We are proud to feature this guest post by Stephen and Ashley Foster, parents of Robert, a student at Acton Academy North San Antonio, offering parent perspectives about the innovative education offered at their son’s microschool.
Our son Robert is eight years old and attends Acton Academy North San Antonio, a microschool that opened on the Northwest Side of San Antonio in September 2023. Acton Academy helps children become curious and independent learners. The children develop a deep respect for economic, political, and religious freedom and discover the students’ gifts and abilities that make them unique.
What We Like About Acton Academy San Antonio
There is nothing that we do not like about Acton Academy North San Antonio. If we had to pick one thing about which we are most impressed, it would be the compassion and dedication of the teaching staff. We do not believe that there is a teaching environment or curriculum that they could not use to do amazing things on behalf of their students.
We like the innovation, accountability, ownership, freedom, and autonomy that they give their students. They treat them like people, not subjects. They instill a sense of self and help them take ownership of their educational experience. They treat them as individuals capable of performing hard things and doing it in a loving environment. We have seen firsthand how successful they can help the students become.
What Makes Acton Academy Unique
The students at Acton Academy North San Antonio have control over the projects and subjects upon which they study. The students develop a passion for learning and are inspired to learn and educate themselves in a manner and to a degree that we would have never imagined possible. How the students encourage and educate themselves is astounding. Just as an adult is rewarded for the work that they put in, the students are similarly rewarded for the hard work that they put in. Our child comes home excited to tell us what they learned at school, and the advanced topics and ideas they explore at a young age are incredible. They are encouraged to manage their own time, and how well they do it is astounding.
Student Leadership at Acton Academy
All learning is student-led. There are no traditional tests, but children are expected to accomplish specific tasks throughout the school year, and each task must be mastered at 100% proficiency before they can move on. Surprisingly, the children accomplish this at an astounding rate. The children set their own goals each week; these goals are surprisingly ambitious. They are held responsible by the community and themselves for achieving these goals, and amazingly, they consistently achieve these ambitious goals.
The students are encouraged to pursue topics that intrigue them and, simultaneously, are required to master core skills. The children are inspired to learn and master their subject matter, and high-quality instruction and student achievement occur regularly. They are not a concern that requires focus because it is the norm and not the exception.
School Culture at Acton Academy San Antonio
At Acton Academy, the children are having fun all the time. They take regular breaks, and the topics that they study fascinate them. They have projects and areas of study that fascinate them, and they enjoy learning. Having fun at school isn’t something they occasionally get to do as a relief from the drudgery of learning; instead, the enjoyment of learning is an intrinsic part of the whole educational experience.
Robert receives so much individual attention it is amazing. Our child enjoys learning and is progressing at an unbelievable speed.
Our School Search
We learned about Acton through the San Antonio Charter Moms Facebook group. What led us to apply was the hope that there could be a school that would provide something beyond the standard “cookie-cutter” school. We hoped for a school where a child’s individuality could be appreciated and accepted and where a child could learn more than the ability to sit quietly while other students caught up or were disciplined.
When you are starting your school search, take a moment to appreciate your child’s unique attributes and take the time to find a place where those attributes are embraced and encouraged, where appropriate. Please don’t assume that because your child doesn’t fit the standard educational model, there is something wrong with them simply because they don’t find it easy to sit quietly in a situation that understandably bores them.
The specific benefit of school choice to our child is obvious now that we have seen Acton Academy’s benefits. We have seen our child go from a student who had difficulties focusing and sitting still in a traditional school environment to a child who loves attending school and excelling socially and academically in a way we would have never imagined possible.
Charter Moms Chats
Watch Stephen and Ashley Foster, parents of Robert, a student at Acton Academy North San Antonio, speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on October 18, 2023 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.
Stephen and Ashley Foster have been married for ten years. They have one child, Robert, who is eight years old. They have lived in San Antonio for several years. They are both attorneys and are named partners with Foster & Foster, PLLC.
Read More About Acton Academy, Private School, and Microschools
- “2023 Simon-DeVos Prize Winners: Laura and Jeff Sandefer,” Philanthropy Roundtable, September 6, 2023
- “How Microschool Networks Are Activating Education Entrepreneurs,” Kerry McDonals, Forbes, November 14, 2022
- “Great Hearts Microschools Offer Flexibility and a Sense of Community,” San Antonio Charter Moms, October 6, 2022
- “Education Philanthropist Jeff Sandefer: ‘Every Student is a Genius,'” Brandon Millett, Philanthropy Roundtable, September 14, 2022
- “Tips from Fusion Academy About Things You Can Do with Your Teen this Summer,” Haley Segovia, San Antonio Charter Moms, March 31, 2022
- “Choosing Online Private Schools,” San Antonio Charter Moms, May 13, 2021
Read More About Parent Perspectives
- “Megan Garcia Shares a Parent Perspective from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School,” Megan Garcia, San Antonio Charter Moms, February 23, 2022
- “Anna Koalenz Searched to Find the Right School for Her Son,” San Antonio Charter Moms, September 8, 2022
- “Erin Stinson Offers a Parent Perspective from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School,” Erin Stinson, San Antonio Charter Moms, February 23, 2022
- “Bonnie Salas Is a Parent and Leader at Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering,” Bonnie Salas, San Antonio Charter Moms, January 26, 2022
- “A Mother’s Angst: Kathleen Gomez Exercised School Choice in the Age of COVID,” Kathleen Gomez, San Antonio Charter Moms, May 27, 2021
- “Parent Perspectives: How Lety Gómez Became a Parent Leader,” Lety Gómez, San Antonio Charter Moms, May 18, 2021
- “Stephanie Adams Shares Her School Search Experience,” Stephanie Adams, San Antonio Charter Moms, May 2, 2021