredited?

Yes the program is accredited through the International Association of Learner Driven Schools.

How do you use technology in the classroom without students having too much screen time?

At Acton Academy Placer, we believe in the power of balance. Using the incredible, self-paced eLearning tools now available, we are able to provide the rigor needed for learning math, vocabulary, spelling and grammar in about 90 minutes each day, while freeing up the rest of the day for engaging, project-based learning. The two are highly complementary.

Begin your family's journey