Mastery Program

γένοι᾽ οἷος ἐσσὶ μαθών – Pindar, Pythian 2.72
“Learn and become who you are.”

Mission

As a cornerstone of the Avenues experience, the Mastery program is fueled by one mission: To inspire a world of happier, more meaningful lives through the beautiful engagement of one’s passions. We recognize the power of individuals to motivate others through demonstrations of expert skill and unbridled creativity; we champion the ways in which the honest deployment of our energies can give meaning and purpose to our own lives; and, most importantly, we empower our students with the understanding that when they actively engage these passions, they acquire the ability to shape the world in some positive way.

With this mission in mind, we provide students both time and space during the school day to strive toward the achievement of exceptional skill in a desired domain. Imagine a young historian researching a minor figure from the American Revolution and adding to the academic literature of this period; a team of young scientists working with college professors to harness the power of radio waves in order to charge electronic devices; or a songwriter working with mentors to write and produce her first album. The possibilities are endless in Mastery, and our students’ work is limited only by their imaginations.

The Program

All 9th graders are introduced to the thinking and research that form the foundation of Mastery. Students acquire the tools and language that will equip them both for success as Mastery students and for the academic challenges of their Avenues coursework. Because we believe every student should have an opportunity to discover his or her passion, we work tirelessly with freshmen to help them understand their interests and aptitudes.

Students in grades 10 and 11 may continue their Mastery work, diving deeper in a given area. Students who have already identified a particular interest are invited to imagine themselves as contributing members of this self-selected domain. We ask our students to make a commitment, not to a profession but to a purposeful inquiry in the present that inches them closer to that dream of their future.

Seniors in Mastery examine the philosophy and psychology of creativity as they work toward the completion of a large-scale senior project that will be presented in a public exhibition to the Avenues community and require an oral defense. Robust, experiential learning like this requires both maturity and dedication. We urge our students to push themselves because we have a limitless belief in their capabilities. Mastery is an extraordinary experience that elicits extraordinary work from our students.

Beyond the Classroom, Beyond Avenues

As students continue through the Mastery program, we urge them to seek out formal mentorship opportunities and to take advantage of field experiences in the areas in which they are working. We have built maximum flexibility into the Mastery program so every student can clear a pathway to his or her personal goals.

Finally, as leading colleges and university begin to look for key differentiators in their prospective freshmen, the Mastery program becomes a way students can distinguish themselves from their peers around the world. Graduates from our program exhibit a deep understanding of themselves and of their essential natures, both as learners and as human beings. They have proven their maturity, dedication and focus through the knowledge they have acquired and through the quality of the work they have produced. Is there a better way to show colleges and the world who you really are than through the active engagement of your passions?

Come, help us inspire the world.

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Recent Articles from OPEN, our news and discussion blog

April 18, 2019

A Chinese-Spanish Cabaret

by Jennette Mullaney


Upper Division students performed in both Spanish and Mandarin Chinese for this year’s Cabaret! Although previous years had featured songs in Spanish, this was the first year our Cabaret included Chinese as well.  

April 17, 2019

Design Thinking in 1st Grade

by Anna Stevens, Lower Division Science Teacher


Using the design thinking process—a series of steps to solve a problem—our 1st graders built structures to satisfy the needs of Madagascar hissing cockroaches kept at the school.  

April 12, 2019

Matt Green and the World Before Your Feet: Mindful Travel and Interaction

by Jennette Mullaney


The middle grades at Avenues had the great fortune of hearing from Matt Green, the subject of a new documentary titled The World Before Your Feet.  

April 10, 2019

“Poetry Is That Which Is Worth Translating”: Writing Between Languages at Avenues

by Brady Smith and Narcy Carranza


In 9th and 10th grade HIP (High Intensity Practice) Thinking through Writing, students have been reading and rewriting Spanish and Chinese poems in English.  

April 9, 2019

Lunar New Year in the Early Learning Center

by Evelyn Vivar, Spanish Fellow in the Early Learning Center


Students in the Early Learning Center learned so much about Lunar New Year this winter.  

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