IDEA Public Schools: Changing the Way we Think about Public Education

Sponsored By: IDEA Public Schools


You’ve seen the IDEA billboards on I-35. You’ve read about IDEA in the Statesman. You may have seen IDEA students in their “No Excuses” polos, received an IDEA postcard in mail, or even spotted the big blue IDEA tent at community events.

Simply put, you’ve heard about IDEA Public Schools. But in Austin’s increasingly choice-filled education landscape, facts trump familiarity. Today, we’re going to share facts about IDEA Public Schools so that you, as an education-oriented Austin parent (this is the Austin Mom’s Blog, after all), know what we’re all about.

An Introduction to IDEA Public Schools


IDEA Public Schools is a network of tuition-free, college preparatory schools in the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, and Austin areas. Our 44 schools serve about 24,000 total students in grades K – 12. That number is growing as we expand to meet demand for high-quality public schools in more communities.

Our motto and mission at IDEA is “College for All Children,” and it’s based on two core beliefs:

  • First, we believe that a college degree is the surest bet for a secure future. No other life choice opens doors and provides options quite like it.
  • Second, we believe that all students are capable of earning a college degree, regardless of the obstacles they face in life.

These beliefs have kept us laser-focused on preparing students for success in college since our founding in 2000.

IDEA in Austin

IDEA came to Austin in 2012 with two founding schools, IDEA Allan Academy and IDEA Allan College Prep. Last year, both schools earned TEA distinctions for college readiness.

This year, IDEA Rundberg’ opened two schools on its campus in North Central Austin. Now with four school serving 1,600 students, IDEA Austin is well on its way to preparing more Austin-area students for college success.

Here is snapshot of the IDEA Austin family of schools:



Serves grades:

Fully grown in:

IDEA Allan


K – 9


IDEA Rundberg

North Central Austin/ Rundberg

K – 6; 6


The IDEA Public Schools Model

IDEA schools prepare students for college by providing a tuition-free, rigorous, college-preparatory education. The path to college at IDEA starts in kindergarten and continues until “16th” grade when our alumni toss their hats in the air on college graduation day.

Each IDEA campus is split into two schools – Academy (grades K – 5) and College Prep (grades 6 – 12).  Read on to what you can expect from IDEA from Kindergarten to college graduation.

All IDEA schools provide…

  • A small, safe learning environment
  • Rigorous academics
  • Dedicated time for personalized remediation and enrichment
  • A college-bound school culture
  • Passionate, high-quality teachers and educational staff
  • Responsive, experienced school leaders
  • and much more

IDEA Academies (Grades K – 5) provide…

  • Innovative curriculum that reaches students at their just-right levels
  • Small-group instruction for a personalized learning experience
  • Regular access to cutting-edge educational technology
  • Preparation for success in middle and high school
  • … and more

IDEA College Preps (Grades 6 – 12) provide… 

  • Exposure to college-level expectations with our AP-for-All strategy
  • Opportunities to earn college credit through advanced coursework like AP or IB
  • Leadership and character development through sports, clubs, and other activities
  • Robust college-readiness programming, including:
    • College campus visits
    • Competitive funding for prestigious summer programs through our College Summer Away Program
    • A college-application course for juniors
    • Standardized test support
  • …. and more.

IDEA Alumni receive…

  • Personalized support from an alumni counselor
  • Networking opportunities at regular alumni events
  • Competitive access to emergency funding through the Give-Me-5 fund

IDEA’s Results

The programming listed above, plus our incredibly supportive families, dedicated staff, and hardworking students, have allowed us to make great strides. IDEA’s record of results is growing stronger each year. Here are some of our proudest achievements:

Want to know more about IDEA Public Schools?

We’d love to hear from you and answer any questions! There’s lots of ways to get in touch. We look forward to talking to you.

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