Location: South Austin
Students served: Ages 18 months–9 years
Current enrollment: 50 students; now enrolling for Fall 2019 Elementary Program, 75 maximum
Model/philosophy: Julia's Garden is nestled on an urban farm oasis, 3/4 acres of garden property near downtown Austin. The program provides foundational learning skills to 0–9-year-olds based on the principles taught by Dr. Maria Montessori and using materials found in nature. This school is supported by a nonprofit organization that gives families more ways to become involved throughout the school year. It is marked by a strong parent community, inclusive student body, 4-day academic school week (with optional on-campus Friday programs), foreign language programs, and low student-to-teacher ratios. Curriculum for Excellence, a Montessori-based education system, serves the Taller (lower elementary program) and follows academic milestones set by TEKS readiness standards.
Special features: Spanish and Mandarin classes starting at age 2.5 years, Spanish immersion at 18 months in the toddler program, part-time program options, yoga classes, trained Montessori teachers, low student-to-teacher ratios, garden & music program, cooking, leadership opportunities, peace education curriculum, parent education events and classes onsite, included special education support and tutoring, and wellness counseling for students and parents. Currently in the process of becoming accredited through the International Council for Accrediting Relationship-based Education (ICARE) and Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools (TAAAPS), expected completion Spring 2020.
Schedule: 9-month academic calendar, with optional 10-week half-day summer school program starting at age 2. School year begins the day after Labor Day and ends the 4th week of May. Follows AISD for most school holidays. See hours and rates for various program options in Tuition section below.
Tuition & Fees:
Infant Community (toddlers through age 3): 9am–1pm Monday–Thursday (child will have lunch), $8,550; 2 days/week MW or TT (child will have lunch), $5,400; Full Day Monday–Thursday, 9am–4pm, $13,000.
Children’s House (ages 3–5): Morning Program, 8:30am–12:30pm Monday–Thursday, $8,100; Full-Day Program, 8:30am–3pm Monday–Thursday, $11,575.
Taller (elementary program for ages 6–9, corresponding to grades 1st–4th): 8:45am–3:15pm Monday–Thursday plus half-day Friday field studies, $12,800.
Application Fee (non-refundable), $150; Registration/Supply Fee (non-refundable), $300; Early Elementary Supply and Travel Fee, $300; New Student Fee (one-time charge), $500; Tuition Payment Plan Fee, +3% of total tuition; Early Arrival Fee (optional) 8:30am–9am, $900 annually /$100 per month; Extended Day Clubhouse (optional) 12:30pm–3pm, $3,825 annually /$425 per month; Lunch Program (optional) 12:30pm–1:30pm, $1,800 annually / $200 per month; Yoga Program (all ages, optional) 3pm– 4pm, $2,160.00 annually / $240 per month.
Contact: 512-790-4094 | email@example.com | juliasgardenmontessori.com
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.