What to Expect

Dyslexic Education that Builds Confidence

Nestled in the heart of Palo Alto near Stanford University is a place where Dyslexic or twice-exceptional (2E) children, grades 1-8, learn to own their neurodiverse talent.

At Athena Academy, your child finds a caring community that helps them see the magic of a unique mind. They will learn to embrace their special talents and trust in their wisdom to unlock their potential.

Your campus for learning and joy

Classrooms are adaptable and perfect for different ways of learning and fun activities. Special creative writing, math, science, and art areas invite hands-on discovery and imaginative adventures.

To add to our diverse and exciting curriculum, we have a Makerspace, rooms for drama and music, and technology-filled spaces. There are also areas for social-emotional learning and beautiful outdoor spaces to help your child grow in every way. These are places where every student feels secure, cared for, and supported on their journey of growth and personal discovery.

Rigorous Academics

Personalized Academics

To teach to each student's strengths, interests, and learning style, instruction is differentiated and personalized.

Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning

Woven throughout our curriculum, SEL helps students build empathy, communication skills, and emotional awareness.

Creative Exploration

Creative Exploration

From drama to digital music, our arts electives foster creative expression and personal growth.

Mission and Vision for Our Students

To teach dyslexic children how to own their neurodiverse talents, we mix conventional and pioneering educational methods and create environments that help students feel confident and believe in their wisdom. This makes them strong students who are academically and emotionally renewed.

Inspired by Wisdom and Strategy

In Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series, demi-gods are dyslexic, and they turn their neurodiversity into a powerful advantage. The god Athena is most fitting for our school. Like our students, she holds her greatest powers in wisdom and strategy.

Educational Philosophy

Each child has a different way of learning. This is the truth. We combine conventional educational techniques with innovative visual-spatial methods to cater to the dyslexic learner's natural, picture-oriented style. Our average class size for elementary school is 6-8 students and 8-10 in middle school. This ensures personalized attention.

  • Individualized Learning
    Project-based programs accelerate learning and focus your child's strengths to build confidence in their unique abilities.
  • Blend of Teaching Methods

    Learning environments provide challenges and support tailored to the specific areas of need. This approach could include advanced visual-spatial methods to phonics-based methods.
  • 2E Development

    Students with high IQs face learning challenges, too. We focus on identifying the strengths and the areas where support is needed. This method helps us meet their unique academic and social emotional needs, which can differ in various subjects or skills.


A Silicon Valley Innovation

Carla Rayacich profoundly understands the challenges faced by parents of dyslexic children. After traditional teaching methods didn't work for her twins, she found a new visual-spatial learning approach that quickly unlocked her children's potential.

Inspired, Carla founded a school in 2010 in Emerald Hills, where two teachers trained in visual-spatial methods taught her children. Over two years, a committed team developed a complete curriculum for dyslexic students. In 2012, the school expanded to a larger campus in Palo Alto.

Today, Athena Academy is a school where dyslexic students explore and grow, supported by the latest brain research. Our mission is to empower dyslexic learners with the most effective teaching methods that work for them.


Carla Rayacich

Why Choose a School Focused on Confidence?

Your child is unique, and so are their learning needs. They need a community that understands and embraces differences. Here, your child will find a supportive and stimulating environment that nurtures their neurodiversity.

When children feel confident about how they learn, they do better in school. Join us on this exciting journey toward academic success and emotional fulfillment.

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What to Expect
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