Prepared Mind Pillar

The Athlos Academic Program

The Prepared Mind Pillar at Athlos Academy of St. Cloud is centered on academic programs that will prime students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills they need to excel.

Our teachers use instructional strategies that promote curiosity, collaboration, and a culture of positivity. We believe having a Prepared Mind is as much about learning how to learn and succeed as it is about academic knowledge.

Subject Areas

The curriculum provides opportunities for students to construct meaningful connections and deeper understanding of core content.

Click here for AASC 2022-2023 K-3 Literacy Plan

K–5 Literacy: ReadyGen

ReadyGEN is an integrated and well-balanced approach to reading and writing instruction for Grades K-6 classrooms. Authentic texts with modeling and teacher-directed activities drive learning and motivate readers. Students read authentic literary and informational texts. Instruction focuses on reading, writing, speaking, and listening in response to authentic texts.

Curriculum Support:

6–8 English Language Arts: MyPerspectives

myPerspectives is a brand new English language arts curriculum for Grades 6–12 that values the perspective of the learner, collectively and individually, and provides next-gen learning experiences that promote higher achievement and develop the competencies needed for college and career readiness. Interactive learning blends print and technology in a student-centered, teacher-inspired classroom. This dynamic Pearson program creates an interactive, engaging, and relevant learning environment through readings, meaningful activities, and purposeful performance tasks. myPerspectives encourages social collaboration as well as student ownership of learning through goal setting, choice, and reflection.

Curriculum Support:

Additional Literacy Resources:

K–5 Math: Bridges

What does it mean to have mathematical literacy? It means that a student understands the important role math has in the world and becomes a citizen who can make informed decisions. Developing mathematical literacy begins with building mathematical thinkers, which is at the core of the Bridges math program used at Athlos Academy.

Bridges promotes a deeper understanding of math concepts, proficiency and fluency with computational skills, and the ability to reason and persevere through complex problems. Its approach blends direct instruction along with investigation and exploration using contexts and real world connections. The program presents information supported by a progression of learning: kinesthetic materials, powerful visual images, and symbolic notation. Pressed to make connections within the strategies and models, students develop a rich cognitive framework for the structure of mathematics.

Curriculum Support:

6–8 Math: CPM

On a daily basis, students using CPM Core Connections employ problem solving strategies, question, investigate, analyze critically, gather and construct evidence, and communicate rigorous arguments to justify their thinking. With the CPM instructional materials, students can tackle mathematical ideas set in everyday contexts to help them make sense of otherwise abstract principles. Students are taught how to gather and organize information about problems, break problems into smaller parts, and look for patterns that lead to solutions. Students often learn in collaboration with others, sharing information, expertise, and ideas.

While students are solving complex mathematical problems, they are communicating their thinking and understanding, both formally and informally, whether they are writing or speaking out loud. Communication helps to clarify students’ thinking, prepares them for sharing their ideas in professional settings, and formal or informal feedback that allows for revision. Communication lets teachers and peers assess students’ thinking and depth of understanding. In turn, all students get the chance to improve the quality of their work.

Curriculum Support:

Additional Math Resources:

Science (all grades)

The science program at Athlos Academy follows the three-dimensional Framework For K-12 Science Education (2012) laid out in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This research-based framework shifts science instruction away from the memorization of facts to a hands-on approach where students learn to think critically, practice science and engineering practices, and make connections to other content areas and the real world. Teaching with the K-12 Framework helps us prepare Athlos students for 21st century jobs and challenges by bringing together the three dimensions of science education: science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts.

Athlos Academy’s teachers use a variety of standards-based resources to teach science. These include lessons or units published by the National Science Teachers Association, National Geographic, NASA, or other scientific organizations; resources written and published by other science teachers across the U.S.; and science teaching kits, such as FOSS (Full Operation Science SystemTM).

Whenever possible, teachers integrate the practice of Performance Character traits and connections to the Healthy Body pillar into science lessons.

Links to learn more:

Social Studies

The social studies program is founded on the idea that developing civic competence is the basis for full participation in a democratic society. Aligned to state standards, Athlos Academy uses units framed by central topics such as family, community, and citizenship. Deeper investigations into pivotal historic events and eras such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the settlement of Minnesota will cultivate historical inquiry skills and an appreciation for our past. Students will consistently make connections to modern day global issues.

Beginning with guiding questions and essential understandings, the units include activities to pique curiosity and spark excitement. Throughout the grade levels, there are intentional connections made to Performance Character traits rooted in the deeds and words of significant historical and modern figures.

The fine arts curriculum includes visual arts and music exploration integrated thematically with other curriculum content. Students participate in two fine arts sessions each week.

2020–2021 Exploratory Classes

Download a printable version

Computer Science Discoveries 101

In Computer Science Discoveries 101, we will get to use materials from We will use inquiry-based activities, short videos to learn more, engaging classroom discussions, and computing tools to delve into computer science together. We will solve puzzles, take part in challenges, and apply to real-world scenarios, all while using the problem-solving process. These skills will be applicable to many parts of life. Later, we will be designing our own web pages. We will think of ourselves as consumers of digital content, and the impact of sharing our information online.

Somali Weaving

The exploratory quarter-long course builds core skills to work with patterns and build dexterity while learning about the revival of traditional Somali weaving. We examine the traditional techniques and the modifications that are used by beginning weavers. We examine the differences between Kumihimo round loom weaving and Somali finger weaving.

Health & Wellness

This class will focus on a few core ideas about what it takes to be healthy and happy. Using skills-based activities, we will explore
and learn about physical health, mental health, emotional health, social health, and much more! We may also look at how personality affects health, and how we can best take care of our own health and the health of others.

Personal Finance & Career Readiness

In Personal Finance and Career Readiness, we will learn about budgeting everyday expenses and things we can do to find jobs we want. We will use personal workbooks, in-class lessons, and simulations, and mock job interviews to show mastery of the information and skills we will be learning.

Digital Citizenship

In Digital Citizenship we will cover 6 units, each unit focusing on one core topic and exploring how it connects to your everyday life.

  • Media Balance & Well Being – We find balance in our digital lives
  • Privacy & Security – We care about everyone’s privacy
  • Digital Footprint & Identity – We define who we are
  • Relationships & Communication – We know the power of words and actions
  • Cyberbullying, Digital Drama & Hate Speech – We are king and courageous
  • News & Media Literacy – We are critical thinkers and creators


In order to improve instruction and allow for data-driven decision-making, Athlos Academy of St. Cloud conducts interim assessments using assessments aligned to Minnesota’s academic standards and the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs). The results of these assessments are used to inform classroom instruction and identify support needed for individual students.

STAR Assessments

Info coming soon.

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota’s academic standards. These tests are requirements of the state of Minnesota.

Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility requirements may take the alternate assessment Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) instead.

MCA Reading Assessments
  • Grades 3–8
  • Online or paper-based formats
  • Adaptive test
MCA Math Assessments
  • Grades 3–8
  • Online or paper-based formats
  • Adaptive test
MCA Science Assessments
  • Gades 5 and 8
  • Online or paper-based formats
  • Test is linear (same for each student)

English Language Proficiency Assessments

At Athlos, ACCESS is administered to K–8 students who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). It’s given annually to monitor students’ progress in learning academic English. WIDA’s five English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards: Social & Instructional Language, Language of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies and test forms are divided into five grade-level clusters (testing grades 1–8).

  • Paper-based and online formats for grades 1–8
  • Paper-based format for kindergarten
  • Learn more
Alternate ACCESS
Links to learn more

ACCESS Assessment Schedule: January 27 – March 20, 2020

K–2nd grade

  • Kindergarten: 1/27/20 – 2/27/20
  • 1st grade:2/3/20 – 2/27/20
  • 2nd grade:2/10/20 – 2/27/20
  • Make ups:3/10/20 – 3/20/20

3rd–5th Grade

  • 3rd grade:1/27/20 – 2/27/20
  • 4th grade:2/3/20 – 2/27/20
  • 5th grade: 2/10/20 – 2/27/20
  • Make ups:3/10/20 – 3/20/20

6th–8th grade

  • 6th grade: 1/27/20 – 2/27/20
  • 7th grade: 2/3/20 – 2/27/20
  • 8th grade:2/10/20 – 2/27/20
  • Make ups:3/10/20 – 3/20/20

*The order of the tests for each grade level are as follows:

Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing

Grading Practices

Learn about standards-based grading and other avenues used at Athlos Academy to track and share student progress.

Register for Athlos Summer School

We will be offering summer school this year! The program will focus on providing additional support for students in reading, math, and Performance Character for all grade levels. Fill out the online applications before April 24th. Seats are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tips and Tricks for Helping Children Become Excited About Math

Athlos has compiled a few tips and tricks that can help both parents and children develop optimism and curiosity about the field of mathematics.

7 Tips on Helping Children Manage Test Anxiety

Testing in schools plays an important role in gauging how well students are performing academically. Though it’s common for students to not look forward to testing, some children loath it to the point of developing test anxiety, a form of stress that can hinder their learning.

Reading, Writing, Math: Developing Confident Problem Solvers

In the Athlos academics curriculum, when it comes to reading, writing, and math, it’s more than what students learn, but how they learn, comprehend, and apply their newfound knowledge to real-world problems.

Six Tips on Helping Your Student Develop a Growth Mindset Through Praise

Recent studies indicate that how parents and educators give praise or reward for a student’s success can have a direct effect on their mindset.

Student-Led Conferences: Helping Children Lead

At Athlos Academy, student-led conferences take the place of traditional parent-teacher conferences. These conferences help students take ownership of their learning as they honestly reflect on their progress, discuss their successes and challenges, and set goals for the future.

The Impact of Active, Student-Centered Classrooms on Student Success

At Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, 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.