Hi there! This is us :o)
Our journey began almost 3 years ago.
Ever since our daughter started going to a Montessori kindergarten, we have been discussing schooling options.
For the longest time, we were convinced that she would be totally fine going to a traditional school. After all, we are products of such schools and are doing completely fine. Right?
However, when we recently visited our schools again for their 150th-anniversary celebrations (can you imagine? 150 years!), we were transported back 25 years when we were students there. Nothing had changed.
We soon realised that even though we turned out totally fine, the traditional schooling system is stuck in time, and with the rapid pace of change happening today, traditional schools are in no way geared to prepare our children for the future that awaits them in 10 years.
And so began our deep dive into the world of education. I had spent some time building K-5 educational products at an Ed-Tech start-up, so that helped a bit in the beginning.
We almost decided to home-school our daughter, but soon realised that the peer-to-peer learning that happened at her mixed-age Montessori would be very hard to replicate in a home-schooling environment.
We started putting together a wish-list for a dream school. A school where learning would continue at home. Parents would not need to lie and give excuses to the principal so their children could take a few days off. Where children experienced the joy of learning, rather than the dread of mugging up. Where they walked to school instead of commuting for hours in one direction.
Unfortunately for us, most of the schools in Pune checked very few boxes. The ones that checked a little more were prohibitively expensive.
While doing our research and talking about our dream school to anyone who would care to listen, a friend who built curriculum for an international school in Ahmadabad pointed us to a school called the Acton Academy in Austin, Texas.
We looked them up and you can imagine our surprise when they ticked 99% of the boxes on our dream school list. The fact that they were running this extremely successful school for 10+ years made us feel vindicated.
We strongly believe that such an institution needs to exist today, especially in a country like India. And if no one else was building one in Pune, it would have to be us.
We applied immediately to join their network. After a few months of preparing and doing a few interviews, we were finally invited in.
Jeff & Laura, who started Acton for their children, have been extremely kind and generous in sharing their blueprint and systems with us. Over 160 Acton Academies exist today all over the world and are thriving.
We visited the main Acton Academy Austin campus in May 2019 to see the magic for ourselves. We aim to recreate this in Pune. Children as young as 5 years – independent and in-charge of their learning – were a joy to watch. We couldn’t wait to get back and create a similar environment for our children.
So here we are. We are 9 months away today. We are getting the systems in place, looking for an exceptional guide to join us. And we are also currently narrowing down on promising locations to kick-start our school.
Here’s to Flourish!
Here’s to enabling our children to discover the joy of learning and become kind and empathetic human beings for whom nothing is impossible.
We start in June 2020!