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.
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.
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.
Our viewbook provides a comprehensive summary of an Avenues education.
May 22, 2019
One of the key topics covered in the Vietnam War senior elective history class this year was the anti-war movement that developed during the war. Anti-war movements had sprouted up during other wars in American history, but none were ever as pervasive and effective as the anti-war activism during Vietnam.
May 21, 2019
The kindergarteners in the Dragons and Eagles classes created a new dramatic play center called Play Teacher. In this center, the children pretend to be Chinese teachers, instructing other kids in the target language.
May 15, 2019
What can adventure teach us about living? This winter, Gerry Moffatt spoke to the Avenues community about the lessons he’s learned during 35 years as an expedition guide, explorer and filmmaker.
May 14, 2019
Earlier this year, the 7th floor commons was abuzz with groups of math students presenting their videos, puzzles, posters, problems, and more at the Algebraic Expressions Project Exhibition.
May 8, 2019
We began our food unit, as most language classes must when entering the world of food for the first time, with the acquisition of a large body of vocabulary. As a student, food is often an easily accessible unit; everyone eats food, and it can be fun to talk about one’s favorite food and its flavors.