If you’re interested in our programs, we’ve got a unique contact page that lets you connect with us in a more personalized way. Along with a standard email option, you can choose to connect with a teacher, a current parent, read student testimonials. We believe this gives you a chance to hear directly from those involved in our program and get a more tailored experience.
Considering enrollment but have questions best answered by an educator? Let us connect you
Considering enrollment but have questions best answered by a family active in our ACE community? Let us connect you
Considering enrollment but want to hear directly from our students? Let us connect you
Who do you serve?
Our programs serve children from ages 3 to 14, including pre-Kindergarten, elementary, and middle school-aged students.
It is our belief that we are all better citizens and human beings when working, dialoguing, and learning with adults, youth, and children who have different perspectives. We intentionally welcome families and staff with differing ethnicities, family structures, gender identities, races, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
What are your program hours?
Our programs run from 7:30am-6:00pm, year-round Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays and school breaks.
What is the teacher-to-student ratio?
ACE Academy prides itself on our classroom learning environments that are physically and emotionally safe, inclusive, and collaborative where individuality is honored. Our school strives to help each child attain their full potential in mental, physical, and social/emotional development, recognizing that each child has unique gifts and challenges. Our classrooms include mixed-age groupings to allow flexibility in the academic and social development of children. Our student to teacher ratios are deliberately kept low (1:10) to allow for personal relationships between teachers and each student.
Is your program accredited?
We are currently in the midst of the lengthy state accreditation process for our school program, ACE Academy. Initially, we chose not to seek state accreditation because we did not want to be limited by antiquated rules, arbitrary time requirements set forth by the state and inaccurate state academic standards. However, through our experience, we have found ways to integrate these regulations while maintaining the integrity of our program. We have now decided to seek accreditation to give more families the opportunity to choose alternative education. While we are currently in the process of seeking accreditation, we are proud to be a licensed childcare program through the State of South Dakota. We adhere to all state regulations and maintain high standards for our programs and staff to ensure the safety and well-being of our students.
Does the ACE Collective have a religious affiliation?
All ACE Collective programming is secular. Many religions are represented among our community, and we consider ourselves to be a welcoming place for all religious backgrounds. ACE Collective programs are held within Our Savious Lutheran Church, however our programming remains secular.
Do you accept students with disabilities?
Like all school communities, The ACE Collective serves children whose physical, behavioral, or learning attributes differ from the typical in a way that affects their ability to benefit from the standard school setting. Exceptional learners include children with or without a formal diagnosis of a learning, behavioral, or physical disability or impairment, as well as any child whose developmental or learning needs at a given time require a modified approach in the classroom.
At The ACE Collective we are fortunate to have a curriculum that is intellectually rigorous, complete, comprehensive, yet flexible and fluid. In addition, we have small class sizes that allow for greater attention to individual needs. A fluid curriculum and small class size support our commitment to progressive education, which includes critical thinking, reflection, discourse, and small group work. We are also able to tailor our work with children to help meet individual needs, be they academic, social, and/or emotional.
The ACE Collective also employs a social worker and contracts a learning specialist who is available to work with students who may need learning, socio-emotional, or behavioral support. Time with our learning specialist is paid for by families.
While we are able to adjust teaching strategies and attend to the unique social and emotional needs of students, our special education resources at The ACE Collective are limited. Our teachers, administrators, social worker, and learning specialist work to assure that the school provides a thoughtful plan for each child’s learning needs.
Do you limit enrollment by certain demographics?
ACE Collective philosophy emphasizes an atmosphere of respect, civility and courtesy, and a deep regard for the dignity of all individuals. It is the policy of all ACE Collective programs to provide equal opportunity in all programs, activities and employment. We do not permit or practice discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, age, sex or disability.
It is the policy of all ACE Collective programs to comply with state and federal laws which prohibit discrimination and protect the civil rights of students, families, applicants, employees and/or other affiliated with the ACE Collective.
Programs within the ACE Collective may appear to have a more diverse student body because we have intentionally become known as a safe school for ALL students.
We believe that we are all better citizens and human beings when working, dialoguing, and learning with adults, youth, and children who have different perspectives.
We intentionally welcome families and staff with differing ethnicities, family structures, gender identities, races, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
We hold school culture, policy, curriculum, and pedagogy decisions up to a lens of justice and equity for those who have been systematically oppressed.
How can I enroll my child?
Choosing a school for your child can be a complex process. We want to answer your questions about our program and enrollment process. Our admissions process is simple:
First: Please take time to look through our website and social media pages. Then, let’s have a phone conversation about whether ACE Collective programs are a good match for your family. Our aim is to make placements that are a good match for the child, the family, and the program. After this, we can schedule a short tour of the facility.
Second: Tour with your child and meet our staff.
Third: Have a conversation with our Head of School and Programming, Chloe Clements. We find this conversation helpful in answering remaining questions parents have as well as understanding the needs and goals for your child before enrollment decisions are made.
Do you offer financial aid?
The Short: Kind of.
When we launched ACE Academy, we promised to do school different and change the practices and structures of schooling that harm children and society. However, we knew that simply removing testing, homework, standardized curriculum, grades, age groupings, and other hierarchical practices would be insufficient alone. We must also be fully committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Diversity of experiences open up opportunities in learning and understanding that cannot be provided through lectures or textbooks. Diversity of thought is a catalyst for creativity and innovation. Exposure to diversity amplifies empathy and inspires people to take action. But diversity is difficult to incorporate into alternative, private, or progressive schools, like ACE Academy that rely on tuition paying students to fund their operations. However, diversity and equity are core values at ACE Academy, so we have chosen to commit to socioeconomic diversity in the following ways:
1. We have scaled back enrollment goals in order to reduce operating expenses and accept more students at various income levels.
2. We have leveraged community donations to go towards offsetting the cost of attendance for families that are unable to pay the full price of tuition.
3. We have simplified the tuition process and eliminated negative connotations associated with discounted tuition. Families who wish to apply for finacial aid will receive a custom tuition amount based on their family’s ability to pay.
4. We have taken account into the actual cost of living and expanded traditional income limits to include “gap” families (families too wealthy for assistance, but not able to independently afford tuition). We want to ensure that all families who would benefit from ACE Academy’s learning environment are encouraged to apply.
We want our tuition policy to be inclusive of all families across the socioeconomic spectrum, promote the belief that every child can lead a remarkable life, and eliminate social hierarchy among families based on their cost of attendance.
Our sliding scale tuition policy eliminates the categories of “scholarships” and “financial aid,” and replaces it with an income and resources-based method of determining tuition for inquiring families. While affluent families will still be expected to pay the maximum tuition, families with fewer financial resources will pay a smaller, but equitable, percentage of their income.
ACE Academy seeks to provide an environment for learning and growth, whereby students are introduced to, welcome, embrace, and celebrate differences. Diversity is essential to that end and our new sliding scale tuition policy demonstrates our commitment to cultivating such a space.
Do you have to attend the school to attend after school and/or summer programming?
No, you do not have to attend our schooling program to attend either our after-school or summer school programs. Our after-school and summer school programs are open to all school-aged children in the community, regardless of whether they attend our regular schooling program.