I was a teacher at the Austin Ecoschool. If you are considering working or sending your child here please don't! The school is not up to state standards and is very frustrating to work at. The principal of the school is very mean (she threatened me) the other staff members don't care for the children's education. It is very unfortunate because this school could be wonderful if more attention to management and standards were put into place. Talk to former parents about why the school and why they took their kids out. There are many disturbing things about the management of this school.
I was a student at the Austin EcoSchool for 7th and 8th grade. I am now in high school. I hated it. The kids weren't nice at all, the teachers weren't good at teaching and the principal didn't know what she was doing. It was a disappointing learning experience. The teachers standards weren't clear and the students had no motivation to learn. There was no challenge (in terms of learning) at this school. Rules were never enforced. They say that they give every student individual attention, but this is not the case. There are no tests, grades or standards. If you want your child to learn please do not let them go here! My graduating class was me and one other person. My experience was awful and I had to take summer school before going to the high school I am currently at.
My satisfaction with the Austin Ecoschool is 0/5. Please Look! Safety-The back gate is locked with a bike lock that students can walk through with their backpacks on. There is a busy street right out front. There were times when strangers would walk on campus and nobody would know who they were. Cleanliness-There were rats in the building. No inspector was called. Teachers-The teachers are alright. For the the money you pay to let your child go here I would recommend having them go somewhere else. Academics-There is no standardized curriculum, testing or grades. That applies to all the classes. For students who want to learn, this isn't the school for them. There is no expectation for kids to turn in homework or pay attention in class. Most kids just sleep in class. There is no way to know what your child is learning in class because the teachers have poor communication.
I can't say enough great things about the Austin EcoSchool. We are beyond thrilled with the educational opportunities provided to our son throughout the school year. Our son is thriving academically and emotionally, and is excited to go to school every day. The small class sizes ensure that students get ample individual attention and allows each child to explore their own unique interests. Another benefit of the small size- there is zero bullying. Any conflicts are addressed immediately. The principal is phenomenal. She is loving yet firm, treating the students with compassion and respect, and empowers them to be good citizens. As required in a small school, the principal wears many hats. I give her the utmost respect for being an incredible educator while managing the ongoing functions of the school. The teachers are equally wonderful and invested. Our son has made meaningful connections with his teachers. There is a strong community and a great deal of parental involvement working toward keeping the EcoScool a great place. Our son has developed a deep love for learning, and has a spring in his step every morning. We feel very fortunate to have found this great little school.
Austin EcoSchool is a jewel of a school! It has a wonderful, child-centered approach to education with lots of opportunities for hands-on learning. Our daughter loves the spanish and art classes and she is especially fond of village day; where classroom learning (history, literature, drama, mathematics, composition, economics) culminates in a school-wide afternoon of enrichment where students create members of the community, construct homes and businesses, and barter for goods and services. Austin EcoSchool has some of the finest teachers to be found anywhere. They are highly qualified, experienced, certified, kind, patient and dedicated to meeting the emotional, social and academic needs of students. If you are looking for a small school with a relaxed pace, affordable tuition and a healthy focus on academic skills, you and your child(ren) will love Austin EcoSchool.
I love this school for my children. The staff is very caring and responsive to my children's needs and goals. They are quick to answer any questions I have and always follow up with me. My children love it there and were sad when school ended last year for the summer. They are more confident now in social groups, love learning, and are themselves without fear of bullying.
My daughter joined the school as a kindergardener this year and we couldn't be happier. All the reasons we chose EcoSchool are holding up. The student-teacher ratio is small, she gets a lot of interaction with the older kids (really positive and supportive interaction), she's advancing at her own pace and is reading at a 1st grade level and she absolutely loves going to school every day. I love that she will be part of this community for so many years and that in two more years her little sister gets to join her. I can't say enough about the supportive and nurturing environment created by the teachers.
I took my son out of an Eanes public school after 3rd grade because anxiety over testing was killing his confidence and love of learning. During his two years at EcoSchool, he developed leadership skills, improved his writing, and engaged his brain in creative and critical ways. EcoSchool provides enrichment to all children, not just those labeled "gifted and talented." Teachers work overtime to create a beautiful, inspired learning environment that changes with their lesson plans. You might find the kids caring for baby chickadees hatching in an incubator, listening to a refugee from Uganda tell his story, or sorting through real declassified historical documents in the basement of the LBJ library while pretending to be Soviet spies. Einstein said, "He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed." Public schools and many private schools are putting kids to sleep. EcoSchool wakes them up. My son will transition back into Eanes for middle school, but I have no doubt he will be more successful and take more responsibility for his education as a result of his EcoSchool experiences. He will never forget his time there.
My daughter began school here, and at age 5 is reading and doing math at a level well above what I did. The amount of homework she is given is determined between teacher and parents, as is a lot of the rest of the teaching. They make a strong effort to get parent input on what subjects the child's education should emphasize and how much work to give. The science, math, history, etc. teachers all try to make connections between the topics so that each one reinforces the others rather than being taught in isolation. After 6 months, it is still the case that when I remind my daughter on Sunday night that she has school the next day, she gives a cheer. This school gives your child a great attitude towards learning.
My children just started attending the Eco School this year and we couldn't be happier. They love the school and I can tell from the homework and discussions we are having that they are challenged and learning a great deal academically. They are excited about learning. Last night my son and daughter were discussing Texas history and what the original territories looked like at dinner. I wasn't really involved in the discussion, they were talking about it together. They are two grades apart and not in the same class but they still like to share what they are learning. It is a joy to be around. The Eco school is filled with caring teachers that respect children and their individual process and yet inspire and guide at the same time.