Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does an average school day look like?

    Our learning studios are open from 8:30 am-3:15 pm Monday-Wednesday.  Our learning time is broken into morning Socratic discussions, core skills time, collaborative learning quests, civilization discussions, writers workshops, and free time. Multiple outside recess breaks are an important part of each day. Using the incredible 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 collaborative learning.

  • How many days a week does your school meet and what is the tuition?

    Currently, we offer a shared-schooling model where three days per week (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 8:30 – 3:15) learners meet together in community and use the other two days to self-govern and learn in the comfort of their home.  Younger students may need a parent to oversee their learning while at home while older students can be self-directed.  Independent work on core skills and project-based learning quests can take place at home because of the accountability within the Journey Academy systems we use in the learning studios on community days and as a result of the challenges issued each week.  The parent does not need to teach any content on the home days, nor purchase any additional curriculum as all aspects of their learning are included. 

    Regarding tuition, Journey Academy is priced well below the average private school in the area at just $6500 per year, per learner.  We do have a monthly payment plan of 10 payments of $650 each.  The only cost in addition to this is the $500 non-refundable registration fee per learner which covers the onboarding expenses of licensing Chromebooks, setting up online learning platforms, purchasing studio supplies and hard copies of book club and literature books. Each family purchases their own Chromebook for each of their learners (over 7 years old since we do not use technology in the Sparks studio) and we enroll each Chromebook into our Google Classroom to manage it.   If for any reason Journey Academy is found not to be a good fit for your child, we will only charge the prorated tuition for the time a hero attended our school – no tuition payment obligations remain in that event.

  • What grade levels do you offer?

    We have six multi-age Learning Studios:

    • SPARKS Studio: ages 4 to 7

    • EXPLORERS STUDIO: ages 7-10

    • DISCOVERY Studio:  ages 10 to 12

    • ADVENTURE Studio:  ages 12 to 13

    • NAVIGATOR Studio: ages 14 to 15

    • LAUNCH PAD: ages 16 to 18

  • Where is Journey Academy located and are you accepting new students?

    We have open enrollment as space allows and are currently accepting applications for most studios. If you are interested in starting the application process, please find that information on the Apply page.  We are currently located at 7691 S University Blvd – Centennial Co 80122.

  • How long is Journey Academy in session each school year?

    Our school year is divided into 6 learning sessions, each one culminating with an Exhibition Night for friends and family to come celebrate the learning progress from that session. We run from September to May each school year.

  • Is it really possible for students to complete core skills in only 90 minutes each day?

    Yes, we promise it is!  An unbelievable amount of time is wasted in traditional education because of discipline distractions, disengaged students, and inefficient learning methods.  Journey Academy approaches learning radically different from the traditional model of a one-size-fits-all lecture with passive students who are required to move at the same pace of the class.  Using a learner-driven model, we allow each student to set their own goals, choose learning platforms that work for them, and provide a consistent atmosphere of reward and accountability. While we do not believe standardized assessments are vital, we do administer standardized tests at the beginning and end of the year to measure baseline data on core skills. Based on these test results nationwide, Acton Academy students have been advancing far faster than in traditional schools, averaging as much as three grade levels gained each year.  By using a more efficient learner-driven model, we are able to free up massive amounts of time for students to pursue their own learning interests through collaborative projects, apprenticeships, and life-integrated learning. 

  • Do students have homework?

    While there will be work that needs to be completed on days Heroes are at home, we believe it is important that students do not have any evening or weekend homework.  We believe that children need time to play, relax, and be with family and friends, and are committed to ensuring plenty of learning during studio hours so that time outside the studio can be free for other important pursuits. We also believe family time is sacred and those relationships need to be nurtured on evenings and weekends without the distraction and conflict that homework can bring.

  • Why do you call your space a “learning studio” instead of a “classroom”?

    A studio is a place where someone goes to learn, practice, or study.  A classroom implies a space where a group of people are all being directed in the same activity at the same time.  At Journey Academy, we want to create a learner-driven environment where children and young adults can learn, practice, and study at their own pace while being encouraged by others.  Traditionally, we perceive a classroom as a temporary place you go to learn something until your real life begins and you ‘graduate’.  Pursuing knowledge and wisdom in a community learning studio helps communicate that we believe learning to be a lifestyle that doesn’t end at graduation.

  • How do you track a student’s progress?

    Heroes at Journey Academy demonstrate progress through student portfolios, learning exhibitions, peer reviews, goal monitoring, online dashboards, learning badges, and a once-a-year-standardized test.  In place of traditional letter grades, we use a system of badges which are not earned until a student has reached mastery in that specific area, thus ensuring students successfully learn and process what they are studying.  Badges are translatable as transcripts to other academic institutions.  Completion of 80% of the required badges at 100% mastery translates to a grade of 80%.

  • Why do you call the adults “Guides” instead of “Teachers”?

    We believe that children are natural learners who need adults to inspire them to wonder rather than prescribe to them an educational path that the student doesn’t own for themselves or feel passionate about. We believe that with the proper guard rails set in place by a Guide, a student will be inspired to pursue a Hero’s Journey and Learn to Be, Learn to Do, and Learn to Learn. We also believe along with Charlotte Mason that, ‘God the Holy Spirit is Himself, personally, the Imparter of knowledge, the Instructor of youth, and the Inspirer of genius’. We believe that when a teacher sets himself up as the ‘grand showman of the universe’ to inform the student of some truth, that adult is robbing from the student the joy of discovering a treasure of knowledge. Therefore, we seek to guide and let the students play the active role in their own education.

  • Is Journey Academy a religious school?

    We believe each student is created by the triune God to have a relationship with Him and to bring Him glory. We bring God the greatest glory by being who He created us to be and utilizing our gifts, skills and passions to make the greatest impact in the world. We believe the living God revealed himself to all mankind through the inerrant words found in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. We expose children to the importance of their spirituality and we stress the historical importance of Christianity to the development of Western Civilization. Journey Academy is not a place of religious indoctrination, but rather a community that is safe place for our students to discover and dig deep into their faith journey. Knowing each person needs to work out their faith in various ways, we welcome questions of every kind and approach faith study in a different manner than you would find in a traditional Christian school or homeschool program. While all our staff operate under the tenants of belief found in the Nicene Creed, our students are welcomed at any point in their faith journey. 

  • Why is it called Acton Academy? Who was Lord Acton?

    Lord John Emerich Edward Dahlberg-Acton (1834-1902) was a Victorian scholar of Freedom who saw liberty not as a license, but as the freedom to do what was right. He was suspicious of power for the sake of power, which led to his most famous quote: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” At Journey Academy, we celebrate his defense of economic, political, and religious freedom.

  • What do you mean by a Hero’s Journey?

    We believe that each of us has a special calling in life, and a series of trials and tests that 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 by discovering God’s calling and purpose for their lives.  Although there are many heroes we look up to and even super heroes we admire…Jesus is the ultimate Hero!

  • Is Journey Academy a Montessori school? Does it use methods from Charlotte Mason?

    We respect and incorporate Maria Montessori’s philosophy as well as the Reggio-Emilia philosophy in many ways, but we are not an official Montessori school.  Our Sparks studio for our youngest learners will have more evidence of Montessori methods and works than the other studios.  Once students graduate into the Discovery Studio (elementary ages), we do use the latest interactive technologies, hands-on projects and the Socratic Method for discussions. We also make use of many Charlotte Mason methods and her “20 Educational Principles” in much that we do; however, we have made some adjustments to bring our students the best 21st century education possible. Journey Academy does fall under the Inquiry-based Model of Education which is a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems, or scenarios. It contrasts with traditional education, which generally relies on the teacher presenting facts and his or her knowledge about the subject. Inquiry learning is defined best by these four distinctives:

    • The first is that learners are actively involved in constructing understanding. No longer passive absorbers of information, they work with the teacher to come up with their learning conditions. 

    • The second is that teachers have taken on the roles of guides and mentors. They’re observant and thoughtful, continuously tweaking their strategies to foster a culture of learning. 

    • The third is that the whole child is celebrated. Whether through social-emotional learning, personal awareness and responsibility, grit, or empathy, the language around learning in these spaces focuses on nurturing the whole student. 

    • Lastly, structure exists, but learning isn’t standardized. Although students are often exploring different topics of their choosing, they’re all operating within a common unified structure.

  • What is an ‘independent learner’?

    An independent learner is someone who can research questions, follow instructions, solve problems—admit that they don’t know something and figure out a solution when they hit a roadblock without asking an adult for help — participate in discussions, and strive for mastery.

  • What do you mean by a ‘running partner’?

    Running Partners are fellow learners in a learning studio who meet together regularly to set goals and hold each other accountable for meeting those goals. Running Partners encourage and inspire each other by asking good questions, listening, and providing affirmation. This prepares our students for a lifestyle of seeking out and welcoming peer accountability and not only working on goals and learning projects because it is being expected of them by an adult authority but because they enjoy the reward of learning itself.

  • Why do you focus on teaching the ‘American Experiment’?

    We believe God’s hand was on the formation of our nation and the ideals upon which it was founded.  We believe in liberty and justice and the ideals of the American revolution as the cornerstones of our civilization, culture, and economy.  In addition to experiential learning, we will study the American documents and the true meaning behind them, as we examine other cultures and forms of government.

  • Is Journey Academy accredited?

    Yes, we are an Independent School, as defined by Colorado statutes, and are accredited through the International Association of Learner-Driven Schools. 

  • How does Journey Academy ensure a high-quality learning environment?

    Deep at the core of Journey Academy is our commitment to serving customers and receiving transparent feedback. Because of this, we ask families to participate in regular Customer Satisfaction Surveys, where we ask them to rate us 1-5 on how well we accomplished our promises and offer us feedback. We then share the results with the community. These surveys are our most important metric to measure the success of the learning community.

  • How are parents expected to be involved at Journey Academy?

    We believe parents are the most influential adults in any child’s educational journey, and we exist to empower and reinforce that relationship. Journey Academy is currently structured as an Independent/Umbrella school where parents are responsible for complying with all Colorado homeschool laws.  Parents, students, and Guides will work together throughout the year to set appropriate learning plans and goals. Parents are asked to be involved in our Exhibition gatherings every 6 weeks where the Heroes showcase all of their academic progress in core skills and Quest projects. We also ask parents to visit our community regularly and lead occasional deep dive book clubs for the students. We offer many community-building events throughout the year for families, Parent Book Clubs and equipping nights, studio field trips, and summer events.  Parents are welcomed and encouraged to participate in all of these ways.