FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Understand more about ACT Microschools
WHAT’S A MICROSCHOOL?
A microschool is a small learning community with a maximum of 150 students.
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER ENROLLING MY CHILD IN A MICROSCHOOL?
Microschooling offers a more personalized, homey learning environment for your child. Microschooling may appeal to you if you are tempted by the notion of homeschooling but you don’t have the resources (time or material) to engage in this kind of experience. Microschooling may be appropriate for your family if you’re looking for a community that you, as a family can belong to as well.
WHAT IS PROGRESSIVE SCHOOLING?
ACT Microschools defines its progressive approach to learning as one that is personalized, holistic, real-world focused, and interest driven.
WHY SHOULD MY CHILD LEARN IN MIXED AGE GROUPS?
Mixed-age groups are a core part of the microschooling experience, and this is one of the elements of microschooling that is quite different from the approach of big schools. It’s also one of the main reasons why we believe that our approach to learning works better than that of a big school. The value of mixed-age group learning has been widely studied and validated through the Montessori approach to Education.
At ACT, students learn in groups whose age span ranges anywhere from 2 – 4 years apart (depending on number of students and learning needs of the students). In this environment, younger students learn from their elders and older students have great leadership opportunities. Mixing age groups also takes the focus off of students’ grade levels, making it more natural and accepted within the group that students have different learning abilities and needs.
All in all, mixed-age groups emulate a more familial approach to learning where everyone learns from each other and where students learn to be more accepting of different ranges of interests and abilities.
WHAT KIND OF TEACHERS DO YOU HIRE?
Microschooling essentially strips away schooling of its fancy buildings and facilities and puts its emphasis instead on the quality of its teachers and learning experience design. Thus, at ACT, we hire the most qualified teachers available on the market and seek to retain them through competitive salaries and benefits. Another advantage of our small size is that we do not require the same number of teachers as a big school. Every hire for us (just like every child) is a special one, as teachers within the micro-community often wear multiple hats and play several roles.
DO STUDENTS TAKE EXAMS?
ACT Microschools does not have a formalized exam schedule, as is the case in many other schools. ACT favors real-world, performance-based assessments over paper-pencil tests and exams. That said, students may take a paper assessment over their learning careers at ACT; exams, however, are simply not the primary means of assessment for students.
ACT also engages students in normative, standardized assessments (such as MAP), as a means of measuring its own effectiveness and as a means of tracking students’ academic growth against international norms.
DO ACT STUDENTS HAVE HOMEWORK?
Formalized homework at ACT begins in grade 5. Before then, students may be required to complete “unfinished classwork” at home, should a student require additional time to finish what s/he is working on or should s/he not make the best use of his/her time in class. Occasionally, lower elementary students may also be asked to research something at home, but the routine work of “homework” will not begin until grade 5 and become nightly work as of grade 6.
We, at ACT, recognize the importance of family time and believe that your children should have time at home to pursue interests and passions outside of schoolwork!
We do however believe in the importance of daily reading (which we do NOT consider to be “homework!”) and encourage all students to read 20 minutes daily, 365 days a year.
DO STUDENTS WEAR UNIFORMS?
ACT students do not wear uniforms. We believe that dress is a part of self-expression. We do, however, have a dress code that helps maintain a respectful learning environment and that is well defined within our parent and student handbooks.
CAN I SCHEDULE A SCHOOL VISIT?
We will be updating our site to inform parents when school visits will begin. Stay tuned!