No Classrooms at Acton?

We began Acton Academy with seven students in a sweet, creaking, old house.  With ceremonial intention, we gave the students the task of naming the rooms in their new school. Soon we had the Artichoke Room, the Hand Room, the Red Room and the Leaf Room. Not a one chose to name a room the Classroom.

As we grew out of this first home, we decided to construct simple buildings to test our vision of the one-room schoolhouse. With the busy-ness of moving and growing, the word “classroom” slipped into our Acton-speak. We had neglected to pause and name our new space.

I became uncomfortable with this word. It didn’t describe aptly what was happening each day within the walls of Acton Academy. It was like calling our picnic blankets a cafeteria. It was just wasn’t right.

The Acton spaces function more as studios than classrooms. Studios are homes to tinkerers, artists and innovators. They harbor hands-on experimentation, ongoing projects and creative messes. Studios reveal integrated layers of work and organized systems that inspire curiosity. Silence and noise each have their place in a studio.

The Guides and the Eagles have embraced this vision of their new campus. On Tuesday, we will open Studio I and Studio II to 64 daring and talented Eagles who will take ownership of their spaces and of their learning.

Please pardon our mess.

Fun Acton Trivia: After naming the rooms that first year, the students were charged with choosing the school mascot. All family members got a vote. The list of choices they created included the Eagles, Owls, Aces, Sharks and Astronauts. The Eagle won in a very tight race. The Owl, a close sec