A High School Like No Other

High school at Areté has been compared to an all-day intellectual dinner party – a place where brainy word play, clever argumentation, and surprising ideas come together in a milieu that provokes, entertain, and inspire. From pensive wallflowers to irrepressible extroverts, we attract students with rich internal lives and a deep passion to understand. In a culture where passionate equals cool, our teens learn to practice kindness and open communication, while embracing the diversity of minds that makes a day at Areté unforgettable.

Intellectual Growth & Discovery

Areté high schoolers embrace the challenge of meaningful inquiry, excels in the arts of rhetoric and discourse, and appreciate the difference between acquisition of facts and thoughtful analysis. Our students enter higher education as trusted proprietors of their own intellectual growth, ready to discover themselves in a complex world of knowledge and ideas.

Beyond Honors​

At Areté, we embrace students’ diverse interests and support them to excel at their own pace without limitations. For advanced learners, we offer inquiry-driven honors classes, an advanced level STEM program, a unique Symposium program, a senior honors thesis program, a 12th-year Quest Program, and the opportunity to attend college courses for credit. Excellence at Areté means losing yourself in a topic or idea, entering into a focused state of intellectual “flow,” and sharing your uncontainable enthusiasm with others. Close mentoring by our faculty, themselves passionate life-long scholars, promotes deep understanding and personalizes learning. For a budding scholar, the Areté experience provides an antidote and counterpoint to the lecture-and-test, smile-and-endure “Race to Nowhere” embodied by other elite programs.

Engaging Programs

Explore What We Do Differently

Great Ideas

This cross-disciplinary philosophy program introduces students to the important issues in Western and non-Western thought, encouraging the use of historical and contemporary examples to support students’ own emergent philosophical positions. 

Video Game Creators' Workshop

A pre-professional game design program. Working in the small Areté seminar format, students will master core programming skills while learning about the culture and structure of the game making world.

Advanced STEM

The Eudaimonia Program at Areté serves a population of gifted, highly motivated learners who crave extraordinary challenge and autonomy in science and mathematics. We seek to reinvent math and science instruction, combining the best parts of university learning with the academic supports that allow gifted students to truly flourish.

Senior Master Thesis
and class

Designed to challenge and inspire our most advanced students, the Areté Senior Master Thesis and Class serve as the culmination of Arete’s four-year philosophy and Symposium curriculum. Seniors consistently find this part of the year the most rewarding experience of their academic career.

Beyond A-G

Graduation Requirements

In addition to the five traditional high school subjects (English, social science/history, mathematics, laboratory science, and foreign language), our four-year Great Ideas and Symposium requirements produce graduates familiar with basic tenets of philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and political science.

Four Years

Required Subjects

Click to see past themes and classes

  • Defying Societal Gravity: Strong Women of 19th and 20th Century Literature
  • Southern Literature
  • Magic, Mayhem and Miracles
  • Advanced Literary Analysis: Word vs Image — Writing on Literature and Film
  • Advanced Literary Analysis: Ethics, Evil, Faith and Fiction
  • The Construction of the Male Gender in Literature
  • Adventures in Art
  • Clay Sculpture
  • Illustration
  • Academic Journal
  • Photography
  • Humor Magazine
  • Computer Programming
  • Rock Band
  • Inventors’ Workshop
  • Idea Lab
  • Fashion Design
  • Creative Writing
  • Film Analysis
  • Photography
  • Culinary Arts
  • Documentary Filmmaking
  • Drama
  • Poetry
  • Yearbook
  • Vocals
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • French
  • Mandarin

Three Years

Required Subjects

Click to see past themes and classes

  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra 1
  • Algebra 2
  • Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus
  • Geometry
  • First and Second Year Calculus
  • Advanced Mathematics (Linear Algebra, Number Theory, and Abstract Algebra)
  • World History
  • US History
  • 20th Century Political and Intellectual History

Two Years

Required Subjects

Click to see past themes and classes

  • Cross Country Team (CIF Member)
  • Rock Climbing
  • Strength and Cardiovacular
  • Training
  • Hiking
  • Fitness Games and More!

A Diverse Set of


Our electives are created based on the interests of our students. Here are some of our popular courses: Creative Writing | Fashion Design | Culinary Arts | Idea Lab | Robotics | Video Game Design | Model United Nations | Visual Arts and Art Portfolio | Photography | Recycled Beats: Electronic Music Production