Child's name and date of birth
How did you hear about Acton Academy? Is there someone in the community we may thank for sending you?
What do you like most about where your child is attending school now (if they are currently enrolled in a school)?
What do you wish were different at their current school?
What do you think is the best way for your child(ren) to learn?
What fears do you have about your child(ren)'s school experience?
Tell us why your child's previous school did not (or did) work out.
What is it that you like about the Acton Academy model of education?
List the schools your child has attended previously (please indicate the time at each school).
What were your biggest lessons learned from reviewing the Acton Academy research resources (website, blog, Courage to Grow, etc.)?
For a child to be successful at Acton Academy, both parents, or in some cases, stepparents, grandparents, or legal guardians, must agree on choosing Acton Academy and say "yes" to our learning philosophy. Parent involvement is paramount to a child's success in our program, and without all parental parties' commitment, a family will likely struggle in our program. Are both parents, and stepparents if applicable, in agreement with the learning philosophy and parenting perspective offered at Acton Academy?
How do you, as a parent, teach or guide your child(ren) at home?
How do you motivate your child(ren) to move forward when they are feeling stuck?
What are your hopes for your child(ren)’s education?
How familiar are you with online learning in a student-led classroom where the adult present serves more as a mentor or coach and doesn’t offer traditional “teaching”? How do you feel about a classroom without a "teacher" delivering lecture-style presentations?
Share a time when your child(ren) struggled or made a bad choice at school or home. How did you handle the situation?
These next questions are intended as conversation starters and to get a sense of your child's ability to follow the typical contracts and guardrails at our school. The contracts are made and upheld by the children -- we are a democratic and peer-led environment.
If an Arrow (that's what we call our learners) breaks the contract, depending on the severity of the action, the consequence is a "strike", given by a guide, or losing an "Arrow Buck", when requested by another Arrow. Arrow Bucks can be earned from doing hard work.
If an Arrow earns three strikes in two months or less, the Arrow is asked to remain at home for a day (or more) until the Arrow is ready to recommit to the community. An accepted letter of apology and recommitment will be accompanied by a provisional contract further deliniating community expectations and guardrails that the Arrow must meet to remain a member of the Acton community.
You will find a few previous contracts from Spark and Discovery Studio below.
Spark Studio Guardails:
Be Kind, Be Safe, Clean Up.
Discovery Studio Contract
As an Acton Arrow I promise to:
• Have courage even when I am afraid.
• Not cheat.
• Do everything with kindness, encouragement, and truth.
• Take responsibility for my own actions.
• Hold myself and others accountable.
• Do appropriate things on my computer.
• Never give up and try my best.
• Not accept disrespect, poor sportsmanship, or bullying of any kind.
• Not cause physical or emotial harm to a fellow Arrow.
• Do what my fellow Arrows ask of me in serious times.
• Cleanup my cubby and zip up my backpack.
• Respect tools that I have and the ones that are given to me.
• Be respectful during socratic discussions by not talking when others are talking and raising my hand.
• Be helpful.
Given the contracts listed above, talk about your child's current abilities to adhere to those promises.
On a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (exceptional), how would you rate your child's basic math abilities?
How would you describe your child's current learning hurdles, if any, and what strategies have worked in the past in helping reduce those.
A key part of our program is working together with others to solve problems, achieve common goals, and resolve conflict. We understand that how this looks for five-year-olds is very different than for ten-year-olds!
Our youngest Arrows are able to share, be gentle, and kind with each other... most of the time. We know that kids are kids and we certainly are here to coach and support them when emotions are high and words not found. Emotional intelligence and character growth is fostered here every day.
Our oldest Arrows could run the ship! They could lead the Squads, organize school-wide events, offer suggestions to change systems, etc.
Tell us what your child was like interacting with others while doing a recent group project.
On a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (exceptional), rate your child's ability to work without adult supervision.
One of the ways independence grows is for the adults to not solve the learner's problems. A tool we use to facilitate this is to not directly answer their questions -- we call that, "3B4G." This means to use Books, Buddies, Brains (resources, asking a peer, thinking about it) before asking a Guide a question.
Comment on how you believe your child would react in an environment where the adults step back rather than solving the problems for the child.
What would we need to know about your child(ren) to serve them well? For example, allergies, fears, developmental challenges, medical history, medications, or previous classroom behavioral challenges?
Describe why you think your child and your family are a good fit for Acton Academy.