Because AHB is a part-time school, the connection between learning done in the classroom and learning done outside of the school day is a key aspect of each student’s educational experience.
To that end, AHB teachers work with students and parents to create Projects and Practice that are relevant, meaningful, and appropriate for each child’s ability. Such projects and practice are done at school and at home, with and without adult guidance, and are accompanied with support from the teachers to ensure that students and parents can be successful.
Projects and Practice work is provided and assigned as necessary throughout the week, and is often to be returned after the long weekend. Assignments are varied by classroom and by the specific skills that students are tackling in a given quarter. Students should be able to complete their Projects and Practice within a reasonable amount of time.
Ongoing reading and math skill development are a natural part of the growth of a lifelong learner and are expected to be a normal part of home routines beyond the Projects and Practice. Educational research (along with AHB’s own experience) suggests that daily minimums of reading and math practice help keep students progressing through their development.
Parents and students are asked to communicate with teachers if they consistently require more time than expected to complete their work, or if they have any other questions about the amount and/or quality of the assignments. Because of the shorter amount of time in school, Projects and Practice are important to each student’s success. Parents must commit to ensuring that their child is completing Projects and Practice and that their work is on-time, neat, complete, and representative of appropriate effort.
The beauty of a community school is that the community extends beyond the classroom. Many families at AHB forge bonds of friendship that last far beyond the Elementary and Middle Years that their kids are in school. We provide ample opportunities for families and parents to connect with each other throughout our school year.
At AHB Community School, one thing you will often see is parents and families interacting with students, teachers, administration, and even our broader community. Families are always welcome to find a place and a way to actively participate in their child’s education. We offer several events each year where we formally gather as a community and celebrate.
Portfolios on Parade (or POP) is an inspiring showcase of the schoolwork and projects that students have worked on throughout the semester. For one day at the end of each semester, families, students, teachers, and administration all gather for performances and tours through each classroom where students proudly discuss their work from the past semester. We often say that Portfolios on Parade is the “magic” of AHB – the chance to see what inspired learning looks like in the most direct way.
Additional community opportunities include Around The World (an exciting all-school potluck inspired by a chosen country, with authentic foods, art activities, dances, games, and speakers from the chosen country), Parent Support Nights, and Parent Coffees. We also have additional academic events that parents attend as they are able – Science Fair, Literacy Day, and performances at the end of various classes.
Each family is asked to contribute to the operation of AHB Community School by signing up for a service job. By having each family pitch in a small amount of volunteer work throughout the school year, we are able to keep tuition costs low. We offer a wide range of jobs that match a variety of interests and skills – from gardener, to chaperone, to IT support. Besides allowing the school to allocate more funds directly toward educating its students, service jobs help us model the act of service to our own children.
Our fundraising model evolved from our founder, Georgie Georgakis, who felt that every fundraiser should be a FUNdraiser. We hold several exciting events each year – from our annual Skate Party to community-sponsored shopping and dining events to our signature fundraiser, the Austin Homebrew Festival. We encourage all families to participate in these events at a level that feels comfortable. A list of our upcoming fundraisers and events is available on the Support Us page.
Students play a critical role in our fundraising efforts as well, selling their wares at Winter Faire and collecting pledges in the spring for our annual Bowl-a-Thon! As our fundraising efforts grow, we are able to fund our scholarship program at higher and higher levels, thus bringing our progressive educational model to a wider population of students.