Our daughter has been at AHB Community School since Kindergarten. She’s now in 4th grade. The small class sizes and ~10-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio have been great. It was important to us to get this small school environment in one of the fastest growing cities in the country. That’s becoming harder and harder to find and it’s something we really appreciate about AHB. Before joining, I did have reservations about the academic rigor of the school. It’s obvious AHB is a loving and nurturing environment. You can see that from outside and I can attest to the fact it is indeed that. I did have concerns our daughter might get behind in academics, though. That just hasn’t been the case. Instead, what we’ve found is that AHB has helped create a real curiosity. Our daughter is multiple grade levels ahead of her age. AHB is playing the long game and it’s worked out really well for our family. I’ve seen a similar situation for most of our friends at the school.
I taught at this school for several years and it was a beyond wonderful experience. The teaching staff is phenomenal, the administrative is supportive and the families are the incredibly helpful. Most importantly, the students are all so happy. They love being at school and it shows in the work they produce, how they learn, the friendships they make, and the fun they have. I would highly, highly recommend this school to anyone looking at smaller private schools for their children.
My experience with AHB started 7 years ago when I first toured with my daughter. Unfortunately while AHB felt like a great fit, the shorter school week was not going to fit with our work schedules. We opted to join another school and were very happy for several years. However as my daughter got older and my son entered school, I realized the joy of learning for both of them was non-existent. In fact, they were coming home weekly telling me that they "hated" school. I went back on the hunt for something we could all love! It was then that I rediscovered AHB! My daughter was so in love after her shadow day we transitioned her mid year. She thrived at AHB last year and this year my son has also joined the AHB family. They have not once used the word "hate" to describe AHB. It is quite the opposite, they actually have said they wish they had school on Friday's to be with their teachers and friends. AHB has a a teaching style that is unlike most traditional schools, but I can attest that the kids are learning not just math, English, science and history but there is also an abundance of social emotional learning for all ages. My children are currently thriving and I could not be more happy with our new school!
A few years ago my 3rd grader was struggling in public school and absolutely hated school. We tried everything and realized it just wasn't working. We needed to make a change. I had heard about AHB through friends and decided to move him there. Now he is so happy and actually looks forward to going to school. He loves the smaller class size and the friendships he has created. AHB was a lifesaver for us. You can tell that the teachers are happy to be there, enjoy teaching, and love their students. The community of families is wonderful! I only wish we had moved to AHB sooner.
This approach to learning should be the standard. Coming from a play based learning pre-school, this is the natural progression to cultivate future growth in all aspects of a child. I feel lucky to have found AHB and will be happy to have my next two little ones join the school when they old enough.
After bouncing around from school to school, and one bad experience to another, we have finally found a school where the staff is thoughtful and the culture is transparent. It took me 6 years of speaking to schools and educators to finally find AHB! A couple points to note about AHB: - Children work on projects that provide context for various aspects of the topic on hand. For instance, my child is studying the human body -- in doing so, she is creating a model of the human body. It started with a simple outline of the human body on a large piece of cardboard. The, during week 1, the kids learnt about the human brain and she added a brain to her model. Week 2, they studied the skeletal system and my child added a skeleton to her model. You get the point, right? This type of experiential learning provides context (as opposed to "learning" devoid of context). Why is this important? Because, all of life has context: nowhere in life is one working on anything that is devoid of context. - Parents have opportunities to be deeply engaged with the school. AHB has various after-school programs, many of which are run by parents. For instance, I'm involved in a once-a-week math program where we meet for an hour and play various games. There's another parent who teaches yoga, and yet another who teaches music and singing. Also, the school board is comprised of mainly parents -- so, people whose kids are attending the school and who are deeply invested in the well-being of the kids are making the decisions. Thankfully. I have more to say and not a ton of time, but I will say one last thing -- this is a very different school from any other school I have come across in Austin. People here actually listen, engage and collaborate.
Our family is thrilled with AHB because both of our children adore it. AHB provides a creative and collaborative educational alternative that fosters curiosity, creative problem solving, and hands-on learning. Our kids are excited to attend school each day! The teachers are not only kind, but they also know how to actively engage our children in the learning process. The AHB community as a whole is exceptional, and we feel fortunate to be a part of it.
My kids are currently attending their 5th year at AHB. We have been very happy overall with the school but what we love most is the community connections and feelings of warmth and support we get from other parents, teachers and administration. My kids adore learning through doing. They get tons of hands on experiences and very few worksheets. We also really love having Fridays off. We schedule play dates or excursions on Fridays or we can travel and have long weekends if we want.
AHB lands right in the education sweet spot. Our daughter has a classroom experience where teachers make developing a love of learning their number one priority. No curiosity is overlooked and there is time and space for wonder and making learning personally meaningful so that the kids truly internalize and own what they are learning. After Covid launched us into rapid fire homeschooling for kindergarten, we learned that we actually loved many aspects of that lifestyle. But we didn’t want to keep going it alone. With the condensed schedule (shorter hours, and 3 or 4 day a week option), AHB offered a hybrid schooling option for our now first grader (Alpha class) that gave our daughter a classroom structure and friend community while also leaving time for homeschool magic, real world experience learning outside the walls of a school, and time for extracurriculars without being exhausted from long school days 5 days a week. On our home education days, we find so many ways to extend the learning. While not 100% necessary to do so since the teachers are covering so much and so amazing, we really like doing it. For example, while studying a unit on the Human Body and the circulatory system, on a Thursday while most kids were in school my daughter went with me to donate blood. She got to meet a phlebotomist, learn about the blood donation process, think about the community service act of donating, and learn why we need to give to help people who need blood transfusions. The conversations that came out of this were amazing. On another recent “out of classroom” day, we ditched such intentional learning and sat at a coffee shop for two hours while she figured out how to sew a Red Crossbill bird stuffie by hand. She practiced this skill meticulously (which also helps build stamina for writing). She also met a child with special needs who was sitting nearby and had a wonderful interaction. It gave us a lot to talk about afterwards (why people’s brains affect how they move or talk, how people with disabilities are treated differently and why it was meaningful that we treated her as an equal). These are skills and conversations that would be harder to make time for if she was in class 5 days a week. We love AHB!!
My second grader is actually excited to go to school every day, and says she loves it at AHB! She's learning in math and language in interactive ways that are engaging and build comprehension. Math and language are separated by skill level, and in the afternoon mixed ages come together to work as groups, going deep on science subjects and social studies. As a result, my child is above level on core curriculum yet also explaining features of the ocean basin and African cultures that are new to me. Most importantly, she's having fun learning, which is something I hope she carries with her throughout life.
I have seen such a shift in my child's disposition since beginning AHB that choosing this school may honestly be the best decision we've made as parents. She has become optimistic, confident and outgoing. I can only hope that growing up in this environment leads her to be happier as an adult! The warmth from teachers, students and parents, alike, really creates a community where kids and families feel like they belong. The curriculum is fabulous - it's engaging and hands-on, and great at encouraging critical thinking skills and creativity. She is ahead of her grade on most common core standards without the distaste for school that I hear other kids her age expressing. Couldn't be happier.
Our kids love going to school at AHB! The teachers are kind, caring and compassionate and we really like the project-based learning. AHB focuses a lot on emotional growth and teaches kids to appreciate people and the world we live in. In addition to mastering math, science and language arts skills, my kids have developed a true love of learning that will stay with them throughout life.
We have four children at AHB and we couldn't be happier. The teachers are kind and caring and they inspire the students to think creatively. We love the project-based learning, the focus on the kids' social and emotional growth and the respect that the entire community shows toward every student. The school is very inclusive and celebrates the uniqueness of each individual. The education is wonderfully progressive, while still following a solid curriculum.