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Ann Richards School, Austin, TX

A school for young women leaders, Ann Richards School was inspired by the 45th Governor of Texas, Ann Willis Richards. A former Social Studies teacher, Richards believed in helping young women become leaders and create opportunities through college readiness, STEM and project-based learning. A diverse student body uses their core academic knowledge to engage in community-connected projects. Success at Ann Richards isn’t defined by their academics alone but also through their wellness, mind and whole body. Allowing students to participate in a variety of activities increases their confidence and pushes them to work harder in and outside of the classroom. With a focus on the rigorous curriculum of STEM, students are encouraged to enter into careers where women are unrepresented. Beginning in ninth grade, students have to choose between Media Technology, Engineering, and Biomedical Science pathways. Regardless of pathway selection, all students use maker spaces to bring ideas to life. Through advisory and networks, Ann Richard students are prepared for life after high school and positioned to participate in the global community.

School Type

Choice School

School Context

Young Women’s Leadership Network


  • Outcomes: Attends and graduates from college; Works to be healthy & well balanced; Leads with courage and compassion; Solves problems creatively and ethically
  • Learner Experience: Project-based learning; Experiential activities; Makerspace (PBL and STEM); College visits beginning in 6th grade
  • Competency & Credentialing: Digital portfolios; Student showcases
  • Wellness: Whole person; Weekly yoga; Tutoring support or extension activities
  • Equity: Diverse student body from economically disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Professional Learning: Personalized professional development
  • Strategy: College-going culture beginning in middle school; STEM exposure. ARS is part of the Young Women's Preparatory Network (YWPN), a member of the National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS), and an affiliate school of the Young Women's Leadership Network (YWLN).
  • Partnerships: Austin Independent School District; Young Women's Preparatory Network; Ann Richards School Foundation; National Coalition of Girls' Schools
  • Technology: Blend

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