At Acton Academy Wausau we seek to inspire each child and parent who enters our doors to find a calling that will change the world.
We believe every student who walks into our school has the seeds of genius with the potential to change the world. We believe students should be in charge of their own learning and advancement, both individually and as a group, in a community that resembles the real world as closely as possible. We believe students can, and should, teach one other.
What Makes Us Different
We create problem solvers. We teach by asking tough questions, not lecturing or teaching to a test.
What sets us apart
- Small class size
- Mixed-age classroom
- Strong community utilization
- Students learn at their own pace
- No homework
- Hands-on & e-learning
- Socratic Guiding
- Travel is encouraged
- 45 minute lunch
- Located in downtown Wausau
What kind of student thrives at Acton?
Students who love to learn, are curious, self-motivated and respectful. Our environment is an accelerator for the independent learner who can tackle challenging questions, follow instructions and solve problems.
Acton Academy Wausau students learn together in a mixed age classroom, bringing the classic one-room school house into the modern age. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade learn side-by-side which fosters both academic and emotional growth. Students learn to mentor and be mentored by one another. Our Guides (our term for teachers) are not lecturers, but act as facilitators of student growth. Our students write promises and covenants that form the classroom rules of engagement. The classroom community is a tightly bound group of individuals who are learning to form authentic friendships, honestly resolve interpersonal problems and build character.
- Our mornings are devoted to Core Skills (reading, writing, and math) delivered through adaptive, online systems and afternoons are free for hands-on exploration.
- Students are in charge of their learning and their community which promotes responsibility and deeper learning.
- We engage with our community regularly (Public Library, YMCA, Grand Theater, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, etc.) and invite in a wide variety of guest heroes to share and inspire.
- We do not assign any homework. Children need time to play, explore, relax and be with family and friends.
The Acton Methods of Learning
Acton Academy Wausau is unlike anything you’ve seen in education. We believe every child has gifts and abilities which have the potential to change the world. To nurture those gifts, we use a combination of proven methods which make Acton schools unique and incredibly effective.
We believe that asking the right questions stimulates critical thinking a whole lot better than does lecturing.
Acton Wausau uses the latest in adaptive online systems and educational gaming in a purposeful, meaningful way, allowing students to learn at their own ability level and at their own pace. Online systems such as Khan Academy and Dreambox deliver an immersive and customized learning experience which motivates and challenges Acton students, while also functioning much like a GPS navigator for each individual. For example, when a student veers off track from his or her learning, perhaps struggling with a particular concept or skill, the eLearning systems automatically course-correct by offering additional support, examples and lessons to help get the student back on track and moving forward with his or her learning. Meanwhile, students who have mastered skills and concepts are not stalled or held back, but rather, can zoom ahead and follow their own course to new challenges. These innovative systems give Acton students, parents, and Guides a snapshot of any student’s progress on any given day, highlighting student strengths as well as areas which may require additional support.
Hands-on & Quest-based learning
Hands-on project based learning is an accepted cornerstone of many programs, but Acton Wausau takes it to another level with “quest-based” learning. Quests are student-designed projects which not only provide opportunities to learn concepts through “doing,” but when strung together, answer larger questions, fuel student passions, and motivate students to strive for a gamer-like set of rewards. In these ways, student quests become powerful drivers of learning. Acton students love to engage in quests which allow them to create with their hands, explore and discover solutions to questions sparked by their own curiosity and interests, experience the wonder of connecting the dots from one project to the next, and “level up” by earning badges of distinction along the way.
One of Acton Wausau’s most fundamental beliefs is that students will flourish when given the freedom to explore their personal passions. Learning with joy opens the door to more learning. At Acton, our students are encouraged to pursue their interests and engage their natural sense of wonder and curiosity to direct their own learning.
The Acton Academy Family
Acton Wausau join teams in Venice Beach, California, Houston, Chicago, Toronto, Washington D.C., Atlanta and in London, England and Guatemala City, Guatemala that seek to build on the success of the original Acton Academy in Austin, TX. Acton Academy Wausau will put our community on the global map for innovation in education.