• Athlos Roll Call Summer 2017

Message from our Founders

Athlos Founders, social ventureSeptember is here, and what better time to reflect on the last few months and look forward to the months ahead than at the start of a new school year. We want to personally say welcome back to school to the staff, students, and families in each of our partner schools. The beginning of a new school year holds so many opportunities and offers us all the chance to meet back to school with energy, passion, and optimism.

It was a busy summer here at Athlos home court. The Boise staff moved into the new Athlos Academies headquarters building in early summer, and we celebrated our grand opening at the end of June. The event had a great turnout, and it was a perfect chance to bring the community into our new space and share the Athlos model with them.

Our annual Athlos Summer Institute was a success, and it was exciting to welcome teachers, coaches, administrators, and staff from our partner schools into our new space and use the new facility for what it is meant for — a place to innovate, grow professionally, and engage with the Athlos model.

Athlos Academy of Utah and Athlos Academy of St. Cloud have started their second operational years. They expanded from serving students in kindergarten through sixth grade to now additionally serving students in grade seven. They have worked hard over the past few months expanding their middle school program offerings and providing students with opportunities to participate in competitive sports. Watching these schools grow and live the Athlos model over the past year has truly been a pleasure, and we continue to enjoy working with the staff, students, and families in the St. Cloud and Herriman communities.

In Texas, our development team, with much initiative and optimism, completed six new school builds. These ILTexas schools will serve up to 8,400 students in the 2017-2018 school year.

We thank you all for taking the time to stay up-to-date on the happenings at Athlos Academies and with our partners. We look forward to another quarter working with our partners to achieve school excellence and student success.

Ryan Van Alfen and Jason Kotter

Athlos Academies Recognizes 2017 Distinguished Athlos Educators

Athlos Distinguished Educators

The Distinguished Athlos Educator award is given annually to three individuals who exemplify quality performance in the Athlos program. This year’s recipients were recognized at a reception on Tuesday, June 27 at Athlos Academies headquarters. Award winners demonstrate excellence in their classroom, on the turf, or within their community. Each of this year’s three recipients models a commitment to and understanding of the Athlos Pillars of Performance and contributes to the success of staff and students.

Athlos Academies Celebrates Grand Opening,
Welcomes Partners to Summer Institute

Athlos Academies celebrated their grand opening and ribbon cutting event on Friday, June 30. Close to 300 attendees gathered on the court of the newly renovated space to hear remarks from Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and Athlos Academies Co-Founders Jason Kotter and Ryan Van Alfen before a ribbon cutting, building tours, and a raffle.

“It says so much about this organization and what they are about, that they were able to see this through and not just to some completion but to this grand space,” said Mayor Bieter. “On top of that, having this in your city makes it so much easier to push people higher, to raise the bar on all of us to build great spaces in our city because it’s part of what it means to be a great city and to be a livable city.”


School Leader Spotlight

Esther Thompson

Athlos Academy of Utah Director Receives UAPCS Circle of Excellence Award

Esther Thompson, first-year director at Athlos Academy of Utah in Herriman, has been awarded the Rookie of the Year Circle of Excellence Award by the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools (UAPCS).  The UAPCS’s Circle of Excellence Awards recognizes the outstanding contributions of those who work in charter schools making a difference by empowering the students they serve.

School Spotlight


Athlos St. Cloud Students Raise More than $10,000

Athlos Academy of St. Cloud ended their school year with a color-a-thon  obstacle course as a culminating event to the school’s Parent Teacher Association fundraiser. The PTA color-a-thon  fundraiser raised $10,700 toward student enrichment activities, including a field trip to Washington D.C. for students in upper grade levels.

Pillars in Action

Active, Student-Centered Classrooms

At Athlos Academies, we find it essential that classrooms are active and student-centered. Physical activity enhances the ability to learn, and students who are engaged are more excited to learn and more willing to take ownership of their learning. Creating active, student-centered classrooms is two-fold, meaning a focus on both incorporating movement into the classroom as well as assuring instructional practices place students at the center of learning.

Supporting Students’ Healthy Lifestyles through Health and Nutrition Education

As part of the Athlos Healthy Body pillar, schools focus on more than developing athleticism and becoming active, fit, and efficient movers. Additionally, the Athlos model teaches students healthy habits through health and nutrition education. From finding ways to celebrate in the classroom without sugary treats, to understanding the benefits of eating nutritious meals, Athlos students are prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to make healthy lifestyle decisions.

Four Ways to Celebrate Athlos Style

Rewards are an excellent opportunity to recognize and celebrate student accomplishments, but rewarding students does not have to involve candy and other foods that can undermine children’s diets and reinforce unhealthy eating habits. Instead, try these Athlos-friendly rewards to provide positive reinforcement for student behavior and academic performance.

Healthy Breakfast Benefits Students

It’s not new news that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast is your fuel for the day, enhances your energy, and provides your mind and body with the nutrients needed after a night of sleep. For children, there’s an added need for breakfast.

More and more, research points to the fact that students who start their day with a healthy breakfast have more energy, perform better academically, and make healthier eating choices throughout the day.

Wellness is an essential part of our Healthy Body pillar, and breakfast and wellness go hand in hand. It’s a simple fact — eating a healthy breakfast helps students do better in school.

Performance Character at Home

The Athlos Performance Character pillar recognizes the deep connection between 12 character traits and success. In Athlos schools, the development of Performance Character is integrated into every learning opportunity, allowing students to experience this connection first hand. Traits like leadership, integrity, humility, and optimism become a lens through which students view their learning as about more than grades, but as learning for life.

Like all important lessons, reinforcing learning at home is a key factor to success. One of the best ways for parents to do this is to positively model the traits at home and to encourage trait development. Athlos home court has developed tools to help parents foster Performance Character including an online blog series, ‘Performance Character at Home.’ This series offers some simple yet effective ways to support children’s Performance Character development.

Outstanding Teacher Award Presented to Utah Instructional Coach

Andrea Harris was recognized by Herriman City in May with an “Outstanding Teacher Award.” In the 2016-2017 school year, Ms. Harris taught the fifth grade at Athlos Academy of Utah. This year, Ms. Harris has taken on the role of an instructional coach to work alongside Bobbie Evans in spreading excellence in teaching throughout the school. Ms. Harris, than you for all you do, and congratulations!

Athlos Academies Presented 2017 Building Excellence Award

Cameron Arial holding BOMA awardAthlos Academies headquarters was recognized with the Mayor’s Choice Building Excellence Award in May. Athlos Academies was one of eight businesses in Boise recognized with a Building Excellence Award, which was presented by Boise Mayor David Bieter. The awards recognize building owners and businesses whose projects represent the best of Boise’s built environment. Cameron Arial, project manager with Athlos Academies, received the award at a luncheon hosted by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Idaho.

What I Love About Athlos

Students from Athlos Academy of Utah

I love Athlos because the education here is phenomenal and the people here are nice.

Athlos Student

I love Athlos because we get new friends and everybody helps each other a lot.

Athlos Student

I love Athlos because I love all the teachers.

Athlos Student

I love Athlos because of the athletics and how much fun we have at athletics.

Athlos Student

School Partnerships


11 partnerships in the DFW area






Two partnerships in San Antonio


Four partnerships in the Houston area


Brooklyn Park




St. Cloud


Jefferson Parish (Opening fall 2018)

First Day of School

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