SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A new private school in Sioux Falls is focusing on a ‘learner-driven’ approach. Acton Academy was founded 11 years ago by a couple in Texas. Today, the school has over 240 branches spread internationally. This fall, there will be one in Sioux Falls.
Ailee and Aspyn Johnson are using the app Journey Tracker to set math and reading goals.
“We’ve already noticed huge progress in just mindset and enjoyment and control of their learning,” Co-Founder and Head of Students Aaron Johnson said.
Their father Aaron is getting them ready for the new private school they’ll attend next fall. It’s called the Acton Academy.
“They come in, they set goals for the day, they work through the online platforms to achieve those goals,” Johnson said.
Johnson is the Head of School at the Sioux Falls branch. He says this ‘learner driven’ model is the base for how it will operate; It’s a mixed-age, one schoolhouse.
“Our Acton will have four studios when it’s all said and done but we’re launching with elementary, so ages 7 to 12,” Johnson said.
He says the mixed-age component is so young can learn from old and old can learn from young. Instead of having traditional teachers, the students will have ‘guides.’
“The guide is there to help facilitate, or offer tough questions, or to offer choices, or offer processes,” Johnson said.
There’s no building picked out to house the school yet. But here’s an idea of what it might look like. Johnson says they’ve had many parents inquire about enrolling and they’re waiting to see how many do so they can get a building that can house the right amount.
“We don’t want something too small; It’s got to fit the families and fit the number of families that we have interested,” Johnson said.
While he’s excited to bring about change to the traditional school style, Johnson says he’s most excited to see how it will change his future students.
“You can see that change in young people, so I think that’s what gets us excited is when people will – how it will change them as a person and improve their confidence in, ‘Man. I can do this,'” Johnson said.
Parents can enroll their students into the Acton Academy now.