The Athenian School

  • With distinctive meaningful programs, The Athenian School goes far beyond preparing talented and diverse students for outstanding colleges.
  • Athenian empowers its graduates to become world citizens with lives of purpose and personal fulfillment.
  • Athenian's distinguishing features include: an exciting and challenging academic curriculum, required community service, a required wilderness course, and extraordinary international experiences.
  • Other signature programs include: town meeting, an airplane construction project, an award-winning robotics team, and many international opportunities (exchange, service projects, annual conferences, and faculty-led educational and service trips).
  • Located on 75 beautiful acres at the base of Mt. Diablo, Athenian is the San Francisco Bay Area's only nonsectarian school with a high school boarding program.
  • Virtually 100% attend 4-yr. universities, from all the Univ. of CA campuses, to USC, Stanford, Ivy League campuses, outstanding liberal arts colleges, and a wide range of others.
  • Athenian encourages students to find the colleges or universities that best fit them, and many students gain admission to their first-choice college.
  • Most importantly, Athenian students develop a deep understanding of themselves, extraordinary skills for achievement, and the compassion to make a positive difference in the world.

Top Placements

The Athenian School places among the top 20% of private schools in California for:

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades 6-12
Year Founded1965
Summer School OfferedYes
Summer Program Cost NotesDepends on the program and number of classes
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students543 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 45%
Students by Grade The Athenian School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers69 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio8:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size15 students
Number of AP Courses8 courses
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Advanced CoursesAB Calculus AP, AP Computer Science, BC Calculus AP, French IV AP, Honors History Seminars (8+), Honors Literature Seminars (10+), Honors Science Courses (6+), LIteratuare AP, Spanish IV AP, Spanish V AP, Statistics AP
Average SAT score1390
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual
(Neat, clean, and in good taste)

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineJan. 15 / rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$46,700
Tuition Notes33600 Middle School 46700 Upper School day student 53600 Boarding Student (Upper School)
% on Financial Aid
Average Financial Aid Grant$23,000
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorChristopher Beeson
Admissions AssociateNenelwa Tomi
Endowment Size$10 million


Total Sports Offered12 sports
SportsBadminton, Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Dance, Golf, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, WrestlingBadmintonBaseball,
BasketballCross Country,
TennisTrack and Field,


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.25 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Club or Organization:
Affinity Groups--cultural/ethnic, Airplane Construction, and international, Debate--Interscholastic competitions, Interim trips--local, International Community Service, International Conferences, International Exchange--study abroad, Interweave--Gay/Straight Alliance, Investment Club, regional, Robotics, Town Meeting--democratic community forum

Arts and Music Programs:
Advanced Band--instrumental ensembles, Advanced Chorus, Band, Chorus, Dance, Round Square International Club, Theater, Theater Tech

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Hiking, Ultimate Frisbee, Weightlifting, Yoga

School Notes

  • Athenian's superb curriculum extends far beyond academic subjects with distinctive programs which develop students as world citizens for successful, meaningful, and purposeful lives. The academic curriculum offers: interdisciplinary literature and history courses in grades 9 and 10, followed by diverse seminars in history and literature; hands-on and applied science options, including an airplane construction project, applied science, engineering design, and computer science courses, and an award-winning robotics team; extensive mathematics offerings beyond our two years of calculus courses to statistics and more; extensive offerings in the arts, including drawing, painting, pottery, photography, graphic design, architecture, theatre, dance, and chorus, Advanced Honors courses across the curriculum; superb college counseling with an individual plan for each student and counselors dedicated only to college advising. Students develop cross cultural communication, problem solving and empathy through meaningful required community service, extraordinary international opportunities through the Round Square Consortium of 60 schools on six continents. International programs include study abroad exchanges, international community service projects, and annual international student conferences Participation in school-governance through town meeting allows all to get involved. All students benefit from guidance from a residential community of faculty who live on campus with their families. Faculty know students well, offering advice and support as mentors for each student. The Athenian Wilderness Experience is required of all 11th grade students (a meaningful program developing independence, leadership, and teamwork). Athenian`s amazing an advantageous location offers a beautiful 75-acre campus at the base of Mt. Diablo as well as easy access to the San Francisco Bay Area. Faculty not only teach academic subjects but mentor students individually as academic advisors, residential program advisors, dormitory parents, coaches, club sponsors, community service trip leaders, and March Term trip leaders. Such programs happen on campus, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and on international trips to such places as Africa, South America, Asia, and Europe. ALUMNI & PARENTS SAY: "With the perfect balance of challenge and nurturing, Athenian teachers encourage you to experience and connect with your studies. I enjoyed academics, athletics, and the arts. I pursued my passions, graduating more certain of myself. I felt intellectually confident in my first college class. Athenian changes lives, and it's graduates affect change in the world." --Sarah Ames, Athenian Class of 2005, Vassar College "Athenian's inclusive environment enables every student to make a mark--whether in academics, performance and art, or clubs and sports. Athenian consistently produces bright, engaging, and confident young adults who are keenly aware that they are citizens of the world." --Deepak and Sherry Kamlani, current parents "Athenian encourages maturation as a full person and student. Athenian created a passion for learning in my son. He attended a Round Square conference in South Africa that profoundly affected him. He wants to help better the world. Jason now attends Stanford. The excitement about ideas ignited at Athenian shone through in his Stanford application. --Tina Levy, alumni parent (Jason, Athenian Class of 2004) "Athenian contributed to my growth as an intellectual and individual. The Athenian community helped me understand my role as a citizen of the world. I will be able to contribute to the greater society thanks to Athenian's rich ideals and supportive atmosphere. I will always cherish and stay connected to this amazing place." --Carmen Jimenez-Robbins, Athenian Class of 2005, Brown Univ. "Athenian teachers respect students, saying, "I not only see your children as they are now, but as what they can become." In my daughter, I now see a strong student, a self-motivated learner, and a well-rounded young lady with the desire to serve and take full responsibility for her life." --Margaret Bam, boarding student parent, South Africa "At Athenian you can do so many things--like start a club or propose a change. The avenues are open for you to explore. Personally, Athenian teachers are open to conversation outside of the classroom, and you get to know people really well. I have learned so much, both inside and outside the classroom. Many students leave Athenian and find college writing easy; Athenian prepared them well." --Kevin Burke, Athenian Class of 2005, University of Pennsylvania School accreditations: WASC, NAIS, CAIS, TABS, SSAT, ERB Sample of notable school alumni: Phillip Bennett - Geology Professor, Univ. of Texas, Austin; Benjamin Brandzel - Student Action Founder; Greg Sherwood Cohalen - Emmy Award-Winning Public Broadcasting Anchor; Craig Debro - KTVU 2, Oakland, Television News Reporter; Joan Haratani - Attorney, San Francisco Bar Association President; Carol Moldaw - Noted Poet, Winner of the Field Prizer; Jackie Thomas real estate entrepreneur, former Nike Executive and Athenian School Trustee; Andrew Wistrich - United States District Magistrate Judge; Keenan Wyrobek Zipline co founder, autonomous drone aircraft medical delivery company.

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in California is $11,526 for elementary schools and $20,037 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in California is 84% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).