Athenian at a Glance

Our Mission

The Athenian School prepares students for the rigorous expectations of college and for a life of purpose and personal fulfillment.

We offer a challenging academic program with a difference: intellectual inquiry is active, learning is interactive, the disciplines are interrelated, and analysis and creativity thrive simultaneously. The acquisition of knowledge becomes authentic and joyous.
We cultivate the personal qualities of each student to become an integrated human being with integrity, strong moral character, aesthetic sensitivity, and physical well being. The Athenian community requires students to face life directly through open communication, while developing their inner strength to exceed their perceived potential and emerge compassionate, responsible adults.
We instill an appreciation of the reciprocal relationship between the individual and cultures, society and the natural world. We value the power and beauty of multiculturalism within our diverse community. We embrace the principles of democratic governance, stewardship of the environment, respect for human dignity, and service as a way of life.
By providing an atmosphere of intellectual, artistic, and physical challenge within the warmth of a nurturing community, we develop in our students the confidence and skills required to meet the complexities of their future.

What We Offer

Athenian offers a beautiful and well-equipped 75-acre campus of oak-covered hills at the base of Mt. Diablo in Danville, just 32 miles east of San Francisco. The Athenian School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the California Association of Independent Schools. 

Athenian faculty are noted for expertise in their subjects, enthusiasm for teaching, dynamic classes, multiple roles on campus, and strong connection with students.
% hold MAs or Ph.D. degrees. Athenian faculty bring a wealth of real-life experience to the classroom. Athenian faculty are published authors, Peace Corps volunteers, lab scientist, marathon runners, conference presenters, wilderness first responders, business owners, and former college professors. 

The Admission Committee seeks students who bring a strong academic record, show readiness for Athenian’s rigorous curriculum, embrace our mission and programs, and contribute positively to our community of learners.
The Committee considers the whole student, including grades, writing, student statements, a parent questionnaire, teacher recommendations, and a student visit.

Athenian buses transport students to and from many East Bay communities (from Berkeley/Oakland to Pleasanton/ Livermore), meeting the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) at four stations. 

Distinctive Features

  • Middle School Focus Days energize learning with challenging and engaging projects and activities. 

  • The Athenian experience is international, with students enrolled from around the world and opportunities to spend time outside the United States through exchanges, community service projects, and conferences. 

  • Athenian practices democracy as students share their ideas and are involved in the decisions which affect them. 

  • Every student has an opportunity to learn design and engineering in our Carter Innovation Studio (engineering and design classes, robotics, programming, and more). 

  • The Athenian Wilderness Experience, required in grade 11, builds teamwork and confidence for college and life. 

Our Student Body

List of 3 items.

  • Boarding Students

       • Sixty Boarding Students from around the country and the world attend Athenian

       • International and domestic students join in a cross-cultural boarding experience.

       • Recent international students have represented more than 13 countries.

       • Recent domestic boarding students have attended from throughout the Bay Area, California and the United States (typically from the West).
  • Day Students

    535 Day Students come from throughout the East Bay to attend Athenian.
       • 50% from the local area (Alamo, Danville, Diablo and San Ramon)
       • 15% from Oakland, Berkeley, and Castro Valley
       • 10% from Walnut Creek and Concord
       • 13% from Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda
       • 11% from Pleasanton, Dublin, and Livermore
       • 1% from other Bay Area communities
       Note: A greater number of students attend the Upper School from the Oakland/Berkeley area.
  • Diversity

    The Athenian student body exhibits a rich variety of ethnic, cultural, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
       • 61% of the student body are students of color: African-American, Asian, Asian-American, Hispanic/Latino, Indian/Native American, Indian or Middle Eastern.

       • International students represent more than 20 different countries or special territories: China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Panama, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

       • The financial aid budget, over $3.5 million, supports socioeconomic diversity (26% receive aid).

List of 4 items.

  • 20

    Countries represented
    Over the last five years, more than ten percent of our students have come from outside the United States. They represent 20 different countries: Australia, Canada, China, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Hong Kong (China SAR), India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, South Korea, Simaliland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. 
  • 26%

    Financial Aid
    Athenian’s financial aid budget of $3.5 million supports socioeconomic diversity. Twenty-six percent of students receive financial aid. 
  • 535

    Students attend Athenian
    Athenian's student body is comprised of 171 Middle School students and 364 Upper School students. 304 Upper Schoolers are day students and 60 are boarders.
  • 61%

    Sixty-one percent of the student body identify themselves as other than white: 
    African, African-American, Asian, Asian-American, South Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Indian/Native American, Middle Eastern, or multiracial.