Frequently Asked Questions

General Info

+ What time does school begin and end?

Our schedule is 9:00 a.m. to 4:35 p.m.

+ Where is the school located?

The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders is located at 2309 Panther Trail, Austin, Texas 78704, in South Austin. The school is near the intersection of Ben White Boulevard and Lamar Boulevard. See a map and directions online.


+ How do I get an application?

Applications are available online. Read more about the application process on our website under the Admissions section.

+ Do I need a straight-A report card to apply?

You don’t have to be a straight-A student, but you do have to be a student who enjoys learning, has the desire to succeed, wants to go to college, and cares about the future and our community. Your hand-written letter, first semester report card and attendance, last year’s State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) scores, and teacher recommendations have equal value in the scoring of your application. So, even if you don’t have the best grades or the highest test scores, you can still qualify by excelling in other areas.

+ Who attends the Ann Richards School?

More than 900 students in grades 6-12 attend the Ann Richards School.

The demographics of our student body mirror that of our local community. Our student body is represented by 52% Hispanic, 35% Caucasian, 4% African American, 4% Asian American, and 4% Multiracial.

Approximately 50% of our students qualified for free and reduced meals.

+ Do I have to pay a fee to attend this school?

No, there are no tuition fees. While any Austin area student may apply, those living in the AISD boundaries will receive preference in the selection process.

+ How does a new student obtain a transfer to your program?

We will obtain the necessary transfers for the students who have been accepted into the program.

Campus Life

+ Are there fine arts classes?

Absolutely. Art, band, choir, dance, orchestra, and theater arts are offered.

+ Will girls be able to participate in athletics?

Yes! Beginning in the seventh grade, girls may represent our school in a variety of sports, including volleyball, soccer, basketball, track & field, cross country, swimming, softball, and tennis. According to U.I.L. rules for middle school, sixth graders cannot participate in school sports competitions.

+ Are there school trips?

We value learning experiences both in and outside of the classroom. Each grade level has field experiences that support our curriculum, in addition to several visits to colleges and universities.

+ Is it hard to make friends at the Ann Richards School?

Making friends at our school is exciting and fun because everyone is in the same boat, coming from different schools and looking for new friends. Working on group projects and participating in extra-curricular activities are effective ways to meet classmates.

+ Are there extra-curricular activities for students?

In addition to after-school practices in sports and fine arts, we have unique academic clubs. Girls are also encouraged to organize clubs that they would like to see on campus.


+ How many hours of homework per night can be expected?

Approximately 1 to 3 hours. Students may also have homework over the weekend.

+ Is tutoring available for students?

Our teachers usually designate at least one morning or afternoon a week for tutoring and provide extra time for students as needed. Tutoring times are listed on the course syllabi distributed on the first day of school. Homework Haven is available before and after school for students to get tutorial support and have access to technology.

+ Is Physical Education required every year in middle school?

Wellness is a very important component of our school. Our girls must take a semester of physical education every year. We offer a variety of activities including sports, aerobics, dance and yoga.

+ What kind of electives will I be able to take?

We offer an array of electives in liberal arts, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and fine arts, both performing and visual.

+ What is service learning?

Caring about others is valuable and necessary. Service learning hours are required for each grade level, and each student completes more than 100 hours of community service. Ann Richards School students partner with local non-profit organizations and work on projects ranging from environmental conservation to arts programs for children and the elderly. Our girls have over 70,000 hours of service combined each year.


+ Do I have to wear a uniform?

Yes, uniforms are required. Research shows that wearing uniforms benefits students by minimizing social, psychological, economic, and emotional distractions. Just think how quickly you can get ready for school without the time-consuming decisions of what to wear.

Uniforms are available through Dennis Uniform and search for the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.


+ How will students get to and from school?

The Austin Independent School District (AISD) provides transportation with most of the bus stops at or near neighborhood schools. For questions regarding your home address please visit the AISD School Bus Transportation website.

Community Involvement

+ How can I volunteer at the school?

We welcome your presence and participation in our school. If you have a unique skill or talent and would like to volunteer in a way we haven’t listed, contact Mara Anderson. Thank you in advance for your interest.

+ How will you keep parents/guardians/caretakers/mentors informed about school events?

We use newsletters, flyers, communication from teachers and staff, email, Twitter, and our website. Our doors are always open to discuss any questions or concerns that you might have about your student’s experience.

Information is also communicated to families and staff members through the use of AISD’s communications system. The system allows the district and AISD schools to send important voice-recorded phone, text or e-mail notifications informing you of everything from a campus emergency to your student’s daily attendance.


+ What models are the Ann Richards School based on?

The Ann Richards School is based on proven models like the Young Women’s Leadership School in East Harlem, New York, which pioneered public college preparatory schools for girls from economically disadvantaged families through support from public-private partnerships, and the Irma Rangel Leadership School in Dallas, Texas, the first public, all-girls school in the State of Texas. Both institutions provide a rigorous academic curriculum alongside a comprehensive college advising program and both consistently see 100% of their graduates accepted into college.

+ How does the “public-private partnership” work?

The Ann Richards School is supported by a unique public-private-partnership between AISD and the Ann Richards School Foundation. AISD covers all the traditional operating expenses of any public school: salaries, facilities, transportation, maintenance, books, and computers. The Foundation is responsible for raising the funds needed for enrichment programming, including professional development for teachers, summer camps for students, college visits and advisement, and educational field trips.

The Ann Richards School is a member of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, and the Young Women’s Leadership Network.