Our Approach to Learning
At Acton Academy Hampton Roads, our children learn in a collaborative studio of multi-age learners. Our flexible approach challenges each student with their individualized learning plan and inspires them through real-world projects and experiences. A day in our studios is marked by creativity within constraints: large blocks of time for work and play with clear but broad guardrails, equipping young people to manage their time, set goals, and track progress. As learners demonstrate their readiness, they earn more freedom and responsibility. Mornings are reserved for Core Skills, and afternoons are for hands-on projects with integrated time to reflect, think deeply, and connect with peers. Within each work block, students choose from a broad range of work options based on their personal goals, passions, and commitments.
Our typical day begins with a Socratic Discussion that encourages our Eagles to think deeply. They then begin a three-hour, uninterrupted work cycle for Core Skills, where they use the latest technology and resources of their choosing to improve on Reading, Writing, and Math skills at a pace they feel comfortable with. Our Eagles break as needed during this time, stopping to eat or take a few minutes outside and returning to work when they feel ready. Once they are finished with Core Skills for the day, they have up to 2 hours of free time. We then gather again at 1:30 for an afternoon launch before our learners set out to work on projects and hobbies or participate in a Studio Quest. At the end of the day, the learners work together to tidy up and clean before leaving.
Our studios are run mostly by our learners, where closely connected Eagles are bound by clear commitments. Our learners create, and sign, a Contract of Promises the beginning of each year laying out behavior expectations and consequences for violating community norms. Our learners agree to participate fully and responsibly in our community, place a high value on their education, and use our studios for their intended purposes.