Location: North Central Austin
Students served: Spark Studio serving ages 4–6; Elementary Studio serving ages 7–11
Current enrollment: Now enrolling for Fall 2019; maximum of 50
Model/philosophy: Ascent Academy's mission is to inspire each child and parent who enters its doors to find a calling that will change the world. Ascent follows a one-room schoolhouse model that applies the philosophy of the Hero’s Journey and the Socratic method to empower young people. Combining Montessori principles with technology, Ascent has created a self-paced learning environment where children are equipped to become independent, lifelong learners.
Special features: Online adaptive software for math and language, project-based learning, Socratic discussion groups, examination of the Hero’s Journey and how it applies personally to each student, no homework, service learning opportunities, and outdoor education. Ascent Academy is an Acton Academy and is part of the network of over 100 Acton schools around the world turning learning upside down.
Schedule: 8:25am–3:15pm Monday-Friday; year-round with week-long breaks every 5–6 weeks
Tuition: Spark Studio: $11,220 per year, payable in 11 monthly installments of $1,020. Elementary Studio: $9,988 per year, payable in 11 monthly installments of $908
Contact: Janita Lavani and Samantha Jansky, Owners | firstname.lastname@example.org | iamcurious.org
Each listing in this alphabetical directory gives you a snapshot of a small, independent, alternative school in the Austin area.
This ever-expanding list spans several pages, with navigation buttons at the bottom. Clicking on the name of a school will take you to its own website. To easily find schools by geographical area, see our Alt Ed Maps page. If you know of a school that’s missing from this directory, please drop a note here, and see Alt Ed Austin’s criteria for “alternative” and “school.” You may also be interested in our directories of other recommended schools, as well as special programs for children and adults.
Full disclosure: Alt Ed Austin founder Teri Sperry has ties with several of the schools listed on this site. Her child has attended two of them. She has friends and collaborators who direct, teach at, or are otherwise involved in others. Some programs choose to advertise from time to time on Alt Ed Austin as Sponsoring Partners. She firmly believes that all of the schools featured on this site (including the ones to which she has no personal connection and those from which she receives no advertising fees) are great choices for some kids, each for different reasons.