Frequently Asked Questions

How is Odyssey: An Acton Academy affiliated with Acton Academy?

Odyssey is part of the network of 300+ Acton Academies around the world. We follow the same exact learning design (curriculum) and learning model created at the original Acton Academy campus. 

What grades will you offer? 

Odyssey is a mixed-age one-room schoolhouse and offers one studio currently. For our founding 2024-2025 year we will enroll ages 5 (kindergarten) through 9 (3rd grade). As the founding group matures, we will grow into additional studios for older learners. 

Where will your school be located? 

Our campus will be located in Moorhead, MN. Exact location details will be coming very soon!

How long will Odyssey be in session each year and what is the school calendar? 

Our school will operate on a 10-month calendar and will follow a similar academic calendar to public schools. The calendar will be posted to our site very soon!

What is your tuition?

Our tuition is $850 monthly. There is a $500 annual supply fee to cover for a chromebook and other materials. 

Do you offer scholarships?

At this time we do not offer scholarships, however, this may change after our founding year.

Is Odyssey a religious school?

Our owners are Christians and believe that it is our calling to use our gifts to serve, help, and love our neighbor. Because Acton Academy encourages exploration and independent learning, we leave the teaching of specific doctrine up to individual families. Children and families of all faiths are welcome at Odyssey. 

Is Odyssey a Montessori school?

We respect and incorporate Maria Montessori’s philosophy, but we are not a Montessori school. We also use the latest interactive technologies, hand-on projects, and the Socratic method for discussions. 

Will children be grouped together by grades?

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. 

What kind of learner thrives at Odyssey?

Students who are curious, self-motivated, respectful, and love to learn! Our environment is an accelerator for the independent learner who can tackle challenging questions, follow instructions, and solve problems.

How do I know if Odyssey is the right fit for us? 

We highly encourage you to take the time to read “Courage to Grow” by founder Laura Sandefer. Her book gives an inside glimpse into Acton Academy. We do encourage you to be intentional about your decision to apply to our school. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to guide you in the process! 

Is Odyssey accredited?

Yes! The school is accredited through the International Association of Learner Driven Schools.

Why a learner driven classroom?

At Odyssey we believe in learning to be and learning to do. An important part of this is encouraging kids to take responsibility for their own behavior and hold those around them to a high standard. When something isn’t working, we want our students to work together to solve the problem, not look for an adult to solve it for them. This creates a sense of independence and confidence that will serve them well in all areas of life.

What do you mean by “every child can change the world?”

We believe each of our students 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 shoe-shiner 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.

What do you mean by a “hero’s journey?”

We believe that each of us has a special calling in life, and a series of trials and tests that must be faced with integrity and purpose in order to live a satisfying and fulfilled life. Our mission is to prepare your child for his or her special journey.

What is an independent learner?

Someone who can research questions, follow instructions, solve problems—admit that they don’t know something and figure out a solution when they hit a roadblock without asking an adult for help — participate in discussions and strive for mastery.

How do you use technology in the classroom without students having too much screen time? 

At Odyssey we believe in the power of balance. Using the incredible, self-paced eLearning tools now available, we are able to provide the rigor needed for learning math, vocabulary, spelling, and grammar in about 90 minutes each day, while freeing up the rest of the day for engaging, project-based learning. The two are highly complementary.

Does Odyssey serve children with learning challenges?

We are not trained to serve children with serious learning challenges. We have little experience with severe learning disabilities on our campus. We have found that with off-campus specialized training, dyslexic learners can thrive at Acton, and that ADD/ADHD does not seem to be an issue in our studios. Any child who requires 1 on 1 assistance by an adult would not be a good fit with Odyssey as this goes against the learner driven model which requires no instruction and more guiding.