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FAQ: FAQ
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR LEARNING MODEL
  • WHAT MAKES ARROW AN "ACCELERATED ACADEMY"?
    In our learning model, learners are in control of what they are learning. We believe that by giving children freedom to determine what, when, and how they learn, learning is much more effective (and enjoyable). Therefore, learners move through content more efficiently and accomplish much more than is possible in most traditional academic settings. In fact, a large majority of our learners are working above grade-level in multiple foundational academic subjects. Accelerated learning means: learning deeply by solving complex problems and creating meaningful projects. using the most efficient tools and resources to meet the unique needs and preferences of each learner. creating a strong academic foundation in core subjects from which the learner continues to build higher-level skills. connecting multiple disciplines through common themes and patterns. including learners and their families in creating a short-term academic goals and long-term academic plans so learners see "the big picture". focusing on identifying and strengthening individual assets and passions instead of academic or personal deficiencies. believing that children are highly capable and worthy of being given their own time and space in which to learn. We like the Carnegie Corporation of New York's explanation of what accelerated learning is not. (See below.) Accelerated learning is not: speeding up (teachers should spend more time on priority units, not less) cramming two years of instruction into one a one-size-fits-all approach with identical schedules information regurgitation or vocabulary memorization spending time remediating large chunks of content from prior grades a “drill and kill” approach to developing skills labeling students into fixed groups based on “catching up” gaps holding low expectations for students reducing the rigor of grade-level content
  • IS ARROW ACCELERATED ACADEMY A MONTESSORI SCHOOL?
    "Montessori meets Silicon Valley". Families that are familiar with the Montessori method will find similarities in the way we employ mixed-age classrooms, independent learning, and teachers working as guides in the personal quest for learning. However, in addition to the benefits of the Montessori method, we also use the latest interactive technologies, hands-on projects and the Socratic Method for discussions. ​
  • IS ARROW A RELIGIOUS SCHOOL?
    While we expose children to the importance of mindful spirituality and the historical role of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and other world religions to the development of Western Civilization, we do not promote any one religion. We believe that in order to be better citizens of the world our learners should have an understanding of multiple belief systems and worldviews. We celebrate the diverse range of belief systems of our enrolled families and enjoy incorporating traditions and educational opportunities into our days together. We are one of the only private secular (non-religious) schools in the western suburbs of Chicago.
  • WHAT TYPE OF LEARNER IS BEST-SUITED FOR THIS ENVIRONMENT?
    Your child will thrive at Arrow if they: are deeply curious about their world and willing to take the time to search for the answers to their questions can take an initial set of instructions or "call to action" and run with it are a problem solver (they can admit that they don't know something and figure out a solution when they hit a roadblock without immediately asking an adult for help) participate actively in discussions and enjoy friendly debate are willing to strive for mastery (they want to learn from their mistakes and try again) can handle having a great deal of freedom and choice in their daily routine enjoy being given important responsibilities are a gentle leader or desires to become one
  • IS ARROW ACCELERATED ACADEMY A SCHOOL FOR GIFTED AND/OR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN?
    Our program is not tailored exclusively to gifted learners, but gifted and exceptional students thrive in our environment. Our learning model offers a great deal of flexibility for pursuing individual areas of talent and passion. The self-paced, learner-driven nature of our approach is well suited for gifted learners.
  • DOES ARROW ACCELERATED ACADEMY SERVE CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?
    It is important to note that our Guides are not specifically trained to serve children with learning disabilities. However, Arrow can be a great fit for a wide variety of learners, though learners must: be able to work independently without teacher-led instruction or adult direction/redirection collaborate with peers on group projects verbally communicate and share information and opinions in small and large group settings We are happy to discuss whether or not our learning environment is a place where your learner can thrive.
  • WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY "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. (Watch an animated explanation of Joseph Campbell's theory of the Hero's Journey below.) Our mission is to guide your child to find their calling and support them on their journey. This means that your child may experience challenges and struggles as they grow and find their passions. We are seeking families that are comfortable with failure on the path to success. (This is also why we refer to the young people in our programs as "heroes" or "learners" instead of "students"!)
  • CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT MASTERY LEARNING?
    Mastery learning is ensuring that a learner has a complete understanding of a concept before they move on. An incomplete understanding early on can have devastating results later, especially in math. Using the latest adaptive learning tools for core skills, our learners progress at their own pace as they master each concept, moving quickly through topics they grasp easily and spending more time on those they find challenging. Children who comprehend a concept quickly can move on or deepen their understanding by helping those who are struggling.
  • IS ARROW ACADEMY ACCREDITED?
    Arrow Accelerated Academy operates as a not-for-profit school registered with and recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). ​ Arrow Accelerated Academy is accredited by the International Association of Learner Driven Schools (IALDS).
  • IF THERE ARE NO GRADES, TESTS, OR HOMEWORK, HOW WILL I KNOW MY CHILD IS LEARNING?
    Your child will demonstrate their learning by achieving badges that represent mastery in a particular academic area or social-emotional skill. (Think of this as you would think about scouting. You earn a badge once you can demonstrate experience, skills, and knowledge in a particular area.) Mastery learning is ensuring that a learner has a complete understanding of a concept before they move on. An incomplete understanding early on can have devastating results later, especially in math. Using the latest adaptive learning tools for core skills, our learners progress at their own pace as they master each concept, moving quickly through topics they grasp easily and spending more time on those they find challenging. Children who comprehend a concept quickly can move on or deepen their understanding by helping those who are struggling. Your child will also build a portfolio of their work. Your child's academic progress, portfolio, and goals will always be available for you to view and discuss with them. Each academic session at Arrow Accelerated Academy concludes with an opportunity to view an authentic application of your child's learning through a public showcase, or Exhibition, of their work. ​ Learners will have the option of participating in an annual administration of a standardized exam for the purpose of measuring the overall efficacy of our program.
  • SO, DO YOU HAVE A CURRICULUM?
    Yes, we have a sequence of planned experiences in which learners practice and achieve mastery in familiar content areas (reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies) and non-traditional areas as well (business and entrepreneurship, life skills, social-emotional learning). All of the badges our learners earn meet (and exceed) Illinois State learning standards for each grade level equivalent. Many of the programs we use are familiar (Lexia, Khan Academy, Handwriting Without Tears), but we also use innovative software and other programs to support our learners. Our project-based learning experiences in our Quests are interdisciplinary, incorporating multiple subject areas in our hands-on projects. Quest content is drawn from our Acton network and adapted to fit our learners interests and resources at a local level.
  • WHO ARE THE TEACHERS AT ARROW ACADEMY?
    We prefer to use the term "guide" instead of teacher. ​ Learners are supervised by adults who serve as a support resource for them, rather than as traditional teachers. Guides are responsible for leading students in Socratic-style discussions and facilitating the time set aside for individual student learning. Guides do not answer student questions directly or act as an expert on a topic; instead, they ask students questions to help them explore and understand topics deeply and encourage students to utilize problem-solving skills. ​ Interested in being employed as a guide at Arrow Accelerated Academy? Please contact us, as we would love to learn more about you!
  • WHAT ARE YOUR SCHOOL HOURS? WHAT ABOUT BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE?
    For the 2023-2024 school year, morning drop-off will begin at 8:00am. (Learners must arrive by 8:45am in preparation for our 9:00am Launch.) Learners who arrive early will have time for outdoor play, socialization, and flexible work and exploration time. Afternoon pick-up will begin at 3:15pm. Learners must be picked up by 4:00pm. During this time, learners will have additional time for outdoor play and socialization. For families who need care beyond Arrow school hours, we are located near a few facilities that offer extended care programs. Families will have to contact these programs for availability, pricing, and transportation information. The Naperville Yard Bright Horizons Kiddie Campus
  • WHICH VACCINATIONS ARE REQUIRED AT ARROW?
    Arrow Accelerated Academy requires the same vaccinations as a DCFS registered daycare or public school, and follows the same process for religious exemptions to vaccinations.
  • HOW MUCH IS TUITION?
    Arrow Accelerated Academy relies entirely on tuition to operate our program. We do not supplement tuition revenue with additional required fundraising or mandatory donations, as many other private schools do. Families have the option to pay in full or pay monthly over 10 months. New families will pay a Tuition Deposit (equivalent to one month's tuition), as well as an Enrollment and Registration fee, which will cover technology and the majority of project supplies. Continuing families will pay an annual Registration fee. Other small fees may come up for field trips, shirts, or extra materials that an individual learner requests for an independent project. Please note that Arrow Accelerated Academy's tuition may increase over time to help cover investments in the program and facilities, as well as ongoing annual increases in rent, salaries, and other expenses. ​ Please contact us for additional tuition policies and requirements. Family Discount: We offer a graduated discount for sibling enrollments. First child pays 100% of tuition, second child pays 80% of tuition, third child pays 70% of tuition, fourth child pays 60% of tuition. More than four children? Let's talk! ​​ Paid in Full Discount: Receive a 3% discount when you pay your tuition in full by the beginning of the school year.
  • DO YOU OFFER EXTRACURRICULARS OR "SPECIALS"?
    Yes! Our offerings change based on learner interest, but here is a look at what we have offered. PHYSICAL EDUCATION: We work with Kidokinetics to bring offer a once-a-week P.E. class. In addition to learning about keeping the body healthy through simple exercises and stretching, learners are introduced to a new sport or game each week. This class is included in tuition fees. MUSIC: We've partnered with Bach-to-Rock of Naperville for weekly music classes. Learners are placed in group by age and ability for either an introduction to basic music theory and instruments or ukulele. This class is optional and families pay an additional monthly fee. COOKING: We've partnered with Sticky Fingers Cooking School to offer a once-weekly cooking class for learners. This class accommodates allergies and dietary needs while taking young chefs on a culinary adventure! This class is optional and families pay an additional monthly fee. ART: We've partnered with Studio Nafisa to offer a weekly art class to our learners. A class is offered for younger learners, and another class is offered for older/more advanced artists. This class is optional and families pay an additional monthly fee. CODING & ROBOTICS: We've partnered with Techie Kids Club to offer weekly coding and robotics classes to our learners. A class is offered for our Spark learners, and another one for our Primary learners. This class is optional and families pay an additional monthly fee. INSIDE OUT CLUB: We've partnered with Inside Out Club of DuPage to offer monthly service-learning opportunities that include character education. This experience is included as part of tuition. We look forward to offering more opportunities in the future, based on learner interest. SPANISH: We've partnered with the Gartner Spanish School to offer immersion-based Spanish lessons once a week for all of our learners. YOGA: We've partnered with Kindness Kids Yoga to offer yoga and mindfulness to all of our learners biweekly.
  • WHAT DOES THE SCHOOL YEAR SCHEDULE AT ARROW ACCELERATED ACADEMY LOOK LIKE?
    Arrow follows a modified school calendar that allows for multiple academic sessions with short breaks in between each, and a longer break during the summer, with the option to continue learning during the summer through our summer camp programs. This flexible schedule also allows families the opportunity to travel during the school year and devote time to what is important to their individual family life.
  • WHAT ABOUT GRADUATION? TRANSCRIPTS? DIPLOMAS?
    A high school diploma earned at Arrow Accelerated Academy has the same validity as a diploma earned at any other public or private school in the state of Illinois. While our learners are working on mastery badges, we are able to provide graduates and transfers with a traditional and/or mastery transcript that includes a traditional GPA calculation. Our learners also build portfolio of work that can be used to enhance college and job applications.
  • HOW ABOUT SPORTS TEAMS AND OTHER "TRADITIONAL" SCHOOL EXPERIENCES?
    As a school recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education, we have the ability to participate in IESA and IHSA sports. While we do not presently offer school athletics, if a group of learners expressed interest and commitment, the school would facilitate the organization of a team. We offer family social events during the school year, as well as fun experiences for our learners such as field trips and "lock-ins". When it comes to other traditional school experiences such as school dances and class trips, our learners always the ability to create traditions and experiences to mark milestones and encourage group bonding. Many Acton learners attend proms offered throughout the country, and many choose to organize group trips.
  • DO YOU HAVE A BUS SERVICE FOR PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF?
    No, we do not have a bus service for our learners, as our families come from varying distances in Naperville and the surrounding suburbs. Families are responsible for transporting their children to and from Arrow Accelerated Academy.
  • WHAT IS YOUR POLICY ON BULLYING?
    Please see our bullying policy below.
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