Location: Central Austin
Students served: Ages 10–14
Current enrollment: Now enrolling for fall 2017
Model/philosophy: Tiny Schools offers project-based learning experiences for middle years learners. Its mission, based in the micro-school philosophy, is to create engaging, hands-on courses by uniting awesome educators with curious learners with as few administrative hang-ups as possible.
Tiny Schools makes three promises to its learners: they will be better prepared for high school, they will develop the attributes they need to live an extraordinary life, and they’ll actually have fun while learning.
Each course combines the best education technology with innovative and inspiring educators, and the wealth of resources the city has to offer. The Tiny School mantra says that great things happen when you use your resources.
Special features: The Tiny Schools project-based process looks like this: First, learners start a project with an experienced mentor (writing a play, building a treehouse, designing a computer game, that sort of thing). As learners get their hands on the project, they discover, sometimes through failure and frustration, what they don’t know. To complete each course, learners must master the built-in core skills, knowledge, and personal outcomes. Tiny Schools is all about conquering that moment of failure and discovery, which they believe brings out the best in mentors and learners. In the journey from idea to completion, learners acquire everything they need to thrive at the next level—truly experiencing what it means to own their education. Schedule: The Tiny Schools schedule runs in six-week terms, with one-week breaks between each term. During each term students take two courses from 9am to 3:30pm. The first term lasts from August 21 through September 29.
Tuition: $7,500 per year
Contact: Elliot Baker, Program Development Coordinator | firstname.lastname@example.org | 512-537-7675
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.