Middle and High School: Academy of Thought and Industry

The Academy of Thought and Industry is Guidepost for the adolescent: a Montessori-inspired middle and high school network delivering a powerful education for independence, to develop curious, self-motivated adolescents who thrive in school and in life.

Continuing Montessori education through adolescence

ATI combines the best of a vibrant, liberal arts education with creativity, independence, and personalization. Programs include full-time campus and virtual options, as well as part-time and summer courses.

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Reimagining adolescent education

Adolescence is a critical period of development. Students are constantly growing in higher-order thinking skills, peer relationships, personal responsibility, and more. They're searching for their place in the world and beginning to form the values that will shape their lives.

Recent studies have shown that enthusiasm for school drops dramatically between grades five twelve, with nearly 75% of students reporting negative feelings towards school.

Students today are more tired, stressed, and bored with school than ever before. They need an educational option that is appropriate for their developmental stage, and tailored to their individual needs.

We believe there's a better way.

Middle and high school the way it should be

At ATI, students are given both freedom and support to help them excel beyond their own expectations. We don’t offer just one path for academic excellence. We strive to create a total school experience that will unlock each student’s unique potential—to prepare them for the world, and to help them access that world today.

ATI is not a traditional school

Traditional schools may support rigorous study, but without considering the unique needs of a growing, changing student. Knowledge is abstracted from the real world, and students learn how to succeed in the educational system—not in life.

ATI is not a progressive school

Progressive schools often allow you free rein to choose your own pursuits, moving from project to project, but without that deep attention to knowledge that would fully unlock your mind’s potential.

ATI is the third option

ATI's program is unique: a deliberately planned and charted curriculum of foundational skills that open a greater and greater number of possible paths. Our students don’t just memorize—they understand, apply, and integrate knowledge to pursue their own passions.

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Curriculum rooted in thought and industry

Montessori emphasized that teens should do real work: not just in school, but fully in the world. At ATI, we remove the artificial barrier between the vocational and the avocational; what's required for class and what's chosen for life. Our students integrate their passions with their studies, unlocking their potential to:

  • Do real work in the world
  • Serve as a productive member of a community
  • Realize the natural desire for independence

Coaching

Every student is paired with a 1:1 coach as they proceed through middle and high school. The coaching curriculum has been built by educational experts and psychologists, to support the process of self-creation that is so fundamental to adolescence. The coaching process emphasizes:

  • Self-worth
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-creation

Community

In a small school community, students learn and practice self-governance, interdependence, and conflict resolution, gaining a sense of ownership and pride for the community around them. And each school is a part of the larger network, with access to expert guides and a larger peer community.

  • The benefits of a small school
  • The resources of a global network

Why ATI?

Student Stories

The pursuit of knowledge

We pursue knowledge not as an academic exercise, but to improve our judgment and actions in the world.

The power of agency

We believe that human beings, using their reason, judgment and passion, are capable of leading self-directed lives of profound meaning and worth. We seek to always acknowledge and respect our own power to act, and to develop and exercise our capacity to act with purpose, integrity and conviction in pursuit of our aspirations.

The love of work

Purposeful work is central to a life well lived. In choosing our work, we direct our energies intentionally toward our goals, bring structure and focus to our lives, and reshape our worlds. Through cultivating our capacity for work, as well as our appreciation of the rewards of work well done, we develop a character capable of genuine effort and great achievement

The joy of community

We recognize the value of deep, honest relationships, and we offer others an authentic self that makes such relationships possible. We enliven and enrich each other through our choice to share norms, practices and expectations. In doing so, we experience the joy of belonging and develop a deep and abiding sense of love and responsibility for the communities we embrace.

The courage to live wholehearted

To fully engage with the world requires a tremendous amount of vulnerability and moral courage. In order to become our best selves, we bravely face our insecurities and have the courage to care deeply about our values. We embrace the everlasting process of personal growth that is the hallmark of being human, and that allows us to live wholeheartedly.

It's a small community with the largest heart I've ever seen from a school

Derek H.

Parent, ATI Austin

I love coming to school to work and see my friends. I spend some days a week at home, and the other days here at Museum Mile. I feel lucky to have my coach, who helps motivate me when I can't decide what to focus on.

Morgan R.

Student, ATI Museum Mile

I used to dread school. Now I wake up every morning looking forward to seeing my friends and doing meaningful work.

Luke T.

ATI Student, San Francisco

The freedom I get here is on a whole other level. I never expected to the get the kind of encouragement that I do from my teachers. I feel like I can do anything.

Danica M

Student, ATI Hollywood Beach

I love working on my projects and setting goals with my coach. I thought I would struggle with my work load, but there's always someone to talk to when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

Anne W.

Student, ATI Aldie

I didn't know school could be so invigorating. I get to work on what interests me and work closely with my guide

Charlotte M.

Student, ATI Fort Mason.

Experience school on your own terms

Join a school community designed to support your education with coaching, small classes, and a commitment to our core values. Engage in deep study and personal exploration as a student at ATI.

Giving children the keys to life

Guidepost Montessori enables children to understand the world and choose their place within it.

With over 80 campuses across the US and Asia, and at-home and virtual learning programs serving more than 7,000 families worldwide, Guidepost is the world’s largest Montessori network.

Learn more about our:

Do you want to learn more about Montessori? Visit The Prepared Montessorian for flexible online courses, from beginner to expert level.

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