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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Flags and Language

Around the fourth of July, learners really enjoy making flag crafts during morning outdoor time. They learn that each part of the flag has a different name such as field, canton, flagstaff, or hoist. While the learners may only remember a few of these terms, the goal is not retention. Rather this practice helps learners appreciate the specificity and diversity of language. Learners experience hearing and making different sounds as well as internalizing how language can classify the world in a seemingly infinite number of ways.

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Studio Library

Each month learners regularly discover new books in the studio library. For example, in the spring, books about insects and spring complement the work they find around the studio. Learners will also find books exploring the culture and geography of whichever continent they're currently studying. All learners have access to a library in our studio on the first floor. Learners who nap after lunch in the garden level also have their own rotating selection of books to peruse before drifting off to sleep!

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Snack Time

Learners do so much work throughout the day. It is important they have adequate rest and nutrition. Part of this involves making and enjoying snacks in the morning and afternoon!

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U.S. News Names Acton Among Ten Top Private Schools in DC

U.S. News & World Report names Acton Academy of Washington, DC on a list of ten DC private elementary schools including Sidwell Friends, Beauvoir National Cathedral School, Georgetown Day School, and Maret. 

Acton is the relative newcomer to Washington, DC’s scene of “very prestigious and strong” private schools. Acton was founded in 2018 and approaching its 5th birthday. However, Acton has already distinguished itself among the 72 private schools in the city and quickly earned a reputation for excellence.

Acton is unique. Acton combines Montessori ideas, Harvard Business School-style Socratic discussions, mixed-age classrooms, and real-world projects like the Acton Children’s Business Fair. Acton invites children to imagine themselves as the heroic protagonist in their own journey in life. At Acton, children discover their unique talents and passions while developing the habits of mind and character needed to chase down their dreams with energy and joy.

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A Spot of Tea

Montessori learners start the week with many new lessons and materials to choose from on the shelves. One of their favorites has been tea making.

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Busy in the Kitchen

Montessori learners have been busy in the kitchen! They’ve been slicing, measuring, grating, spreading, and, of course, eating (their favorite part). Participating in kitchen-centered activities is a fun and easy way to refine gross and fine motor skills, build concentration, and practice sequencing. For example, when we bake, we always separate our dry and wet ingredients. Don’t forget to taste and feel as you go—Is it sticky or soft? Does it taste savory or sweet?

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Snack in the Montessori Studio

Snack in the Montessori studio is centered around simple, healthy foods the children can prepare and eat independently. Every day we have a carbohydrate such as multi-grain crackers or whole-wheat pita bread (cut into small pieces) accompanied by a spread like cream cheese or homemade hummus and a fruit or vegetable such as sliced apples or celery. 

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The Science of Things Around Us

Montessori learners have been exploring the science of things around us. Where does something come from? How did it get here? Why does it look like that? 

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Where Do You Live?

In the Montessori studio, we explore different types of homes and houses found around the world. We start by defining a house, and after eliminating all the living creatures that do not live in houses (bats, squirrels, hammerhead sharks, and ladybugs, just to name a few), we concluded it is a place where humans live.

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