Frequently Asked Questions

What grades do you offer?

We currently offer grades Pre -7. At AATF, there are 3 multiaged studios: Pre-K - Ages 4-6 Lower Elementary - Ages 6-9 Upper Elementary - Ages 8-12

Will you be offering middle school or highschool?

Yes! We will be adding middle school grades (7-9) in the Fall 2022 semester. And we anticipate adding highschool grades (10-12) in the Fall 2023 semester.

How long is a school year?

We operate on an 11-month trimester calendar. Why? We want to capitalize on the mental and physical engergy essential for learning while preventing burnout, which is a killer of curiosity. Heros put forth great energy and effort for 4-7 weeks. This is followed by an exhibition to showcase their efforts and then a 1-2 week break to revamp. Our schedule allows families to travel more throughout the year without missing school days and for Heros to retain more by shortening summer breaks.

Are Heros grouped by grade?

We believe children learn best by having children younger and older than themselves all learning together. We believe everyone's a teacher and everyone's a student. Our studios are grouped by ages as follows: Spark Pre-K - Ages 4-6 Lower Elementary - Ages 6-9 (typically grade 1-3) Upper Elementary - Ages 8-13 (typically grades 4-6) Heroes work mostly within their own studios during core skills time and then join together for afternoon quests.

How does Acton Academy Twin falls incorporate technology without Heros having too much screen time?

By using powerful, self-paced learning, Heroes are able to complete core learning skills in 1.5-3 hours a day. Some of this learning may be either completed and/or tracked through a computer. However, even though computers are availale, we promote Montessori materials, as we feel this gives young learners a strong foundation in core skills. This frees up the rest of the day for engaging, project-based learning.

What is a Hero and what is a Hero's Journey?

We refer to our students as Heros. Why? Because we believe each of us has a special calling; gifts, talents, and passions, that when applied, will change the world. Our mission is to prepare each child for his or her special journey through life while serving others along their way.

What is an "independent learner"?

Someone who can research questions, follow instructions, solve problems--admit 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.

Why a learner driven environment?

We believe in learning to be and learning to do. An important part of this is helping Heros to take responsibility of their own learning and behavior. Heros hold each other to a high standard. When something isn't working, we want students to work together to resolve issues and find solutions. We strive to foster independance and confidence that will serve the Heros throughout their lives.

Is Acton a Montessori school?

We respect and incorporate Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy but, we are not 100% Montessori. We follow Montessori fundamentals such as mixed-age classrooms, student choice within limits, large blocks of work time, learning through “discovery,” and freedom of movement in the classroom. We will use Montessori materials for some of our hands-on, core skills work and our guides may be trained in Montessori, but we also use other materials, the Socratic Method for discussions, and the Hero's Journey within our method.

Is Acton a religious school?

No. We value and respect each person’s beliefs. We explore the importance various religions have played throughout history, but we do not offer religious education. Children may be exposed to a variety of religions through our study of civilization.

How much homework will be assigned?

NONE! We believe that children need time to play, relax, and be with family and friends. There will not be any homework assigned. We find that children educated in this way become passionate about learning and have no trouble keeping themselves busy.

How do Acton students compare on standardized tests?

On average, Acton Academies throughout the country are finding that Acton students are progressing 3-5 grade levels above students their age. We do not believe standardized testing is a very accurate was to gauge a child's learning. We do not give standardized tests to pass core skills materials. Instead, we believe in a mastery appoach. Once a child has mastered a concept, it is only then that they move on. This reduces frustration and getting behind or lost when one is not ready for a new concept but also allows those ready to move faster to progress at a pace that is suitable for them.

What kind of commitment is required as a parent?

One of our main purposes in creating Acton Academy is to bring together a community of like-minded families who are passionate about the Acton method of education. In addition to bi-annual parent meetings, we hope parents will engage in this social and educational community. We invite all families to participate in an exhibition to end each session. This allows Heroes to showcase what they've been working on throughout the session. Parents are required to sign our Parent Contract upon enrolling and honoring the contract will be considered each year when it is time to send out invitations to reenroll.

Does Acton serve special needs children?

We are a micro-school concept and do have a low adult to child ratio as well as a handicap accessible campus. However, we are not equipped with specialists or extra adults that would be required in helping someone with special needs who may need specialized assistance. We welcome families with special needs to contact us personally to see if Acton will be able to serve your child(ren) at our Twin Falls campus.

How will my child stay on tract in a self-directed environment?

Children will have freedom to explore while their guide helps provide boundaries and helps them manage the incorporation of core skills into their day. They will set the foundation for goal setting and meet with their guide regularly as they take steps toward being fully self-directed. A child's ability to set and track goals in order to evaluate progress is essential to success in a learner-driven, individualized program. Children need a lot of practice setting specific, measurable goals that are challenging but realistic. Children set goals, track progress, and establish a rhythm of meeting with their peers to hold each other accountable. In addition, they will develop an agreement with the guides to set boundaries for acceptable behavior and rules for engagement in the classroom. We believe that learning to set goals and challenging yourself are critical skills for the real world.

Who was Lord Acton?

Lord John Emerich Edward Dahlberg Acton (1834-1902) was an English scholar of freedom, a politician, and writer who saw liberty not as a license, but as the freedom to do what was right. He was suspicious of power for the sake of power, which led to his most famous quote: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." At Acton Academy, we celebrate his defense of economic, political and religious freedom.

What about extra curricular activities?

We encourage our heroes (aka students) to try new things to find what they're passionate about. This not only fosters a deep love of learning in their school years but also helps one to find their calling and joy in life. Idaho allows homeschoolers and private school students to utilize classes and/or extracurricular activities at public school. This allows students to gain an education their families sees best while being able to participate in activities such as sports team, band, public school. To keep our tuition as low as possible, we are currently utilizing these programs for extracurricular activities. You can reference this in Idaho Statues, Title 33, Chapter 2, Section 33-203