While Austin is typically most famous for its live music and delicious culinary scene, it’s also renowned for its academic excellence. The city is home to one of the best universities around — the University of Texas at Austin. Plus, it’s home to an excellent primary and secondary education scene comprising both public and private facilities. In fact, you’ll find more than 40 private schools alone in Austin. To help figure out where your child should go, we’ve made this guide to the best private schools in Austin.
The 11 Best Private Schools in Austin
With so many schools in the Austin area, it can be hard to figure out what’s best for your child. While there isn’t one school that’s best for everyone, there are several options that consistently rank among the best private schools in Austin.
To find the best one for your family, you need to think about what you value in a school. If you’re looking for a denominational component, make sure to check out the city’s religious school offerings. If you’re looking for a specific type of education — like a bilingual or STEM program — focus your efforts on schools that provide those programs.
Regardless of your preferences, it’s a good idea to visit any schools that you are considering. This allows you to connect with the principal and staff and get a better feel for what the campus is like. Plus, it offers you and your child the chance to ask questions and see if the program is a good fit. Here are some of the best private schools in Austin where you can start your search.
International and Creative Learning Programs
There are several international, global, and creative academic programs in Austin. At these schools, students can learn to become engineers, coders, and immerse themselves in foreign languages and cultures.
1. Austin Waldorf School
The Austin Waldorf School features a 27-acre campus in the Texas Hill Country, just a short drive from downtown Austin. The school accepts students from three years of age in their kindergarten program as well as grades one through 12. Students here get a truly global education, learning two foreign languages, vocal or instrumental skills, and are introduced to handwork, woodwork, and fine arts from around the world.
2. Magellan International School
Magellan is one of six International Baccalaureate World Schools in the United States. Their academic programs are focused on Spanish immersion and design-thinking and serve students from preschool and elementary school to 8th grade. The school focuses on coding, creating, and designing, making it a great choice for parents who are looking for a hands-on educational program.
3. Montessori School
Austin Montessori offers academic programs for students three months old to 15 years of age. The school is renowned for its academic approach which focuses on collaborative play and self-motivated growth. Students move to and from various activity stations throughout the day and teachers interact on a personal level rather than lecturing. The program focuses on the “whole child” — the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical learning of all students.
4. Griffin School
The Griffin School in Austin is a college preparatory school that is all about letting students be creative. Core classes have a 15-student cap and students are encouraged to express themselves and interact with diverse groups of people. The small class size allows students in all grade levels to get personalized lessons. The school’s focus on creativity can be seen in the student artwork that adorns the walls of the campus, school bell music that changes daily — featuring artists from the Ramones to Taylor Swift — and extracurriculars like fashion design, photography, and creative writing.
5. Headwaters School
Headwaters is a school serving students from early childhood through grade 12. The school begins with a foundation based on Montessori teaching methods and moves into International Baccalaureate education at the high school. Teachers here have an average of 13 years of experience and the school consists of around 500 students.
6. Harmony Science Academy
Harmony Science Academy is a charter school focused on STEM education programs. It’s actually a public school, not a private school, but we’ve included it on this list since it’s a charter institution. Students get to work hands-on and attend various STEM competitions around the country. The student-teacher ratio is also low, making it easier to get a tailored education.
These denominational programs are among the best private schools in Austin. They meet state education requirements while focusing on religious tenets and values in their teaching. Many private schools in Austin have a religious component, though the ones below are among the most popular. Other options include St. Theresa’s Catholic School, St. Francis School, Redeemer Lutheran School, Holy Family Catholic School, Regents School of Austin, and Hill Country Christian School of Austin.
7. St. Andrews Episcopal School
St. Andrews Episcopal School is a Christian academic institution featuring a lower school, middle school, and upper school. Their education focuses on balancing the head and the heart within a diverse and socioeconomic environment.
8. Brentwood Christian School
Brentwood Christian School is one of the largest private schools in Austin. The student body consists of over 700 students ranging from preschool to elementary and secondary education students. The curriculum focuses on a love for God and academic excellence. They provide a road map for students to track their progress when it comes to cognitive development, psychosocial skills, bible, and service-at-home tasks.
9. St. Michael’s Catholic Academy
St. Michael’s Catholic Academy strives to educate students with a focus on Catholic values. The school offers 20 Advanced Placement classes to prepare students for college as well as robust art and athletics departments.
10. St. Stephen’s Episcopal School
St. Stephen’s is a college prep school featuring a 370-acre campus in the heart of Texas Hill Country. They offer programs for day students as well as full-time boarding options. Students can participate in a range of academic and athletic programs.
11. Austin Peace Academy
The Austin Peace Academy is a nationally accredited Islamic school that offers pre-K through 12th-grade classes. Prayer is a key component of the educational experience and students are encouraged to participate in co-curricular activities including community service, interfaith studies, and athletics.
When it comes to your child’s education, finding the right school means knowing your values and what type of education you want your child to have. If religion is key in your life, consider one of the denominational schools above. If you’re focused on creativity and international learning, try one of the global programs on this list of best private schools in Austin.
Need more help finding the right education for your child? Check out our guides to the best preschools in town as well as the best elementary and high schools in Austin. Plus, you’ll find a roundup of the best schools in Austin and the best school districts in the city.