An Open Letter to Whittle School Families in DC

Dear Whittle School Families,

We were sorry to read about the closing of the Whittle School’s DC campus. 

We invite those who are quickly searching for alternatives to sign up for a virtual tour of Acton Academy of Washington, DC in Foggy Bottom. We have few spaces for the 2022-23 school year as follows: 

  • Two spaces left in our Montessori primary program (ages 3-6)
  • One space left in our lower elementary program (grades 1-3)
  • Two spaces in our upper elementary program (grades 4-5)
  • Two spaces in our middle school program (grades 6-8)  

Acton Academy of Washington, DC was founded in 2018—about the same time as the Whittle School. We have deliberately chosen to grow slowly, carefully, serving one family at a time. We take our promises seriously. And we have have quietly earned a reputation for excellence. 

This year, we were pleased that U.S. News & World Report named Acton on a list of ten top DC private elementary schools including Sidwell Friends, Beauvoir National Cathedral School, Georgetown Day School, and Maret. 

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Town Hall and Leadership

The middle school learners have taken on new leadership roles this year as members of the Council. Elected learners from each studio (lower elementary, upper elementary, and middle school) serve on the Council, whose responsibilities include facilitating conflict resolution processes, reviewing work submitted by learners, and running Town Hall meetings.

Weekly Town Hall meetings bring the elementary and middle school studios together to consider proposals, offer counsel to the guides, and modify guardrails. Council members are responsible for taking notes about the topics discussed and any solutions agreed to. At the end of the session, the learners vote on whether or not to permanently adopt resolutions made during Town Hall meetings.

How do Acton students learn to take on this kind of responsibility for self-governance in the studio? Some of the ways learners develop their leadership and management skills are by working in teams to complete real-world projects, reflecting on issues and challenges during Socratic discussions, managing their own daily and weekly learning goals, and mentoring younger learners.

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Excursions and the Adventure Van

The transition to middle school is full of opportunities for learners to take on new freedoms, including excursions off campus. One hallmark of the new Acton middle school program is the “Adventure Van”—a 15-passenger Ford Transit for off-campus excursions and adventures.
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