teepee boy photoOur Philosophy

Since 1982, we've offered a summer day program and adventure trips for gifted youngsters.

By "gifted" we mean children who have some of these characteristics: enjoy learning, are highly curious, crave knowledge, learn quickly, know a lot of information and remember well. Gifted children may be quite observant; they may like to initiate projects, solve problems in unusual ways and to create. They may have wild and silly ideas and unusually varied interests. Some gifted children have an advanced vocabulary and like to talk, ask questions, discuss details and elaborate. They may have a mature sense of humor. They may show strong feelings and opinions and like complexity. They may be self-critical and want to do everything perfectly.

Gifted children are also kids with the usual kid fears (of not being accepted, of making mistakes, of failing) and needs (to be acknowledged, respected, loved).

MasterSchool has been designed to meet the ordinary and extraordinary needs of 5 -15 year-old gifted youngsters. Teachers, counselors and kids play and work with ideas and with each other in an atmosphere of respect and love. We teach creative thinking, problem solving and high-level thinking skills. We encourage young people to take intellectual and social risks.

We expect MasterStudents to be cooperative so we offer specific lessons in sharing, working together, leading others, and being a follower. MasterStudents are not allowed to "put down" but are taught to compliment, encourage and support others.

We want youngsters to have a sense of commitment and responsibility to their world. In some of our classes, MasterStudents study--or work with--people in communities that are different from their own. Our rural location in a natural environment helps us teach respect for and conservation of our earth and its resources. We teach children to reduce, re-use and recycle. We have discussions on important days in history and on current events.

We are concerned with children's physical needs, so our days are balanced with quiet, "head" activities and dynamic physical activities. We allow only nutritious lunches and snacks at MasterSchool and give short lessons on nutrition. We have staff trained in first-aid and a doctor on call.

All of our classes are held (or at least begin) on our small ranch near Manor. We pick up and deliver youngsters at three sites in Austin--see Transportation for site locations and times.

Our Story...

Terry Masters (she’s Cortés-Vega now) was Texas Gifted Teacher of the Year, a teacher trainer, a curriculum writer, and for 10 years, Coordinator for Gifted Programs with the Austin Independent School District. She resigned from AISD in 1982 to start MasterSchool, assisted by her teenage children.

Those teenagers have grown up and now Jennifer Masters Griffin and Jennifer’s husband, Brad and Christopher Masters and his wife, April help direct MasterSchool……and teach, play, hunt for scissors, take care of scraped knees, clean the bathrooms, fix the pool, keep the books, look for lost water bottles and…….

Joan started MasterSchool when she was 6 years old and has now been a MasterSchool teacher for years.  Many youngsters have grown up to be CITs (counselors in training) or counselors.

MasterSchool is a family. Christopher and April met (and fell in love) at MasterSchool. Terry and her husband, Gustavo, met on a MasterSchool Adventure in Oaxaca. Teachers and counselors and parents of MasterSchool kids are friends after school. Joan, Eric, Lauren, Thaun, Gustavo, Terry, April, Jennifer and Christopher have more than 220 years of MasterSchool experience! So……MasterSchool is a family. And your family (or part of it!) is invited to spend some time with ours.

For more information about out staff, please go to this link: Staff

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About Us



"My husband and I don't even have kids yet, and we are in Houston, but it seems inevitable that we will find a way to get our

children to MasterScool.  I

love that place."
---former MasterSchool

youngster who is now an

attorney in Houston