Exploring the adventure of learning
On any given day, you might find students doing something like racing their vehicle prototypes as they learn about physics, teamwork, and basic mechanics.
Hands-on, meaningful project-based learning is a cornerstone of learning at Acton Academy.
The Elementary Studios are a magical environment where children learn at their own pace using the latest in educational technology for self-paced mastery of reading, writing, and math skills. Students are surrounded by a close-knit group of peers, as they focus on excelling academically and showing up in the world with kindness.
Our school offers great freedom to students, and each young person is treated with deep respect because we know how truly capable young people are.
Acton Academy is “student-led,” which means young people take ownership of their education and peer relationships. We lay the foundation for the joy of learning as we encourage our young heroes to find their life’s calling and tap into their unique genius. Our well-balanced educational experience ignites curiosity, creativity, and the ability to ask good questions.
Self-paced mastery of reading, writing, and math skills through deliberate practice and the latest educational technology.
Develop character, uncover personal gifts, and create genuine relationships with others as you learn about yourself.
Learn critical thinking and powerful communication skills through Socratic discussions on topics from heroes to history to self-governance.
Strong, Confident Kids
We are a Timbernook school that provides nature-based play experiences for children that challenge the senses and inspire creativity, independence, and imagination in the great outdoors.
Acton Seacoast takes an applied approach to non-English languages, focusing on communication. Whereas traditional language programs focus on textbook learning and grammar, our program emulates the manner in which we each learned our first language – immersive, interactive communication first, grammar second.
In our elementary and spark studios, students have the opportunity to learn French interactively via Total Physical Response (TPR) and Storytelling (TPRS). This method engages students by having them respond to and narrate actions and stories in French. We plan on offering Spanish and potentially other languages as we find fluent language guides able to teach interactively in complete immersion.
We measure success in learning a language by the students achieving sufficient confidence and fluency to be able to comfortably and enthusiastically communicate in the target language. Students should celebrate opportunities to apply their language.
Additionally, students are encouraged to pursue their language of choice independently using online tools such as Duolingo and the conversion of their devices to their target language.
Here Are A Few FAQs We Get A Lot:
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 11- month calendar, 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 and music workshops. Checkout our YouTube channel to see music videos produced and recorded by our students.
Although we do not offer formal team sports, many of our students participate in city league sports. 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.
Makerspace Coming Soon
We believe each child is a maker, innately gifted with creativity, wonder, and curiosity. Our Makerspace is a hands-on think tank for children and teens that provides materials, both low tech and high tech, where they can create and prototype. Students build, tinker, problem-solve, and think like entrepreneurs and inventors. We will eventually have a wide variety of items in our Makerspace like a green screen for film production, podcast equipment, robots, engineering tools, textiles and fabrics along with sewing machines, coding and animation programs, book illustration options, 3-d printer, wood kits for building, and lots of raw materials for open-ended creation.