What age range do you accept at River Oak?
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. (We require children 4 years and up to be fully potty-trained).
What is the school calendar and what does River Oak Academy cost?
River Oak Academy runs 11 months a year, typically with six-week “sessions” followed by a one week break. The school day begins at 8:30 am and ends at 3:15 pm. Tuition is $1,500 per month based on our eleven-month academic year (September-July). Our Summer Session in July is optional. Please see the Tuition Page for more detailed information on tuition. For our current school calendar, click here.
What does the typical daily schedule look like?
At River Oak, 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. Monday to Thursday mornings are dedicated to Core Skills and Civilization and afternoons focus on collaborative projects and Genre. All throughout the day, they are learning purposefully either in core skills, practical life, and character building. Fun Fridays bring the Sessions's project into relevance using Music and Art.
What kind of learner thrives at River Oak Academy?
Children 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?
Our Spark Studio has an AMI & AMS-certified, veteran Montessori Guide but River Oak Academy is not a Montessori school. We use 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 or IEPs.
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?
ROA is an affiliate school to Acton Academy. AA 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. To learn more check out our What is Acton page.
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. To view all our affiliates, click here.
Since there are no grades, how do we 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 time. However, our application is pending with the FLDOE, and we may soon start participating in a few chosen scholarship programs in the upcoming 2022 school year. Please call to verify if we are able to accept your child's specific scholarship. We will not be accepting the Gardiner Scholarship in the future.
Do you accept Immunization Exemptions?
We do not accept religious or medical exemptions for childhood vaccinations.
What is your Allergy Policy?
ROA recognizes that allergies, in some instances, may be severe and even occasionally life-threatening. For children with severe or life-threatening allergies, it is the family’s responsibility to notify the school, in writing, of allergies at the time of admission or following diagnosis. The school staff will work with parents to determine the feasibility of protocols and to create an action plan. This action plan will include the following items: ● Severe food allergies present in a studio will be posted on the door to the classroom. ● The Learner's name, allergy and what to do in the event of a reaction will be present with the emergency handbooks located inside each classroom and comply with HIPAA regulations. ● When eating, Learners with severe allergies may opt to sit at a table away from others and their food. Parents must notify the school office in writing if they choose this option. ● The school will notify parents of children with severe allergies and request those items be avoided for lunches and snacks. Foods most likely to cause allergic reactions are peanuts, tree nuts, dairy products, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. ROA is not a peanut free school; however, the school makes every effort to create a safe place for children with specific food allergies. When a severe or life-threatening allergy is present, the school will notify the all ROA parents of the specific food allergy present and request that parents not send snacks or lunches to school which contain the food. The school asks for the cooperation of the ROA community in addressing this concern. ROA cannot, however, guarantee this action will take place on the part of others. ROA cannot guarantee that lunches or foods containing allergens will never be present, as the school cannot monitor lunches or snack brought in, products brought for potlucks or celebrations, or served on off-campus trips. Therefore, persons with severe food allergies must carefully monitor their child’s food in these situations.
What are your Ethics in Education Policies and Procedures?
To read a copy of our policy, click here.
"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."