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Spark Studio
(ages 5-8)

Launching Fall 2024!

Spark Studio is a Montessori inspired environment where students engage in exploratory learning at their own pace using hands-on materials, with Guides supporting early reading, writing, and math. Technology is limited in this studio, as we believe younger students need to engage with real-world, tactile materials and experiences as a foundation before incorporating technology too soon.  Spark Studio is heavily influenced by play, game based learning, and lots of social engagement.
Discovery Studio
(ages 7-12)

Our Discovery studio is a place where learners thrive in a fun and interactive environment while exploring their unique interests, skills, and talents.  They gain confidence in their academics through hands-on projects, adaptive technologies, and experiential learning.  
Building friendships and social connections is a big part of Discovery Studio, and learners are supported in creating a positive social environment through studio agreements and contracts created and upheld by the Heroes themselves.
Journey Studio
(ages 12-15)

Our Middle School Studio is where learners rapidly start owning their education.  Middle School is the perfect time to develop intellect and character, while gaining a deeper sense of self and the real world.  Learners have a wide range of topics to study and combine in-depth academic exploration with real-world applications through projects, apprenticeships, and connecting with experts. Middle School is a time where the understanding of self and community merge, and young people begin to see where their unique gifts and talents can shine in their community.
 Launchpad Studio
(ages 14-18)

Our High School Studio is a place for our teenagers to explore and discover their calling, delve deeply into areas of personal interest, collaborate with peers on important projects and topics, and give back to the community at large.  They continue to work on personalized goals through adaptive technologies, hands-on projects, and even college classes if they choose, but apprenticeships and application of skill become more pronounced and focused in the High School Studio.  Our High School Heroes also begin to take on a larger responsibility within the Acton community as leaders and role models for our younger learners.

Program Options

Acton Academy Santa Cruz offers multiple program options

to meet the varying needs of families.

School Supply

-Spark Options-

2, 3, 4, 5 Day Programs

All program options include core subjects, imaginative and sensory play, nature days, and lots of outdoor fun!

Mon-Fri, Mon-Thu,

Mon-Wed, or Thu-Fri

-Discovery Options-

5 Day Program

Core + Quests + Civilization + Writer's Workshop 

Learning Lab + Enrichment + Nature Day


4 Day Program

Core + Quests + Civilization + Writer's Workshop 

Learning Lab + Enrichment  


3 Day Program

Core + Quests + Writer's Workshop


2 Day Program

Civilization + Learning Lab + Enrichment + Nature Day


-Journey Options-

3, 4, or 5 Day Program

Mon-Wed, Mon-Thu, Mon-Fri

Core + Quests + Civilization + Writer's Workshop

Learning Lab + Enrichment + Apprenticeships

-Launchpad Options-

 4 or 5 Day Program

Mon-Thu or Mon-Fri

Core + Quests + Civilization + Writer's Workshop

Learning Lab + Enrichment + Apprenticeships

All Program Times are 8:30-3:15


Core is a block of time focused on math and language arts (reading, writing, spelling, grammar, typing) where learners use cutting-edge adaptive software and hands-on manipulatives to learn in exactly the right style and at the right pace for each Hero. For high school students this time could include online dual-enrollment college classes taken alone or in groups.

Core for Spark Studio is Montessori based and there is no tech used by the Heroes in this studio.


Quests are a four- to six-week series of hands-on challenges and projects in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, social sciences, entrepreneurship, and more.  Quests incorporate all of the subjects, and bring them together to create engaging and rewarding learning experiences for the real-world.  Quests are a main feature of the Acton Academy learning model.


Civilization is our version of social studies where learners do individual research and gather into Socratic debates, diving into historical, geographical, political, economic, and religious dilemmas, enigmas, and puzzles.  Our primary goal with Civilization is to prepare future leaders to make important decisions, with deep context and perspective, rather than memorize easily Googled facts.

Learning Lab is a time where the Heroes can do research, and work on projects based on their unique interests and passions.  This time allows them to hone their unique talents and skills,  learn about something new, or try something they have never done before.

Enrichment is time set aside for art, theater, dance, music, movie making, PE, outdoor nature education, maker's lab, field trips, and more.


Multiple Socratic discussions take place each day.  Guides use Socratic discussions and the Socratic method, instead of lectures, to present topics and help guide students in their learning.

*Acton Academy Santa Cruz is a private home school program open to members only.  All learners must be registered as home school students through either a Private School Affidavit, Private School Satellite Program, or be enrolled in a charter or public school independent studies program.  For more information about these options please contact us!

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