What is Acton Academy?
Our mission is to reinvent education for the Seacoast region by providing each child with an educational experience that honors their uniqueness, fosters their independence, and allows for them to explore their natural curiosities while connecting them to their purpose so they can authentically share it with the world.
Starting in the fall of 2023, we will be expanding to include a new art studio, outdoor classrooms, and more!
Meet the Founders
Meet Sarah and Brian Cheek, the founders of Acton Academy Seacoast. Their passion to create more than a school but a community dedicated the future of education and evolving the school system.
What is Acton Academy?
What exactly is the difference between Acton Academy and other schools?
Need To Know MORE About What Acton Academy Can Do For Your child?
At Acton Academy, We Call Our Classrooms "Studios" Because Students Are Learning Through Movement, Exploration, And Hands-On Activities. Find Out How Our Learning Design Can Help Your Child Reach Their Full Potential.
Monstessori Spark Studio
Early Kinder-1st grade
Middle School Studio
Watch This Short Award Winning Documentary About Acton Academy
Are you frustrated with the old, traditional educational model that teaches students to spit out facts and pass state-mandated tests?
Our promise to your child
We believe each of our students will find a passion – something they love and have a gift to do – finding and pursuing this gift we call the Hero’s Journey. Our mission is to equip our students with the skills and tools they will need to find and pursue their life’s purpose.
Our Students build small businesses from the ground-Up
Watch the video to learn about our business fair
Seacoast Business Fair
See Why So Many Parents Just Like You
Choose Acton Academy!
Who We Are
We are a
At the heart of TimberNook, programming is the philosophy that children flourish when given the time and space to play in sensory-rich, experiential learning environments. Bringing exploration and nature together results in a truly unique way to reach children at a key point in their development. TimberNook programs offer the ultimate sensory experience for children, challenging the mind, body, and the senses through meaningful outdoor play opportunities.
Here Are A Few FAQs :
Acton is the right place for your child if they…
- Wish traditional school was more challenging and engaging.
- Enjoy doing projects around their interests with just a few dozen young people.
- Build, create, innovate, or make art.
- See things differently.
- Care about their future, want to find a calling, and want to change the world.
- Are kind, hardworking, and committed to doing their best.
Acton uses the best of Montessori methods: mixed-age classrooms, student choice within limits,
large blocks of work time, learning through “discovery,” and freedom of movement in the
classroom. Then we go two important steps further by using the best 21st century eLearning
tools and adhering to the Socratic method of instruction which emphasizes asking and answering
the right questions to stimulate critical thinking. Our students don’t just memorize facts, they learn
how to know, learn how to do, and learn how to be.
- Real world apprenticeships
- Student-directed quests
- Language immersion opportunities
- Mastery based learning in core academic subjects
- Leadership opportunities peer:peer
- Experiential learning of integrated life skills
- Flexible schedule 6-week long sessions
- Students direct and take ownership of their learning
- Learn self-governance, self-direction, and self-control towards noble, challenging, and stimulating activities
We provide a 21st century learning environment using the latest in educational technology for self-paced mastery of reading, writing, elective courses, and math skills. Students are placed according to ability so that our program can meet the student right where they are. Students move on to the next level only after the content has been mastered, which ensures there are no learning gaps.
We believe that students become confident, independent learners, and good citizens when they embrace the following character qualities: integrity, resilience, self-reflection, and empathy. We believe in personal responsibility and high accountability standards. Acton students are encouraged to take responsibility for their choices and actions as we think developing a strong moral compass will help students lead joyful and successful lives. Character learning is woven into all parts of learning at Acton.
At Acton Academy Seacoast 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.
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. We have three studios: Spark (K/1), Explorer
(2-5), and Launch Pad (6-10).
We measure student progress in several different ways:
- We set daily, weekly, and session goals between the student and the Guides.
- We utilize robust real-time data for each of our online learning tools.
- At any given time both parents and Guides can find out exactly what their student is learning. It
easily allows us to track progress, identify areas of struggle and close any learning gaps.
- The staff is alerted if a student gets anymore than 2 wrong in a row.
- Having a small class size, we are able to work one on one with the student to make sure that we
can close gaps and help them master the skill.
- The web based programs don’t allow the student to move on to the next skill until it has been
- We utilize individual paper portfolios where each student showcases and adds their best work.
- We can measure their growth in things such as History, Writer’s Workshops, and any Quest use
projects we have.
- Though we never “teach to the test”, optional standardized tests are given each Fall & Spring
provide useful benchmark data.
- We create portfolios of work that translates to traditional transcripts.
- Additionally, students are encouraged to take advantage of classes and certifications while at Acton that are recognized by employers and colleges. These include AP classes and professional certifications.
- Acton translates the mastery badges to a traditional report card format
At Acton Academy, 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. Those learners in the Spark Studio (K/1) do not
use technology for their academic work period. It is Montessori based for that age group.
For our first two years we will be located in a beautiful space in the Cocheco Mills Building
directly across from Henry Law Park in Downtown Dover. Our long term plans are to buy property
and build a school with lots of space and nature allowing more outdoor exploration for the
We operate on an 10- month calendar (late Aug to June), but our flexible program allows families to travel together during the year, without sacrificing any learning.
From glow-in-the-dark contemporary painting to making music with ukuleles, boomwackers, and paint buckets, our students experience varied and unique art experiences and music experiences.
We offer music classes as both an elective to explore during school and after school. This is based on the group’s interest and what instrument enough of the would like to learn.
As registered homeschoolers, our students can benefit from offerings at their local schools. They may participate in curricular and cocurricular activities such as sports, music, theater, dances, volunteer activities, and statewide testing.
Our school embraces a deep commitment to physical fitness and overall health awareness. Acton students explore a variety of physical activities that have ranged from soccer, golf, track, hiking, dance, and rock climbing. Our students are very active, and we strongly support good sportsmanship and teamwork.