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New Applicant FAQ's

Discover the Sage Academy Difference: Your Child's Journey Begins Here!

Program & Logestics

​​What does your Daily Schedule look like?

A day in our studio is marked by creativity within constraints: large blocks of time for work and play with clear but broad guardrails. Young people are equipped to manage their time, set goals, and track progress.

Each day is broken up into work sprints with a shared purpose or goal. Throughout the day there are opportunities to work and learn outdoors.

**Daily schedule changes slightly seasonally, 

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Daily Schedule

​​When could my child start?

Here are the upcoming rolling enrollment start dates aligned with the end of each of our 7 sessions. These dates provide incoming families with time to schedule a tour while we are still in session, go through the audition process, and, if desired, and after the audition process, request a "shadow" day before the next session begins.

Calendar Preview

Here are the enrollment audition start dates:

  • October 2, 2023

  • November 13, 2023

  • December 11, 2023

  • February 5, 2024

  • March 25, 2024

  • May 6, 2024

  • June 24, 2024

  • August 11, 2024

​​Do you still have spots available?  What about a Waiting List?

Availability: Our academy has limited spots available, our studio holds up to 18-20 learners. We evaluate enrollment decisions based on philosophical and cultural fit, as well as learner readiness. We also consider gender and age to maintain a diverse and balanced community, which is crucial to our learning environment.


Waiting Pool (Wait List):  If your family is a good fit for our academy after completing the audition process, but we do not currently have an available spot for your learner, we will place them in our Waiting Pool. When a spot becomes available, we will notify you and invite you to enroll.

If you have a learner who is under five years old and you would like to add them to the Waiting Pool, simply complete the Online Enrollment Questionnaire section of the audition process. We can "slow roll" the remainder of the process until your learner is a little older.

image of Enrollment Waitlist header image of kids with carrot

No teachers?  No grades?  No homework?  How does that work?


Socratic Guides

It is important to understand that in a learner-driven environment like Sage Academy, there is no direct instruction from Guides. Here's a great excerpt from the original Acton campus' blog on that topic if you want more insight.


Badges that Demonstrate Mastery

Rather than grades, because we utilized the latest, game-based learning platforms, you'll be able to see, real-time, what specific skills your learner is currently working on or has mastered, along with their progress towards completing their Badge Plan.


Time to nurture relationships, hobbies, interests and passions:

At our academy, we believe in giving learners time to relax, recharge, and pursue their passions outside of the classroom. That's why we have a no homework policy. We want our learners to have quality time with their families and the freedom to work on projects outside of the studio if they choose to do so.

kids with laptop

What is a studio?

Think of a Studio as the classroom of a one-room school house.  We like to think of it as a learning "habitat" for learners of multiple ages and skill levels where they can work for focused period of individual flow or purposeful collaboration.

What are Badges?

Badges measure excellence. It is something that a learner can earn after they complete a series of learning challenges that demonstrate mastery in something.

studio and badges

What are core skills?

“Core Skills” refers to the foundational skills of Reading, Writing and Math.  We set aside time each day in our Daily Schedule setting SMART Goals to focus on tackling challenges and earning Badges in each of these areas.

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How does your "Learning Design" (aka Curriculum) work?

At our academy, we believe in a learner-driven environment that we like to call "learning untethered". Our Guides, who are the equivalent of traditional teachers, do not serve as a bottleneck to keep learners on a state-prescribed learning track and timeline. Instead, learners are free to pursue skills mastery at their own pace.

Through mentoring and being mentored by a mixed age group of learners, your child will have the opportunity to expand and deepen their learning experience. They can pursue mastery at whatever pace makes the most sense, with your support and encouragement as parents. However, we understand that this can be unnerving for some parents who prefer a smooth and even progression of achievement.

Our Learning Design, also known as Curriculum, is divided into a series of Badges that roughly correlate to grade levels.

image of two girls doing STEAM progject

​​How do I know my learner is ready for a learner-driven environment like Sage Academy?

At Sage Academy, we prioritize self-directed learning, which sets us apart from other institutions. Before inviting young learners to join our community, we look for certain prerequisites that suggest our learning environment would be a good fit for your child.

  • Exhibits a positive attitude about learning in general

  • Participates willingly in classroom activities

  • Follows simple oral directions

  • Actively engages in their own learning and is generally curious

  • Displays the following social and emotional skills most of the time.

  • Makes friends and plays cooperatively

  • Shows empathy

  • Manages strong feelings like frustration and disappointment without becoming aggressive or withdrawn

  • Separates from parent without distress

  • Engages in an activity for at least 15 minutes

  • Possesses basic communication skills

  • Is physically self-reliant

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  • Reading fluently or on their way there.

  • Follow basic written and oral instructions.

  • Able to engage and participate in a 15-minute discussion with peers.

  • Can set, remember, and pursue a goal for 30 minutes or more.

  • Works well with peers by respecting their space and goals.

  • Takes responsibility for actions and choices.

  • Can operate a laptop or has basic introduction. The younger learners will learn quickly from their peers.

  • Finished Spark Badge Plan and is prepared for a more academically-challenging environment


What happens if a child appears to be "behind" where a student in a traditional school might be expected to be?

This is a question many parents have, especially when it comes to considering a more non-traditional approach, like AANWA.  The short answer is, nothing.


Now for the longer answer:

First, as a parent it is your right and responsibility to decide how best to support your learner - this may look like boundaries or incentives for meeting (or not meeting) learning goals.  It may look like after-school tutoring or extra-curricular exploration.  Again, we respect these choices as parenting decisions and encourage you to forge whatever social contracts you deem appropriate with your learner outside of the Studio.

Online Studies

We have a badge plan full of challenges that will help them be equipped to thrive in the Adventure Studio.  Badge Plan categories include Leadership, Communication, Safety, Writing, Reading and Math.  At the end of the day, we are also looking for the ability to independently read simple Challenges and focus on a simple goal for at least 30 minutes - typically this occurs at some point after someone turns 7 yo - it varies :-)  See our list of Look-Fors for more details.

For ages 7-10 State-prescribed math and language arts benchmarks don't really even come into play until they begin working in the latest game-based learning platforms like Khan Academy, IXL, etc.  These platforms are designed to help pinpoint mastery in specific skills and reveal skills they still need to practice.  Because they serve so many learners in the public school system, they are also designed with state standards in mind.  This means that it's relatively easy to "map" where they are at to a typical "grade level".


At our school, we don't do this - there is no real emphasis on matching grade level to age.  What we want to see is 1) What are your learning goals? 2) are you working hard? 3) Are you making progress towards your goals?  When looking through this lens, at Sage Academy "behind" means you aren't on track with your individual goals... and therefore need to put in more effort or need extra help (if there is a learning disability involved, for instance).

​​​What is done to make sure that learners get a balanced academic experience?

At our academy, we strive to provide a balanced academic experience for all learners. However, we understand that deep learning tends to be uneven, and learners may have areas of focus that they are particularly passionate about.

To encourage learners to pursue a more well-rounded skill set, we have built certain elements into our approach. For instance, we offer a range of activities and projects that touch on various subjects and skills. Additionally, we encourage learners to collaborate and learn from each other, which can expose them to new areas of interest.

Ultimately, we believe that learners will naturally gravitate towards a more balanced academic experience as they explore their passions and interests. As an Sage Parent, you may face some uncertain moments, but we are here to support you and your learner on their journey towards a fulfilling education.

image of kid learning the periodic table

Moving along the Journey Map requires work in all Core Skills subject areas.

Gamification of Curriculum

Focused work sprints may be baked into the Daily Schedule from time to time - "DEAR Time" (Drop Everything And Read), or "Math Power Hour" (everyone works on math goals only for 1 hour) are great examples of this.


We provide learners with a "running partner" to keep them accountable for progress towards their learning goals. They must complete badge requirements in all areas of study before they can level up.

Peer Accountability

The desire to tackle learning challenges presented in the Quest format can often motivate learners to acquire new skills.

Gamification of Curriculum

At our academy, we encourage our young learners to embrace challenges. We provide them with frameworks like the Challenge Doughnut and promote a Growth Mindset to help them overcome discomfort when mastering new skills that they may have otherwise avoided.

Growth Mindset

As a parent, you have the right to establish boundaries and guidelines that encourage your learner to focus on areas they may be avoiding, and we fully support your efforts in this regard.

Parenting Decisions

Top Reasons Parent Choose Sage

kids with a laptop
  • It is important that your child learns to be a curious, independent lifelong learner.

  • You are afraid that that light in your child's eyes will be extinguished in a traditional school setting.

  • Equipping your child with 21st century skills is more important to you than grades and standardized testing.

  • You believe all young people deserve the chance to find a calling that will change the world.

  • You are ready to join a Tribe of like-minded parents who want to empower their children to take charge of their own education.

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