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ATI testimonials: A parent's perspective

Education affects not only the student himself, but everyone in his family and community. If the student is thriving, the family feels that, too. At the Academy of Thought and Industry, we are incredibly grateful for the support and investment we receive from our parent community. How has ATI made a difference in your family's life? 

'ATI teaches to my son's strengths'

“We feel lucky to have discovered ATI. We toured many San Francisco high schools in search of a good fit for our son, who is creative, social, and passionate when it comes to filmmaking and art. However, he needed a different approach to academics. At ATI, he gets the customized and personalized support needed to build his confidence and navigate his dyslexia, enabling him to explore a variety of courses and ideas that might otherwise have been unavailable to him in a traditional classroom setting. 

"Best of all, our son has been able to pursue his passion for filmmaking as part of his educational path, and ATI teaches to his strengths. ATI has been a wonderful community, too. It's a small school and all the students seem to support one another and get along. We are happy with his experience so far, and the bonus is, he enjoys going to school every day!” 

E.N., San Francisco, California 

'We have never looked back'

“I love this school. I was a steadfast believer in public schools, until my daughter reached middle school. She spiraled through her three years at middle school, not being heard or listened to and was pushed aside for numerous reasons. By the time she got to eighth grade, I had watched my daughter go from a bright student who loved school and learning to a student who thought she lacked all intellectual capabilities and hated going to school. I was at my wits end.  

“I started looking for charter schools and private schools who embraced a growth mindset and were not pushy in their academics. She needed someone to work with her and respect her boundaries. It took quite some time to find a place that met those requirements -- and most who did only wanted perfect students who had no issues, which did not fit our family (we are quite the anxious bunch).    

Then one day, I found ATI, and we have never looked back. The guides are some of the most compassionate educators I have ever met. We were lucky enough to tour the school with Michael Strong, and I was in love not only with the school, but with him the moment he told me he felt artists were important pieces of society and he wanted to teach artists how to make money. BOOM! He had me - all I had ever heard as an aspiring artist was to find a fallback career. The guides have helped my daughter to believe in herself and her capabilities again. She has rediscovered her intellectual spark and her creative passions.  

“Rather than being left in the dark as parent, we keep in close contact with her guides and her coach. I feel more supported as a parent than I have ever felt throughout my daughter's career as a student. I know I can only be a guiding light in my daughter's life, and it is comforting to find a school that is willing to help shed some extra light for our entire family. I had the extra benefit to sit in a few classes and help when they needed it, and I was amazed with the students. They had more accountability and responsibility than most of my co-workers. They are respectful, kind, helpful, and very funny! It is a small community with the largest heart I have ever seen from a school. I can't recommend them enough to everyone.  It is an amazing environment that makes me wish I could be in high school again (and I hated high school!)” 

Rhonda, Texas  

'Brilliant, open-minded people'

“The Academy of Thought and Industry is like a Trade School for CEOs. Really it is much more than that because the school inspires students with a clear trajectory toward how to create a magnificent life at the intersection of their passions and skills. I found ATI during a deep search for the right environment for my two very different gifted children who bring unique talents to the world, who were lost in public school's common core.

“The Academy of Thought and Industry personalizes the programs and approach for each individual student and provides a personal coach who is in close contact with the students and parents for academic guidance and socio-emotional support through a vitally developmental time in children's lives to ensure success all along the continuum of learning...not just at semester end. The school is filled with brilliant, open-minded people with no boundaries of learning opportunities for the students.

“Coaching students with a big-picture view of the world and encouraging them to contribute to it is a gift to our future. The students are grounded in math, science, Socratic social studies, and the arts. They customize students' educations to reach their individual goals. If a student desires an invitation to an Ivy League school, their education is chiseled in that direction.

“We visited the Academy of Thought and Industry in Austin, Texas, before enrolling in the San Francisco, California, location. The students are well-adjusted, self-motivated, proud of their diverse and impressive accomplishments and confident they were working toward their personal desires to contribute to society in a positive way. Architects, Engineers, Photographers, Investment Brokers, Choreographers, Mathematicians, You-Tubers, Producers, Designers, Inventors, Artists, were all sharing their skills and ideas with their friends at school, sharing partnerships and collaborations capitalizing on each other's skill sets.” 

Michelle H., Palo Alto, California

'Students feel safe to explore'

“Three and a half years ago, our family moved across the country to be part of the unique educational experience that has now evolved into the Academy of Thought and Industry.  Jeffrey Wood, Eva Claire Albion-Wright, and Michael Strong are guiding this school with their exceptional intellects and talents, kindness, and integrity. They are dedicated to seeing the beauty and potential in every student and creating a learning environment where each student feels safe to explore. My son has evolved and matured into an incredible young person as a result of his experience here. ATI has created a solid foundation for him during the challenging years of adolescence and we are excited to see where the road takes him next.” 

Kim S., Dover, New Jersey

'An intimate community'

“ATI is a precious jewel in the San Francisco independent high school scene. My son is getting in-depth academics, the choice he craves in how to spend his intellectual time, college prep testing/training, an intimate community of peers that values kids who walk off the beaten track, incredible mentoring from committed teachers, and the time to pursue his non-school interests. He has just the right amount of homework, allowing him to connect to activities in the whole city and to develop not just as a student but as a well-rounded citizen. The school expects a kind of independence from students that is both age appropriate and liberating."

Jo, San Francisco

'Student-led discussions'

“I am a teacher at Academy of Thought and industry. The first thing I noticed when I visited the school for training was the Socratic dialogue and improv demos the students performed for new teachers. Students were given a Charles Darwin post they had never read before, read it aloud together and discussed it intelligently using the Socratic method. With this method, students only discussed the author's point of view while keeping out the personal stories that tend to come into discussions. No teacher facilitated. It was completely student led. Afterward, they demonstrated a student led improv that was better than most intro adult improv classes I had seen. I was also attracted to the philosophy of guides instead of teachers. This means that I am helping students achieve their self-selected goals instead of prescribing everything to them. I have watched the community circles go from being guide led to being completely facilitated by students. This is a place that students can take charge of their education and really play a big role in their school.” 

Chris, Texas

'Dream come true'

“I am a Humanities Guide at ATI, and I could not imagine a more incredible place to teach. Every day I get to spend with my wonderful students and colleagues is one for which I feel deep gratitude. All educational models and schools are not created equal. However, no matter whether your child is getting what they need or missing out during an essential time in their development, the lessons they are learning in High School are critical for their academic, personal, and future success. ATI is a consciously created community of learning that provides personalized coaching and other resources to help students gain autonomy and strive toward excellence in all they do. Being part of a community that helps students grow and learn in this way is a dream come true.” 

Ann, Texas

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