Springfield’s new private school an updated ‘one-room schoolhouse’

Describing the concept as an updated take on the “one-room schoolhouse,” a couple will soon open a new private school in Springfield.

Steve and Katy Kelly, co-founders of Capstone: An Acton Academy, hope to finalize a lease on a commercial space this month.

This fall, the school will welcome children ages 7-9. The goal is to start small and grow in the coming years.

“We are passionate about giving this option, not only for the community, but for our own kids,” Steve Kelly said.

The couple described the academy as a learner-driven private school that blends hands-on learning, self-paced discovery, technology and the Socratic method.

The mixed-age classrooms, referred to as studies, will allow students of different grades to learn together through peer-to-peer collaboration.

According to the couple, there are no teachers, only guides, and the goal is for students to master what they are learning.

“We hope it will resonate with some families as they start to learn more about it and people start doing some of their own research,” he said.

The academy will be highly focused on entrepreneurship.

“The mission is that each person who enters our doors will find a calling that will change the world,” he said. “If we can expose young people to entrepreneurship and give them tools to help establish their financial literacy at the earliest ages — and the repetition of seeing that over and over again — it will be pretty incredible what they can learn.”

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