School is right around the corner and we are exited for our continued expansion! Last year we more than doubled our usable space and remodeled to create two spectacular learning labs and some small conference rooms. This year we have grown our student population and we are maxed out at 24 learners. And we can't wait to get to know them all even better! In preparation for school beginning (and because we couldn't contain our excitement) we issued the following press release: 

NEW SCHOOL CHOICE IN AUSTIN: Is this the future of education?

AUSTIN,TX - August 18, 2016 - As schools open their doors this month, there is a new choice in education, a choice that is redefining education in Austin. Long-View Micro School, a learning space that feels more like a dynamic start-up than it does a typical school. Long-View provides an innovative approach that is shifting the focus away from “school” and back to learning; this is the type of school that is exactly what Austin needs. 

Long-View is a micro-school that grew out of the renowned mathematics program, The Number Lab, which facilitates deep learning by strengthening the capacity of young learners to reason with number and think algebraically. Long-View builds upon the philosophies of The Number Lab and expands to a “focused academic footprint” encompassing reading, writing, science, computer science, and mathematics. 

“We are seeking to reimagine what school looks like and feels like,” says co-founder and longtime educator, Lisa Zapalac. Zapalac taught elementary, middle, and high school in public and private schools before serving as curriculum director and principal for over a decade.

She teamed up with other co-founders Cathy Lewis and Kevin Moore, and together the team has over 65 years of experience in public and private schools, such as St. Mark’s School of Texas and St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Clearly, this triad knows what excellence in education means in the traditional sense, but what they are creating with Long-View sets a new standard of excellence. 

You won’t see any traditional markings of school at Long-View. Gone are the desks and worksheets, even the chairs. Everything moves. The white-boards, 
illustrate their thinking, and work together to solve problems, are on wheels. As are the low-slung, red couches where cohorts are engaged in discussions that  challenge them to construct new understandings. 

With floor to ceiling windows the rooms are filled with light, and perhaps the most fun part - every surface is writable. “We write on the walls and the windows to share our thinking. We show each other that learning isn’t limited to a workbook or a worksheet that only the teacher will see,” says Lewis, who painted many of the walls herself. 

Another thing you won’t see at Long-View - class on Fridays. In Long-View’s micro-school model students receive a deep and thoughtful curriculum in reading, writing, science, math and coding (that’s right - they consider computer coding one of their five core academic offerings), Monday through Thursday, 9:00am - 2:30pm. And after 2:30pm and on Fridays, families customize the rest of a child’s schooling with activities in fine arts, sports, and other areas of interest. 

With about  25 alternative elementary schools, defined as “innovative learning communities,” now listed on Alt Ed Austin’s Alternative School Directory and micro-schools popping up all over California and the cities of New York and Chicago, there is clearly a need for a different choice in education.  And, unlike many of the schools listed in the Austin directory, Long-View is located in Central Austin, near the UT campus. 

Moreover, with established private schools in Austin costing nearly $20,000 or more, choices beyond public education are  now out of reach for many families here. With Long-View’s price tag coming in at just below half of what other schools are charging, the value cannot be beat. 

Like Zapalac, Lewis, and Moore, the newest full-time member of the team, Elizabeth Bayer, is no newcomer to education either. With degrees from Rice and Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and a decade of experience in education, she too knows excellence in education. “What we are doing here is inspiring, and it’s just plain fun to be a part of such high-level work with these amazing people” comments Bayer.

As evidenced by its growth in staff and student population, Long-View, like Austin, is growing quickly. So, as school gears up this fall, keep your eye on this school that takes "the long view.” 

Update: Our story has since been picked up by Community Impact Newspaper and Built In Austin.