Frequently Asked Questions
Blue Sky is part of the network of over 300 Acton Academies around the world. We follow the learning design (curriculum) and learning model (learner-driven) that our owners helped develop at the original Acton Academy campus in Austin, Texas.
After a very successful first year with a Spark Studio for ages 4-6, and our Discovery Studio for ages 7-12 we are excited to add a Curiosity Studio for middle school, and a Launch Pad with some high school spaces as well.
We are set in a small former public school building on a large natural property in Cornwall, Ontario.
We loosely follow the public school calendar for start dates and school breaks. Blue Sky starts at the beginning of September, and finishes at the end of June.
For a single child, annual tuition is $13,100, for families with two children, it is $21,000, and for families with three children it is $28,000. There is a one-time $500 registration fee per family.
We have a Montessori inspired Spark Studio staffed with a Montessori Guide certified by the North American Montessori Center. In the older studios we continue to respect the learner-driven model through our use of the latest adaptive technologies, hands-on projects and the Socratic Method to guide discussions.
We believe that each of us has a special calling in life, and that a series of trials and tests must be faced with integrity and purpose in order to live a satisfying and fulfilled life. Our mission is to prepare your child for his or her special journey so that he or she can find their calling and change the world. This is a good quick video that will help to illustrate the Hero's Journey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1Zxt28ff-E
At Blue Sky an independent learner is someone who uses their time to focus on listening and participating in discussions, following instructions to complete tasks, researching questions to inform their decisions, and using their confidence within themselves to problem-solve. With guidance, a growth mindset, and by self-regulating, all of our learners at Blue Sky are capable of independent learning.
We are not staffed or trained to serve children with serious learning disabilities, but do have learners with minor learning disabilities who are doing very well.
We believe that each of our learners will find something that they love doing and are gifted at. They will use this gift to serve others and fulfill a need they are passionate about in the world. This may be by becoming a shoe-shiner who tells stories and makes people's day just by doing his job with love and vigor; it may be by becoming a coach who sees the light in a child's eyes and guides him or her to pursue a dream; it may be by becoming a father or mother who leads a family on their Hero's Journey; it may be becoming an entrepreneur or business leader guided by compassion and integrity; or it may be by becoming an artist or writer who brings beauty to people's lives. There are infinite opportunities for ways that every child can change the world.
Throughout history children have learned best when working with those younger and older than themselves, rather than split into groups based solely on age. Our mixed-aged studios allow unique friendships to develop, afford a variety of leadership opportunities, and provide the space for unique perspectives to shine.
At Blue Sky we believe in learning to be, learning to do, and learning to know. An important part of this is encouraging children to take responsibility for their own behavior and encouraging them to hold those around them to a high standard. When something isn't working, we want our learners to work together to solve the problem, not to simply look for an adult to solve it for them. This process helps to develop a sense of independence and confidence in our learners that will serve them well in all areas of life.
Yes, Blue Sky is accredited through the International Association of Learner Driven Schools. It is also registered as a private school with the Ontario Ministry of Education and employs staff that are members of the Ontario College of Teachers and North American Montessori Center.
Using the incredible, self-paced, adaptive technology available we are able to ensure that the rigor needed for learning math, vocabulary, spelling and grammar is met in between 60-90 minutes a day. Some learners use technology for the whole learning block, while others choose to use hand-on resources with friends as well as technology. This frees up the rest of the day for engaging, project-based group learning. The two methods of instruction are very complementary, and provide a nice balance.
As an Acton Academy affiliate, we respect economic, political and religious freedom. Our learners are exposed to a variety of religious beliefs as we move through global topics during our Quests, and as they share their personal beliefs during discussions. As a school we do not promote any one religion.
Blue Sky has a very active parent community, and there are frequent in school opportunities to participate in your child's education. At Blue Sky, learners celebrate the mastery of tools, skills, and character by earning badges, assembling portfolios, and taking part in public exhibitions. Learners must earn all of the badges in each studio before being able to progress to the next studio. Portfolios are kept in middle school and high school to document learning and keep the best examples of work completed. Public exhibitions allow our learners to present work to experts, parents, and the public for real-world feedback. Parents are able to log-on to our online platform called Journey Tracker to monitor progress in their child's Core Skills like reading, writing, math, and character development. Twice a year parents are also invited to Journey Meetings that are led by their child and supported by the studio guide to review progress and highlight areas for growth.
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