After months of talk about creating an all-boys version of the Anne Richards School for Young Women Leaders, the Austin Independent School District says it is getting $4.6 million over seven years from the Moody Foundation to help create a School for Young Men.
“We are very fortunate to have found a partner in The Moody Foundation,” AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said in a news release. “They are willing to commit to significant resources over an extended period of time to replicate an exemplary educational model during tough budgetary times.”
First, the district has to complete a feasibility study, which will be funded by the Moody Foundation. The study would look at things like which grades the school would have, where it would be located, what sort of academic focus it would have, and how students would apply.
Finding a site for the school could prove to be a challenge. The school district has been looking to buy land in South Austin for a high school with money voters allocated in the 2008 bond program. AISD has also not had much luck searching for a site in North Central Austin to build an elementary school. Money for that project was contained in a bond approved in 2004.
One alternative could be to re-purpose an existing building. The Anne Richards School, for example, is now in the building that used to house Porter Middle School.
Many of these facilities issues will be addressed in a revised ten-year master plan that the district is developing. That is scheduled to be completed this fall.
The Anne Richards School opened in 2007 with sixth and seventh grades, and has been adding a new grade each year. The first class to graduate Anne Richards will be in 2013.
The Anne Richards School was ranked “recognized” by the Texas Education Agency last year. That’s the second highest academic accountability rating offered by the state.