Magnolia Montessori For All is a free, high-performing charter school in East Austin, Texas that was launched in 2014 with 300 students. The school now houses 500 children from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade and with many families waiting to send their children to the school.
The administration has been successful in increasing equity by targeting students from a mixture of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. The school takes a holistic approach to education; it strives to push children not only to meet their intellectual potential, but their social, creative, and physical potential, so they can pursue lives of meaning and joy.
Not only is the approach innovative, but it is also necessary to tackle the educational segregation that plagues the city of Austin, as lower-income and diverse communities continue to live mostly separated from white and affluent neighborhoods, often resulting in less investment in lower-income communities.
The school has had impressive success and has been acknowledged for some notable accomplishments. In 2018, the school exceeded its peers in rigorous expectations, school safety, sense of belonging, cultural and linguistic competence, relationships with teachers, engagement, and learning strategies. The school also earned the highest rating in preparing students for a post-secondary education and the third-highest rating for student achievement and performance gap closures.
When Lisseth, mother to student Lixi started exploring the idea of her daughter changing schools in middle school, high-cost private schools were not an option. She wanted her daughter to be in a diverse environment close to home and the Montessori For All Magnolia Campus in East Austin stood out. The public charter school was low cost, diverse and focused on hands-on learning and giving students independent choice. As a result of this approach, Lixi, who started attending Montessori at age nine, said she was finally getting good grades in math. “They presented material in a different way,” she said. “Now, I can do really long divisions on paper.”
You can read the full story on the Capital Impact website. Praxis is an investor in Capital Impact Partners and is proud to highlight the work they do.
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