Welcome to ATI San Francisco

I'm thrilled to welcome you to ATI San Francisco. 

We're a unique school in this remarkable city. We combine the best of a rigorous, intellectually demanding liberal arts education with the best of a progressive orientation to cultivating student independence, agency and responsibility. We help each student become a great thinker and a great doer in a way that corresponds to their gifts, interests and passions.  

Our learning community is intentionally small so we're able to deeply know each student, help them thrive emotionally and socially, and support their individual path to excellence. We're proud of our orientation to a set of values that guide us as a community, and I'd love to discuss how ATI might align with your vision of an extraordinary high school education.

I'm honored to lead this school and to partner with our exceptional educators and our remarkable students and families to co-create a challenging, supportive, deeply caring, and inspiring learning community.  

I hope you'll explore our website to learn more about ATI and then come see us for yourself.  I'd love to meet you.  

Warm regards, 

Denis Hill

Head of School, ATI San Francisco

Our Vision

In 1907, in San Lorenzo, Italy, Dr. Maria Montessori had a radical idea. What if we “follow the child” and let their interests, curiosity and engagement with their environment drive their learning? What if we create an approach to education that systematizes the inputs that a student needs to follow her curiosity, independently work with her mind and her hands, and realize her inner potential?

Today, ATI San Francisco is proud to build on this educational tradition by bringing to life a Montessori-inspired high school for engaged adolescents. Our vision is rooted in a deep belief that teenagers — in the context of a supportive, challenging and enriching community — are capable of extraordinary learning and extraordinary work. We aspire to be a community where students thrive intellectually, emotionally, and relationally and leave ATI prepared and capable of creating lives of purpose, value, and joy.

Our vision for adapting Montessori principles to the adolescent context isn’t fanciful. It requires coordinating and aligning principles and practice. It requires thoughtful and deliberate attention to balancing structure and flexibility. It requires maintaining expectations of excellence with adaptability for how to achieve it. It requires a commitment to learning ideas, skills and practices that are foundational to navigating our world while also providing students with the space and support to pursue excellence in their unique interests and passions.

Our vision is bold and aspirational; it is our life's work. We feel lucky to do this deeply meaningful work each day alongside our students. We hope you might be as inspired as we are to pursue this vision and to join us in re-imagining what a middle school can be.

ATI San Francisco Online

In this moment of distance, we are a welcoming, fun, and supportive virtual community. We have two options available if you’d like to join ATI San Francisco Online this April:

Option 1: Join our campus online, full-time

In person and online, we’ve found students learn best in a community of curious and thoughtful peers. We’ve established purposeful online norms and expectations that help our community remain responsible, connected, and independent learners. We have a small school and small classes that enables greater student engagement, participation, and thinking (class sizes range from 5 to 15 students).

We provide every student with individualized support through an adult coach who will check-in with them weekly to help navigate challenges and celebrate progress. Our students are continuing to do real work in their classes through our online learning platform that enables them to share work, get feedback, and deepen their knowledge and skill over time. Our families have regular touchpoints about their students’ experience as well as bi-weekly Zoom family meetings to stay updated and connected with each other.

Get in touch with Dennis Hill, Head of School, today to learn more, by calling at 925-323-2005 or emailing at dhill@thoughtandindustry.com . We want to make this transition easy, simple and fast. No deposit and no commitment beyond this semester.

Option 2: Join standalone ATI Online classes

The ATI network is providing standalone virtual courses to students from around the country and world, taught by our gifted instructors, through our ATI Online platform. We’re offering timely courses during the coronavirus pandemic. These courses are geared toward capable high school students ages 13-19 with a solid work ethic and reading abilities. They include:

Covid-19 Action Course: This bi-weekly course will combine thoughtful community, up-to-date information, and an introduction to dozens of active projects that students can join to make a positive difference in fighting this battle. Learn More »

Capitalism vs. Socialism: The public debate between advocates of capitalism and socialism is more active than it has been in more than a generation. This course will provide a sophisticated deep dive into two of the most discussed topics of our time. Learn More »

Bringing Art to Life: The goal of this art appreciation class is to not only introduce students to some of history’s amazing art, but to also help students experience that art more deeply—to “bring them to life.” Learn More »

ATI San Francisco Online FAQs

  • What can I expect if I join ATI San Francisco Online?

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    Each student will:

    1. Join a range of classes online like all other students

    2. Get an orientation to Zoom and our online learning norms

    3. Get an Altitude account—our online learning platform—and receive a tutorial and support to get set-up

    4. Have a designated coach to meet with 1:1 weekly to help you navigate challenges and support your learning and success

    5. Get assignments, do work, and get feedback from your guides (our teachers)

    6. We will work with your home school counselors to request transfer of progress made at ATI into credits to your home school

  • Does joining now commit me to staying with ATI San Francisco next fall?

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    No. You are enrolling in our online program for the rest of the semester, but with no deposit and no commitment to stay beyond this semester.

  • How much does ATI San Francisco Online cost?

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    The tuition for joining ATI San Francisco Online for the remainder of the year is based on our annual tuition with a slight discount to accommodate for the transition and the time left in the school year.

    For ATI San Francisco Online the tuition is $6,000 total if you enroll before Sunday, March 29 and $6,500 total if you enroll between March 30 - April 5.

  • Are scholarships available?

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    Yes. Please discuss your situation with the Admissions Director or Head of School. We’re happy to work with you.

  • I don’t live in the city where the school is located. Can I still join ATI San Francisco Online?

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    We are prioritizing students who live locally to join us because we’d like them to be able to consider joining us in Fall 2020 if we have a space available. If you are not local to a specific campus but still want to join, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.

    If you are just looking to join a single supplemental class you can check out a few special offerings here.

  • Will you enroll students after April 5?

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    No. We want to offer a robust learning experience and believe that April 5 is that last day a new student can enroll to take advantage of connecting with and contributing to the community.

Ready to join us? We’ve made applying simple, easy, and fast.

Our Values

Our ATI values align our staff, students and families to a set of ideas and practices that inform and enliven how we collaborate, communicate and support each other. We aspire to bring these values to life each day in our work together.

  • “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” –Socrates

    We approach learning as the ongoing pursuit of wisdom. We explore, interrogate and debate the big ideas that have shaped our world and connect those ideas to our own lives and context. We pursue wisdom not as an academic exercise, but to improve our judgment and actions in the world. 

  • “Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.” –Marcus Aurelius

    We know the word “virtue” may seem old fashioned. Yet the cultivation of our ethics, our integrity, and our habits shapes the quality of our lives. We are committed to exploring the connection between our deeply held values and our behaviors so that our inner character shows up in the world.

  • “The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” –Steve Jobs

    Work is central to our lives. It lets us direct our energies purposefully, enabling us to structure our time and action to reshape our world. Through cultivating our capacity for work, we develop an appreciation of genuine effort and a careful attention to quality.

  • “The only true freedom for an individual is to have the opportunity to act independently... There is no such thing as an individual until a person can act by himself.” –Maria Montessori

    We believe in independence and free choice. We seek to develop the courage of our convictions and the capacity for each of us to act with purpose, to overcome barriers and to pursue our individual aspirations.

  • “The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food.” –Dean Ornish

    We recognize the tremendous personal value of the communities to which we belong. And so we assume responsibility for the health and vitality of those communities, share in the joy of belonging and have pride for what we create together.

The ATI Network

ATI San Francisco is a part of a network of ATI schools, with campuses in Austin, San Francisco, New York and St. Louis. Collectively, we are creating the future of middle and high schools in collaboration with Higher Ground Education, the leading global organization committed to modernizing and mainstreaming the Montessori movement.

The ATI program was founded by Michael Strong, one of the most experienced designers of innovative school programs in the U.S. His past projects include Montessori secondary school program design at The Judson Montessori School (San Antonio), The Emerson School (Palo Alto), and Hacienda School (Pleasanton). Michael has authored two books including The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice.

If you are interested in bringing ATI to your city, please contact Scott Taylor, Executive Director of ATI Schools.

Request More Information About ATI San Francisco

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