OUR HISTORY

 

2006: OUR BEGINNING

Founders Jason Kotter & Ryan Van Alfen start Charter School Fund in 2006 intent on helping charters secure financing to build and improve facilities.

2009: INTRO OF THE THREE PILLARS OF PERFORMANCE

Athlos brought the three pillar concepts to a school in Chandler, AZ.

2011: ATHLOS MODEL MORE FULLY DEVELOPED

Athlos began a relationship with two charter organizations in Texas, leading to partnering in implementing aspects of the Athlos model.

2012: BROOKLYN PARK, MINNESOTA

Began relationship with a Minnesota charter to convert a 15-year-old school (215 students) to a K-8 school with 1,000 students. Opened for 2014-2015 school year.

2013–14: SEVEN SCHOOLS

Delivered seven schools with 500,000 square feet of space for two partners.

2014–15: EXPANDING TEAM

The Athlos team rapidly expands to meet the needs of the schools opening for the 2016–17 school year.

2016: EIGHT NEW SCHOOLS

Athlos opens two new fully-implementing schools in Utah and Minnesota and another six new partially-implementing schools in Texas.

2018: ON THE HORIZON

Athlos continues to grow partnerships and support schools nationwide, including a new fully-implementing campus in Louisiana.

The Story of Athlos

Co-founders Ryan Van Alfen and Jason Kotter were introduced to charter schools almost serendipitously. While helping a charter school obtain real estate, they became impressed by the idea of parental choice in education, yet realized that obtaining facilities was a major challenge for these organizations.

Recognizing a need, they began developing outstanding campuses to match each charter schools’ distinctive qualities. The more charter operators they met, the more they were intrigued by their offerings—but began sensing there were gaps to a child’s lifelong development that went beyond academic offerings.

Entrepreneurs in their own right, the two founders had always chalked up their success to life lessons: hard work, healthy choices, personal integrity, and a competitive drive.

As they looked to their own days in school, they credited great teachers and coaches to be sure, but they also recognized the opportunities for developing character that often occurred outside typical classroom settings. Their charter school partners also made them keenly aware of the decline of physical activity among today’s students and why schools are hard-pressed to improve this.

A concept began to take shape. Consulting with education experts, fitness specialists, and social science thought leaders, a new charter school model was born. Athlos, derived from the Greek word for “feat” or “contest,” revived the classical ideal of balance—balance of mind, body, and character.

Today, Athlos Academies presents families with choices and schools with the education service supports needed to succeed. We purposefully incorporate life application skills into our curricula. By offering students, parents, and educators both the tools and the environment to excel, we aim to help every child perform better and change education for the better.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Athlos Academies?

Athlos Academies is a social venture providing educational services to schools throughout the country. These services include, but are not limited to, charter application development, board training, facility construction and financing, staff and student recruitment, research-based curriculum, data analysis, and back office support. The innovative Athlos program is based on three Pillars of Performance: Prepared Mind, Healthy Body, and Performance Character.

What does Athlos mean?

Derived from the Greek word for “feat” or “contest,” Athlos revives the classical idea of balancing mind, body, and character. Athlos Academies was born out of the desire to preserve these ideals in the form of a comprehensive educational experience for children.

What is an education service provider?

An education service provider is an entity that a school governing board contracts with to provide education services and resources, including administrative support and educational design, implementation, or management. School boards contract with education service providers for a number of reasons. They can often leverage economies of scale through centralized services, alleviate day-to-day management pressures, and direct more resources into the classroom through innovative financing models.

Athlos Services

Find out more about the education services we provide.

Pillar Overview

Find out more about our Pillars of Performance.

Get Started

Interested in starting an Athlos Academy in your area?

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