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WE BELIEVE

all meaningful academic inquiry is interconnected.

deep learning happens in an intellectually challenging and emotionally supportive environment.

diversity of thought and personal identity among teachers and learners maximizes learning and strengthens communities.

Why Theatre?

Our reasons are many. At our core, we are advocates for all art forms, and we believe deeply in their inherent worth as stand-alone subjects and as part of integrated curricula. We chose theatre as the foundation for our school because as a discipline, it offers multiple pathways into other art forms such as music, dance, visual arts, and writing.

The theatrical process also lends itself to academic integration. By devising, adapting, and performing plays based on classical and modern texts, students read, write, analyze, observe, memorize, problem-solve, collaborate, perspective-take, present, critique, iterate, and reflect. They become experts about texts and subject matter related to their plays.

Instead of just reading a Shakespeare play in English class, ATLAS students engage in all aspects of bringing it from the page to the stage for an audience. Their studies of the historical time period, political structures, social studies, and geography ultimately serve to enhance their final product. Their work to design and build their sets, costumes, and props requires science, technology, engineering, visual arts, and math. Students also manage the business aspects of their theatre company, which provides an invaluable opportunity to practice the skills necessary for success in the 21st century workforce.

Students can also pursue different learning pathways within theatre while still working as a team to create a final product. For example, one young person might flourish as the designated stage manager on a production, gaining valuable organization and leadership skills. Another might oversee the set design and construction, using design thinking, technology, and engineering to complete their work. Ultimately, it is our hope that as each individual learner develops, they will be motivated to explore different facets of the production process.

Finally, not only is theatre an academically generative art form, it is also a physically, vocally, and emotionally demanding discipline. ATLAS students gain invaluable awareness and control of their bodies, voices, and minds at a time of significant metamorphosis in their lives.

A Role for Everyone

At ATLAS, theatre is a source of empathy and connection and an avenue for global enquiry. Students learn that they are part of a shared human experience that transcends borders and differences.

Consistent with our mission to cultivate active citizens of our communities, we are committed to creating an inclusive learning community reflective of New Haven’s
socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, gender/orientation, ability, and philosophical diversity. We believe diversity among teachers and learners maximizes learning and strengthens our school.

We also believe quality education is a basic human right, and our ultimate goal is to serve all young people who are eager to attend ATLAS regardless of their family’s financial situation. Our operating budget is created with this priority. By creatively utilizing a small team of expert teachers, administrators, and teaching artists, we are able to keep our tuition below the area average for a private middle school education. In addition to offering a lower tuition, we provide financial aid to 50% of our current ATLAS families. Every family contributes to their child’s education according to their ability to do so.

Students who experience feelings of alienation in other environments based on their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, learning differences, and/or personal belief systems will find in ATLAS a safe, supportive, and responsive place to learn and grow. We believe that forthright, facilitated conversations among people from different backgrounds and stances are crucial to building compassionate communities, and that academic inquiry must incorporate these themes.

Anti-Racism Policy

ATLAS rejects all forms of racism as destructive to the school’s mission, vision, values, and goals. ATLAS is committed to the following principles:

  • Establishing and sustaining a school community that shares the collective responsibility to address, eliminate, and prevent actions, decisions, and outcomes that result from and perpetuate racism.

  • Eliminating inequitable practices and cultivating the unique gifts, talents, and interests of every child to end the predictive value of social or cultural factors, such as race, class, or gender, on student success.

  • Respecting and championing the diversity and life experiences of all community members to support the school division’s mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives.

  • Acknowledging that racism is often compounded by other forms of discrimination, including, gender, sexual orientation, etc. 

ATLAS is committed to implementing an anti-racist curriculum and providing educational resources for students.

Curriculum and instructional materials reflect cultural and racial diversity and include a range of perspectives and experiences, particularly those of historically underrepresented groups of people of color.  

ATLAS is committed to providing various, including anonymous, means for students and staff to report racism and other forms of discrimination. 

ATLAS is committed to training all faculty in anti-racism practices. 

ATLAS reviews its policy annually and makes adjustments based on parent, student, staff, and NMS Board feedback.


Questions? Please contact us at [email protected].