My oldest daughter entered ARS as a wary 6th grader, uncertain about whether an all girls school was the place for her and fearful of leaving the friendships she had formed in her neighborhood elementary school. The uniform was also concerning to her. She agreed to give it a try and we agreed to listen to her concerns. It didn't take long for her to adjust and she honestly never looked back on her decision to stay. Why? Because of the (mostly) tremendous teachers and staff, the enthusiasm of her fellow students, and support from the people important in her life (family and friends). She is now in college; successful, well-adjusted, confident, and happy. She credits the experiences she had at ARS for her academic success and for the confidence she has about who she is and what she is capable of. At ARS, both my daughters have formed lifelong friendships, learned from excellent teachers, gained awareness of their potential to lead, engaged in activities they would never had been exposed to at other schools, and challenged themselves to do more than conform to societal or peer expectations for girls their ages. I am profoundly grateful to ARS for helping nurture the curiosity, empathy, confidence, knowledge, and leadership skills my daughters will use throughout their lives.
Academic expectations at ARS are high, but they are not unrealistic. The teachers are very supportive and there are ample opportunities for tutoring and help if needed. My daughters have homework most nights, but they have much less than students at other academically challenging middle and high schools.
I have gone to this school for many years now, and I don't like it. The administration has problems with everything. You can't have piercings because they are "distracting." You can't drink anything but water after 9 a.m, you can't wear skinny jeans because somehow they are distracting, and many other unnecessary rules. Most of my classmates don't like it as well. We are here because our parents force us to stay. I understand that they want us to go to college but they take it way too far. They act like it's all about school, what about our social life!? The actual school is old and way too small for middle school and high school, some teachers have to share classrooms. Some of the teachers aren't good, last year half of the class was failing math. We are forced to do extra stuff like service hours. Our electives are depressing. The only thing I was looking forward to this year was dance but they fired the teacher. We only have a couple electives to choose from while other schools have so many more electives and sports. The school spends most of the money on volleyball and band. We only have 3 pathways that they make is take even if these pathways aren't even related to what we want to do in college. The only thing I'm looking forward to this year, is that I'm closer to graduating and finally getting to leave.
I have a little sister, who I am her guardian and brother, who is attending this school. She likes it here becuase the academics are good and it defintley prepares the girls for the future. The only thing that she compalins about is that there are no boys in the school, but I think that is why the weekends are for. Besides it means less distractions and less drama. The teachers are great, although I am something against the administration at times. I know that the principle doesn't mean any harm, but some of her decisions that she makes. For example, she fired one of the teachers for geeting pregnate AND having cancer after the pregancy. She did not allow her to get a medical leave, instead she just fired her. So this is one example of how the principle is. Other than that the school is fantastic and its class size for each grade is a good size. All the girls from each of their grade seem to know each other. Again it is a blessing and a privilage for my sister to be attending this school. Just recently I have spoken to some of the graduates from this school, all of the girls are saying that college is a pieace a cake and that ARS prepared them well.
My daughter has been attending ARS since 6th grade. She is now a freshman in high school. We are so blessed to have the opportunities this school has offered us. I am a single parent raising my two girls on a single income and attending classes myself. I could never have afforded this type of education for my daughter in a private school. The work is hard and the expectations are high, but my daughter has risen to every challenge with the help of the outstanding faculty and leadership. Thank you, Austin ISD for ARS. It has changed our lives. :)
The Ann Richards School is a wonderful place for the right type of girl. Not only are the academics top notch, but the community is nurturing and the sports (for what they are) are good as well. The administration can be a too strict, but they do loosen up considerably once you get to high school. If you're a smart, academically minded girl looking for a great school to prepare you for the future, then look no farther than Ann Richards.
As a student, I can say that this school is basically what you make it. If you put your all into the rigorous academics and extracurricular activities and make an effort to get involved, then you will enjoy this school. I love this school, especially because of its intimacy and closeness. I used to be incredibly shy, and now I can make a speech in front of my whole class and not be fazed by it. This school has left a lasting impression on me, and I don't think I could have gotten that at any other school. (I am a high schooler at ARS)
It's good for middle school, but terrible for high school. High school should be a time for students to grow academically and mentally. If I've learned one thing from this school, it is that you MUST go to college or you will die. One of the administrators specifically told us we should cancel any activities we have with friends over the weekend to study instead. We get loads of homework and honestly the level is not very good. Everybody must take all pre-ap classes and the teachers are not that great. If you are not good at a certain subject, there is no reason as to why you should be forced to take a pre-ap class. Our electives are really depressing; our theater doesn't ever perform, we lose all our band and orchestra contests and our only other electives are art and choir. We have amazing athletes who are not able to become the stars they could be because they have way too much homework, school work and stress put upon them. Our cross-country coach had to fight in order to simply let us where our cross country t-shirt when we got back from our meet. To be honest, I don't know a single high schooler who actually enjoys this school. Also, half the grade is failing.
I have nothing against this school I really don't, but there are many other schools that are much better than this one. Personally the administration can be very rude to staff and students. I don't think that I would have lasted another year there. It is a very fortunate school to go to, but when teachers are always trying to be friendly it does get overwhelming; they stress the idea of family way too much.