The Athenian School

5.00 (1 review)
2100 Mt. Diablo Scenic Blvd.
Danville, CA 94506
The Athenian School Photo #1 - Athenian students
The Athenian School Photo #1 - Athenian students
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% gain admission to 4-yr. universities, fr om all the Univ. of CA campuses, to USC, Stanford, all the 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 most students gain admission to their first-choice school.
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.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description

  • Class of 2016
    5 Stars  
    Brown University
    1) AWE - 26 Day backpacking trip in either High Sierras or Death Valley. It is truly a life-changing experience and you really get to know the 10 people that you are grouped with. It. . .

Top Rankings

The Athenian School ranks among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 303 schools) for:

Definition of Terms
 | 2021 School Data
The Athenian SchoolBoarding School Avg.
School FocusCollege PrepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered (Boarding)9-129-12
Grades Offered (Day)6-129-12
School TypeCo-edCo-ed
Religious AffiliationNon-denominationalNon-denominational
Year Founded19651907
Campus Size75 acres125 acres

Student Body

Enrollment530 students300 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Score1363* National Avg. »View
Average ACT score31*National Avg. » View
Offers Post-Grad YearNoNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesNoNo
Classroom Dress CodeCasualCasual
Average Class Size15 students12
*National School Avg. » 20
Student : Teacher Ratio10:17:1
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered818
ESL Courses OfferedYesYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program OfferedYesYes

Tuition Cost

Endowment Size$8.7 million$25 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
Tuition international students$73,500$54,500
Yearly Tuition
(5 Day Boarding)
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant$26,000$25,000
Merit Scholarships OfferedNoNo

Acceptance Rate

Application DeadlineJan. 7 / Feb. 15 / rollingJan. 15
Accepts Standardized ApplicationYesNo
SSAT RequiredNoYes
Acceptance Rate
Director of AdmissionsChristopher Beeson
Associate Director of AdmissionsNenelwa Tomi

AP / Advanced Courses

# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered818
CoursesAP AB Calculus, AP BC Calculus, AP Computer Science, AP French IV, AP Spanish IV, AP Statistics, Honors Advanced Biology, Honors Advanced Chemistry, Honors Advanced Physics, Honors Algebra II, Honors Applied Science, Honors Biology, Honors Chinese III, Honors Chinese IV, Honors French V, Honors History Seminars (many), Honors Humanitas, Honors Literature Seminars (many), Honors Marine Biology, Honors Pre-Calculus, Honors Spanish III, Personal Projects in Art


# Interscholastic Sports Offered1216
SportsBaseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Sailing, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Wrestling


Total Extracurricular Organizations3523
ExtracurricularsClub or Organization:
Airplane Construction Project, Asian Club, Floor Hockey, Gardening Society, Juggling, Missionary Society, Open Mic, Outdoor Adventure, QED Math Club, Robotics Team--award-winning, Round Square Int'l. Service Projects, Round Square Int'l. Student Conferences, Round Square Study Abroad, Squash, Student Self-Government, Students of Color, Weekend Crew, Yearbook

Arts and Music Programs:
Classics Society, On Campus speakers and artists, Poetry Interest Group, Poetry Readings, StuCo, Theater Interest Group, Theater Productions

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Athenian Wilderness Experience--required, Computer Technology Association, Rock Climbing, Running, Sailing, Tour du Lac, Ultimate Frisbee, Unicycling, Weight Lifting, Yoga

College Matriculation

Year: 2010 - 201310 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
New York University13
University of California, Berkeley10
University of California, Santa Cruz8
University of Calfornia, Los Angeles7
University of California, Davis7
University of California, Santa Barbara7
Chapman University6
George Washington University6
Occidental College6
University of Colorado, Boulder6

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 humanities 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, an applied science course, and an award-winning robotics team
  • Extensive mathematics offerings beyond our two years of AP calculus courses to AP statistics and AP computer science
  • Extensive offerings in the arts, including drawing, painting, pottery, stained glass, and photography, theatre, dance, and chorus
  • Honors and/or AP courses accross the curriculum
  • Superb college counseling with an individual plan for each student and counselors dedicated only to college advising
Beyond the classroom, Athenian prepares students for the future as world citizens through:
  • Meaningful required community service
  • Extraordinary international opportunities through the Round Square Consortium of 100 schools on six continents: study abroad exchanges, international community service projects, and annual international student conferences
  • Participation in school-governance through town meeting
  • 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, required of all 11th grade students (a meaningful program developing independence, leadership, and teamwork)
  • An amazing an advantageous location which offers a beautiful 75-acre campus at the base of Mt. Diablo as well as easy access to the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Faculty who 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 interim trip leaders.
  • Service Learning in which academic courses include hands-on experiential learning with a community service focus. 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.
  • "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
  • The Athenian School accreditations: WASC, NAIS, CAIS, TABS, SSAT, ERB
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • 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 Prize
    • Douglas Perednia - Physician, Business Executive, Entrepreneur
    • Korshied Samad - Journalist, Bureau Chief, Afghan Nonprofit Org. Founder
    • Jackie Thomas - Nike Executive, Athenian School Trustee
    • Andrew Wistrich - United States District Magistrate Judge

Profile last updated: 12/15/2020

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