Overview of Austin School Districts

As I mentioned in my previous post, our family just moved into a new house. During the home search, we knew finding a neighborhood with good schools for our kids was really high on the priority list. Having been here for 7 years already, we already had some insight into what the various districts and schools had to offer, but if you’re moving from outside of Austin, it’s harder to accumulate a depth of knowledge without first hand knowledge, so hopefully my overview can be of help.

Knowing what options are available can significantly add to peace of mind when moving to Austin. Fortunately, Austin has several school districts each with their own unique and effective approach to teaching. Five major school districts serve Austin and give parents a wide variety of options to choose from regarding their child’s education.

Those districts are:

  • the Austin Independent School District
  • the University of Texas-University Charter School (UT-UCS)
  • the Eanes Independent School District
  • KIPP Austin Public Schools Inc.
  • and the Lake Travis Independent School District
  1. Austin Independent School District Profile
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  • Students and districts: Austin ISD educates approximately 84,000 students in 130 school communities comprised of 84 elementary schools, 18 middle schools, 16 high schools and 12 other campuses.
  • Mission: “To provide a comprehensive educational experience that is high quality, challenging and inspires all students to make a positive contribution to society.”
Graduation rates: 86.3 percent.
Attendance Rate: 95.2 percent district-wide attendance rate.
  • Notable facts: U.S. News and World Report ranks five AISD high schools among the best in the nation. The district has 261 National Board Certified Teachers—more than any school district in Texas.

2. The University of Texas-University Charter School (UT-UCS) Profile
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  • UT-UCS is currently comprised of 13 campuses serving approximately 600 students in kindergarten through grade 12 with diverse educational backgrounds and needs. These backgrounds include a history of success in schools, not attending school regularly and pervasive failure in school.
  • Mission and Vision: “The mission of UT-UCS is to provide a personalized learning experience for students in kindergarten through the twelfth grade who are in need of alternative educational programs.”
  • Graduation Rates for the District:
4-year Federal Graduation Rate Without Exclusions (Gr 9-12): 57.5 percent.
Special Ed.: 70 percent.
Economically Disadvantaged: 71.4 percent.
  • Notable Facts: The district features a residential treatment center and serves students which often demonstrate neurological and learning dysfunctions, as well as emotional or behavioral disorders.

3. Eanes Independent School District Profile
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  • Eanes ISD serves approximately 8,000 students at 9 schools:
    • 6 elementary schools (grades K-5)
    • 2 middle schools (grades 6-8)
    • 1 high school (grades 9-12)
  • The district and all 9 campuses achieved the highest rating, “Met Standard” by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for 2014-15. The district achieved an attendance rate of 96.3 percent and a drop-out rate of 0.1 percent.
  • Mission Statement: “The Eanes community is vitally committed to educational excellence that prepares and inspires all students for life-long success by engaging each student in rigorous academic experiences and enriching opportunities.”
  • 2015 Senior Class Follow-Up
Attended a 4-Year Institution: 84 percent.
Attended a 2-Year Institution or Technical School: 15 percent.
Military or Employment: 1 percent.

4. KIPP Austin Public Schools Inc.
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  • KIPP Austin Public Schools Inc. is part of a nationally-recognized “Knowledge Is Power Program” network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools. KIPP Austin is comprised of 9 schools serving more than 3,900 students.
  • Mission: “KIPP Austin Public Schools believes that every child, regardless of economic background has the right to an exemplary education. We will empower our students to thrive in and graduate from college, choose their paths, and positively impact their communities.”
  • Notable Facts:
Waitlist: More than 1,000 students.
Student Makeup: 90 percent of KIPP Austin students are economically disadvantaged and 98 percent are African-American and Latino.
College Acceptance Rate: 100 percent of the KIPP Austin class of 2014 was accepted into college.

5. Lake Travis Independent School District Profile
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  • The Lake Travis ISD was established in 1981. The district is comprised of 9 campuses made up of 4 elementary schools, 2 preschool programs for children with disabilities, 2 middle schools and 1 high school. The district serves over 8,200 students.
  • Mission: “The mission of the Lake Travis ISD is to educate all students by teaching a comprehensive curriculum which emphasizes scholastic excellence.”
  • Notable Facts:
District Graduation Rate 2012-2013: 96.3 percent.
District Attendance Rate: 96.1 percent.
Annual 2012-2013 Dropout Rate Grades 9-12: 0.6 percent.
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