The Athlos model was developed based on leading research and studies on education, achievement, and social-emotional learning; athletic development, physical education, health, and wellness; and character education. Below are the specific research elements that support the Athlos model in each of the three Pillars of Performance: Prepared Mind, Healthy Body, and Performance Character.


  • Preparing Students for Their Future

    The Critical 21st Century Skills Every Student Needs and Why from The Global Digital Citizen Foundation, August 2016

    Thinking about students and what they’ll need for future success drives all aspects of the 3-pillar Athlos model.  All of our strategies and structures have been intentionally chosen to help students develop into healthy, savvy, innovative, responsible citizens.

  • First Days of School

    How Finland Starts the School Year, The Atlantic, August 25, 2016

    At Athlos we believe that positive culture is essential to success. Consistent communication, projects, protocols, our huddles, and many other strategies are used to get to know students and to empower them to take ownership over their learning.

  • Characteristics of High Performing Schools

    Taking a Lesson from The Boys in the Boat and Aiming for ‘Swing’ The Lens, August 9, 2016

    Shared mission/vision, a culture of growth and positivity (based on trust), and joy are three things this article identifies as essential to a high-performing school. At Athlos, we agree with these tenets and work to ensure that positive culture and a shared vision is cultivated among staff members and the entire school community. All of our Prepared Mind strategies and school-wide structures support this idea.

  • Active, Student-Centered Instruction

    Teaching With the Brain in Mind (2nd Edition) by Eric Jensen; Chapter 4: Movement and Learning

    This article highlights several foundational beliefs of Athlos including the link between physical activity and brain development, the importance of movement breaks and free play, and the value of active teaching strategies.

  • Inquiry-Based Instruction

    Curiosity: The Force Within a Hungry Mind from Edutopia, February 2015

    Curiosity is one of our 12 Performance Character traits and the basis of the Prepared Mind strategy: inquiry-based instruction.  At Athlos, we work to leverage the natural curiosity of children to build rigorous, meaningful, and memorable learning experiences.

  • Effective Math Practices

    What Does Good Math Instruction Look Like? By Nancy Protheroe

    Recent research calls educators to analyze traditional procedural based math instruction. This article highlights elements of strong teaching practices and effective math environments.

  • Rigor, Clear Standards, Honest Communication

    Common Confusion From Education Next, Winter 2017

    At Athlos, we recognize the limitations of traditional grading systems with regard to both communication and motivation. Our standards-based grading practices, student-led conferences, and emphasis on consistent, quality communication with both students and families are all ways we work to empower students to take ownership over their own learning.


  • Long Term Athletic Development Model

    Long-Term Athletic Development Position Statement, National Strength and Conditioning Association

    All youth should engage in regular physical activity and be afforded the opportunity to enhance athleticism in an individualized, holistic, and child-centered manner.

  • The Importance of Physical Literacy

    Information for Parents, Canadian Sport for Life

    Long-term athletic development means children learn skills and take part in activities that match their stage of development.

  • Preventing Childhood Obesity

    Sedentary Behaviors and Youth: Current Trends and the Impact on Health,  Active Living, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, January 2014

    Sedentary behaviors are linked with higher risk for obesity, diabetes, and other chronic health problems among adults, even among those who are physically active and have healthy diets.

  • Unstructured Free Play

    Why young kids need less class time — and more play time — at school, The Washington Post, August 2015.

    Kids are built to move, and having more time for unstructured, outdoor play is essentially like a reset button. It not only helps to break up the day, but it allows kids to blow off steam and apply what is taught in the classroom to a play environment where the mind-body connection can flourish.


  • What is ‘Grit’?

    The Key to Success? Grit, TED Talks Education, Angela Duckworth

    One of our Performance Character areas we focus on, grit has been shown to predict both personal and professional success.

  • Leadership

    How to Get a Job at Google, Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times, February 2014

    In an interview with The Times, Google’s hiring guru noted his company has determined that “GPA’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring…they don’t predict anything.” He goes on to identify the five hiring attributes Google seeks: learning ability, leadership, humility, ownership, and expertise.