What is ATI?


Virtual School



Academics at ATI Museum Mile

ATI Museum Mile offers a Montessori-inspired education that combines creative, independent, and personalized learning. Part-time, summer, and full-time programs are 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.

A “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.

Read more about the Prepared Environment

Coaching at ATI Museum Mile

During adolescence, middle school students experience intense physical and emotional growth. Managing schedules, setting goals, and exploring values are all new experiences for many students-and these tasks are challenging at any age! While independence and freedom are desirable and necessary, they require support and planning.

As part of ATI Museum Mile, students are paired with coaches who provide guidance and mentoring. 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. Coaches aren't tutors or guidance counselors; instead, they are powerful and unique partners who help students succeed.

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

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 Museum Mile 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

Head of School

Dr. Ronald J Martorelli

Head of School

Ron has a Doctorate in Teaching & Learning from Hofstra University and has over 20 years of experience as a teacher and school administrator. He enjoys reading, the arts, gardening, cooking, and the outdoors with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Assistant Head of School

Sarah Bushell

Assistant Head of School

Sarah is a native Georgian who earned her B.S. in Special Education from Georgia College & State University. She began her teaching career in Tennessee in a special needs preschool classroom. She has experience working with children who have Autism, Developmental Delays, Down Syndrome, speech and language delays, and more. After moving to New York City, Sarah discovered Guidepost Montessori and began her journey to a MACTE Montessori Nido/Toddler Certification. She is passionate about children's development and independence. Sarah lives in Brooklyn with her husband and loves trying new restaurants, spending time in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and travelling.

Middle School STEM Guide

Matt Ross

Middle School STEM Guide

Matt is a lifelong hockey player who now enjoys hiking and cooking with his wife, and he travels every chance he gets. His degree is in Industrial Math with a minor in Physics and worked for five years as a software developer between NYC and Quebec. Matt was inspired by one of his own professors to get into education, and he hopes to continue passing that inspiration on to his students. His goal is to spark curiosity and excitement in STEM!

ATI Humanities Guide

Malkah Schack

ATI Humanities Guide

Malkah is our teaching and curriculum development college intern. She is a passionate historian and has been teaching various courses at the middle school and high school level for four years. She enjoys many hobbies including reading, writing, historical sewing, collecting vintage clothing, and hiking. She can’t wait to meet everyone and set off on adventures in world history exploration!

Planning for College and Career Development

The ultimate goal of ATI Museum Mile 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 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 Museum Mile 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 Museum Mile

What parents are saying about academics

ATI Student

I am so grateful for this school and the opportunity it provides my son to pursue his passions and learn in a supportive community. I’m confident it will help to further his love of learning. The director and guides genuinely care about all the students and have an extremely high level of commitment to their continued success. The kids who attend here are such amazing, kind and intelligent people.

Sally T.

ATI Museum Mile 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.