Our Director Bob Bourgault sums up our family ethos so well, “Almond Acres Charter Academy is designed and dedicated to the true meaning of education. The word “educate” originates from the Latin word “educare“ which means to nurture and draw out the learner, not to fill him/her up.  

We help students become the very best version of themselves by inciting a passion and desire to learn. Project-based learning, service learning, and meaningful educational experiences within our community are the keys to unlocking outstanding learning and student success.”

teacher talking to student

Educare – to nurture and draw out the learner is the foundation of our AACA learning framework and our organic model. How else do we achieve this at Almond Acres Charter School? We asked a couple of AACA parents to share the ways we regularly nurture and collaborate together  — creating our family culture:

We work together as faculty and families to recognize all the ways our students are capable and smart. We spend the first three weeks of every school year focusing on self discovery and setting goals for the year–even in kindergarten!  Students work with their parents and teachers to identify strengths and struggles in all areas of their lives: heart, mind, body, and soul.  In a student-led parent-teacher conference following this self discovery period, the student shares what they’ve learned about themselves and challenges themselves to grow–or stretch–their skills.  For example, a student may choose to learn to play an instrument, participate in the school play, or improve their reading fluency by learning 100 sight words.

We focus on the cooperative, not the competitive. 

Our sports teams are open to all students.  We want every child to experience what it feels like to be part of a team.  We believe that the elementary years provide an excellent opportunity to explore different interests and develop skills.  We encourage students to focus on personal growth rather than comparing themselves to other students.  We all learn and develop at different paces, and peers, parents, and staff celebrate that personal growth among student athletes.

We maintain simple principles to help every kid understand who they are.  

These principles are inherent to teaching, parenting and learning. 

The recipe to growing great kids is simple.  First, we affirm.  The strengths and struggles of each student are unique to them.  We acknowledge and recognize this in each learner.  Secondly, we strengthen.  We guide students through the process of identifying opportunities for growth and set goals that are S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, assignable, relevant, and time-based).  Finally, we celebrate!  Student achievements are regularly commemorated during our daily Shared Start assembly.

We have a genuine desire to help.

We know that if students feel supported — as a whole person — they’ll flourish. For us, this includes heart, mind, body and soul. 

Annual Fund Raising – everyone seems to get together to make this happen. The committees that are formed are one part of it, but so many people help by donating items and advertising! It’s amazing to see the community family coming together to help provide money to keep our school thriving (to my knowledge most traditional public schools in our area don’t have to raise as much money as us just to operate).

We honor kids for how unique they are.

We honor kids for how unique they are — and we engage available, reliable adults to support them daily in their growth and courage. 

Daily Parent Involvement – I consistently come across parents that not only know the names of my kiddos, but they know their likes and dislikes and achievements and struggles. This to me validates the family culture of AACA…we all have each other’s backs. 

museum field trip

Our small charter school means faculty and families really know one another and intentionally partner in the developmental arc of each kid. We grow great kids! 

Our end of year camp-out (pre-COVID-19) always had a large turnout and the feeling (to me) is like a big family reunion with food, fun, and unity.

About AACA

Almond Acres Charter Academy is a public, tuition-free K-8 school that employs credentialed teachers and administers state-mandated testing to provide families in northern SLO County an additional choice in public education. The school is located in San Miguel and is open to all students in all communities. AACA’s mission is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul. We grow great kids!