Welcome

Child centered. Love based. Community led.

Child Centered

We meet every child where they’re at and adjust daily to meet the needs of each individual child.

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.” -Maria Montessori

Love Based

Our first priority is to ensure each child enters an environment of complete and absolute love each day. At Onward Learning, families are a part of a community where they can find support, love, honesty, appreciation, and respect.

“Our new schools will realize the importance of human connection and deep relationships, and they will be transformed into environments where the delight of friendship is nourished, appreciated, worked on and developed. -Phillip Moore

Community Led

Children, Staff, Parents, and the Founding Team make decisions collaboratively regarding functions of Onward. Community partnerships are pivotal in the success of our programs.

Our Vision

Onward Learning ensures a safe community of interactive learning with a love based and child centered approach.  Every child is seen as extraordinary and is supported in finding their own unique strengths and interests through embracing curiosity, creativity, connection, and independence.

 

Do you want to a different learning option for your children?

You’re Not Alone. We’re Here to Help!

A fresh approach is needed to support the future generations.

Our Programs

FIRST STEPS | Age 1 to Age 3 

Research has shown the first three years of a child’s life to be the most vital in healthy development.  Every aspect of this program has been meticulously crafted through the lens of what is best for the early development of children.

(Not currently accepting children, but please send us an email to be put on our waiting list)

 

LITTLE LEARNERS | Preschool & Kindergarten

During these years, we foster a learning environment in which children develop a love of learning. Teachers guide the learning process of hands-on learning and independent and collaborative play.

(Accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year)

TAKING FLIGHT | 1st to 5th Grade

At about 6.5  years old, a child begins exploring who they are as independent beings.  They look for beauty all around them and begin seeking relationships with others. We encourage and nurture healthy relationships, creating a sense of safety, belonging, and responsibility.

(Accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year)

THE AGE OF EXPLORATION | 6th to 8th Grade

During this stage of development, children yearn for independence and emotional and physical safety.  Self-directed learning is at the core of teaching, giving students the independence to learn skills at a much deeper level in all content areas while also teaching them to work in teams to achieve a common goal.

(Accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year)

COMING SOON!

Summer Camp 2024

June 10-28th, 2024!

What's the Difference?

MAINSTREAM EDUCATION vs. ONWARD LEARNING

Mainstream education is centered around national curriculum and standards.

Onward education is centered around the healthy development of the whole child.

“Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the nerve of education.”
-Rudolf Steiner

Our Staff

Experienced & Educated

All of our teachers are experienced, qualified, and certified.  They bring with them not only their experience and expertise, but a love for children and teaching.

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”
-Buckminster R. Fuller

Our Mission

Onward Learning provides an exceptional educational experience tailored to each child’s unique gifts, interests, and developmental needs.

Get Involved

Children, Staff, Parents, and the Founding Team make decisions collaboratively regarding functions of Onward. We aim to partner with various community members, organizations, and businesses.

 

WANT TO BE A PART OF ONWARD?

We would love volunteers and support in any way! Ask us how you might get involved.

Get the Latest News & Updates!

We are also gearing up to offer summer programs. Get the latest info on new programs, upcoming events, important information, parent updates and learning tips for home.

 

Enroll Your Child Today!

Start your learning journey with Onward. Send us message to get started. We look forward to going on an adventure in learning with you.

“My son has changed so much since starting at Onward just four weeks ago.  He doesn’t cry when I leave him, he is fully potty trained, he speaks more clear, and his moods are more positive than ever.”

First Steps Parent

“I have never seen my daughter come home from school this engaged or excited.  Thank you for creating such an incredible environment for her.”

Preschool Parent

“I love the emphasis this school places on the child’s imagination, curiosity, and creativity.”

Public School Preschool Teacher

“A school like this is so needed in our community!  I am so happy for our families to have this option.”

Community Elder

“The teachers at Onward have gone above and beyond to find what works for my daughter in her learning.  They have made learning engaging and fun, while also allowing her time to work through new concepts on her own. She has benefited greatly from this type of school environment!”

2nd Grade Parent

Join Our Learning Journey & Donate Today!

Our goal is to raise enough funding to make Onward Learning affordable for any family who would like to join our learning community.  Please visit our fundraising page to learn more about how you can help to make this possible!

 

Tuition for Any Family

Added Programs

Enriched Activities, Environment & Staff

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Onward Learning right for my family?

Will my child be ready for high school if they attend Onward Learning?

Onward Learning fosters an environment in which children learn to be confident, independent problem solvers with a love for learning.  We offer a full academic program to ensure students master the skills necessary to be successful in school wherever they are.

 

Is Onward Learning a Montessori School?

We are not a Montessori School, but we respect Maria Montessori’s philosophy.  At Onward Learning, we allow children to make creative choices in their learning and guide them in becoming responsible and independent.

Are Onward Learning teachers fully certified and qualified to teach?

All of our teachers are experienced, qualified, and certified.  They bring with them not only their experience and expertise, but a love for children and teaching.

How much is tuition at Onward Learning?

Our tuition is $300/month for our elementary school and $400/month for children under the age of 4.    

Our goal is to raise enough funding each year to make Onward Learning affordable for any family who would like to join our learning community.  Please visit our fundraising page to learn more about how you can help!

 

How old does my child need to be to attend Onward Learning?

We offer full-time learning programs for infants to eighth grade and summer programs for all children up to age 18.  Our goal is to expand our school to 12th grade by 2025.

How can I be sure my child is learning what they need to learn if there is no standardized testing?

Standardized testing leads to children being labeled as behind or gifted. We believe children should be seen and assessed as individuals without comparison with other children.  Assessment at Onward Learning is done through observation by the teacher and is used to determine proper timing of presentation of new information and experiences to provide an optimal learning experience.  Periodic meetings with parents are held throughout the year to discuss the student’s progress, needs, gifts, interests, and goals. 

What is your maximum child to adult ratio?
  • Birth to 3.5 (8:1)
  • Preschool & Kindergarten (10:1)
  • 1st Grade to 3rd Grade (12:1)
  • 4th Grade to 8th Grade (15:1)

Get In Touch!

Have Questions? Want to Get Involved? Need more Information?

We want to hear from you!

Call Us

(605) 515-3262

Mailing Address

PO Box 1037

Martin, SD 57551

Located in Martin, South Dakota near the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Onward Learning is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination to ensure equal opportunity to all students, staff, the general public, and individuals with whom it does business without discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion or creed, gender, physical or mental disability, or otherwise as may be prohibited by federal and state law. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.