Sumner Academy doesn’t seek to create students who can simply memorize a lot of steps or follow a lot of directions.

Instead, we hope to cultivate critically-thinking, confident problem-solvers who can make life better for themselves and others.

When students leave Sumner Academy, we hope they have a rich reserve of memories in which they overcame challenge, stretched their boundaries, and critically evaluated their own work -- even if that meant going “back to the drawing board” again and again. Students who haven’t merely been taught what to think, but how to think.

In order to achieve this, we are introducing a new, non-linear way of solving problems called I.D.E.A., which is modeled after Design Thinking. Rather than focusing on just a few subjects (like in STEM schools), this method of thinking can be applied to any field of study.

We seek to equip students with the kinds of skills 21st century workers need. Not those just good at memorizing. Not just good at math or science. But rather, independent, resilient, and creative individuals who can apply those traits to any pursuit.


While I.D.E.A. can be implemented in all fields of study and classrooms, Sumner Academy has constructed a dedicated space for this practice. We’re calling it the I.D.E.A. Hub. This space is a way for students to have quick and ready access to tools and resources for putting their ideas into practice: from a 3D Printer, to cardboard, fabric, wood, and so much more.

Educating independent thinkers since 1973.


We believe in teaching a love of learning.


We believe in teaching with patience.


We believe in valuing the differences each student brings.


We believe in collaborating with parents.


We believe in creating and promoting a safe environment.


We believe in fostering social and personal responsibility.

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