FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS A MICROSCHOOL?
From the IACLC: "A Microschool is exactly what it sounds like: a very small school. Usually, Microschools begin because they have a curriculum or pedagogy that is different from traditional school. Because they are unique in that way, they start small and plan for expansion so that they can sustain growth over a long period of time.
...The Microschool concept is also becoming a popular option as families are seeking low-cost private schools to send their learners to. Microschools are primarily pedagogy-focused and can usually find facilities that fit their needs for a lower rate, meaning that tuition is often lower than the cheapest private schools available 20 years ago. Microschools are making better education more accessible to different demographics, which gives them an upper hand.
...Microschools are not necessarily a new concept, just a new term. Small schools with uncommon pedagogies have been around for decades, probably longer. A Microschool is just the term that we have come to use to categorize these schools."
IS ARROW ACADEMY A MONTESSORI SCHOOL?
We respect and incorporate Maria Montessori’s philosophy but, we are not a certified Montessori school. We like to think of ourselves as "Montessori-inspired" (especially for our younger learners). 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.
Read about why this method works here.
IS ARROW ACADEMY A RELIGIOUS SCHOOL?
While we expose children to the importance of mindful spirituality and the historical role of Christianity 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.
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 here.)
Our mission is to prepare your child for his or her special 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.
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. The environment at Arrow Academy allows for a great deal of student freedom and choice. Students will learn how to budget their time and prioritize the tasks they need to accomplish.
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.
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.
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 Academy concludes with an opportunity to view an authentic application of your child's learning through a public showcase 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. Read what Acton Academy's founders have to say about standardized testing here.
Read a perspective on the rationale for not assigning homework here.
Read an an article on testing and authentic assessments here.
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 Academy? Please contact us, as we would love to learn more about you!
IS ARROW ACADEMY A SCHOOL FOR GIFTED LEARNERS?
While our program is not tailored exclusively to gifted learners, gifted and exceptional students will 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 ACADEMY SERVE CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?
We are not trained to serve children with learning disabilities. We are happy to discuss whether or not our learning environment is a place where your learner can thrive.
WHAT DOES THE SCHOOL YEAR SCHEDULE AT ARROW ACADEMY LOOK LIKE?
Arrow Academy follows a modified school calendar that allows for multiple academic sessions with short breaks in between each, and a longer break during the summer. A shorter summer break allows students to maintain their subject interest and academic progress from the previous year. 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.
IS ARROW ACADEMY ACCREDITED?
Arrow Academy operates as a not-for-profit school registered with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
Arrow Academy is accredited by the International Association of Learner Driven Schools (IALDS).
HOW MUCH IS TUITION?
We understand that you are making a considerable financial investment in your child's education. We appreciate your commitment to a high quality education and are honored to have the opportunity to serve your family.
Arrow 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. Please note that Arrow Academy's tuition may increase over time to help cover early 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.
Pay the school year tuition in one payment for the best value.
*Annual tuition amount listed above does not include additional fees and programs.
Ten Monthly Payments
Tuition paid over 10 months.
*Annual tuition amount listed above does not include additional fees and programs.
DO YOU OFFER ANY TUITION DISCOUNTS OR INCENTIVES?
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.
Receive a $25 tuition credit when you refer another family to Arrow Academy. (Your name must be mentioned in the first email or call, or on the website's interest form. Maximum of $50 per month.)
Receive a $100 tuition credit when a family you refer to Arrow Academy is accepted and enrolls. (Your name must be mentioned in the first email or call, or on the website's interest form. Maximum of $300 per school year.)
WHICH VACCINATIONS ARE REQUIRED AT ARROW ACADEMY?
Arrow Academy requires the same vaccinations as a DCFS registered daycare or public school. That list can be viewed here.
WHAT IS YOUR COVID-19 PREVENTION PLAN?
Arrow Academy intends to follow guidelines from the CDC and recommendations from ISBE to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at our school. As of June 2021, some of our safety measures include:
Wearing masks while indoors
Encouraging social distancing
Daily symptom screening
Enhanced cleaning procedures
Our protocols will be revised as recommendations change. Please contact us for additional details.