Our Vision of Education

Students need to explore their place in society and nature. We envision a secular education in which students are engaged in authentic project based work having meaningful impacts on their community and themselves. Their day should exist in a variety of physical spaces that allow for balance in fulfilling their social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs. They should be exploring and engaging in the work of local farms, school gardens, woodlands, prairies, streams, public spaces, local businesses, university labs, museums, etc. to mold their place in society and the natural world. In order to make these types of experiences meaningful, groups sizes should be kept smaller.

Students should take an active role in the day-to-day operations of their school including management of the school campus, food preparation, museum curation, travel arrangement, scheduling, and any other decision making they can partake in. Student and staff relationships are real and long-lasting.

The Community Academy Summer Experience 2018


Registration is closed for our Summer Experience 2018. Please check back in August for a listing of our 2018-2019 programming.

During the summer of 2018, we have 2 weeks of educational experiences for students entering preschool through 12th grade that mimics the type of education happening in innovative schools around the country. Each week will be composed of experiences that are connected thematically:

  • Week 1: Our land - July 9th - 13th
  • Week 2: Our water - July 16th - 20th

Students are welcome to join in both weeks but are not required in order to enjoy the experience.

Student experiences will include:

    • a multidisciplinary exploration of nature and our community
    • project-based learning
    • daily mindfulness education
    • overnight camping
    • the creation of art

The Summer Experience starts at 8:30 AM and ends at 3:30 PM each day. Tuition is determined on a sliding scale based on family income . As a new organization, the actual costs are higher, but we are subsidizing each week with individual and business donations. Weekly tuition can be determined with the following table:


If you or someone you know would like to stay informed about what were are doing, please click here to sign up


Thank you for supporting us on this meaningful journey to explore and implement the future of education in Iowa, we'll continue to take steps to push the boundaries of educational innovation in Iowa.

Please spread the word about this opportunity to people who might be interested in supporting our work or have children who might be interested in a unique experience.

Don't hesitate to contact us with ideas and questions at TheCommunityAcademyAmes@gmail.com

In order to make this unique experience a reality for our community this summer, we are in the process of raising funds.

Here is a glimpse into some of the needs we’ll have this summer that will require funding:

  • Hiring a professional staff that are uniquely qualified to create and implement an interdisciplinary, nature-based, and project-based curriculum.
  • Art Supplies and Consumables
  • Durable Outdoor Equipment
  • Safety Supplies and Equipment
  • Transportation rentals (15 passenger vans)
  • Food
  • General Operating Expenses (Insurance, accounting, facility lease, marketing, etc.)

If you are able to help support our work, here are a couple ways you can support a different model of education in our community:

  • Send The Community Academy a check:
    • Make checks out to: The Community Academy
    • Please make sure to include your address so we can send you an acknowledgement for tax purposes.
    • Email us to get our mailing address at: TheCommunityAcademyAmes@gmail.com
  • Click on this link to donate money directly to The Community Academy using a credit card or PayPal account (please include your address, so we can send you an acknowledgement for tax purposes):
  • Use Venmo to directly transfer money to The Community Academy
    • Our Venmo account is: @TheCommunityAcademy

Thank you for supporting us on this meaningful journey to explore and implement the future of education in Iowa.


Mike Todd, Collin Reichert, Melissa May-Maxey, Ania Chamberlin, and Andi Todd.