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Acton Academy is a 21st century solution for the epidemic of mediocrity and apathy that plagues young people in traditional school. It’s an innovative approach to education that celebrates personal responsibility, creative freedom, and the pursuit of one’s life purpose.

With 300+ worldwide campuses, our Learner-Driven community believes every child is a Hero who deserves to find a calling that will change the world. Bound by extremely high standards of excellence and lifelong learning, this is where great adventures begin.

We're glad you're here!
Our story may be

your story too!

We're Joe, Emily, Katelyn and Michael and we’ve decided to do school “differently” for our children and other children in our community!  

21st century

Learning Design

through deliberate practice and the latest educational technology

Self-paced mastery of reading, writing and math skills

through written promises and commitments that form a tightly bound peer-led community 

Authentic relationships

through hands-on project-based quests that promote curiosity and problem solving. 

real world tools and skills

through deep socratic discussions about history, heroes, and self governance

critical thinking and powerful writing + speaking

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. At Acton Academy, we call our classrooms "studios" because students are learning through movement, exploration and hands-on activities. Studios replace traditional classrooms and create a space for students of varying ages to learn together. They are being prepared to bring their own unique genius to the world.

What makes acton Different from other schools?

Student led multi-age studios

LEARN together

We believe the learning experience is much richer when the 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. No boring sit in your desk teacher-led lecture-style learning at Acton, we believe students learn by doing. Whether it’s launching a startup business, creating a tide-pool habitat, playing a musical instrument, painting a mosaic, or programming a robot, Acton students are building real-life skills in the studio every day.

Hands-on learning

learn by doing

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

discover passions, find callings

learn to be

real parents of our heros

we want you to hear from

"Acton is DIFFERENT from normal schools, and that’s what we as parents love about it! We believe that this model of education will not only equip our son to be a smart, kind, contributing member of society but that he will be able to use his unique tools and gifts to go out and change the world!"

-Maddie (acton Mom)

"Our kids are learning real life skills, taking personal responsibility at a young age, being good stewards of their own learning."

"Of the founding families at Acton Academy West End, mine is the only family with experience at both a public school and a micro-school. Without a doubt, Acton is the better fit and experience, one where both my children are embraced as individuals and feel like contributing members of a real team. Just weeks into this experience, my sons are learning skills (ie: time management, public speaking, giving and receiving constructive criticism) that I didn’t learn until college."

-Colleen (acton Mom)

"It is such a gift we are giving our children, and honestly, it’s an answer to a years-long prayer."

""We drive 30 minutes to Acton each way despite living next to an elementary school. We would drive even further if it meant our son would get to be a part of Acton! We have not found another school that encourages growth, self acceptance, and self responsibility in the way that Acton does.  We look forward to many years ahead at this incredible micro school!"

-Laura (acton Mom)

"My son is not only learning academics, he’s learning about himself, which I believe is the secret sauce that truly makes Acton special."

"Acton is a school setting we could have never imagined. It has been a joy to watch our daughter grow.  Our daughters experience at Acton has been nothing short of encouraging. Best of all, she loves Acton just as much as we do! We’re excited to be apart of whats to come!" 

-Jared (acton Dad)

"Acton embodies values anyone would want for their child. Focusing on engagement, accountability, and a joy for learning. "

"The Acton micro school embodies doing traditional things differently to unearth deeper treasures like strength, resiliency, community, and inspiration. The traditional school model doesn’t have space for developing through the time and intentionality that this micro-school is built on. Acton has been an answered prayer!"

-Nicole (acton Mom)

" We are so grateful our son is able to be supported in uncovering his gifts, building his heart for service, and putting him in place for leadership and ingenuity."

I'm ready to apply!

"Acton Academy has taken the courageous step of redefining what success looks like both inside and outside of a classroom. They recognize that some elements of “traditional” education work, but have made a commitment to help fix those that don’t. One of the most freeing things about the way kids are encouraged to learn at Acton is that a mistake (and sometimes failure) shouldn’t be viewed as defeat — but instead an opportunity for learning and growth. This is an experience you can only dream of for your child." 

-Kelsi (acton Mom)

"I am beyond thankful that my daughter gets to experience this life changing experience at such a young age."



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    Endorsed By:


    founders of acton academy

    hear from the

    Jeff & laura sandefer

    Acton Academy West End is part of the network of over 250+ Acton Academies around the world. We follow the same exact Learning Design (curriculum) and learning model that Jeff and Laura Sandefer helped create at the original Acton Academy campus over a decade ago.

    How is Acton Academy West End affiliated with Acton Academy?

    Acton does not have specific grades but mixed age studios. Currently we have a studio of 5-10 year olds and will be expanding to accommodate additional ages based on the need. 

    What grades do you offer?

    We believe that children learn best when working with children younger and older than themselves rather than split up into groups based solely on age. In addition to individualized curriculum, all ages of students work together in groups.

    Will children be grouped together by grades?

    Tuition is $925 per month for 11 months (Sept-July). There is a $100 (non-refundable application fee). First month's tuition ($925) is due upon acceptance to hold the spot for your learner. There is an $925 annual supply fee due by August 1st each year. 

    What is your tuition cost?

    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.

    What kind of learner thrives at Acton Academy West End?

    We respect and incorporate Maria Montessori’s philosophy, but we are not a Montessori school. We also use the latest interactive technologies, hands-on projects and the Socratic Method for discussions.

    Is Acton Academy West End a Montessori school?

    Each family is unique, though there are some similarities we’ve seen between the families who are happiest and most successful in this model. We encourage families to be intentional about their decision to apply! Please read “Courage to Grow” by Laura Sandefer, and reach out to us to schedule a time to meet.

    How do I know if it‘s the right fit for us?

    There are limited scholarship opportunities in our founding years. If you are interested in a scholarship, please let us know in your application. If you would like to contribute to the scholarship fund, please let us know. We are eager to share this opportunity with as many highly qualified applicants as possible.

    Do you offer scholarships?

    We take our commitment seriously when we promise to deliver a transformative education experience for young people at Acton Academy West End. Since we are a small school, we make sure that we have the resources necessary to keep this promise for each family that joins us. Currently we have limited resources to assist young people who experience mild ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, and mild neurodivergent diagnoses. We are not currently equipped to serve young people with other specific learning needs. Any child who needs significant 1-on-1 adult help or attention, would not be a good fit because it works against the whole effort to “get adults out of the equation as much as possible” to be learner-driven.

    What resources do you have for special learning needs?

    Yes the school is accredited through the International Association of Learner Driven Schools.

    Is Acton Academy West End accredited?

    At Acton Academy West End we believe in the power of balance. Using the incredible, self-paced eLearning tools now available, we are able to provide the rigor needed for learning math, vocabulary, spelling and grammar in about 90 minutes each day, while freeing up the rest of the day for engaging, project-based learning. The two are highly complementary.  

    How do you use technology in the classroom without students having too much screen time?

    Acton Academy West End is located in Richmond, VA. Just 10 minutes west of Short Pump on Broad Street. Email us for additional details about the location. 

    Where are you located?

    Acton Academy West End revolves around the basic truths of Christianity: the belief that humans are designed to be the hands and feet of God in the world, using their gifts to the best of their abilities. Because Acton encourages exploration and independent learning, however, we leave the teaching of specific doctrine up to individual families. Children and families of all faiths are welcome at Acton Academy West End.

    Is Acton a religious school?


      click below to view the Info kit!

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