Welcome to Athena Academy


Athena Academy is a non-profit educational institution established in 2010, devoted to educating dyslexic and twice exceptional (2e) children with language-based challenges, grades 1 - 8. Athena Academy is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges through June 2024.

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NOW ENROLLING for 2023-24 School Year

If you think Athena Academy might be a good fit for your child, we encourage you to get in touch! You can attend a virtual information session or reach out to our admissions team to get your questions answered. We know it can be difficult to determine what is best for your child and we are here to help at any step in your journey.

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Our Campus

We are located in the heart of the bay area, in Palo Alto, Ca. The campus is a spacious 3.6 acres and includes a swing set, play structure, basketball court, large makerspace and auditorium.

Our Philosophy

Building on Visual-Spatial Strengths

We provide powerful Visual-Spatial teaching methods which the latest research shows are the way dyslexics learn best [1],[2]. These methods include Kinetic Modeling in clay, Symbol Mastery, Trigger Word Mastery, Structured Word Inquiry, Woodin Math and Visual Math.


Most Dyslexia schools only offer phonics-based methods for reading (Slingerland, Orton Gillingham, Wilson Fundations, Lindamood Bell, Barton), while we merge these different approaches in a method that accelerates learning for the widest range of dyslexic learners. We focus on teaching whole word recognition before phonics, building on the dyslexic learner’s natural, picture-oriented learning style. In math, we focus on working whole to part, making learning hands-on and kinesthetic, building foundational skills and finding practical uses for math.

Dyslexic students have many gifts and we believe they should be given opportunities to build on them and find success.


We provide a multi-sensory teaching style in a well-structured environment that provides support to the dyslexic and twice exceptional learner prone to confusion or anxiety.

Small Class Size

We offer a small student to teacher ratio where students will receive consistent individualized support.

Master Broad Concepts

With our focus on mastering broad concepts, we teach the student to succeed in school and in life. We select 2-3 themes per year, and projects and lessons are taught through the lens of these selected themes. An example theme is ‘Whose California is it?”


Project-based learning is incorporated across all disciplines, allowing for students to build executive functioning skills through practical application. Students learn to approach each project with the same process: ask, plan, learn, show, and reflect. Students at different skill levels can approach each project at a perspective that is comfortable to them.

Variety of Opportunities

Students have access to a robust performing, visual and technical arts program, which includes music, theatre, art and technology classes.

Our Programs

In-person Instruction at Athena Academy

Our students attend in-person classes from 8:30AM-3:25PM Monday - Friday at our bay area campus, located in Palo Alto, Ca. Our program is uniquely designed specifically for bright dyslexic and twice exceptional (2e) students with strong visual-spatial thinking skills.

Our curriculum and program strives to inspire the students to explore areas of interest to them and to take an active part in their education. We do this through allowing student choice as often as possible, from books they read, to topics they write about, to the way they present what they have learned.  This creates a learning environment where the education and what each student is working on can be highly individualized.

Our teachers design learning experiences for the students that build not only fundamental academic skills, but also executive functioning, self-awareness, and self-advocacy skills. These are essential pieces to our program and are woven throughout all classes that the students take.


Summer at Athena Academy

Summer at Athena Academy offers week-long skills programs in June and July for dyslexic and twice exceptional (2e) students entering grades 1-8.

This program is specifically designed, utilizing Athena Academy’s unique strengths-based teaching approach, to help dyslexic and twice exceptional students build foundational skills for learning and get the summer boost they need to find success in school.

Our highly trained, dedicated teachers work with the students on understanding the way their brains work. Through engaging hands-on projects in our Makerspace and multi-sensory skills based instruction, students can explore their passions and build on their strengths.

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“I can say without hesitation, and without equivocation, that Athena stands on the idea, more than any school that I have encountered in my travels, that being dyslexic or learning differently is not a deficiency but a gift. I’ve been so inspired by the work that they do, by their principle commitment to not fixing the so-called deficients of folks who learn differently, but by unleashing their inherent strengths, gifts and talents.” - Jonathan Mooney

“Athena is where I became the student I knew I could be.” - alumni

“Finally, what a relief, he is being taught all day, in every class, the way his brain learns!’ - parent of a student


A Note About COVID

The health and safety of our students and staff is our absolute top priority. We have been successfully operating in-person instruction under strict COVID-19 safety protocols since January 2021. We continue to work very closely with the Santa Clara county administration to follow and update COVID-19 protocols as needed.


[1] Linda Silverman, PhD, “Upside Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner”.

[2] Fumiko Hoeft, M.D., PhD, Associate Prof of Psychiatry, UCSF, and Visiting Professor, Stanford. Pub in  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010.