Three Years In

Let’s talk about results. 

Next week, we start our fourth year. What are we standing on? 

From our start in 2019 with a handful of preschool and kindergarteners, and as we’ve grown into two bustling studios through elementary, the shoulders of Acton’s foundation in Austin and around the world have been an enormous benefit. The Acton promises, beliefs, and learning design (our Actonese for curriculum) are top-notch, and connecting with over 200 Actons around the world makes our micro-school feel big.

But what about this Acton? Three years into our careful growth model, it’s time to talk about results and developments at our Acton with its unique flavor.

Self-paced math and language arts: 

Two-year results in the most measurable core skills areas of math and language arts show that our learners average 1.5 school years of progress per year at 100% mastery. That means that they are accomplishing straight A’s at 1.5 times the pace allowed in a traditional school. 

Fire in the belly: 

While core skills are a huge part of their toolbelt, we see distinctive character development right alongside it. Our learners have fire in their bellies. They raise their hands not only to share ideas but to disagree with one another respectfully. They demonstrate incredible compassion and empathy for each other, but also make no qualms about calling it like it is and holding one another accountable. They are truly in this together. This has made our school culture joyful and rigorous.

A side effect of being part of a community like this is appreciation. In the intro to their yearbook last year, learners chose to thank their parents for making time to drop off and pick them up from school every day, and spend their hard-earned money “on their child’s great education.” They went on to thank their parents for encouraging them to “work hard, stay strong, and be tough-minded and warm-hearted.”

Outside school, we see them rising as leaders faster than their peers, speaking up to get things done, and asking questions that blow the minds of adults. All those Socratic discussions are flowing forward into their everyday life.

Our families:

A distinctive family profile has emerged at Acton Lakewood. Our parents love that their children are building healthy habits of work/rest, with times to be intense, like circuit training and then tapering on a swim team. They see that hyper focusing on performance without these healthy routines, as is the norm at area schools that are on par academically with Acton, leads to diminishing returns and intense burnout. They are dedicated to encouraging actual performance that matters, laser-focused on their child building a toolbelt of knowledge, skills, and habits that will have them ready to answer their life’s unique callings. In short, they value competency over prestige. Though diverse politically, religiously, and socio-economically, our families all embrace this mindset.

Looking ahead: 

For 2022-2023, we are ready to take exhibitions (dynamic presentations at the end of every session) to the next level, engaging guests more than ever. Our learner's goal-setting skills have developed so much that they are ready to get very specific about what their goals are and how they are meeting them. While many Actons owners focus on hiring great full-time guides and overseeing from a distance, Dominick and I are sure that we’d rather focus on being here ourselves and equipping our learners to take on as much excellent independence as possible, carefully hiring guide support as needed along the way. Children really are far more capable than we ever imagined. It’s an immense pleasure to see their gifts unfold every day, and we are exceedingly grateful for the strong foundation they have built here.

Molly Franklin Lucia, M.Ed.
Head of School

Want your children to benefit from this foundation? Don't spend another year frustrated with your child’s school and its impact on their lifelong skills and habits. This year can be the one in which your family makes a change. You might not be able to imagine what it’s like to have a child who wakes up excited about going to school. Our parents will tell you–it’s a real thing! Give us a call (214-868-6686) or schedule a tour to scope out the fit for your family. Per our careful growth model, we embrace rolling enrollment.

Our Welcome Back Open House is this Thursday, September 1st. Designed for current families, we allow a limited number of interested families to come as a way to meet our community. Reach out if you’d like yours to be one of them.