Our Studios

Learner-driven communities

Studio Design

Acton Academy Alburquerque has five studios: Dreamers (Kindergarten), Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Mid School. Our high school program is called the Launch Pad. These studios are learner-driven one-room communities.

We believe that children learn best when working with children younger and older than themselves rather than split up into groups based solely on age. In addition to individualized curriculum, all ages of students work together in groups.


Ages 5-7

Play based and heavily focused on developing social and emotional skills. This Studio is more Guide directed as systems, processes, and healthy behaviors are modeled and practiced. Eagles are ready to move out of Dreamers when they can consistently use words to resolve conflicts, can set simple goals, and can read level one Bob Books.

Lower Elementary

Ages 6-9

Play based with a continued focus on social/emotional development and increased personal responsibility. In this Studio, academically, Eagles will focus primarily on developing literacy and simple math while engaging in hands on projects. Eagles begin to create and take charge of some systems modeled by the Guide and practice participating in Socratic discussions. Guide holds and models systems and works to hand over more and more responsibility to Eagles as freedom is earned. Eagles provide some mentorship within Dreamer Studio as appropriate.

Upper Elementary

Ages 8-12

Self-directed Core Skills and hands on Quests along with Civilization discussions and Writers' Workshops. Eagles take increased ownership of their Studio systems and accountability and should be capable of running their own Studio well in the absence of a Guide. Guide is a fully Socratic game-maker. Eagles provide some mentorship within Dreamer and Innovator Studios.

Mid School

Ages 11-15

Self-directed Core Skills and hands on Quests along with Civilization, Genre (Communications), and Deep Book reading. Increased responsibility for rigor of learning and freedom to create some projects based on personal interest. Stronger emphasis on individual research, writing, and presentation. Begin apprenticeships. Eagles are capable of consistently running their own Studio in the absence of a Guide. Guide is a fully Socratic game-maker. Eagles take on some Guide roles within Dreamer, Innovator and Creator Studios.

Launch Pad

Ages 14-18

Preparing for the next big adventure. Finishing badges that correspond to HS graduation requirements and playing the game necessary to get into college, knocking out some college credits, or planning/taking specific steps to accomplish other goals. Intentional apprenticeships/internships. Intentional connection with mentors. Guide is a mentor and fellow-traveler. Eagles take on some Guide roles within Creator and Analyst Studios.

I would never have believed children could learn so much from each other – until I saw it with my own eyes. The lessons of self management and self governance have prepared our fifth-grade son to be a lifelong learner.

Take a virtual tour of an Acton Academy studio