Academic Experience

Immerse Yourself in Our Curriculum

The middle and high school years are ones in which students are forming their authentic selves. At Athenian, you will see life as an intellectual adventure and proudly shine under the academic spotlight. Athenians are explorers; you will discover uncharted territory in and out of the classroom, seeking out new approaches and perspectives. Starting 6th grade with a class of all new students, you will get to take PE, art, and language classes every day on our beautiful campus. Friday Focus Days offer interdisciplinary experiences while opportunities to take math and language classes based on readiness rather than grade level ensure every student is challenged academically.


You will explore a diverse range of literature while discovering your voice in English classes that are designed to complement the Social Studies curriculum. As you learn about emerging civilizations, for example, you will explore identity in your English class. In addition to exploring literature, you will begin to unpack the writing process, learning to draft and revise so you can clearly and concisely communicate your ideas. You will practice English grammar, writing conventions, spelling, vocabulary, and editing. The English curriculum incorporates personal growth as well. You will learn basic study skills such as binder organization, note taking strategies, and daily planner use.

Social Studies

By studying groups and peoples from around the world, you will come to understand societies through the framework of culture, economy, and politics. You will journey through a series of historical and geographic regions, starting far away and long ago and moving closer in time and space—the Pacific Rim in 6th grade, Western Civilization in 7th grade, and American Studies in 8th grade. You will learn how and why civilizations change over time. By integrating social studies with English and art, you will understand the interrelatedness of our world in a way that sticks with you throughout your life.


Math is the doorway to logical reasoning and the science of structure. Your math classes in the Middle School are designed for you to build and demonstrate mastery, develop your critical thinking skills, and develop confidence. You will apply the skills learned in textbooks to real-life situations. For example, will learn how to price and sell goods in order to make a profit. Middle School math classes include Math 6, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Geometry. Some students have the opportunity to take advanced math classes in the Upper School.


You will master the scientific process by asking questions, gathering information, making hypotheses, conducting experiments, observing, recording, and sharing your results. As you explore astronomy, earth sciences, life science, and physical science, you will apply your knowledge by creating real biomes in groups, researching and writing a comprehensive pollution paper, and competing in Newtonian Olympics.

World Languages

Learning multiple languages is an essential way to develop a global understanding of cultures and people, increase your perceptiveness, improve your decision-making abilities, and strengthen your mastery of English. In your study of Spanish, French, or Mandarin, you will practice the "five standards" of language study—oral comprehension, speaking, reading, writing, and cultural awareness. In addition to role-playing, storytelling, music, games, written exercises and reading, you will explore cultural, religious, and ethnic traditions to expand your understanding of the world. Most students develop sufficient mastery to place into the 2nd year of language classes in the Upper School.


You will be exposed to visual arts and music at Athenian. Our fine arts department instills confidence and conviction and enables students to take risks, make mistakes, and try again. Our emphasis in the Middle School is to enable you and your classmates to feel confident and successful in your creative efforts. Often supporting English, social studies, and math classes, we invite your imagination to take over in your art projects.

Physical Education

In P.E., you'll learn about and play different group sports from around the world while practicing teamwork and good sportsmanship. You'll learn about nutrition and anatomy as you increase your strength and endurance. We hope you will discover fitness as a source of well-being and enjoyment for you throughout your life. 

In P.E., you will play soccer, basketball, softball/baseball, badminton, team handball, Australian rules football, kickball, frisbee, water polo, lacrosse, flag football, and volleyball. You will also swim, dance, and do yoga and circuit and cardiovascular training. 


In addition to your required courses, you have the opportunity each year to take up to three different electives of your choice. Between sports, arts, music, games, study halls, and community service, there's something for everyone. 

Computational Thinking, Life Skills, and Round Square

Students participate in a rotation of mini-classes over the course of middle school that generally falls into three categories: computational thinking (including robotics and computer programming), life skills and human wellness, and the round square pillars (including leadership, democracy, community service and equity and inclusion).

All sixth-grade students will participate in study skills classes during the first trimester and Lego robotics, life skills, equity and inclusion discussions, and leadership during the second two trimesters. These classes are designed specifically to support them as they transition from elementary to middle school.
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