Athenian Academy

The first Greek Charter School in the United States

Since 2000 Athenian Academy has been changing the way the world thinks about Charter Schools. At that time, the concept of charter schools was relatively new in the state of Florida. Not only was the concept of charter schools new, a multilingual focus at an elementary level caused a great deal of skepticism even though in over 20 European Countries, second and third language instruction is required to begin in schools with children as young as 5 years old. The founder of Athenian Academy, Mr. George Poumakis, was so convinced and passionate about the benefits of American children learning the Greek language, culture and customs, that he gained the support of the Education Consulate of Greece and together, they negotiated a groundbreaking teacher exchange program that paved the way for the school to open. Now, sixteen years later, the original Athenian Academy has expanded from a K-2 school with as few as 50 students, to a K-8 school educating over 500 students, added Spanish language instruction in 2007 and was granted “High Performing Status” in 2014. Today, the founders of the original school, along with the governing board, Choice Charter School Services and the School Leader are equally as passionate about sharing the school model and the benefits of multilingual education with many more students in Florida school districts.

Clearwater
Ft. Myers
Español Ft. Myers

Why Choose Athenian?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Charter schools are public schools that operate under a performance contract — or a “charter” — which frees them from many regulations created for traditional public schools, while holding them accountable for academic and financial results. The charter contract between the charter school governing board and the sponsor details the school’s mission, program, goals, students served, methods of assessment and ways to measure success. The length of time for which charters are granted varies but most are granted for five years.

The Florida Legislature, in authorizing the creation of public charter schools, established the following guiding principles: high standards of student achievement while increasing parental choice, the alignment of responsibility with accountability and ensuring parents receive information on reading levels and learning gains of their children. Charter schools are intended to improve student learning, increase learning opportunities with special emphasis on low performing students and reading and measure learning outcomes. Charter schools may create innovative measurement tools, provide competition to stimulate improvement in traditional schools, expand capacity of the public school system and mitigate the educational impact created by the development of new residential units.

Charter schools are open to all students residing within the district; however, charter schools are allowed to target students within specific age groups or grade levels, students considered at-risk of dropping out or failing, students wishing to enroll in a charter school-in-the-workplace or charter school-in-a-municipality, students residing within a reasonable distance of the school, students who meet reasonable academic, artistic or other eligibility standards established by the charter school, or students articulating from one charter school to another. Additionally, a charter school may give enrollment preference to the following student populations:

  • Siblings of current charter school students’
  • Children of a charter school governing board member or employee
  • Children of employees of the business partner of a charter school-in-the-workplace or resident of the municipality in which such a charter is located
  • Children of residents of a municipality that operates a charter school-in-a-municipality
  • Students who have successfully completed a voluntary prekindergarten program provided by the charter school during the previous year
  • Children of an active-duty member of any branch of the US Armed Forces.
  • Students who attended or are assigned to failing schools
Charter schools are created when an individual, a group of parents or teachers, a business, a municipality, or a legal entity submits an application to the school district. The school district approves the application, the applicants form a governing board that negotiates a contract with the district school board, and the applicants and district school board agree upon a charter or contract. The district school board then becomes the sponsor of the charter school. The negotiated contract outlines expectations of both parties regarding the school’s academic and financial performance.

A charter school must be organized as, or be operated by, a nonprofit organization. The charter school may serve at-risk students, or offer a specialized curriculum or core academic program, provide early intervention programs, or serve exceptional education students.

Every charter school’s governing board is required to appoint a representative to facilitate parental involvement, provide access to information, assist parents and others with questions and concerns, and resolve disputes. The representative must reside in the school district. The representative may be a governing board member, employee, or individual contracted to represent the governing board.

Contact information for the representative must be provided in writing to parents each year, and must be posted prominently on the charter schools web site if a web site is maintained by the charter school.

Also, each charter school’s governing board must hold at least two public meetings per school year in the school district. The meetings must be noticed, open, and accessible to the public. Attendees must be provided an opportunity to offer input regarding the schools operations and receive information about the school. The representative appointed by the governing board must be physically present at the two required meetings.

Teachers employed by or under contract to a charter school are required to be certified (Ch. 1012, F.S.).
In addition to English, we offer Greek and Spanish in our curriculum.
Yes, our uniform policy is mandatory and both students and parents are expected to support the uniform policy by strictly adhering to the policy rules.
  • Authorized/Logo school uniform polo shirts in royal blue, red, yellow or green may be worn by all students K-8.
  • Black may be worn by the 8th grade class only.
  • Uniform-style twill shorts, pants and skirts in colors of navy blue, black and khakis (with sewn in pockets).
  • Royal blue or white zip-up or pullover sweatshirts can be worn in the building. Navy blue and white solid sweaters are also acceptable. A school appropriate uniform shirt must be worn underneath. This is the only outerwear allowed inside the building.
  • Royal blue, Parthenon Spirit or house t-shirts may be worn on Friday Spirit Days only.
  • Solid color leggings or tights in colors of royal blue, white, navy or black may be worn under school uniform.
  • Closed toe shoes MUST be worn at all times.
  • Proper undergarments are to be worn at all times.
  • Hats and other outerwear may be worn outside during P.E. and/or recess only

In addition:

  • Uniforms are to be clean and free from rips or holes.
  • Uniforms are to be the proper size for your child. They should not be too big or too small.
  • Uniform shorts for both girls and boys are to be fingertip length at a minimum
  • Uniform shirts or spirit shirts must be worn under the approved school logo sweatshirts or plain white or royal blue sweatshirts.
Yes, Athenian Academy offers gifted classes for all qualified students a partial day each week.

Foreign Dual-Language Focus

Athenian academy, established in the year 2000, was the first Greek charter school in the United States. Today Athenian Academy’s curriculum has evolved into dual foreign languages including both Greek and Spanish. Athenian is the only school in Pinellas County that teaches two foreign languages daily to all K-8 students.

Traditional public schools offer foreign language classes, often popular options like Spanish and French. But overall, children in the United States are behind their counterparts elsewhere in the world who learn multiple languages while growing up. Students at Athenian along with core academics receive daily instruction in English, Greek and Spanish giving them a tri-lingual, tri-cultural global advantage.

The Athenian Academy has a strong partnership with the Greek Embassy Department of Education. Our Greek teachers participate in a 3-5 year teacher exchange program and are all highly qualified, veteran, native speaking, educators from Greece.

The Athenian Academy employs State of Florida certified Spanish teachers. With multiple Spanish teachers on site, each brings the advantage of their home country dialect to the Spanish curriculum.

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