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300 East Huntland Drive
Austin, TX 78752

School website
(512) 454-0848
(512) 453-2982
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Map of St Francis School address.
March 20, 2015
St. Francis changed (and continues to change) my daughter's life, and ours. She attended two different public schools (one AISD, once charter, to be exact) before moving to St. Francis in fourth grade. My daughter, who is creative and smart (but who struggles with math), was taught at these public schools--due to expectations of excellence in all subjects; pressure from testing; high teacher-to-student ratios; poor teacher selection and training (and pay); and resultant peer pressure/social anxiety--that she wasn't up to par. When she entered St. Francis, she thrived in just a few months. It is incredible what good teachers and a community-based classroom can do. I cannot say enough about the teachers and the community. As for social/peer pressure, the school does magic. The kids are able to foster a welcoming environment through teacher and school-wide example that continues to floor me. Bullying is dealt with in an effective, swift, straightforward way I have never seen in any educational environment. Further, the school's diversity--for a private school (and for many Austin public schools)--is impressive and was of crucial importance to us when we joined.

- submitted by a parent
March 12, 2015
There should be more elementary & middle schools like St. Francis: small, unpretentious, focused on developing students' academic achievement and high-school readiness, with small classes (maximum 15 students), not forced to teach to the STAAR test or follow ever-changing educational fads. St. Francis offers an old-fashioned school environment in a welcoming, and racially and economically diverse atmosphere. It is a Christian school, but nondenominational and religious instruction is not part of the academic curriculum. All faiths are welcome and respected, as are gay-parented families. They welcome students of different ability levels, from gifted to challenged: the common denominator amoung the kids is a willingness to work. My son is high-functioning on the autism spectrum, and beyond 1st grade, public school was a disaster for him. We enrolled him at St. Francis, and the smaller classes, nurturing, non-STAAR test focused environment, and high academic expectations completely turned my son around. There are also many field trips and special events, like the 4th grade ballroom dance and 8th grade trip to Italy.

- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2014
I went to SFS from K-8, and I loved it. I made some of my closest friends there. The environment is extremely friendly, and everyone is so open and welcoming. Kids with disabilities are treated awesomely, and I rarely saw anyone get bullied. The school is accepting of every religion and race, and the students there are great as well. The closeness of the teachers and students provides for a really great learning experience, and much of the teaching is done unconventionally (in a good way). Some of the middle school academics could be improved on, but the amazing teachers made me feel prepared for high school. I can say going to this school was one of the best experiences of my life, because of the sense of family I felt with the community there and the friends I made.

- submitted by a community member
December 09, 2013
I went to SFS from pre-k to halfway through 6th grade before I had to move , and I can honestly say that it was the best school ever. While the school says its Episcopalian it accepts every religion, and every week at chapel we would learn about the other religions and the holidays they celebrated and how they did that. Even after I left St.Francis when I came back to Austin I would go back to St.Francis because I felt so at home. The teachers really care about you, if you're having a hard time they'll help you out in every way possible, and if you're finding it to easy they will try to make it more challenging. St. Francis is perfect for any type of student whether they are a normal student or if they have learning disabilities or even physical ones too. In my grade we had a severely autistic child who couldn't speak really, but we all loved him so much. We were all really sad when he left. Another thing is they don't put up with cattiness or bullying. They will ask you to stop , nicely, and if you continue to have bad behavior they will not hesitate to expel you. Either way,St. Francis A+++++.

- submitted by a community member
September 26, 2013
Our experience over nearly 4 years has ranged from excellent to average or below average. While I wouldn't want school leadership to be immediately reactive to parent concerns, I feel like the school is somewhat slower than it should be in addressing concerns and soliciting feedback from parents. We've seen this especially in the lower grades, where there has been a lot of turnover (teachers and students) over the last few years. As our child moves into the upper middle school, we are much more comfortable and have much more confidence in the teachers. We've seen student to teacher ratios of 15 or 16 to one, which is different than the 10-1 listed on this site, but still excellent.

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2013
I am regularly impressed with the stellar reputation of St Francis' head of school, Barbara Porter, within the academic community. Her leadership style, commitment to high standards, and educational expertise are sought out by other school's for suggestions on how to improve. Parental engagement and appreciation is also high comparatively. Considering her length of tenure, its refreshing to have a head of school that is in touch with the needs of her students and current teaching practices. She and the teaching staff also focus on instilling strong values, virtues and character building of the students as well as academics.

- submitted by a parent
September 07, 2012
Our child attended lower middle school at St Francis and it was a wonderful and highly rewarding experience for her. Under the guidance of a devoted and in-touch head of school and a rare gem of a lower middle school coordinator, dedicated faculty, and awesome staff, we were confident that our daughter's education -- both academic and social -- would be stellar (and it was). No school is perfect for every kid, but for our child is was amazing. The minimal landscaping outside the school reflects the school's priorities -- keeping tuition reasonable for everyone, and I love that (although a little work on the entrance and egress pathways could be improved-- and there's certainly the parental human resources to come up with a solution to the circulation maze outside the front entrance, hint, hint).

- submitted by a parent
August 25, 2010
This school works very well for kids who will do well in most any school. there are certain kids with issues that can do well. Our experience was very poor, teachers couldn't work with our son and didn't care, no different than AISD. With the exception of 4th grade, 5th and 6th grade was a complete waste of our money and our son's time. he actually learned a lot of bad behavior at the school

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2010
Our son was very happy at St Francis all the way through 8th grade. The school excels at educating kids at both ends: gifted kids, & problem kids. The saddest thing is that there's nowhere to go after 8th grade. No private high school in Austin is as good as St Francis. St Steven's is money-conscious & for rich kids; St Andrew's is Republican & conservative; St Michael's takes Catholicism really rigidly. The public schools, even LASA & the IB school, Anderson, are disappointing after St Francis.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2010
I attended St Francis from 6th grade to 8th, and it was some of the best years of my life (: There is such diversity, and everyone there is very friendly and helpful. I've learned a lot from that school and I'm very happy that i could be a part of such a great community. Thanks St. Francis !

- submitted by a student
September 07, 2009
I have been a SFS parent for eight years and my children have had a wonderful experience. For us, it has been a utopia! Small classes, great teachers, effective administration. The on-site Reading and Language Center gave my dyslexic kids tutoring from a Certified Academic Language Specialist which enabled them (over time) to meet and then surpass their grade level in reading. While they were getting reading support to address their academic weaknesses, they could also receive advanced instruction in math, science, and art where they were very strong. Great school for gifted kids, great school for dyslexic kids, great school for all kids. We loved the diversity (religious, ethnic, and economic) of families here.

- submitted by a parent
May 30, 2009
Amazing teachers but some of the kids do not belong in a social situation where they could do harm to other kids. St Francis seriously needs to address the behavior issues or i can't send my children back there - which would be said because the teachers are good.

- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a student
February 03, 2008
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a student
October 22, 2007
This is an absolutely wonderful school. The school has a stable administration (i.e., little turnover in 20 years) and the head of school is an amazing woman with a clear vision for the education of children. The school has a strong sense of community and the adminstration, teachers, staff, and students value -- in their beliefs and actions -- diversity and excellence. I have three children and all three have thrived at the school, despite being very different from each other as people and students. The students gets a strong education in academics and values, learning to appreciate people for the diverse talents, backgrounds, and perspectives that we all bring to the world.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2007
Wow! I am so pleased with this amazing school which is ran by an incredible leader, Barbara Porter. Barbara has an educational background and skill and knowledge to bring staff and parents together for the good of our kids. The teachers volunteer and jump in to better the the childrens lives and make this school top notch! Community service beacause it is the right thing to do not to get in to college, and daily inspiration and kindness from the teachers to the kids. All learning levels and all delivered with smiles! Thank You!

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2007
We could not be more pleased with St Francis. Our children are happier than they've ever been at school before. The homework load is manageable and the teachers are so bright, creative, inspiring, and kind. Barbara Porter is an amazing principal. She has built a school that embraces academic diversity and makes it really work in such a positive way. One of her many mottos is 'if we're not moving forward, we're moving backward.' She is always looking for ways to improve on what they have. Barbara truly cares about the needs of her students and parents and bends over backward to make it work. We have been very impressed all the way around. It's no wonder that there isn't the attrition of teachers and students that you find at other private schools in the area. Keep it up, St Francis!

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2007
Excellent teachers, low student/teacher ratios promote nurturing environment for every learning style. The student mix includes academically gifted and learning challenged students as well. Student standardized test performance is above grade level for all grades. St. Francis participates in the (PSIA)Private School Interscholastic Achievement competition annually and has finished near the top in the the state for the past few years. Parent support for all activities is tremendous. Extra activities include chess club, soccer, music, art, scouts, & basketball. The school is truly diverse. This year's student population includes international students from over a dozen countries. The school culture promotes helping others. Altruism is a part of the elementary and middle school environment.

- submitted by a parent
February 10, 2007
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
January 06, 2007
We are so impressed with this school where the teachers and administrators and coaches and tutors all 'get' this notion of individual learning styles. Also - we now see how [another school] 'dumbed down' work for our dyslexic and very capable 5th grade daughter. She is a completely different person after one semester!

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2006
I think St.Francis has great teachers great kids and a great atmosphere. My Middle school son has auditory processing disorder and his grades have excelled since I sent him there. My son is in the sixth grade and absolutely loves one of his teachers Lori Douglass. I hope that many people discover this lovely school.

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2006
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a staff
October 04, 2006
I have a son in St. Francis and am very pleased with the school. The small size of the school makes for a family atmosphere and the staff are very qualified. They take the child as he (or she) is and goes from there. They can raise the achievement of the child who needs some extra help and still challenge their gifted children. Great place for 2E kids (gifted with learning disabilities).

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2006
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2006
I have children in both elementary and middle school at St. Francis, and could not be more pleased. Small classes and teacher commitment to respect individual differences in children provide an ideal learning environment for my bright, rambunctious 8 year old, as well as for my reserved, meticulous middle schooler. I can't imagine a better setting in which to launch my children into adolescence. Teachers are attuned, responsive, and warm. The headmistress, Barbara Porter, is the best school administrator I've ever encountered. I could not recommend St. Francis more highly for any and all children.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2006
Barbara Porter, the director, is an excellent leader. She supports the notion that all children are equal and should be given a chance. She strives to keep the school affordable, and available to all types of learners...those with learning challenges as well as gifted. The sports team has come a long way under the leadership of Coach Armstrong, who challenges the kids in a fun way. There is a Christian based chapel every Friday that I think would make most anyone comfortable, regardless of their faith.

- submitted by a parent
February 22, 2006
Great School. Good academics, great students, an extended family. Accelerated classes and a great athletic program.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2006
After experiencing poorly executed dyslexia programs in public school (SpecialEd. or 504), I found St. Francis. St. Francis is extremely accomodating and understanding of a dyslexic student's needs without becoming a private school for LD kids. With 4 5 certified ALT's on staff, a student can have either 1:1, 1:2 or small group instuction either daily or as little as weekly instruction. A parent can even choose to bring in their own reading tutor. Staff have also been trained in Dr Levine's 'School's Attuned' program. 30% of their 350 students have a learning challenge. A well-rounded 'regular' school offering music, spanish, sports and various club activities. They have a beautiful soccer field and new gym. Involved parents, committed staff and happy kids atmosphere make up for the the lack-lustre facility and location next to a mall. For 20 years, St. Francis knows what they're about and how to teach the kids.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2005
They have been able to keep up with my gifted daughter and my shy son. This school is out performing the exemplary rated public school in my neighborhood. They are able to raise the level of everyone in the classrooms not just the gifted ones.

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2005
St. Francis has really good teachers. It is a wonderful school. My son goes there and I am glad that I made the decision to send him there.

- submitted by a parent
January 14, 2005
I had high hopes for this school, and was willing to pay for the privilege. But, in the end (May 2001, to be fair), I left disappointed. They were not a good fit for my two boys. And after two years at St. F., my kids were way below grade level in reading. I didn't know how below until they moved to a public school, and were tested. That's when I got mad. I do hope that they have improved. They are nice folks.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: March 20, 2015

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St Francis School
300 East Huntland Drive, Austin, TX  78752
(512) 454-0848
Last modified St Francis School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
St Francis School Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 31 reviews. Top