This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted May 26, 2014
- a parent
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.
We love EcoSchool! Our child is appropriately challenged without shame or coercion. When her teachers recognized her capacity for work beyond her grade level, they communicated with us and provided it to her. Mixed age classes allow her to work at the level she is capable of, and socialize with same-aged peers. I really like that she has different teachers who specialize in their subjects (rather than one teacher trying to teach everything) yet the overall well-integrated. My daughter is getting a high quality education with a homeschool feel.
If you are interested in amateur psychological assessment of your child's development rather than educational skill assessment, this is the school for you. If you are more interested in your child learning 'community development' , than reading, writing or arithmetic this is the school for you. If you are opposed to any sort of intellectual development, logical process, or accountability but love potlucks, talent shows, and kid directed learning, this is the school for you. If your kid plans on joining a commune or being a starving artist, this is the school for you. If they want to pass any sort of college exam or later transfer to public school this is not a good choice for you. My kids went to Eco school for one year and then transferred to public school, but not without a summer of private tutoring to catch them up to grade level.