Learning Design

We believe that Learning To Learn, Learning To Do, and Learning To Be are more important than memorization alone.

We have replaced external motivators like high-stakes test scores and grades with an intrinsic growth mindset, so our students are motivated to work hard and have fun. Respect is the foundation for every other skill we learn at Acton Academy Sioux Falls.

The following principles guide our approach to education.

A Learner Driven Community

Acton Academy is “student-led.” This means young people take ownership of their education and peer relationships. Acton students learn to think independently, take responsibility and embrace challenge. They are being prepared to bring their own unique genius to the world.

Powerful interactive technology

Acton Academy uses the latest technology in a self-paced learning environment designed to foster responsibility, goal-setting, and teamwork. Acton students are empowered to thrive in a world that needs independent, motivated thinkers and learners.

Learning by Doing

We believe children learn best by doing. Whether it’s launching a startup business, creating a tidepool habitat, playing a musical instrument, painting a mosaic, or programming a robot, Acton students are building real-life skills in the classroom every day.

The Socratic Method

We believe the learning experience is much richer when the teacher (“Guide”) offers insightful questions and facilitates hands-on learning. Guides use the Socratic method, always responding to students’ questions with new questions. This exchange hones students’ critical thinking skills.

Real World Quests and Apprenticeships

We believe in the power of apprenticeships. Beginning in middle school, our students obtain summer internships in a field they are passionate about. Acton students have interned with doctors, entrepreneur bakers, plumbers, attorneys and graphic designers. What will your child choose?

The Hero's Journey

We encourage our students to develop personal virtues such as honesty, hard work, responsibility, kindness and empathy. Armed with purpose and good character, we believe our students will launch into adulthood prepared to find their calling and change the world.

We believe that clear thinking leads to good decisions, good decisions lead to the right habits, the right habits lead to character and character becomes destiny.

The Hero's Journey

Learning at Acton Academy Sioux Falls is an invitation to 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 life of meaning.

Our mission is to prepare everyone for his or her special journey.

Ready to Start Your Family's Journey?

21st Century Learning

  • The latest in educational technology for self-paced mastery of reading, writing and math skills.

  • Deep Socratic discussions about heroes, history and self governance to hone critical thinking skills and the ability to powerfully think, write and speak.

  • Hands-on project based Quests to master the tools and skills needed to solve problems in the real world.

A Learner-driven Community

  • Students create and sign a Contract of Promises describing how each individual will act and the consequences for violating community norms.
  • Mentor teams encourage younger and older students to listen, affirm, set goals and hold each other accountable.
  • "Learn to Be" badges that celebrate character and completing leadership challenges.
"Our daughter loves learning at Acton. She can’t wait to share her day the moment she jumps into the car. I’m so grateful to see a love for learning come back into her eyes."

Measuring Mastery

Young people celebrate the mastery of tools, skills and character by earning badges, assembling portfolios and taking part in public exhibitions.

  • Parents use badges to track academic progress in Core Skills like reading, writing, math and spelling and character development in “Learn to Be” Badges.
  • Electronic and hard copy Portfolios capture rough drafts, photos, video and other creative work.
  • Public exhibitions at the end of most Quests allow young people to present work to experts, customers or the public for a real world test.

Personalized Learning Tools

Hi, I'm Aaron Johnson. 👋

I'm Co-Founder & Head of School at Acton Academy Sioux Falls

I'd love to hear from you. Fill out the form below and I'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Get in touch! 👋