What age range do you accept at The Forest School?
We are currently accepting learners ages 6 through 14 for our Elementary and Middle School Studios opening Fall 2018. For future academic years, we plan to grow organically, eventually including a High School Studio. Each studio will max out at 36 learners.
What is the school calendar and what does The Forest School cost?
The Forest School runs eleven months a year, typically with four to seven week “sprints” followed by a week off. Tuition is $9,750 per year, $7,750 for residents of Pinewood Forest.
What kind of learner thrives at The Forest School?
Kids 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.
Is The Forest School accredited?
Yes. We are accredited by the International Association of Learner-Driven Schools. Also, Acton courses and schools are approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
What do you mean by “Every kid can change the world”?
We believe each of our learners will find a passion — something they love and have a gift to do. 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 her to pursue a dream; it may be by becoming a father or mother who leads a family on a 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.
How do you measure how a child is progressing at The Forest School?
We measure student progress in several different ways:
We set Daily, Weekly, and Session goals between the student and the Guides. We share these goals with parents.
We utilize robust real-time data for each of our online learning tools. At any given time both parents and Guides can find out exactly what their student is learning. It easily allows us to track progress, identify areas of struggle, and close any learning gaps. The staff is alerted if a learner gets anymore than 2 wrong in a row. Having a small class size, we are able to work one-on-one with the student to make sure that we can close gaps and help them master the skill. The web-based programs don’t allow the student to move on to the next skill until it has been mastered. Our Guides receive training in helping kids get unstuck, embrace a growth mindset, and develop grit.
We utilize individual paper portfolios where each student showcases and adds their best work. We can measure their growth in things such as History, Writer’s Workshops, and any Quest using projects we have completed.
Though we never “teach to the test,” standardized tests are given each Fall & Spring to provide useful benchmark data.
Is The Forest School like Montessori?
The Forest School uses the best of Montessori methods: mixed-age classrooms, student choice within limits, large blocks of work time, learning through “discovery,” and freedom of movement in the classroom. Then we go three important steps further by using the best 21st century e-Learning tools, immersing learners in real-world projects, and adhering to the Socratic method of instruction, which emphasizes asking and answering questions to cultivate critical thinking. Our learners don’t just memorize facts; they learn how to know, learn how to do, and learn how to be.
Is The Forest School a religious school?
While we expose children to the importance of mindfulness, ethical principles, and the significance of religion in history and the development of society, we are not a religious school. We value and respect each individual’s beliefs.
Do you serve special needs children?
We are not trained or staffed to serve children with serious learning disabilities, special needs, or who need specialized attention. If you are interested in The Forest School and believe it is a great fit for your family, please inquire and we will personally assess your unique situation and the fit of your young learner.
Are you a part of a chain or franchise?
We are not a franchise or chain. The Forest School is an independent school, part of an affiliate network that finds its inspiration and receives mentorship from the founding Acton Academy in Austin, Texas. Our network of affiliates are passionate about revolutionizing education, pursuing best practices, and have agreed to protect a learner-driven environment. Each affiliate follows their own methods in keeping with these commitments and vary based on the leadership at each school and community they serve.