Austinâ€™s Comprehensive Source for Parents About Schools and Education
CREATED BY PARENTS FOR PARENTS
Back 2 School Edition Covering PreK-12th Grade Topics
Getting High School and College Ready at the
MIDDLE SCHOOL CROSSROADS FAIR
September 22nd, Details Inside Cover
Famous Boarding School Grads
Individualized Learning for Preschoolers
COMPARE SCHOOLS SIDE BY SIDE: Including Greater Austin & Surrounding Areas School Choice Magazine and Metro Moms Austin Cover Kid Winner: Camilla Eskaf Photo by: Paper Hearts Photography
Getting High School & College Ready MIDDLE SCHOOL
Saturday, September 22, 2012 Noon* - 3 pm Free to Attend, $3 Parking
JJ Pickle Research Center |UT Commons Learning Center 10100 Braker Lane (Corner of Burnet and Braker, Near The Domain)
Unsure of Your High School Options? Donâ€™t Have a Clear College Plan? For More Details: Visit www.SchoolChoiceMag.com
For Students Taking the first step in getting high school and college ready, begins with you! 1. Start thinking about your future and career possibilities 2. Review your academic strengths and weaknesses. 3. Start taking college track courses in middle school
Registration Details To register sign up online at www.SchoolChoiceMag.com You can either attend the Keynote Luncheon 10 -Noon $15 per person: Includes lunch and VIP access to exhibitors, as well as seminars and fair OR Attend Fair and Seminars ONLY! FREE, $3 Parking at Center
For Parents Itâ€™s important you support your (pre)teen thought the high school and college planning process. 1. Be supportive of your teen. 2. Encourage your teen by helping him/ her see the connection between college and career. 3. Listen when your teens wants to talk about future plans.
FOR EXHIBITOR INFO OR MORE DETAILS: 512-537-OACK (6225) Sponsored In Part By:
School Placement Consultants 2
MAGAZINE CONTENTS 4
Parent to Parent
Junior Kindergarten: Individualized Learning for Preschoolers
The Doctor’s Corner: Primary Teeth 101
Preschool Preview and Enrichment Guide
10 Boarding Schools: Top Ten Famous Grads Next Issue! K-12 Private School Guide
School Choice Magazine is a free, advertiser supported publication. We graciously thank our advertisers for their continued support. PUBLISHER Brandee Davis BDavis@AustinCityKids.com ADVERTISING SALES TEAM Marina Herrera Greta von Paumgartten Advertise@SchoolChoiceMag.com ART DIRECTOR Jaymar Davis JDavis@Beempowered.net
COVER PHOTO Andie Iverson Paper Hearts Photography www.PaperHeartsPhoto.com Special thank you to our: • 2012 Cover Kids Contest winner Camilla Eskaf • Paper Hearts Photography • Metro Moms Austin • IDEA Allan Elementary School School Choice is a publication of The Austin City Kids non profit organization based in Austin, TX. Austin City Kids assumes no responsibility for errors, changes, or
omissions. Information may have changed since press time, so please verify all information when contacting a school or educational resource. Views expressed in School Choice do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Reproduction in whole or in part of any element of this publication is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. For additional copies or further information please contact: THE AUSTIN CITY KIDS FOUNDATION P:512-537-OACK (6225) School Choice
Parent to Parent Letter from the Editor By: Brandee Davis
From new clothes to new friends, to the return of old schedules and routines...here’s to a wonderful new school year! Happy Reading,
Brandee Davis Happy First Day of School - Did you need Kleenex, too?
Brandee Davis is a wife and mother to two girls. Her and her family reside in
If you are like me and have school aged kids, it’s hard to believe that by now the first day of school is in full gear! This year my oldest is in second grade and my youngest started pre- Kinder. The biggest question I have is: Will the first day of school always tug at your heart strings? Although this issue of School Choice Magazine will not answer that question, it will cover new trends in education models. Pick up the September issue to learn more about the launch of St Gabriel’s Catholic School’s Junior Kindergarten a new progressive prekindergarten program for kids ages 4-6 and read how a cross-curricular approach that includes STEM in K-8th grades subjects such as reading, social studies, and more at Lake Travis Day School.
After-School Activities & All-Day Child Care On 70 elem. campuses in AISD, DVISD, HCISD
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Call--472-9402 www.eackids.org Business Office--55 N. IH-35, Austin TX
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A School Choice Mom Pick:
as they ‘chugged’ along with imaginative madeup stories together.
Chug the Bug: Chug Makes New Friends is an original rhyming story about a timid young bug named Chug, who doesn’t quite know what type of bug he actually is. As autumn approaches, school begins, and it’s time for him to leave for his very first day! On this adventure, Chug will meet all kinds of wondrous bugs as they make their way to school together. But as challenges arise, they’ll discover that with teamwork, anything is possible!
Just in time for back-to-school, Kid’s Play Books, LLC launches Chug the Bug: Chug Makes New Friends mobile eBook app, which promises to help a whole new crop of kids transition from home to school.
3D Interaction The Chug the Bug 3D Interactive Storybook App launched the Amazon Kindle and iTunes platforms July 25; it became available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Mac on July 26th. A version for the NOOK, Google Play’s Android as well as Windows Mobile platforms will be coming soon.
Behind the Story
Chug the Bug: Chug Makes New Friends was written as a story that could be fun for children of all ages while helping to develop their sense of self-identity and contribute as a form of positive moral and social guidance. As a result, the majority of the themes focus on relatively common childhood experiences—the emotions felt when leaving parents for the first time, learning to manage and be involved in social interactions as individuals, and navigating through unfamiliar and sometimes strange places.
The 3D interactive storybook app uses “highquality art... to create stories that take full advantage of multimedia, computing power, and inter-connected capabilities of mobile devices to entertain, educate, and inspire.” –Mobad Media
Kid’s Play Books, LLC. Info@KidsPlayBooks.com www.ChugTheBug.com www.Facebook.com/ChugTheBug
How the Story Originated Chug the Bug was originally created as a bedtime story by Brent Angie for his son whom was 4 years old at the time. It was during this nightly ‘downtime,’ usually right after coming home from work travels, that he and his son would ‘catch up’ together, resulting in many wonderful imaginative stories based upon their experiences of school beginnings. It was the exact opposite conditions of Brent’s traveling work environment—a time which was enjoyably slower like that of a caterpillar— School Choice
ince 1999, St. Gabriel’s Catholic School has provided a dedicated class for young learners in the form of Pre-Kindergarten half-day programs. Beginning in the Fall of 2012, the Pre-Kindergarten will become a Junior Kindergarten program. This new model will maintain the developmental emphasis appropriate for children ages 4-6 while incorporating academic opportunities beyond a standard Pre-Kindergarten program. What is Junior Kindergarten?
see more children that are ready for tailored, academic enrichment not typically offered in Pre-Kindergarten programs, and we meet more parents in need of a full-time program for their child,” says Director of Admissions, Erin Guerra. “Changing to a Junior Kindergarten allows us to do what we do best, which is meet children at their individual level s and nurture their growth.” St. Gabriel’s Junior Kindergarten students will have access to a beautiful 33-acre campus, with a 66,000 square-foot facility housing a chapel, full gymnasium, library, art studio, computer lab and dedicated classrooms. How is the Junior Kindergarten structured? Specialist teachers in Spanish, music, physical education, library, art and guidance will meet with the students one to four times per week for focused lessons. Four grade-level teachers, each with a curricular expertise in language arts, mathematics, science and art, will lead the children “around the world in 180 days.” Through ample resources and materials, as well as current technologies, our teachers guide children to actively engage and creatively explore the world around them and beyond - all at a pace determined by the child’s readiness. ” says Rebecca Hammel, Head of Lower School. “We welcome our new families into a caring environment that very carefully nurtures each child’s development academically, physically, emotionally and spiritually.” Extended day programming is also offered, during which students engage in enrichment and extension activities connected to the core objectives of the defined Junior Kindergarten schedule. The full
Individualized Learning for Preschoolers day allows for student-driven inquiry and deeper exploration of the monthly themes that comprise the year-long curriculum plan. Hammel says, “The faculty and I are thrilled to host this premier program. We look forward to partnering with parents on these most important years that lay the foundation for a successful school experience.”
The Doctor’s Corner: Primary Teeth 101 Why should we worry about baby teeth when they are going to fall out and be replaced by adult teeth? This is a question I am asked many times in my office. It is very important to maintain the health of the baby teeth also known as primary teeth. Primary teeth or baby teeth are important for:
(1) Proper chewing and eating, (2) Providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and (3) Permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. Primary teeth also affect the development of speech and add to an attractive appearance. While the front 4 teeth last until 7 years of age, the back teeth (cupids and molars) aren’t replaced until age 10-13. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that cavities are perhaps the most prevalent of infectious diseases
in our nation’s children. More than 40% of children have cavities by the time they reach Kindergarten. The bacteria in our mouth breaks down sugar in the food we eat causing the tooth to break down, and over time could eventually lead to a cavity. Cavities can start at anytime once there is a tooth in the mouth. This is why having your child’s first dental check up at 12 months of age is very important. At your child’s first dental visit, the dentist should discuss with you proper oral hygiene, diet, proper use of fluoride and any oral habits your child may have. X-rays maybe needed as well if the dentist feels they are necessary, along with topical application of fluoride. Starting children off with good dental habits now will help them grow up with healthy smiles for a lifetime. QUICK SUMMARY
Your child’s first dental check up should be at 12 months of age. put your child to sleep with a
bottle or Sippy cup
Brush your child’s teeth twice aday and floss once a day non-fluoridated toothpaste until your child has mastered their spit/ swallow reflex Cavities can start at any age so make sure to check your child’s teeth periodically for dark/brown spots Healthy baby teeth form the foundation for healthy adult teeth See your Pediatric Dentist twice a year.
Dr. Anil Gudapati is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist. He went to Dental School at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. He completed his General Practice Residency in Chicago, IL and attended Temple University in Philadelphia, PA for his Pediatric Dental training. www.kidsdentalsmiles.com
St. George’s Episcopal School
4301 N. IH 35 Austin, Tx 78722 512.452.6063 www.stgeorges-austin.org
• • • • • • •
Orthodontics Sedation Hospital Dentistry Digital X-rays TVs at every dental chair Arcade/Play Room Private Parents Lounge with Internet Access • Most Insurance Accepted • Complimentary WIFI
Free Exams For Children Ages 2 & Under
601 E. WHITESTONE BLVD, STE. 400 Cedar Park, TX 78613 Located in the Railyard Shopping Center
1512 TOWN CENTER DR., STE. 750 Pﬂugerville, TX 78660
Located at Stone Hill Town Center next to Target
www.kidsdentalsmiles.com School Choice
School Choice Preschool Preview Guide 2012
PRESCHOOL PREVIEW& ENRICHMENT GUIDE 2012 - 2013 Name of School
Country Home Learning Center 13120 N. US HWY 183 www.countryhomelearningcenter.com Dr. John’s Sports Center 1800 Clover Lane, Cedar Park 78613 www.DrJohnsSportsCenter.com Goddard School of Cedar Park 1905 El Salido Pkway, Cedar Park, TX 78613 www.GoddardSchool.com
North Austin Director: Janet McElreath Phone: 512.331.1441
Summit Christian Academy 2121 Cypress Creek Road, Cedar Park, TX 78613 www.SummitEagles.org
Infant Child Care, Preschool, AdvancED, After-school Care
Call center for pricing
Pre-Kindergarten designed for active children ages 4 & 5. Offering full and half day curriculum utilizing Scholastic’s Big Day for Pre-K.
Full day child care $160/week. Half Day Big Day for Pre-K $100/ week.
Director: Lisa Tate Phone: 512.258.5292
Infant Child Care, Preschool, Private Kindergarten, Summer Camps, After School Care
Part time and full time options, call for details
6 weeks - Afterschool/Summer Camps
From $295-875 per month
Infant, PreK, Advanced PreK , PRivate Kindergarten and After-school care
Contact a school near you!
PreK-12th Grade ACSI/SACS
PreK $5,475 Kinder $8,315 1st -6th: $8,495
Spanish immersion, outdoors focused, full time and part time
$200 - $750 a month
To ﬁnd your school visit the “Campuses” tab on our website Registrar: Kim Walker Phone: 512.250.1369
Aldea Verde School 200 Parkway Drive, Cedar Park 78613 Director: Luisi Westigard www.aldeaverdeschool.com Phone: 512.716.9124
Before/ After Care
Director: John Krampitz Phone: 512.259.7545
Little Acorn Academy Director: 3200 Hatch Rd, Cedar Park, TX 78613 Stephanie Nowell www.LittleAcornAcademy.com Phone: 512.331.5400 Stepping Stone Schools Various Locations www.SteppingStoneSchool.com
Kids R Kids Cedar Park 1301 North Lakeline Blvd, 78613 Owner: Patrick Murphey www.krkcedarpark.com Phone: 512.651.1700 Cathedral School of St. Mary 910 San Jacinto Blvd, 78701 www.smcschoolaustin.org Kirby Hall School 306 W. 29th Street, 78705 www.kirbyhallschool.org St Paul Lutheran School and Preschool 3407 Red River Street, 78653 www.stpaulaustin.org
Main School Ofﬁce Phone: 512.476.1480 ext 302
Admission: Helen Roberts Phone: 512.474.1770 Preschool Director: Tessa Spencer Phone:512.472.3313
The Magnolia School 2903 RR 620 North, Director: Ellen Carter, M. Ed. www.themagnoliaschoolatx.com Phone: 512.590.2564
Before/ After Care
Ages 6-weeks through Pre-K AdvanceEd accredited program
$200 per week full time, $120 M/W/F, $90 Tu/Th
Catholic Private School PreK3-8th Grade
$5750 - $5800 a year
PreK-12th Grade Private, College Prep School
Visit website for details.
Quality Christian care for preschool children in a safe, nurturing and stimulating setting that will allow for learning and enrichment activities.
$318 - $776 a month
Preschool, Private School, 1:1 Tutoring, and Training
A dance, motor development, gymnastics, and ﬁtness program for children ages 2 to 12.
Programs held all over Austin
Contact Heather for more details
Kinderdance Austin 1704 Southeastern Trail, 78664 www.austindanceandgym.com
Director: Heather Hardesty Phone: 512.468.7419
Star Dancers Studio 1604 Woods Blvd, 78681 www.stardancersstudio.com
Director: Maria Sorensen Phone: 512.218.4904
Varies: Creative Movement, Ballet, Dance Teams
New Family Registration Fee: $35.00
Director: Michelle Denny Phone: 512.419.7611
Competitive & Non-Competitive Teams, Mother’s Day Out
$38 Registration Fee, visit studio for details
Director: Rhiannon Byrd Phone: 512.331.4550
Toddler (18 months - 2 years), Preschool (3 -4 years), Pre-K (4 – 5 years)
$290 - $455 FT and PT
Director: Adriana Bastow Phone: 512.228.2554
Spanish Immersion Preschool and Child Care Center
Avery Ranch Dance & Yoga 10526 W Parmer Ln, Bldg 5, Suite 505 www.averyranchdance.com Rising Starts Preschool 3307 El Salido Pkwy, 78613 www.risingstarpreschool.com Excelencia Creative Bilingual Preschool 901 Royal Lane, 78613 www.excelenciapreschool.com Texas Spanish Academy 201 W Bagdad Ave, 78664 www.txspanishacademy.com
Director: Edina Morrison,M. Ed Phone: 512.589.2931
$145 - $225 weekly
School Choice Preschool Preview Guide 2012
Name of School
Researching Boarding Schools:
Weighing Your High School Options
oing to boarding school isn’t an easy decision. You’ll need to adjust to a new environment. The physical separation from your family and old friends can make the decision emotionally difficult. Financial costs are also a consideration. Is it worth it? Couldn’t the same education and experience be offered by a private day school? Or a magnet school? Or a good public high school? Boarding School Vs. Other Options Depending on where you live, local schooling options can compare to boarding schools in several ways. Nearby private day schools, magnet schools, or public high schools can naturally have very bright student bodies and qualified faculty. Academic and extracurricular offerings can also be equally challenging and diverse. When comparing schools here is a list of things to consider: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)
Attention to students Quality of faculty Quality of resources Challenging academics Broad and diverse offerings College Counseling
Boarding School is an Education in and of itself Education takes on a broad meaning at boarding schools. Boarding schools recognize this - they often have an explicit mission to not only educate students in the classroom, but to also help them become better-rounded individuals. In your boarding school research, you’ll likely hear that “boarding school is an education in and of itself.” While a little corny, the phrase is true - living in a boarding school community leads to learning that is just as (or more) valuable than the education you get strictly in a classroom. Making choices that matter and taking responsibility for yourself - living on your own isn’t always easy. You need to take care of yourself and take responsibility for your own actions to a much greater degree than if you were living at home. Being Part of a Global Community You’ll be part of a community where the willingness to explore new things is inherent in the student body, and where lots of people will also be trying new things. Boarding schools actively aim to recruit students from a wide range of geographic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Many
On-Campus Living in Residential Life
schools have students coming from all over the United States and dozens of different countries. You’ll meet new types of people, find your place in a new community, learn new skills and subjects, and challenge yourself to a higher academic standard. With every little challenge that boarding school presents, you learn a little bit more about yourself and become a little bit more comfortable with yourself. What Parents Need to Know Many parents find the concept of sending a child to boarding school upsetting; a child’s adolescence is such a distinctively affective period that entrusting it to others seems wrong. Today’s schools are filled with talented educators who involve their students in an experience that surpasses the challenge presented by day schools. Having faculty as friends and having them regularly available - students are exposed to faculty in plenty of settings throughout the day - e.g., the classroom (as teachers), athletic fields (as coaches), extracurricular groups (as advisors), and dorm settings (as dorm supervisors). Since faculty are accessible throughout the day, getting academic help and creating learning and mentorship opportunities are usually a lot easier. Parents need to consider the benefits and the challenges of prep schools carefully before they make any decisions. Benefits to students include: • Increased maturity • Greater self-sufficiency • Superior preparation for college • Increased self-confidence.
NOTABLE BOARDING SCHOOL GRADUATES
Learn about our 5- or 7-day boarding options TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas educates
Explore Our Campus
centered environment and a home away from home.
We invite you to plan a visit to tour our campus and Residential Life facilities. RSVP online to attend an open house event:
Experience the difference of a private school education.
motivated students in grades 6-12. On-campus living is available for high school students seeking a family-
Open House Events: November 3, 2012 or January 12, 2013
TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.
• Mark Zuckerberg |Phillips Exeter Academy • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis | Miss Porter’s School • General Douglas MacArthur| TMI Episcopal School of Texas • Steve Carell |Middlesex School • Ted Turner | McCallie School • George Herbert Walker Bush |Phillips Academy • Howard Hughes I| Missouri Military Academy • Mario Van Peebles| St. Thomas More School • Owen Wilson | New Mexico Military Institute • Juliette Gordon Lowe |Stuart Hall School Article Adapted from: What Parents Need to Know About Boarding Schools -Tim Hillman Why Boarding School? www.boardingschoolreview.com
Getting High School & College Ready MIDDLE SCHOOL
Saturday, September 22, 2012 | Keynote Luncheon 10 am - Noon (Cost $15) Seminars and Fair - Noon - 3pm FREE ADMISSION, $3 PARKING
JJ Pickle Research Center
10100 Braker Lane (Corner of Burnet and Braker)
Meet These School Choice Spotlight Schools and many more at the Middle School Crossroads Fair.
The GrifďŹ n School
TMI -The Episcopal School of Texas
5001 Evans Ave Austin, TX 78751 (512) 454-5797 www.Griffi nSchool.org
riffin School is a college preparatory high school community defined by academic rigor and creativity. Our mission is to cultivate individual potential and intellectual curiosity in a vibrant and engaged community. Founded in 1996 and fully accredited, Griffin School provides students with a high school program that values individuality, creativity, and community. We recognize that for many gifted and creative students, the structures inherent in traditional high schools can limit and impede the development of academic, social, and emotional growth. Our school enables these students to succeed through interactive classes capped at 12 students and academic programming that fosters artistic expression, critical thinking, and genuine involvement in the school and Austin community. Come experience the Griffin School at one of our Fall Open House Dates: September 27, 5:30-7pm October 25, 5:30-7pm November 29, 5:30-7pm
20955 West Tejas Trail San Antonio, TX 78257 (210) 698-1930 www.tmi-sa.org
ounded in 1893 by Bishop James Steptoe Johnston, TMI â€“ The Episcopal School of Texas is the oldest Episcopal college preparatory school in the Southwest. . The mission of TMI is to provide an excellent educational community, with values based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, challenging motivated students to develop their full potential in service and leadership. The school provides opportunities both in and out of the classroom where students can develop and become more well-rounded. TMI is nestled among the gentle rolling hills of Northwest San Antonio. The surrounding terrain shifts from the flat city landscape to the vibrant green junipers and live oak trees of the Texas Hill Country. The serene campus would belie the daily bustle of activity that is TMI.. Our faculty members are dedicated to the task of helping each student reach his or her full potential. Such dedication is not limited to the classroom, but flows outward with enthusiasm wherever students are found. TMI is a private, co-educational, college-preparatory school for grades 6-12, with optional Junior ROTC and boarding programs
RSVP: email@example.com www.griffinschool.org
We offer multiple degrees. 360 of them. Education isn’t one-dimensional. At Missouri Military Academy, we offer boys something we call the 360° Education™, a wellrounded program designed to educate the whole student. Our students in grades 6-12 benefit from our holistic program of: Academic Excellence: Our first-rate education prepares young men for college entrance to the nation’s finest four-year colleges, universities and research institutions. Character Development: MMA cadets are imbued with timeproven standards of conduct, ethical behavior, integrity, spiritual values and service to others. Physical Development: Through an integration of health and physical education and training, cadets are encouraged to develop physical self-confidence and a general sense of well-being.
Personal Motivation: Cadets are encouraged through positive competition, teamwork, and goal setting. Leadership: Our distinct military structure prepares cadets for personal responsibility and provides increasing opportunities for leadership and responsible decision-making capacities. The path to success and realized potential begins here. Learn more about our 360° Education™ at missourimilitaryacademy.org.
A Preparatory School with a Military Tradition™
Educating boys grades 6-12 from around the world in Mexico, Missouri
Created by Parents for Parents
School Placement Consulting Agency Helping Families Find the Right School
New to Austin? Looking for the Right School? Don’t have much time?
What if STRENGTH were a place? Annie Wright offers an extraordinary & enduring educational experience based around 4 experiential pillars:
THE ALL-GIRLS EXPERIENCE INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE DIPLOMA PROGRAM
COLLEGE & SAT-ACT PREPARATION PERFORMANCE-BASED ACTIVITIES PROGRAM
Scholar Search Weekend ~ February 8-9, 2013 For more information contact Jennifer Haley 253.284.5411 or firstname.lastname@example.org
827 North Tacoma Avenue Tacoma, WA 98403 • www.aw.org
A college prep high school community that fosters excellence in academics and a passion for creativity.
SCHEDULE A FREE DISCOVERY CONSULTATION
Receive 15% Off Comprehensive Package | Just Mention this Ad Our goal is to help you fi nd the right school for your child.
We provide each of our families Upcoming Events | Free toand Attend with individual attention first hand knowledge of local and out of REGISTRATION REQUIRED state educational Register at www.AustinCityKids. com opportunities. TYPES OF PLACEMENT
K-12 Private School Preschool SATURDAY, SEPT. 24TH, Boarding School2-5 P.M. UT Commons Learning Charter School Center (ACROSS FROM THE DOMAIN) Traditional Public School
Customized School Guide
Schedule a Complimentary Phone Consultation FEBRUARY 2012 Today 512-537-OACK (6225) DETAILS RELEASED ON www.austincitykids.com OCTOBER 2011
Hyde Park, Austin
Fall Open Houses: Sept 27th, Oct 25th, Nov 29th, 5:30pm School Choice
Experiential Alternative STEM School Opens in Austin
by: Brad McLain
STEM Integration While the term at first referred only to the integration of science with technology, engineering and mathematics, in the most innovative models it has now evolved to mean the integration of STEM across all subject areas. Schools like LTDS are pioneering a cross-curricular approach where STEM is included in reading, social studies, music, and more, and are putting up dramatic results in student engagement and performance. Parental Involvement
In response to a growing national movement for innovations in STEM education, Austin is now home to a unique school specializing in experiential science learning – the Lake Travis Day School. LTDS is now enrolling K-8 students under an alternative conceptual model that combines three key elements: experiential learning theory, STEM integration, and a high degree of parent involvement. Experiential Learning By definition, experiential learning places the focus of the process directly within learners and casts the teacher into the role of facilitator – a guide on the side rather than a sage on the stage. Educators and students co-engage in direct experience and focused reflection to construct knowledge, develop skills, and contextualize the meaning of experiences.
The third component is parental involvement. LTDS has designed a flexible model with three days per week of highly structured classroom time coupled with two days per week for semi-structured enrichment and exploration that encourages parental involvement both on-site and at home. Problem Based Learning One of the most effective methods for implementing such learning experiences in the classroom – and what the LTDS model incorporates – is problem based learning, or PBL. PBL utilizes the popular notions of classroom inquiry (wonder and curiosity) with “hands-on” content approaches but it does so by applying these methods to real-world problems that students care about and can contribute solutions toward. Examples from schools applying PBL are many. One school in Colorado has second graders exploring the science of wildfires and new strategies for putting them out. In the process they explore the chemistry and causes of fire, the ecology of grasslands and forests, and the human impacts when fires get out of control.
h e s r c, nt
a m nt e
Future Research Additionally, LTDS is working closely with the University of Colorado Denver in order to take advantage of cutting-edge research into experiential STEM learning that examines how students and teachers construct STEM identities, or the incorporation of STEM into one’s sense of self. This approach recognizes the importance of risktaking in science identity construction and that opportunities to take emotional, physical, and intellectual risks are critical components if we expect learning experiences to be personally meaningful and enduring.
H A S S L E F R.E E P R IN T IN G .. TO THE RESCUE
50 FREE POSTCARDS Dr. Brad McLain is the Co-Director of the Experiential Science Education Research Collaborative (XSci) at the University of Colorado Denver. Lake Travis Day School was co-founded by Kori McLain, an Austin area mom looking for better education for her kids.
g s s nt d s ol d e d
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ImmTrac! Reaching Everyone - Every Step of the Way ImmTrac remembers which vaccines you’ve had, when you can’t. This no-cost service provided by the State of Texas safely stores immunization records in one electronic system. Now, both adults and children can register with ImmTrac to store their immunizations for a lifetime. Stay on track — register today. Customer Support: 1 (800) 348-9158 Register at www.ImmTrac.com
K-12 PRIVATE & INDEPENDENT FAIR
Saturday, November 3, 2012 2 pm - 4 pm Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum 1800 Congress Avenue | 3rd Floor
FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION
Compare area private and independent schools side by side. Abercorn International School ACE Academy Annie Wright Schools Austin Bilingual School Austin Jewish Academy Bannockburn Christian Academy Baylor School Brentwood Christian Brewster Academy Brook Hill School Chatham Hall City School Concordia High School Cushing Academy Fountain Valley School Girls School of Austin Grace Academy Griffin School Harbor Christian Academy Hawai’i Preparatory Academy Hebron Academy Holy Word Lutheran Hyde Park Baptist Kirby Hall School Lake Forest Academy Lawrence Academy Middlesex School Miss Hall’s School Miss Porter’s School
Missouri Military Academy New Hampton School Orme School of Arizona Paragon Prep Parkside Community School Redeemer Lutheran School San Marcos Baptist Academy St. Andrew’s Episcopal St. Gabriel’s Catholic School St. Margaret’s School St. Mark’s School St. Paul Lutheran School St. Timothy’s School The Governor’s Academy The Griffin School The Khabele School The Perkiomen School The Web School TMI The Episcopal School of Texas Trinity Episcopal School Wasatch Academy Westover School
New This Year! Meet face to face with local educational resources: Tutors Enrichment Programs Academic Camps & Other Experts
list includes schools that have participated in previous K-12 Fairs.
September is here and school is back in session.