What is ATI?


Virtual School



Academics at ATI Hollywood Beach

As a Montessori-inspired school, ATI Hollywood Beach offers students creative, independent, and personalized learning opportunities. There are part-time, summer, and full-time programs available.

The ATI Curriculum

Mastery-based learning

Mastery-based learning

At ATI, we believe that all students can become masters if they are given sufficient time and adequate instruction. Rather than putting emphasis on grades, we work with our students on the goal of mastering new knowledge and skills. This is a paradigm shift in thinking that allows learning to happen at each student’s pace, tailored to them, and with mastery clearly defined.

  • Learning is not time-limited. Some students are ready to move on quickly; others need more time. Students pass to new material when they're ready, not because a certain amount of time has elapsed
  • Instruction needs to be appropriate for each individual student, not someone else. That means clear objectives, a variety of learning methods, individualized support, and learner-centered instruction
  • Mastery is defined. Students track their own progress towards mastering learning objectives, and demonstrate their skill and understanding in a variety of ways

We work with Mastery Transcript Consortium to create a transcript that supports each teen’s learning today, opening doors for them in the future.

The prepared environment

A “Prepared Environment”

Montessori educators talk extensively about the “prepared environment.” This is Montessori’s word for the classroom: the physical space, but also the intangible elements - the culture, the routines, the schedule, the norms. Everything that communicates, without a word, the values of the school. The prepared environment is the third component of a triad containing the guide and the student: a “third teacher.” Without giving a lesson, the environment nonetheless teaches its students about the type of world they inhabit, about the values of their school, and about the trust that the community holds for them.

Learn more about the prepared environment

Coaching at ATI Hollywood Beach

Middle school students experience intense physical and emotional growth during adolescence. For many students, setting goals, exploring values, and managing schedules are new experiences-and these tasks are challenging at any age! Even though growing independence and freedom are desirable and necessary, they require support and planning.

At ATI Hollywood Beach, students are paired with coaches, who serve as supportive guides and mentors. In school, the coach's role is to make himself obsolete as the student develops social, emotional, and cognitive skills to become her own coach. The coach is not a tutor or guidance counselor; he or she is a powerful and unique partner who helps students achieve their full potential.

Learn more about Coaching
ATI creates a culture of work

Create motivation and engagement through love of work

There are many students who come to ATI with no specific idea of what they want out of school. It is common for students at this stage to find some or all areas of instruction inaccessible (the student who says, “I can’t do math!”) or irrelevant (“Why do we need this anyway?”). Our courses seek to explain the "why" of each discipline. What is the importance of history? What makes math essential? We combine this cognitive engagement with an individualized instructional approach that enables students to both identify and pursue their unique interests.

Network Courses

Our schools are intentionally small communities, uniquely linked in a large global network. One of the advantages of this structure is access to content experts around the world! Students can sign into live courses taught by professionals working and living in these fields: drawing courses taught by professional artists; film-making by LA-based directors; human progress and philosophy by philosophers at the University of Toronto; human anatomy by a surgeon in Texas. Wherever your student is located, with the power of the ATI network, the world’s experts are available to them.

Entrepreneurship and Micro-Economy

Entrepreneurship and Micro-Economy

Micro-economy is a hallmark of a Montessori adolescent program. Dr. Montessori imagined adolescents working together to create a small business that served the needs of the educational community. The goals of this “micro-economy” include:

  • Serving as a necessary and valued member of the community
  • Seeing the impact of knowledge and skill gains on practical work
  • Gaining confidence in their ability to survive and thrive in the real world

Many of our middle school communities work together on campus-wide businesses, including bookshops, coffee shops, small campus farms, and selling handmade products online and at local craft fairs.

In both middle and high school, many of our students begin to start their own small businesses, supported by both coursework and individual mentorship around crafting a business plan, making a website, professional networking, and more. Entrepreneurship is keenly aligned with Montessori principles and the values at ATI: encouraging students to pursue their individual passion at a high level, integrating knowledge from every area of academic study. From photography, to crafting co-ops, to web design and self-published graphic novels, students at ATI set and achieve ambitious goals that have the potential to change the world.



In high school, students begin to identify areas of particular interest in the world and many choose to participate in existing internship programs, or to identify an area of interest and work with their coach to earn a new internship opportunity. Prior interns have worked in hospitals, supporting local congressmen, at theater companies and botanical gardens, in marketing departments for international companies, and as guides-in-training for Montessori early childhood classrooms.

ATI Hollywood Beach Teaching Staff

Unlike a traditional school model, Montessori education uses guides instead of teachers. During the Montessori process, teachers or guides are there to guide students toward their innate potential while guiding them through the process of learning and self-construction.

Our Team

Assistant Head of School

Monica Perez

Assistant Head of School

Monica Perez has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Rollins College and a Master’s degree in Ecology from Universidad Central de Venezuela. Currently she is undergoing a Montessori Adolescent Program accredited under the MACTE certification. Working with young adults has always been her passion. For 9 years she worked one-on-one with adolescents, helping them prepare for college. For the past 2 years, she has been part of the Hollywood Beach Guidepost/ATI community working as the MS STEM Guide. She has seen numerous benefits in the Montessori education and feels privileged to be a taking on the Assistant Head of School role at ATI; a school that prepares young adults to become independent, life-long learners by allowing them to pursue their passions in responsible ways. Monica is the mother of a very active young boy. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, traveling, and taking her son outdoors.

Music Guide

Elizabeth Bressack

Music Guide

Liz has been teaching piano since 1980. She received a degree in music education and performance. She has worked as a guitar, bass, drums, and ukulele instructor, and helped put bands together with students. She never really loved to perform but felt she had found her calling while teaching children the love of music. She is always inspired by young minds. In her spare time, she takes care of her many pets, loves swimming, and finds peace being close to the ocean. She loves to bike and spend time with family and friends.

Science Lead Guide

Miya Nixon

Science Lead Guide

Miya was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She had a love of science since the 6th grade, which led her to attend a Science and Technology program in high school. She attended Salisbury University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Miya developed her joy for teaching and reaching students during her two years of service in FoodCorps; an AmeriCorps led program, where she was able to teach gardening, nutrition, and cooking to students from Pre-K to 8th grade. After moving to Miami in 2019, she taught High School biology for Miami Dade Public school. Miya is excited and ready to engage with the ATI students, families, and community. She is eager to put into practice the Montessori philosophy of learning and teaching. She loves to make deep connections with her students while helping them to make deeper connections with the world around them. She enjoys cooking and watching cooking videos, going to the farmers market, and spending time on the water with her almost son Mesiya, and husband Chaise. She is ready to explore and see what experiences this new school year will bring!

Humanities Guide

Richard Brakeman

Humanities Guide

Richard Brakeman received a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Michigan State University. He also holds a CELTA certificate from Cambridge University. He has been teaching for the last 9 years, most recently at a high school north of the Tampa area. He attended a Montessori school growing up, and is overjoyed to return to his roots at ATI Hollywood Beach. In his free time he enjoys traveling, camping, collecting board games, and playing with his wonderful twin girls.


Stephanie Salazar


Montessori educator experienced in place-based, hands-on education. Passionate about connecting with nature and ecological stewardship. Born and raised in Venezuela. Holds a MEd in Environmental Education from Western Washington University, a MS in Environmental Engineering, from Florida International University and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Simon Bolivar. Strives to facilitate understanding, practice, application and integration of knowledge. Enjoys supporting students to explore their passions and talents while fulfilling their responsibilities. Loves being in nature and learning from it.

Planning for College and Career Development

The ultimate goal of ATI Hollywood Beach is to create students who thrive: living happy, fulfilling, and productive lives. Each student is guided through the process of identifying their values, setting specific goals, and learning how to achieve them. Throughout this process, they gain a sense of accomplishment and prepare themselves for a variety of careers.

Student Outcomes

Student Outcomes

Our middle school and high school students are often interested in pursuing higher education, and our college-bound seniors have a 100% placement rate. Along with their coach and guides, students work with a full-time, licensed college counselor.

Here is where you will find some of our recent ATI graduates:

ATI Hollywood Beach Academics FAQs

  • High-achieving students who are looking for an intellectually-challenging school
  • College-bound students looking to get into competitive institutions
  • Ambitious teens looking for a small, private school and a more personalized learning environment
  • Homeschooled or virtual school students looking for more opportunities to socialize and excel
  • Students who are looking for a supportive and accepting community
  • Advanced students looking for a Montessori-inspired middle school
  • Gifted and Talented students looking for an alternative to public middle school in Hollywood Beach

What parents are saying about academics

ATI students sitting at a table socializing

Invest in your child's education! This school is worth every penny. The caring staff, the one on one personal treatment, the education standards all 5 star. I highly suggest this school.

Andrew S.

ATI Hollywood Beach Parent

The Academy of Thought and Industry Austin has received accreditation by Cognia™ and WASC

The Academy of Thought and Industry has received accreditation by Cognia™ and WASC, the Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Earning accreditation from the Cognia Global Accreditation Commission means that the system and all of its domestic and international schools are accredited, and that ATI is recognized across the nation as meeting the Cognia Standards of Quality. ACS WASC accredits elementary and secondary schools; non-degree granting adult schools; and supplementary education programs.

Experience school on your 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.

Learn more about our:

Visit Higher Ground Education to learn more about our mission to make learner-centered education the mainstream.

Get Started
Fill out the form to learn more about the program, tuition, and availability at your desired campus.