Across the San Antonio region, there are schools of choice that offer many different learning models. Here are descriptions of the main types plus some local examples.
Child-centered education includes a variety of progressive education approaches, including Montessori, project-based learning, and inquiry-based learning.
- SAISD Lamar Elementary, Steele Montessori, Rodriguez Montessori, Advanced Learning Academy (ALA)
- The Gathering Place
- Promesa Academy
- Anne Frank Inspire Academy
Classical education is an approach that looks back to time-tested methods like Socratic seminars and cursive handwriting. Students receive a well-rounded liberal arts education by reading whole works of literature and holding discussions with their peers.
- Great Hearts Texas
- Valor Education
- Founders Classical Academy of Schertz
College and Career Readiness
College and career readiness programs help students prepare for life after high school graduation. Early college high schools allow students to earn college credit—as much as an associate’s degree— while still enrolled in high school. Dual credit programs and Advance Placement (AP) courses also help high school students to earn college credits. International Baccalaureate (IB) schools offer a globally recognized program. Career and technical education (CTE) helps students learn skills and earn certifications that will help them start their careers right after high school graduation.
- Early college: SAISD Travis ECHS, Brackenridge ECHS, St. Philips ECHS, Frank L. Madla ECHS (see New Frontiers Public Schools)
- Dual credit: SST, Harmony, Jubilee, Somerset Academies of Texas
- Advanced Placement (AP): BASIS, IDEA
- International Baccalaureate: KIPP, SAISD
- Career and Technical Education (CTE): Compass
Rose, Jubilee, Harmony, NEISD, SAISD P-TECH, Edgewood ISD P-TECH
Functional Needs Schools
Functional needs schools are designed for students’ particular concerns and offer specialized support.
- Foundation School of Autism
- Proposed school: Celebrate Dyslexia Schools
Credit Recovery Schools
Credit Recovery Schools provide students who are at risk of dropping out with extra support and flexibility while earning a high school diploma.
- Compass Rose Impact
- Premier High School
- Texans Can Academy—San Antonio • Learn4Life Edgewood
- Cooper Academy at Navarro (SAISD)
Culturally Responsive Schools
Culturally responsive schools.
- Essence Prep (see also guest posts by Akeem Brown and Jennipha “Jae” Ricks)
- SA Prep
- Compass Rose Public Schools
- Graebner Community School (SAISD)
Dual Language Education
Dual language education helps students to become bilingual and bicultural. Their young minds receive language instruction at a critical time, and they may learn to be more creative and flexible by training their brains to move between languages. In San Antonio, Spanish-English dual language programs are the most common. There are also Spanish immersion programs.
- SAISD and many ISDs in the area
- CAST Med High School (see CAST Schools)
- Lone Star (Somerset Academies of Texas)
- EKHLA — Hebrew
Single-gender schools offer students the opportunity to learn with peers of the same gender. Single-gender schools may have benefits for students in academic achievement and self esteem.
- SAISD: YWLA Secondary, YWLA Primary, YMLA
- Edgewood ISD: Las Palmas Leadership School for Girls, Roy Cisneros Leadership School for Boys
STEM schools focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. They are designed to prepare students for careers that will be in high demand in the future. Students participate in fun learning activities like robotics, 3D printing, solar cars, math league, and more.
- School of Science and Technology (SST)
- Harmony Public Schools
- CAST Schools
- Compass Rose Ingenuity (Compass Rose)
Learning Models Handout
Download or print this information as a one-page handout. The text is in English on one side and in Spanish on the other.
Charter Moms Chat
Inga Cotton, Founder and Executive Director of San Antonio Charter Moms, discusses learning models in this video recorded on September 12, 2023.
Inga Cotton is the Founder and Executive Director of San Antonio Charter Moms. Inga is the mother of Annika, age 13, and Nicholas, age 16, and on the autism spectrum. Inga is the Founder and Executive Director of San Antonio Charter Moms, a nonprofit that helps families find schools that are the right fit for their children and become advocates for quality education. Inga has lived in San Antonio since high school and has a B.A. in History from Trinity University and a law degree from the University of Texas. In 2011, she learned about new charter schools coming to San Antonio. She wanted to help spread the word to families, so she created the San Antonio Charter Moms blog in 2012. Over time, San Antonio Charter Moms became an online community, including an active discussion group on Facebook, and became a non-profit organization in 2018. Inga and her family enjoy hiking at parks and trails, going to museums and concerts, and trying new recipes and restaurants.
Read More About School Search
- “School Models: Charter School, Private School, Traditional Public School, and More,” San Antonio Charter Moms, August 31, 2023
- “School Search Timeline,” San Antonio Charter Moms, August 21, 2023
- “How to Find the Best Schools in San Antonio,” San Antonio Charter Moms, February 25, 2020
- “The School Choice Roadmap,” Andrew Campanella, 2020
- “Searching for Charter Schools in San Antonio: What You Can Do in January,” San Antonio Charter Moms, January 17, 2019
- “Finding the Right Schools in San Antonio for Your Children – MOMS Club of San Antonio NE Edition,” Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, April 9, 2018