Welcome to the school you wish you went to

School, as we know it, was designed in 1893

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Our school was born different. Acton Academy is one of the newest and most innovative (and downright coolest) school designs in the world. Each Acton school was founded by parents who believe there is a better way to educate their children and help other like-minded families in their community.

1. Read through our Informational Booklet Below

For the best experience, we encourage you to read this booklet on a tablet or PC.

2. Watch this must-see interview by Laura Sandefer
Are you frustrated with the old, traditional educational model that teaches students to spit out facts and pass state mandated tests?
Take the Next Steps

3. Acton at a Glance

"How does Acton help my child love to learn, ​step into excellence and choose to grow their character?"

Academic Grading Badges Your child will be celebrated as he/she works towards goals & accomplishes them. Their confidence will grow! (Grades foster fear of failure & can lead to social labeling..)
Regular Quizzes & Tests Mastery is working on something until it compares to the work of a 'master'. Your child will examine world-class examples and work to master a breadth and depth of knowledge. Working for mastery is real-world success!
Grouped by Age Multi-Age Studios - Creative, flexible spaces where children work with older & younger friends. In addition to other social & developmental benefits, the community environment helps your child develop into a servant leader.
Teacher Led Lectures Socratic Guiding - "Guides don't answer questions, learners do!" Focus on HOW to learn not WHAT to learn. Engaging challenges invite your child to discover knowledge for themself & develop a life-long love for learning.
Single Level Learning Individual Learning Plans For EVERY Learner Your child is appropriately challenged to their level in every subject. (i.e., They can move ahead in math & take a bit more time to master reading & writing.)

4. Get Inspired with Additional Resources

s fellow parents, we understand wanting to dig deeper & do your own research. ​Here are some resources to get you started!


Check out the playlist of videos we've put together on our youtube channel. From Acton's Jeff Sandefer to Khan Academy Founder Sal Khan, see how Acton is Disrupting Education

Watch the Videos

"On Being an Acton Parent"

This blog by Laura Sandefer, Co-Founder of the Acton Academy, is a great resource for parents wanting to dig deeper. You'll also find links to articles on Acton from national publications like Forbes & Inc.

Read the Blog

Courage To Grow

This book written by Laura Sandefer is a must-read for any parent considering Acton Academy. No really, we ask that all applicants read the book.​ It's simply that good.

Order A Copy Here!

5. Schedule

Drop off: 8:00 - 8:25 am
Pick up: 3:15 pm​​​

316 East Hwy 30 Gonzales, LA 70737

The schedule is flexible to accommodate different learning needs. Students can rearrange work blocks and choose from a variety of work options based on personal goals, passions, and commitments.

Annual Calendar

Each day is broken up into work sprints with a shared purpose or goal.

Drop-off / Free Time
Daily Launch (Socratic Discussion)
Core Skills

Goal setting, math, writers' workshop, reading, civilization discussion, "Brain Breaks" throughout

Lunch / Free Time
Quest Launch (Socratic Discussion)

Hands-on work, team-based challenges, sciences, coding, entrepreneurship, art & music, history, report on goals.

Studio Maintenance
Closing Group (Socratic Discussion)
Founders of Active Leadership Academy - Jeremy & Renee Molley along with their two heroes - Charlie and Will.

6. From our family to yours:

We are the Molley family. Like many of you, we wanted to provide the best possible learning environment for our children that would spark their natural curiosity, inspire them to be lifelong learners, challenge them to grow in character, and equip them to be leaders that will change the world.

After exploring a range of educational settings, including public school, private school, and homeschool, we were unable to find anything that fit our vision of what education could be.

When we eventually came across the Acton model, we knew that it was EVERYTHING we were dreaming of...and MORE!

We knew we had to be part of this unique and special community and were thrilled at the opportunity to bring this special private school to other families in Ascension seeking a similar experience for their children.

Together, with parents, we work to make our school the perfect blend of individuality, curiosity, and community.

Our dream was to create an environment where meaningful skills are taught through real-world scenarios.

Where good character gets rewarded, and where developing a problem-solving mindset is the goal instead of an afterthought.

Where children are taught how to think, not what to think.

Where children wake up on Saturdays disappointed that there is no school.

The school you wish you had gone to.

Yes, just call us crazy, but we join 278 other Actons in 48 states and 27 countries around the world who are all on this journey together.

The only question is, are you crazy enough to join?

Take the Next Step on Your Family's Journey

Is Your Family Ready to Learn More?

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Sill have questions, check out our FAQs below ⬇️

Frequently Asked Questions

How is Active Leadership Academy affiliated with Acton Academy?

Active Leadership Academy is part of the network of over 300 Acton Academies around the world. We follow the same exact Learning Design (curriculum) and learning model that our owners helped create at the original Acton Academy campus.

Is Active Leadership Academy Accredited?

The school is accredited through the International Association of Learner Driven Schools (link https://ialds.org).

What ages do you accept?

We are currently accepting applications for children aged 5 to 10 years old. As our school's original founding students grow older each year, we will progressively extend our enrollment to encompass middle school and eventually high school.

Where is your school located?

Our campus is located at 316 E Hwy 30, Gonzales, LA 70737 US.

How long is the school year?

Our school year extends over a 10-month period, typically in line with Ascension public school calendar, allowing ample time for students to immerse themselves in diverse educational opportunities and achieve their academic goals.

What does tuition cost and do you offer financial aid?

We know this is an important question for any family, and we challenge you to think in terms of a growth mindset. (How can we afford this amazing opportunity for our family?) Annual tuition for all during the 2023-2024 school year: $6,299. 10 Monthly payments or weekly payment plans available. Tuition can be paid upfront for additional savings. Non-refundable registration deposit of $299 to confirm enrollment, or $500 for an entire family. Sibling tuition discount of 10% per additional student. We do not offer scholarships or financial aid at this time. Don’t worry, we DO NOT require parents to work fairs, sell chocolate, attend fundraisers, etc.. Tuition + registration covers ALL materials. The are NO additional fees or charges throughout the year with exception of occasional field trips that average around $15. Tuition is adjusted annually for inflation.

Is the Acton Academy a Montessori school?

Our Montessori studio is the perfect base for young learners to begin an Acton journey! We respect and incorporate Maria Montessori's philosophy but our Elementary studio is not a Montessori school. We also use the latest interactive technologies, hands on projects and the Socratic Method for discussions.

Is Active Leadership Academy a religious school?

Active encourages exploration and independent learning, however, we leave the teaching of specific doctrine up to individual families. Children and families of all faiths are welcome at Active Leadership Academy. Learners explore the importance various religions have played throughout history, but we do not promote any one religion.

Who was Lord Acton?

Lord John Emerich Edward Dahlberg Acton (1834-1902) was a Victorian scholar of Freedom who saw liberty not as a license, but as the freedom to do what was right. He was suspicious of power for the sake of power, which led to his most famous quote: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." At the Acton Academy, we celebrate his defense of economic, political and religious freedom.

Is Active Leadership Academy right for my child?

Our school is a perfect fit for families like the following:

  • People who believe the traditional school system no longer works to prepare children for the modern world
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Creators and creatives
  • Out-of-the box thinkers
  • People who want the benefits of child-directed learning without having to make a full-time commitment to homeschooling
  • Families with flexible schedules
  • People who need flexible attendance for travel and family obligations.
  • People who want to maximize their family time
  • Trailblazers and trendsetters
  • Families who value their freedom and want their children to develop a love of learning

Parents looking for the items listed below may be challenged by our School's philosophy and may feel it is not the right place for their family:

  • Those who treasure social prestige and really prefer a traditional education.
  • Those who are "blamers" and ultimately will gossip and criticize, no matter what.
  • Those who aren't sure their child is ready yet for the responsibility and struggles—and occasional tears—of truly independent learning (and may be right).
  • Those who are not committed to a Hero's Journey themselves.

How does self-paced learning happen at Active?

We provide a 21st century learning environment using the latest in educational technology for self-paced mastery of reading, writing, elective courses, and math skills. Students are placed according to ability so that our program can meet the student right where they are. Students move on to the next level only after the content has been mastered, which ensures there are no learning gaps.

Without homework and frequent test taking, how do I know my child is learning?

Students celebrate the mastery of tools, skills, and character by earning badges, assembling portfolios, and taking part in public exhibitions. Public exhibitions allow students to present work to experts, customers, or the public for a real-world test. Parents use our online platform JourneyTracker and school app to monitor progress in Core Skills like reading, writing, math, and character development. Electronic and hard copy Portfolios capture rough drafts, photos, videos, and other creative work. Once a year, we offer the Iowa standardized test, and you know what? Most of our students score 1-2 grade levels ahead of the national average.

Will children be grouped into 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.

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

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 in our elementary studio, while freeing up the rest of the day for engaging, project-based learning. The two are highly complementary. Our Montessori studio is mostly hands on using Montessori works, with the occasional use of technology to enhance learning and prepare them for the next studio!

Do you offer art and music?

Our students experience varied and unique art and music workshops throughout the year ranging from cake decorating, painting, sculpting, to making and recording their own music.

Do you offer team sports?

Although we do not offer formal team sports, many of our students participate in our afterschool sports program, and/or our evening martial arts classes. Our school embraces a deep commitment to physical fitness and overall health awareness. Active students explore a variety of physical activities that have ranged from martial arts, hiking, dance, yoga, to rock climbing. Our students are very active, and we strongly support good sportsmanship and teamwork.

What about lunch and snacks?

You will need to provide your child with a healthy lunch each day. They will have access to a full kitchen. We are not a peanut free facility, however learners are not allowed to share food due to allergies. We have a healthy snack store and we believe that it's important to help young people develop healthy lifestyle habits.

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.

Does Active Leadership Academy serve special needs children?

We are not trained to serve children with serious learning disabilities but have been able to serve young heroes with dyslexia if they receive special training and believe that many minor learning disabilities are commonly misdiagnosed.

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.

Why do you focus on teaching the "American Experiment"?

We believe in liberty and justice and the ideals of the American Revolution as the cornerstones of civilization. In addition to experiential learning, we will study the American documents and the true meaning behind them, as we examine other cultures and forms of government.