What age range do you accept at River Oak Academy?
We are currently accepting learners ages 4 through 14 for our Spark, Elementary, and Middle School Studios. For future academic years, we plan to grow organically, with each Studio maxing out at 10 learners. We believe in the importance of in-depth learning for all children. We value quality over quantity, so that we may provide every learner with the attention and nurturing they deserve.
What is the school calendar and what does River Oak Academy cost?
River Oak Academy runs 9 months a year, typically with six-week “sprints” followed by a one week break. The school day begins at 8:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm. Tuition is $1,200 per month based on our nine-month academic year (September-May). In addition, we offer an optional Summer Session in June, for which tuition is also $1,200. Please see the Tuition Page for more detailed information on tuition or click here .
What does the typical daily schedule look like?
At River Oak Academy, every day is full of purposeful learning. We understand that children thrive when given freedom within structure. That is why we like to say that our school promotes an environment of “beautiful and constructive chaos.”
We focus on the needs of the learners so there may be times when we may change things up from day to day to rejuvenate the energy in the studio. All throughout the day, they are learning purposefully either in core skills, practical life, and character building.
What kind of learner thrives at River Oak Academy?
Kids who love to learn, are curious, self-motivated, highly accountable, and respectful. Our environment is an accelerator for the independent learner who can tackle challenging questions and solve problems. We are preparing learners not just for college success, but for a civic-minded and fulfilling life.
What do you mean by “Every child 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 museum guide 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.
Is River Oak Academy a Montessori school?
River Oak Academy uses the best of Montessori methods: mixed-age classrooms, student choices 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, which emphasizes asking good questions to cultivate critical thinking. Our learners don’t just memorize facts; they learn how to learn, learn how to do, learn how to be, and learn how to live together. Authentic learning is our goal.
Why do we have guides instead of teachers?
A Montessori guide in our younger Spark Studio guides the Learners without letting them feel her presence in a traditional sense, so that she may be always ready to supply the desired help, but may never be the obstacle between the Learners and their experience. In our older ES & MS Studios, Guides are game makers who propose exciting challenges, set boundaries, and invite Learners to start a life-changing journey. They equip Learners to engage teachers (who are not necessarily adults), coaches, experts, and mentors whenever they need one, rather than to be captive to a single teacher-as-authority figure.
To read more on what guides DO and DO NOT do, click here.
Is River Oak Academy 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 deeply value and respect each individual’s beliefs and welcome families of all faiths; therefore, we do not teach a specific religion.
Are you able to support children with special needs?
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 River Oak Academy 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.
Is River Oak Academy 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 is Acton Academy?
Acton Academy is a rapidly growing network of independently-owned and operated schools that offer a fresh and innovative approach to education. It is school reimagined for the 21st century. Currently, there are almost 200 Acton schools across the globe.
How is River Oak Academy tied in with the Acton network of schools?
We are an affiliate school that uses best practices but we also draw inspiration from and are a reflection of our community.
Since there are no grades, how does River Oak Academy track student progress?
We use Journey Tracker, an online platform exclusively designed for the Acton network of schools that allows Guides to document and share with families all aspects of their child's education. This allows us to focus on every learner's process and document their unique learning journey (as opposed to just posting photos of a final product). The ultimate goal is to provide all families with a fluid understanding and connection to their child's experience at school. Journey Tracker allows every child access to their individualized portfolio - information and communication are always confidential and remains between parents, learners, and Guides.
Why do you have mixed-aged studios instead of grouping children by age or grade level?
Children learn best when working with those younger and older than themselves rather than split up into groups based solely on age. In addition to an individualized curriculum, all ages of students work together in groups. Mixed aged classrooms help to foster independence and support social and emotional growth.
How will my child stay on task in a self-directed environment?
A learner’s ability to set and track goals in order to evaluate progress is essential to success in a student-driven, individualized learning environment. Learners need ample time to practice setting specific, measurable goals that are challenging but realistic.
In our Spark Studio, young children hone their ability to choose and engage in independent work. As the children get older, our guides help with the development of time management and goal setting skills until older learners are able to make and follow their own simple work plans.
In our Elementary Studio, learners set weekly and daily goals, track progress, and establish a rhythm of meeting with peers to hold one another accountable.
Do you offer any type of scholarship?
Unfortunately, at this time scholarships/tuition assistance is not available as this is our founding year. However, our application is pending with the FLDOE, and we may soon start participating in the scholarship program in the upcoming 2021 school year. Please call to verify if we are able to accept your child's specific scholarship.
"River Oak Academy provides high quality, personalized learning in a family-type environment, successfully preparing children for their future education, growth, and development.
My girls absolutely love their school. They wake up in the morning ready to tackle the day,
especially since every day is a new adventure of learning and fun discoveries."