Frequently Asked Questions

How is Acton Academy Annapolis affiliated with Acton Academy?

Acton Academy Annapolis is part of the network of over 270 Acton Academies around the world. Acton Academies don't follow a franchise model. Instead, it's a network of entrepreneurs building schools with a shared sense of principles. These principles have a lot in common with Montessori (some call Acton "21st Century Montessori").

The Acton Academy Network provides the resources to operate a school (curriculum, software, guidance). In addition, the hundreds of Acton Academy owners support each other through online forums and in-person conferences. Our Acton Academy is in close connection with the other Actons in the DC metro area (Columbia and Falls Church) and we organize combined adventure trips (example).

Each Acton Academy is a bit different. Some are religious. Some have a program focus like STEM or arts or outdoors. The focus of our Acton Academy will be to spark curiosity through adventure and exploration (hence why it's part of the Maryland Curiosity Lab!).

What grades do you offer?

The Elementary Studio (ages 6-12) opens in fall of 2023. The Middle School Studio (ages 11-14) opens in fall of 2024. The Launchpad Studio (ages 14-18) opens in fall of 2025.

    Where is your school located?

    Our school is located at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 461 College Pkwy, Arnold, MD 21012 (more details). To be clear, we're not a religious school.

    What is the tuition for Acton Academy Annapolis?

    Tuition for the elementary program for 2023-2024 is $14,000, which includes all the costs for adventure trips, etc. We offer a 25% sibling discount. We also have scholarships ($3,000, $5,000, and $7,000 options) that can be requested as part of the family audition process.

    How does the application process work? How do you select students?

    The goal of our application process is to ensure the Acton Academy approach is a good fit for the child AND the family. Click to see the details of our application process. Click to see our admissions criteria.

    How many students are at Acton Academy Annapolis?

    We currently have 10 learners in our elementary program. We start small to ensure we build a solid foundation before scaling the program. Actons typically grow quickly and we plan to be at 50 students by our third year. Our Acton Academy is in close connection with the two other Actons in the DC metro area (Columbia and Falls Church). We participate in joint activities to provide additional social opportunities for our learners (see this example).

    What is your policy on smartphones and electronics?

    All of the electronics we use on-campus are to enhance education and are not for entertainment. We view electronics as "tools not toys" while at school. We feel passionately that screens can sap the focus, energy, and curiosity that help our students find their passion and purpose.

    For these reasons, phones and smartwatches are not permitted to be used during school hours. In addition, social media and video games are not permitted. Should you need to urgently reach your child, you will have access to the cell phone number of an adult on-campus.

    Click for more details on why this is our policy.

    How long is the school year?

    We operate through September to June (see school calendar). But our flexible program allows families to travel together during the year, without sacrificing any learning.

    Is the Acton Academy a Montessori school?

    We respect and incorporate Maria Montessori’s philosophy but, we are not a Montessori school. We also use the latest interactive technologies, hands-on projects, and the Socratic Method for discussions.

    Is Acton Academy Annapolis a religious school?

    No. We are open to Believers, Searchers and Non-Believers alike.

    Who was Lord Acton?

    Lord John Emerich Edward Dahlberg Acton (1834-1902) was a Victorian scholar of Freedom 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 the Acton Academy, we celebrate his defense of economic, political and religious freedom.

    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.

    What is the ratio of students to teachers?

    In our first year, we will have approximately ten students and one teacher (which we call a "guide").

    Will children be grouped into grades?

    We believe that children learn best when working with children 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 groups.

    Does Acton Academy Annapolis serve special needs children?

    We are not trained to serve children with serious learning disabilities. However, some types of disabilities (ADHD) can be served well by our model. Please reach out to discuss further.

    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.

    Why do you focus on teaching the "American Experiment"?

    We believe in liberty and justice and the ideals of the American revolution as the cornerstones of civilization. In addition to experiential learning, we will study the American documents and the true meaning behind them, as we examine other cultures and forms of government.

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