Academy of Thought and Industry at Toronto | Academy of Thought and Industry
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What is ATI?


Virtual School


Academy of Thought and Industry Toronto

We are a modern Montessori-inspired middle school coming to Toronto in Fall 2022, delivering a powerful education for independence, to develop curious, self-motivated adolescents who thrive in school and in life.

Welcome to ATI Toronto

Offering middle school learning pod programs

Welcome to ATI Toronto, we are thrilled that you found us! Our team is excited to announce the launch of our Toronto middle school program in September of 2022. ATI Toronto is an exciting milestone - it marks our school network's first community in Canada, as well as an expansion of our learning pod program.

What exactly is a learning pod?

If a community shows enough demand for one of our programs, we will bring ATI to you. Students will experience the same immersive curriculum as our brick & mortar campuses, led by expert guides. Whether it's in your home or a coordinated space nearby, we're delivering personalized education right to your community.

Serving grades 7 and 8 in small, personalized classes, our curriculum uses the foundations of Montessori to deliver a rich academic experience. Our learning community is intentionally small, so that we are able to deeply know each student, help them thrive emotionally and socially, and support their individual path to excellence.

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. Deep learning consists of both ‘learning’ and ‘doing’—thought and industry. We help each student become a great thinker and a great doer in a way that follows their interests and passions. Each student is supported by their own coach, which ensures personalized fulfilment of their own short and long-term goals. A rich practical life component rounds out the exposure students require during these years to develop life skills and to be exposed to potential interests they might want to explore further.

Whether you are a student, parent, or interested community member, we want to connect with you. We invite you to reach out and get involved in our Toronto opening.

We can't wait to meet you!

Reimagining adolescent education

Adolescence is a critical period of development. Students are constantly growing in higher-order thinking skills, peer relationships, personal responsibility, and more. They're searching for their place in the world and beginning to form the values that will shape their lives.

Recent studies have shown that enthusiasm for school drops dramatically between fifth and twelfth grade, with nearly 75% of students reporting negative feelings towards school.

Now more than ever, students are tired, stressed, and bored. They need an educational option that is appropriate for their developmental stage, and tailored to their individual needs.

We believe there's a better way.

Experience an education for independence

At ATI, students are given both freedom and support to help them excel beyond their own expectations. Our students don't just study for tests—they become life-long learners. Each step our students take is designed to help them explore their unique passions, inspire their creativity, and develop greater independence.

We don’t offer just one path for academic excellence. We strive to create a total school experience that will unlock each student’s unique potential—to prepare them for the world, and to help them access that world today!

Curriculum overview

Join our community

Our students and guides work together to co-create the school community. We build routines, plan trips, create clubs, write our school constitutions, and decorate our space together. And beyond each school, our students actively engage in their local community, the global ATI network, and the world.

Start your journey with us

Learn about ATI by attending one or more of our upcoming events and virtual info sessions
Consider a attending Shadow Day on campus to experience a day in the life of ATI
Submit your student application to ATI, which includes financial aid if necessary.
Work with admissions to prepare for your first day of school! We can't wait to have you join our community.

Attend a program overview

We are still on the hunt for our perfect Toronto location, in the meantime our ATI program will operate as a learning pod based out of the downtown east end.

Enrollment is now open for September 2022. Get it touch to learn more about our program, admissions and take advantage of inaugural rates.

Attend a program overview

Meet the team

Laura McCarthy

Laura is a 2004 graduate of Ryerson University who went on to a successful career in the apparel industry as a buyer. Since shifting focus to raising her 3 boys (aged 11, 8 and 4), she has immersed herself in parenting and education theory. Committing to finding the best education possible, she began a lengthy search for a middle- and high-school that would be true to Montessori principles. After disappointment with various alternatives, both progressive and classical, she found ATI. The key elements that sold her on ATI’s approach are in its very name — “Thought and Industry.” Thought, in the sense that ATI focuses on nurturing each student’s intellectual independence — and thereby build confidence in their ability to make sense of whatever they may encounter in life. And industry, in the sense of an education where students can “play the whole game at a junior level,” in other words, do meaningful, satisfying work while still in school. Laura is now determined to help establish ATI Toronto and develop it into a thriving community. In her free time, Laura is obsessed with all things related to interior design. She is also learning to play the guitar, with the aim of becoming a cottage campfire virtuoso.

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 and a Learning Advisor will get in touch within 24 hours.