Acton Academy Venice Beach is built upon the principles and approach originating at the Acton Academy school in Austin, Texas. We’ve come west to dramatically change the approach to education for those on a Hero’s Journey.

At Acton Academy Venice Beach, your child will embark on their own Hero’s Journey and grow to become a curious, independent thinker who embraces lifelong learning. Our students “learn by doing” through a variety of project and holistic methods such as individualized curriculum, learning style analysis, and self and peer accountability. Every aspect of the Acton Academy Venice Beach experience is student driven, steered by lifelong learning guides and viewed as a constant journey of tackling new challenges. Through this experience, students learn the essentials of mathematics, reading, writing, history, geography and more, but within the context of the world in which we all live. They each discover their own gifts and cultivate the skills needed to survive and thrive in the real world.

Our mission: Each person who enters our doors will find a calling that will change the world.

Meet the staff of Acton Academy Venice Beach!

Dani Foltz-Smith (right) is Co-Founder, Head of School, and Launchpad Lead Guide at Acton Academy Venice Beach. After studying to be a guide at the original Acton Academy in Austin, TX, she embarked on a mission to bring Acton to the Los Angeles Community. Prior to Acton, Dani was an operations director with various organizations and companies throughout the Los Angeles area. She held leadership and analyst positions at respected companies such as IAC and Morningstar, Inc. After years in the internet industry, Dani has returned to her true passion–education policy and reform–and is thrilled to be a part of this movement.

Dani holds a BA in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She lives in Marina Del Rey, CA with her husband and two daughters.

Kaylan Agarwal (bottom) is the Lead Middle School Guide at Acton Academy Venice Beach. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, and a couple of years in Curitiba, Brazil, he was made eminently aware of systemic injustice and inequity from a young age. Through his undergrad studies, he dedicated himself to exploring how and why the world is organized as it is. At Acton, he works to reify all he’s learned in order to guide young learners to embrace their unique curiosity, liberate themselves from the constraints of standardized education, and pursue their wildest dreams.

Kaylan holds a BA from DePaul University with a double-major in African & Black Diaspora Studies and Sociology. He lives in a tiny apartment in Venice Beach as close to the water as possible.

Amy Williams (left) is the Lead Guide of the Elementary Studio at Acton Academy Venice Beach. With a passion for creativity and investing in youth in the community, she was led to work for a behavioral health agency, founding the art therapy program there. Her journey then led her to education, where she began teaching elementary and high school art in the inner city, through a program merging the arts in STEM education. Her introduction to Acton began as a guide in Phoenix, AZ then to lead guide in Venice Beach. Her passion for creativity pairs perfectly with Acton’s philosophy and approach to alternative education, embodying creative approaches to learning, curiosity, and the flourishing of community.

Amy holds a BA in Art from Arizona State University. She lives in Venice Beach, on the water, with her husband and daughter.

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students
Acton Academy Venice Beach admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.