According to Nature’s Schoolhouse owner Nicole Tomayko, microschools are an alternative to public schooling and an extension of homeschooling. In microschools, students learn at their own pace, and many in the Austin area do not have specific grades, but rather group students according to age and where they are in their education.
Microschools are different from Montessori schools because microschools do not have to follow the Montessori curriculum, Tomayko said. Instead, microschools can choose various philosophies and curriculums that best fit their students’ needs and learning styles.
1. Apogee: An Acton Academy
Ages: 4 1/2-18
Cost: $1,200 per month
12129 RM 620, Austin
2. ESTEAM Academy
Cost: Ranges from $550-$1,115 per month for two days to five days per week
Capacity: 120 students (total school)
12 Lake Drive, Round Rock
3. Innovation Learning Lab
Cost: Ranges from $350-$1,000 per month for one day to five days per week
Capacity: 30 students with 5-10 students per class
Inside Freedom Life Church, 1775 Bagdad Road, Cedar Park
4. Invictus: An Acton Academy
Ages: 3 1/2-11 with plans to add middle and high school ages
Cost: Ranges from 11 payments of $750 or $8,250 for the year-$1,175 a month or $12,925 for the year for three days to five days per week
Capacity: current enrollment is 18 elementary students and 18 preschool students
Inside Northpoint Church, 1320 Arrow Point Drive, Ste. 201, Cedar Park
5. Nature’s Schoolhouse
Ages: grades K-5
Cost: Ranges from $4,200-$12,100 per year for one day to five days per week
313 Brushy Creek Road, Cedar Park
6. Oak Ridge Learning
Cost: $950 per month
1400 Spivey Road, Leander
7. Schola International
Cost: Ranges from $310-$1,050 per month for two days part time to five days full time
12702 Sherbourne St., Ste. A, Austin
Note: This list is noncomprehensive. Tuition information is a range and excludes one-time enrollment and material fees as well as any sibling discounts offered.
Fast Facts about Microschools
Although microschools have been around for many years, their popularity grew in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is some general information about them from Microschool Revolution.
- The maximum capacity for school to be considered a microschool is 120 students.
- There are no teachers, but there are “guides” who help the students learn. Guide certification requirements vary from school to school.
- Project-based learning is a prevalent tool.
- They maintain benchmarks to make sure students are not falling behind.
- Microschools are considered private schools and have tuition.