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PK-12
Private
Austin, TX
Students enrolled: 86
Before care: No
After care: Yes

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306 W 29th St
Austin, TX 78705

School website
(512) 474-1770
(512) 474-1117
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Kirby Hall School address.

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June 04, 2014
Kirby Hall School is a unique and magical place. I think of it as "Hogwart's Up the Block From Ruby's Barbecue." On approach to the building, a stately redbrick former dormitory with tall columns, students immediately feel a strong sense of continuity, history and academic tradition. Inside, they find a thoughtfully curated library, vibrant classrooms and a lunchroom where a science teacher sometimes plops down at the piano to play. A rigorous academic curriculum leads by a full year the education provided at most other schools. At all levels, the experience is well-rounded, including physical education, art, music, computer science and foreign language. Most importantly, the students rise to the challenge on the strength of the staff. Across the board, from the founder to the principal to the full-time teachers to the special subject teachers to the parent volunteers, everyone at Kirby Hall fosters a sense of community, striving to advance together. This place - and the people who run it - have been the best thing to happen to our family. I'm proud to put my name on this post, and I'm happy to discuss it. Call the school office for my phone number - Mike Brick

- submitted by a parent
May 20, 2014
This school is awful! Don't send your kids there. They have no counselor, no director of school, no nurse. Anytime there's a problem they have no idea how to resolve it.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2014
Kirby Hall has changed our daughter's life! She loves the challenge and her teachers. She was a straight A student in public school, but never had homework and had difficulty with all the girl drama. Now she has homework every night and loves doing it. There is girl drama but they are like sisters!

- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2014
I've had a child at Kirby Hall for the last fourteen years (!) and it would be very difficult to find a school that provides as much personal, individual attention to each child as KHS. The teachers are outstanding and adjust the lessons to best suit each child's strengths and weaknesses. It's as close to having a 1:1 tutoring environment specifically designed for your child as you can get without homeschooling.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2014
This is our second year with a child in KHS (elementary). The experience has simply been outstanding. As some have pointed out, the academics are intense - but the environment is nurturing and warm. The very small class sizes are a tremendous boon for the early years - each child receives a great deal of individual attention. The level of preparation and thoughtfulness for the twice-yearly parent-teacher conferences is also top notch. The instructors are completely engaged in teaching your child as an individual. I don't mean that in some fluffy "we're all individuals" way - the classrooms are well managed. Rather, the instructors work hard to understand how your child learns best and apply that in their lessons.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2014
We have 2 children in Kirby Hall and can not say enough good things about the school. Teachers are excellent, administration is friendly, helpful and very efficient, school has a warm, "home-like" atmosphere and everyone know each other. Yes, the schooll has a very intense academic curiculum, but isn't it the purpose of the having a child in a private school?

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2014
Kirby Hall is an exceptional school with the excellent teaching staff and caring administration. Students feel truly at home there, well cared for and challenged with rigorous curriculum and top notch teachers. We have raised three high achieving kids in our family and had a chance to compare other private schools with the best TAG programs in RRISD and highly selective magnet school in AISD - Kirby Hall quality of education and nourishing atmosphere stands unmatched.

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2014
At Kirby Hall School the administrators and teachers understand how to reach bright and gifted students....they engage students and teach at each student's individual pace. Students are challenged to think critically, ask questions and dive deep into subject matter. My son is in his third year now at Kirby Hall School and is happy as can be. He appreciates: - all students are focused on learning - teachers and peers are kind to one another - he is encouraged to share his ideas and participate in class - he is surrounded by other capable students who learn at a fast pace - Kirby Hall is a fun place to be. Kids are having fun! I appreciate Kirby Hall because: - Each teacher is outstanding and goes the extra mile to deliver excellent instruction - My child is finally being challenged in Math and Science (unlike public school) - Spanish is taught in a very effective manner and the students' acquisition of language is rapid - Kirby Hall students all love learning and doing their best...this type of attitude is contagious! - The school environment is loving and nurturing. - Administrators and teachers are responsive to parents

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2014
An amazing school with an amazing faculty. This place feels like home. You will love the small, intimate atmosphere that makes it feel like the students have one on one time with the teachers.

- submitted by a teacher
February 04, 2014
Kirby Hall has been a great place for our son. We moved him here after his Montessori school as they only went to second grade there. The transition from Montessori to the more structured and traditional approach at Kirby was initially a challenge, not academically as much as systematically, but the staff and teachers and kids were great in reaching out and supporting a new student in their midst. Once those adjustments were made it was clear to be a good fit for him and we have been happy with his academic progress and his engagement in the school community. The class sizes are small, the connections with other kids are deep, the teachers and staff are really kind and really involved in all the kids' lives. Last year it was hard to follow what was going on in class if you weren't there to pick up your child and speak directly with the teacher daily, but now the school uses RenWeb and I have the app so I can follow lesson plans and homework as well even when I am on the road and can't always be there for pickup in person. That is just great and helps all of our family participate in our son's education.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2014
Kirby hall is a true gem. There really is not anything that compares to Kirby for elementary school. The environment is nurturing, challenging and safe. I have had 3 kids go through Kirby hall for elementary school. With my two youngest still at Kirby. They are well prepared for any school. The middle school is amazing but does at times tend to get a bit thin. But the academics are second to none. The teachers are fantastic and the kids truly love to learn. Highly Recommended.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2014
Kirby Hall is an excellent academic environment and a nurturing home. My child is learning faster here, with more depth, than at either of the other schools she attended in the past; moreover, she is now acquiring the thirst for learning that she did not get at the earlier schools. Moreover, she is happy, and looks forward to going back to school after each vacation. Kirby Hall is also a nurturing family, where every child is cared for and appreciated. The character and happiness of the child is comsidered as important as academics: good behavior is expected of everyone and bad behavior is gently and intelligently corrected in the manner of the best parent. Because the school is small, my child knows everyone and is known by everyone, students, teachers and staff. She interacts regularly with children from all classes, gets encouragement and advice from some of the older kids, and finds herself encouraging younger ones. This exemplifies the way happy large families operate, and my child is thriving and happy. We are blessed to have found Kirby Hall, and I can't think of any school, bar none, that I would rather have her at than at Kirby Hall.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2014
I have two sons (9 and 11) who have been at KHS for several years. We love this school - class size is great (usually around 12), which allows for a lot of personalized attention and individualized instruction if needed. (One of my sons is advanced in math, so he is given extra assignments to match his academic level.) Academics are strong and both my boys are challenged without being overwhelmed. Many of the teachers have been at KHS for many years, and you can tell they love teaching and really connect with the kids. Both teachers and administrators provide a lot of communication about what the kids are doing, and they welcome parent input. The school brings in very wide variety of after-school activities for the kids to take part in - soccer, Chinese, Legos engineering, piano, and so on. The small class size also allows for a lot of field trips - including trips to University of Texas at Austin, which is adjacent to the school. Overall, we are very happy with KHS.

- submitted by a parent
January 30, 2014
I have been at Kirby Hall for 20 years. My responsibility is to teach students how to succeed as learners. I start with teaching the students study skills such as note taking. A large component of my curruculum involves writing reports and papers. The goal is to get students comfortable with the process so that when 6th grade hits, we do research reports at UT which is only a 15 minute walk away. I also let students explore learning in multiple ways using group projects such as creating travel booklets to better learn the geography and culwture of different countries, or having students negotiate to introduce them to the art of diplomacy. Field trips are another way to bring learning to life to introduce or reinforce what is being covered in class. In 6th grade, I begin overnight trips to places such as Fredericksburg and Goliad. Topics include World War II and the Texas Revolution. I also go on a 5 day end of year trip to Ft. Davis, to tie up our Texas History class. It's a wonderul trip with many hikes to see the flora, fauna, & landscape. It's important to have fun and learn at the same time. whether by presentations or cooking up cultural foods in our kitchen.

- submitted by a teacher
January 28, 2014
My daughter is a second grader at Kirby Hall School. My husband and I have been very happy with the school in many ways, and I believe many other parents feel in the same way. The instruction is solid. They have wonderful teachers who know how to facilitate the development of young learners' academic skills. The test results show that they easily perform at least two (often three or more!) grade levels above their actual grade levels on average. We have been also happy with the non-academic aspects of the school. I highly recommend Kirby Hall.

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2014
Kirby Hall is an exemplary school with small classes, nurturing teachers and high standards. We feel truly fortunate that our son, Cooper, was able to attend Kirby Hall for Elementary School and High School.

- submitted by a parent
January 18, 2014
I was overjoyed several years ago to be offered a chance to teach at Kirby Hall! I love every minute I m in my second grade classroom with my twelve (twelve!) amazing students. I have the flexibility to tailor my teaching methods, levels, and materials very specifically to each individual student, while at the same time enjoying the support of excellent curricula and a helpful administration. Having had previous teaching experience in large public schools, I appreciate the value of that unique combination of freedom and support. My students are enthusiastic about learning and regularly take the initiative to engage in further learning outside of the classroom: two of my students were so inspired by our study of the War of 1812 that they built a model of the U.S.S. Constitution out of wood scraps and duct tape and emailed me pictures of it sailing in the pool! During our unit on ancient China, every recess period was spent adding to the Great Wall, which stretched across the sandbox and was eventually replaced by a log cabin during our reading of "Little House in the Big Woods." I am constantly reminded of how fortunate I am to be a part of this wonderful school.

- submitted by a teacher
January 17, 2014
I have had the privilege of teaching Drama and Music at Kirby Hall for the past 7 years. This is a school that focuses highly on academics but also places emphasis on the importance of the arts. In our drama classes we learn a variety of things (depending on the grade level) ranging from creating, writing and performing our own plays, performing a class play in front of a large audience, Introduction and analysis to playwrights from across the globe, reading a variety of theatrical literature, learning about and implementing certain elements of technical theater, play analysis, and stage make-up just to name a few. All students are given the opportunity to participate in school wide productions including class plays, a spring musical and a talent show, as either a performer or a back stage technician. Our music classes consist of playing instruments, music theory, music history, singing and a variety of composer & time period lectures and discussions. Kirby Hall students are a dream to teach. They are academically wonderful students but they are also an artistic bunch who thrive in an environment with a small student to teacher ratio and high expectations.

- submitted by a teacher
January 10, 2014
Our Family has been blessed by Kirby Hall. The strong affiliation and close proximity to UT are beneficial to children of all ages. The stable administration ( board chair & founder still oversees everything from budgets to classroom management) provides a predictable home like atmosphere with exemplary education. While the school is geared for gifted students and therefore demonstrates an academic as opposed to sports focused environment, there are substantial after school offerings ( including soccer). When KHS is a good fit it is an exceptional experience. If your seeking a school it is SO worth your time to visit. Ann Thomas has recently returned and will likely be your first introduction into the magic of KHS!

- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2014
Both of my children attended Kirby Hall School. I am so grateful to the essential school administrator for helping to "raise" my children. She is a true gift in the life of children. Her gentle nature, sense or humor and compassion for every student here is part of what makes Kirby Hall so special

- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2014
This is our fourth year at Kirby Hall, and we are THRILLED. Our son looks forward to going to school every day. We are continually amazed at the things he is learning. When we talk with friends that have kids in other schools, they are blown away with what is taught at Kirby Hall. Kirby Hall is a school for academically driven children. Yes, there is homework, but I expect that from a school that has an emphasis on academics. We don't feel that the homework load is too much. The teachers and staff are AMAZING! They care about your children as if they were their own. I love the small class sizes. This helps each teacher to get to know each child one on one. All teachers and staff are easy to talk with and are eager to help work with you on any issues. The woman in the front office is amazing. She wears many hats at the school and does it well. All of the kids feel comfortable to talk with her about anything. I agree with others, if you are looking for sports, Kirby isn't the place for you. If you are looking for a nurturing, academic environment with small classes, definitely consider Kirby. The test scores say it all. We don't know what we'd do without Kirby.

- submitted by a parent
November 05, 2013
This school is nurturing and provides excellence in education. A strong alumni base continues support. The dedicated teachers establish meaningful support to each student. Parent teacher collaboration is evident.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2013
My children, ages 12 and 6, have considered Kirby Hall their second home. My daughter entered KHS when she was just a kindergartener. Over the past 7 years, she has enjoyed going to school every day. She adores her teachers who are masters at what they do. From the daily Spanish immersion classes to rigorous math exercises, to just running around in the lush park adjacent to the school during PE, my daughter fully embraces and savors her time at school. Yes, the school work is rigorous, and homework demanding at times. However, I truly believe it is a necessary preparation for one to succeed in the ever changing and more competitive world that we live in. My son started 1st grade this year. He adores his first grade teacher and writes in his journal about how wonderful she is. How often do you hear from a little boy, who has to sit through 7 hours of classroom work daily, that he is happy at school and looks forward to going back for more the next day? This speaks volumes of the teaching staff. Yes the school is small and lacks certain facilities, but the great teaching staff and the safe, loving and nurturing environment more than make up for its deficiencies.

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2013
Kirby Hall School attracts smart children and most dedicated teachers. It provides an outstanding learning environment with highest academic and personal expectations. It grooms happy, well-adjusted, life long learners. Our four children have attended different schools in Austin and now we have to attest that Kirby is - hands down - the place to be and be truly prepared for college.

- submitted by a parent
September 25, 2013
We have two kids at Kirby that are different in their attitudes toward learning and as such we have a pretty good perspective on the school. Kirby has excellent and dedicated teachers in the major areas, which is its biggest asset. It also helps that the classes are small. The school is strong academically and it maintains sensible discipline that is effective in keeping the students on track without discouraging their creativity. If you are looking for a school with a strong athletic program, Kirby may not be the place for you. However, we are interested in academics, and are very impressed by what Kirby does. Some comments were made by other parents on rapid turnaround of teachers. This is not true, at least not in our times. The math, history, English and Spanish teachers are in Kirby practically for ever, and it shows. The science program has become a major asset in the last two years and the drama classes are outstanding and are extremely effective. In summary if your kids are academically oriented, are willing to do the extra work compared to public schools, and be guided by an exceptional team of teachers, Kirby Hall is a great option.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2013
irby Hall School is a great school with incredible teachers who work individually with every child and help them thrive. It has a very homely atmosphere which helps the child to feel secure and helps them to focus on their studies. The children graduating from Kirby are academically strong as well behaved in their life. I have two kids at Kirby and have been happy in all ways. Finally, I would like to thank the teachers as well as the faculty for helping my children for the wonderful experience of learning as well as having fun at the same time. I bet they will cherish their memories at Kirby for many years to come!

- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2013
Kirby Hall is terrific little school with a very serious college prep program. Their particular strength is their academics, as seen in their test scores and numerous state level PSIA trophies. Their curriculum is extremely rigorous and challenges even the brightest students. Their class size is very small, so if you are looking for a more typical, larger school environment, Kirby Hall is not for you. They are unapologetically light on sports teams, but offer a really decent selection of after school activities and clubs. One thing of important note is this: There is a LOT of homework at Kirby Hall. More than most private schools (from someone who came over from a private school which was also very rigorous). For this reason alone, Kirby may not be for everyone. However, if you have a serious student who is looking for an academically challenging curriculum, a friendly (nearly clique free) environment, and a shot at some of the best colleges in the US and abroad (UK), then Kirby Hall might be a good fit for you.

- submitted by a parent
November 28, 2012
Both of our daughters attend Kirby Hall School and we have found it to be an amazing school in every way. The teachers and staff at the school are wonderful and have helped our girls grow and develop in more ways than I expected. It has been amazing to watch them develop intellectually, socially, artistically and personally while at KHS and it is great to hear them talk about it as well. I think it really says something for a school when the children love it as much as the adults and you can really feel that at KHS. I would, and do, recommend Kirby Hall School to anyone who asks me about where we send our daughters to school. If you are looking at schools in Austin it would be a real miss to not have KHS on your tour list.

- submitted by a parent
August 11, 2012
My children attended for elementary and I recommend it through grade 5. The teachers are dedicated, caring, and effective. The school is rigorous and expectations are high. I was pleased for the most part, though I thought the homework beginning in 2nd grade was too much. Homework is about 1.5 hours. Though we had a positive experience, the downside is the administration and lack of parent communication. No PTA allowed. The parents are not permitted to meet for fear they will cause trouble and parent input is not solicited in a meaningful way. Parent complaints are not welcome and go ignored. Also, teacher turnover is high. We did not choose to remain at Kirby Hall because we wanted a larger community.

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2012
We have been at Kirby Hall School for five years now and could not be happier. Kirby Hall School is an excellent fit for the gifted child. The curriculum is challenging in all areas. There is an emphasis on English and language arts which makes the children to fantastic readers and writers. The gifted child in math has the opportunity to attend math classes with higher grade levels. The curriculum also covers areas that are left out by many other schools, such as U.S. and world history lessons from first grade on. The Spanish language curriculum is rigerous and fun. Class sizes are small, teachers are very engaged with each child, and the children are polite and respectful. My three children have thrived under this environment both academically (shown by ITBS and PSIA scores) and socially.

- submitted by a parent
June 29, 2010
Kirby Hall is a great school for children to grow not only academically but socially as well. I have 3 boys going there now and I am enjoying the transformation that is happening within them. The teachers there care about each child in their class and work with them so they can reach their potential. Not all children are the same so their potentials will be different. The school expects the most out of each student as well as each parent. Besides the obvious what has impressed me was how much the upper class students get involved with the lower class children. They play and learn together. For me and my family Kirby Hall is worth any sacrafice my wife and I have to make to keep our children there.

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2010
I have two children at Kirby Hall, and we have been very pleased with the school. Our children are getting a top-notch education. The teachers are wonderful, and my children have been challenged/ I believe that they are getting a solid foundation and have been encouraged to love learning. They feel safe and comfortable. No school is perfect, but I do not think I could find a better place for my children.

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2010
Overall, Kirby Hall is an outstanding school. I have an elementary age child, so I can only address this level, but the teachers are dedicated and excellent. The curriculum is challenging and the environment is warm and welcoming. My child could not be happier there.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2010
I have been a student at KHS for some time and have finnally decided to leave. I belive that during my time as a student at KHS I have learned to work much more effectivley. My first year when I was little was a nightmare. however, being a person who loves a challenge I stuck with it. It forced me to find my inner time manneger and to not make my parents do everything for me, so I learned a lot of responsibility. My creative writing and annalysis skills have rocketed as have my math skills. I have met teachers I will always remember as great, lessons wich to this day I remember as awesome and friends will have forever. It is not for the feint-hearted though and takes perseverance. I will miss it, but think that now it is time to go.

- submitted by a student
no rating April 20, 2010
This review comes from a very objective parent and perspective from several school experiences around the world. Kirby Hall is very involved with each student. The intent to provide the best academic experience is very clear and the lack of apology for unimpressive sports facilities is honest. This school is about nourishing the academic, spiritual, and emotional needs of each child. My children have been in Kirby Kinder-Third and the experience has been amazing. Not only do they test in the top 2% of all students in ITBS testing, but they thrive in the warm family environment. Kids are allowed to be kids at Kirby, but moral standards are also strictly enforced. School uniforms are required as are expectations that they students and parents will support the community goals. I could not have asked for a better foundation for our children. The confidence and education supported by this school is everything we wanted. We were prepared to accept 60 minutes of homework and less facilities to achieve this incredible base in the early years of education. I have a good idea who the vitriolic reviews are and hopefully they won't stand in the way of anyones positive experience.

- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2010
I have two children in Kirby and they absolutely love it! It is not perfect, but what school is? At the end of the day my kids are happy, healthy, and enjoy learning. The school's curriculum is leaps and bounds above the public schools and many of the more costly private schools. The teachers and administrators are very supportive and nuture the children. If you are looking for a school with small classes and great academics (heavy on math and reading/writing) then you definitely owe it to your child to at least visit the school. You won't be disappointed!

- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2010
Our two children (now in 1st and 3rd grade) have been students at Kirby Hall School for a total of five years, and we regard this as the best decision by far that we could have made for their intellectual and social satisfaction. From our own experience at our local, well-regarded public elementary school and from reports of friends regarding other private and public schools, we believe that Kirby Hall offers the most academically rigorous curriculum available in Austin. We and our children have loved each teacher that they have had, and we have been pleasantly surprised by what they have been taught at such young ages. No, the administration is not perfect, but that has never affected our children's educational experiences or their happiness at school. Our children have made some wonderful friends with their classmates, and we with their parents. Kirby Hall students are from a surprising variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, with families who are not homogeneous except in their dedication to and high expectations for academic excellence. It is certainly not appropriate for every family, but if your priorities include a nurturing environment in which your children will be held to a high standard and challenged each day (beginning in kindergarten) with their class work and homework, then we wholeheartedly recommend Kirby Hall for elementary age children.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 19, 2010
Our son went to Kirby k-7th. Then the school just got too small. There were times I wanted to leave: homework load was tough starting at 2nd grade. We stayed and while it isn't the school for everyone it did serve us well. Son went on to the magnet science public school. Kirby could teach him about World History but he needed more in depth study of such subjects. What Kirby does well is that kids are expected to be readers. They are safe. They are expected to be respectful. Due to size you know what is going on with all your children's friends & influences. The 3rd week of public school I got a call from a teacher complimenting our son on his 'excellent work ethic' and politeness. 'He always did his homework'. That came from time at Kirby. It's not perfect but it was good for us.

- submitted by a community member
December 19, 2009
Withdrawing by previous endorsement of this school. Teacher churn is too extreme to guarantee a good experience year-after-year. A school that does not support its teachers can not support its students.

- submitted by a parent
December 18, 2009
I can only speak about the high school as my daughter transferred to Kirby Hall in 9th grade. She is a gifted student and we wanted her to attend a college-prep, adacemically challenging high school. She always had top ITBS scores, and that has continued. As a freshman she had very high SAT score on Biology. She began AP courses in 10th grade, and will have about 6 AP courses completed when she graduates (and nearly all the students score very high on the AP exams). There aren't many extracurricular activities - but that's not why I send my daughter to school. There are plenty of opportunities outside of school in Austin. And Kirby Hall does encourage students to organize their own activities if they choose. We have been very happy with the new friends our daughter has made as well. We recommend Kirby Hall.

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2009
There are wonderful things and not so wonderful things at KHS. You can have an incredible teacher one year and the next you won't know. Wonderful home environment and community, but if you seek a consistant environment it might not be a fit.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2009
My daughter will graduate from KHS this year. I cannot say enough positive things about our experience. Where else would she have experienced field trips to Italy, Australia, and the interior of Mexico?! My daughter was accepted into every college she applied including their honors program. I am a public school teacher in a lake community in Austin, and feel strongly KHS provided a far superior education. The staff and teachers are marvelous. They spent time knowing my daughter's talents and then provided outlets for her to expand them. What a wonderful experience!!!

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2009
My daughter attended a large public elementary school before coming to Kirby. Frankly my biggest concern other than how she would cope with the substantialy increased work load, was how she would adjust to the smaller student body. I'm pleased to say that she has come through her first year there with flying colors. She has adapted quite well to the school both workwise and student bodywise. She loves the school and I as a parent have been very pleased with the school. I definitely appreciate the excellerated curriculum she receives there and feel she is being well prepared for high school and college.

- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2009
Good school, especially in the elementary grades through 7th. They teach a grade ahead so our children are reading quite solid books and doing math that's well ahead of the public (and many private) schools in Austin. I'd be willing to pay significantly more in tuition if it increased the teachers' happiness, I'm that pleased with the education our kids are getting.

- submitted by a parent
November 07, 2008
The truth lies somewhere in the middle of the reviews you see here. I personally know several parents who are perfectly content/happy with Kirby. However, most of the negative statement raised here are true. The school suffers from significant teacher churn so you end up playing Russian Roulette for any given year. Many of the new teachers lack the classroom management skills that allow a wide range of learners to happily coexist in a single classroom (this is why the comments are so polarized, if your kid fits into this ever narrowing range, then you will be fine). To put it into perspective, the school had so many students leave this year, they had to drop one of the two first grade classes (as well, one of the first grade teachers left). Proofs in the pudding and folks are talking with their wallets and feet.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2008
This school has the most excellent and dedicated teachers in Austin! For the third year in a row our child has had the same English, Language Arts, Spanish, Math, History and Science teacher- and each one is simply phenomenol- the AVERAGE ITBS score for students at each grade is at or above the 97th percentile! The drama and music program is excellent- as is art instruction. There is both a female and male coach for PE and both do a super job of making physical activity interesting. Classes are small- always under 13- and fewer than 10 at the middle school level. I haven't seen another school in Austin at which children consistently work at such a high achievement level- and LIKE IT! Unfortunately, as can be seen below, there are always people who spread untrue rumors for whatever crazy reason. As we say in Texas, 'Poor thing. Bless her heart.'

- submitted by a parent
October 11, 2008
Every year, there are at least five or six new teachers. With a faculty of 20, it makes a huge difference. KHS is trying to hire teachers who are actually certified, but still, they're usually first-year and they rarely stay. The curriculum is all over the place and inconsistent. This school is absolutely inappropriate for gifted and talented children. It's very systematic, standardized, and implemented by persons with little credentials and zero creativity. High student turnover rate is a concern as well Generally a big thumbs down for old KHS - I recommend Griffin, Waldorf, or Austin Montessori.

- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2008
Much to the credit of Kirby Hall School, our child has never been happier! The love, dedication and support that the teachers and staff give to our child and all the children at Kirby Hall School -- we couldn't be happier. The level of education and curriculum Kirby Hall gives our gifted child and children has far exceeded our expectations. The curriculum is college prepatory and not for every child, however, we can not even compare it to other schools in Austin. The classroom size, the curriculum and love the children given at Kirby Hall School has far surpassed our expectations. We look forward to another amazing year! I know because I voluteered many hours at the school and attended many field trips, walked the halls during classroom hours, decorated classroom doors during the holidays, helped with holiday parties, social events, and photographs. Hats off to Kirby Hall!

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
September 11, 2007
With three children educated at Kirby Hall, I can say I know a lot about the school. The small classes, comfortable environment set the tone for a school that nurtures the child in ways other schools cannot achieve because of sheer numbers.

- submitted by a parent
September 07, 2007
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- submitted by a teacher
September 06, 2007
I too am confused. Are your children going to the same school as my daughter? She entered Kinder last fall reading at a 2nd grade level. Since attending Kirby, she has advanced to 4th-grade reading. Saxon Math has been a wonderful, well-structured program for her. the the phonic-based instruction has worked well (I belive it is Riggs-Spalding). The program is formal and traditional. It is a small school, but we find that it offers a variety of extracurricular activities: taekwando, chess club, rowing club, ultimate frisbee, piano, drama, yoga. This is not a complete list, and there is discussion of a new biology club. Ultimately, what drew me to Kirby for my child was the warm and inviting atmosphere that I felt when I visited. I wish those who are leaving good luck finding better.

- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2007
I could never recommend KHS for the following reasons. The facilities are lacking space for busy healthy active children to play. The building is crowded, and despite the small class size the classrooms are small and cramped. In our 4 years there was a large turnover in teaching faculty. I would expect more longevity if the teaching staff was happy. There are many factors to consider when educating children and in my opinion KHS isn't a good choice.

- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2007
I concur -- the Kirby Hall teacher team is absolutely stellar! The quality and level of Kirby Hall instruction and education by far exceeds anything ever seen at any other school. Idle tit for tat and 'parental personlity conflict' has nothing to do with or has any influence about the quality of the education that Kirby Hall School gives our children.

- submitted by a parent
August 04, 2007
Reading these negative reviews of Kirby Hall leaves me extremely confused. Are we talking about the same school? True, Kirby Hall isn't for everyone, but then what school is. The small size of the school leads to limited extracurricular and social opportunities, but it also fosters a close and loving environment. The small size of the classes leads to close, lasting friendships. The claim that the students are unhappy is simply ludicrous. The students who find Kirby to be a good fit are incredibly happy and at home at Kirby Hall. The same goes for the teachers. Kirby Hall is not perfect, but it does the best it can.

- submitted by a former student
July 29, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
July 27, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 25, 2007
My academically gifted kids were bored at this school. I didn't see a spark of inspiration or yearning for knowledge like they used to have while they were going to KHS. My gifted kids require an extremely educationally challenging and academically stimulating school and KHS just wasn't the best choice for our child in that regard, in order to sustain and encourage further love of learning and meet our giften childrens' educational needs. The KHS approach wasn't appropriate for our gifted kids, in short.

- submitted by a parent
July 25, 2007
I was disappointed by Kirby Hall because I didn't feel that it was challenging enough, frankly. I also am concerned about stability, in particular with faculty. I expected a more academically stringent, interactive learning based type of environment and that wasn't our experience with Kirby.

- submitted by a parent
July 22, 2007
The 3rd-6th grade teacher team is absolutely stellar and the core faculty has remained together for over five years. As a university educational researcher I have observed hundreds of classrooms- and the quality and level of Kirby Hall instruction exceeds anything I have seen at any other school. Teachers instill a solid work ethic in their students while still making learning fun (ever heard of 5th graders enjoying and laughing while reading Don Quixote? Well, they do at Kirby Hall!) The teaching staff is selected carefully and the turnover rate is actually low- I would estimate it at about 15%- which is exceptional (keep in mind that 50% of public school teachers quit teaching within 5 years after receiving their certification).

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 22, 2007
My daughter attended KHS for 8 years. This is a wonderful school. Mrs. Rase founded and continues to manage the school with a hands on child first approach. My daughter participated in the music curiculum for all 8 years and never once practiced a PSIA curriculumn. Look at the schools exemplary SAT scores and the children's happy faces-what else do you need to know.

- submitted by a community member
July 21, 2007
What a joke! My kids were bored out of their minds with the canned, homeschool curriculum that Kirby uses. With Kirby's copious fill-in-the-blank kind of homework assignments, my children lost their spark and became automatons every evening cranking out their nightly assignments. This school believes only in 'teacher lectures, child sits' learning. There are few hands on activities and seemingly no creative teaching moments since the teachers seem only allowed to teach from the rigidly prescribed script. We were not impressed and feel the school did not deliver on their promises of a individualized and challenging learning environment for our gifted children. Do not think you can complain either. No PTA. Little communication. No boat rockers allowed!

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2007
Kirby Hall School offers complete challenge to students to prepare bright and kind young people for a life of academic success, personal fulfillment and satisfaction, and service to their community. A gifted faculty with genuine affection for children and teenagers helps each student meet his or her greatest potential by setting high standards for academic achievement and honorable behavior, while recognizing and rewarding individual strengths and being sure that all students are taught to respect and support their fellow schoolmates. Kirby Hall pursues its goals through a traditional course of study and small classes, where individual attention is possible and is given daily to each student. We believe that children achieve and grow in a more wholesome way when they are well-nurtured, happy and having fun. The environment reflects the values of kindness, humility and mutual respect. Kirby Hall students ultimately go forward in their lives knowing both how to succeed.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2007
Kirby Hall's academic standards are high and students are admitted based on their ability to keep up with the college-prep focus. Unfortunately some children can not keep up. Kirby Hall School far exceeds our expectations and what an amazing impact Kirby Hall School has made in our lives. My child has never been happier!

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 18, 2007
Impressive exterior doesn't match the inside... I suggest that parents visit when school is in session rather than merely checking out the website, if they are searching for schools anywhere. I expect more from a private school. I expect extra curricular activities of some sort. I expect academic challenge and not just busy work. I expect individual attention, not just worksheets. Kirby Hall did not live up to my expectations as a parent with a background in education and substantial experience as a professional and certified educator. There are so many better school options in Austin, both public and private. I had no problem with the administrators, but there was just no benefit to a Kirby Hall education.

- submitted by a parent
July 18, 2007
I have children here and work here. The academics are of the highest quality. Whenever one of our students who happens to be the least academinc at Kirby Hall leaves our school for any reason, they always become the top wherever they go. It is loving, nurturing and Kirby Hall loves and welcomes parent involvement. Check out the teachers credentials on the website. They are outstanding. Our children are outstanding and so is our school.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2007
Kirby is a mess. The administration runs off parents and teachers. The homework is developmentally inappropriate. There is no individualized curriculum. It's the 'Kirby Hall Way' or the doorway. We moved our daughter out and put her in public school. After her 2nd day, she said 'please don't ever send me back to Kirby'. That was enough for me.

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2007
This was our first year at the school and we where very pleased. My children found the work load to be very easy and not overbearing at all. If your child is organized and on top of their school work and is ready for a truly good education this is the place they need to be. The fact that if my child finds the work to easy then they can move up to the next level to better challenge themselves is awesome. I wish we had moved over years ago. We were disappointed at the turn over of students and staff.

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2007
Administration has made Kirby an unacceptable school. Very high turnover of teachers and students. Parents are scared to ask questions or make suggestions. You have to walk on eggshells while you are there. The academics still remain good and at a high standard. The teachers are good, but have no power. I do not recommend this school to anyone.

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2007
Unhappy parents, unhappy students, unhappy teachers. The academics, for the most part, are pretty good, but not enough to endure the constant 'drama' any longer. We're looking elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
May 07, 2007
This 30-year-old program has atrophied into a dysfunctional state. The program slowly declined through the years, with only a few applicants annually for grades 6 and above. So the administration recruits, accepts, and retains students who are not motivated nor functioning at one grade level above in subjects, which is supposed to be an academic requirement. In turn, the teachers are unable to address the diverse skill sets in the classes, even though the classes are small by public standards. Most teachers only offer additional worksheets to the above average students, which is not appropriate 'individualized attention' the school promises. Also, adequate student supervision is an ongoing problem.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2007
This school could be better. It used to have a stellar reputation but the lack of leadership has had an effect on student and teacher turnover. There are some pleasant things about the school but not enough to keep us past the next year.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2007
Not enough variety of courses for middle and high school students to develop their passions or explore their interests.

- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2007
The homework load continues to wear down the spirit of the kids. MY son does not enjoy reading on his own any longer and dreads going to school each day. There is little time to do anything other than homework each night and administration won't budge on the issue. The lack of a headmaster makes voicing concerns quite difficult. There are better options for your child than KHS.

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2007
The caring, professional teachers are the only redeeming qualities of this academic institution. If you can tolerate the front office, you can be assured your child will receive top quality instruction and personalized attention. I can't say enough great things about the teachers and what their roles are in making this school what it is. If the administrative staff was on par with the teachers, Kirby Hall would be top notch all the way around.

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 21, 2007
With its rigorous academics, top notch teachers, loving, homelike environment, Kirby Hall has met or exceeded our expectations for the two years our child has been in the school. Our child's standardized test scores have soared since attending Kirby Hall. Even though the homework load is heavy, our child refuses to consider attending another school. This has to be the strongest academic program in central Texas! Send your child here for an excellent, traditional education taught by teachers who really care

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2007
Poor administration. Not a good school, not even an average school.

- submitted by a parent
October 19, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2006
My wife and I chose Kirby Hall because we felt it was the most academically challenging and traditionally structured school in this area. The lack of extracurricular activities is a concern. I feel that a school for bright and able children should restrict admission to those who fulfill that criteria. The teachers are caring and provide a great learning environment. Overall, a good private school.

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2006
The school is great for an elementary school, but their lack of focus/interest on athletics was not for our son. They are expanding, though, so hopefully they will have more sports. Good academics, though.

- submitted by a parent
February 11, 2006
We've had children at Kirby Hall for 9 years. With a few minor exceptions, we have been extremely pleased with the school. They offer a very supportive environment with accelerated academics (roughly 1 year ahead of grade level). Parents are very involved, and the administration is flexible and truly interested in what's best for the children. Extracurricular activities sponsored directly by the school are fairly limited, but they are working to improve this. Kirby Hall participates in the PSIA events (similar to UIL), and has won several State level 1st place trophies in recent years.

- submitted by a parent
December 06, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 29, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2005
What drew us to Kirby Hall was the curriculum and the class size. This school is definitely geared to the student who can handle more challenging work (which is why we came). The curriculum is rigorous (which has really kept my child interested). But homework for a 2nd grader lasts 1 hr to 1.25 hrs Mon-Thurs. I think that what they expect their students to accomplish with this higher-than-age-level knowledge is sometimes inappropriate for their age and developmental level. There are 3 women who handle 'running' the school. I'm not really sure who is in charge or what 'regulations' they decide to run the school by.

- submitted by a parent
August 08, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2005
Great prep school if you like very structured, traditional schooling. The teachers are enthusiastic and top notch.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2005
Kirby Hall's emphasis on academic excellence in a small, personal, loving environment consistently produces well educated, happy students. I have 2 children there right now and will have 2 more there as they get old enough to attend Kindergarten. There are not enough good words to say about the academic environment at Kirby Hall. We can highly recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2005
My child has attended KHS for 6 years. From pre-k thru highschool the faculty are beyond stellor! The building is a historic, warm and welcoming atmosphere. Recent upgrades include refurnished floors, sidewalks, paint, and carpet. Kirby Hall is the choice for bright students. The administrative team is top notch (Director of Pre-K thru Highschool Principal). The administrative assistant is amazing too. Ask the students, parents, and children KHS is superb! I consider the level of parent involvement high. The music and drama program are wonderful. Finally, the opportunity for swimming, golf, soccer and other extracurricular activities allow for the development of the whole child.

- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2004
After a very thorough search of all area schools, my wife and I have entrusted our most precious child to the highest standards, and challanging curriculum that is available at Kirby Hall School. Our two years at Kirby Hall have been very rewarding, and we have observed our second grader flourish in all areas. The comprehension in math, science and spanish has sky-rocketed , and I believe a quote from her may well put everything in perspective; ' I feel like I have only been alive for 1 week'. This was her assessment after her first week at Kirby Hall. To date she prefers school days to weekends. So, if you desire for your child to have the finest, challanging education, where all the students are achieving at grade levels far beyond what the public system expects for their age, then perhaps Kirby Hall is for your precious children as well.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2004
This is the school for the bright student! The administration and teachers really know every child and parent and work hard to ensure that the children receive the best possible education that is individual, interesting, and challenging without being overwhelming. Both of my children are eager to go to school on Monday morning, which is more than I can say about most Monday mornings! Most important to me, the class size canot be beat. The teachers are smart and nice (several have become real friends to me!) and why send your children to a private school that has the same student-teacher ratio as the public schools when you can have a ratio of no more than 12-1 and no more than 24 kids per grade? The individual attention is superb, the teachers are loving but firm, the parents are a real support group, and the setting is truly beautiful. I was a true public school fan with a really good public school in the area, but we tried it, it didn't work, and moving to Kirby Hall when my son was entering 2nd and my daughter entering K was the best move we ever made for their future. Even good public schools may not be the best setting for some.

- submitted by a parent
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Kirby Hall School
306 W 29th St, Austin, TX  78705
(512) 474-1770
Last modified Kirby Hall School is a Private school that serves grades PK-12
Kirby Hall School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 93 reviews. Top