Open House

You are invited to our Open House on Sunday,

June 3, from 2-3 p.m. You're also welcome to join the parents and friends of MasterStudents at our Open House on July 6, from 9:00-11:30 a.m.  Or, come see us any time MasterSchool is in session. (Please call ahead:  512-272-9910.)   Because MasterSchool is located on private property, we appreciate your not visiting at any other times.  Please contact us for directions to MasterSchool.





                    Summer Program                      at MasterSchool

                                               June 4-July 6, 2018



Here you see the famous Flower Van.  We don't use her anymore but we keep her around for old memories.

We pick up youngsters in rented vans in 3 places in Austin and drive them to our ranch near Manor where all of our activities take place:

1.  Central

Disch-Falk: We'll be in the parking lot on Comal and 21st, across the street from the U.T. baseball field on the northeast corner of IH 35 and MLK.  We'll begin loading at 7:45 a.m. and leave at 8:00 a.m.  We'll return between 4:45 and 5:00 p.m.

2.  North

Northwest Recreation Center:  We will meet you in the parking lot next to the church parking lot at MoPac and Northland.  We'll begin loading at 7:45 a.m. and leave no later than 8:00 a.m.  We'll return by 5:00 p.m.

3.  West

WestWood Shopping Center:  We'll be in the parking lot next to the ATM machine on Bee Caves Road.  We'll begin loading at 7:45 a.m., leave no later than 8:00 a.m. and will return by 5:00 p.m




                   2018 MasterSchool Theme:                                  Communication


Good communication helps us avoid conflicts, build strong relationships and helps us move toward greater happiness. We’ll begin each morning with a short communication lesson then use our skills throughout the day (and after MasterSchool, at home!). We’ll practice deep listening and careful speech as well as investigate non-verbal communication including silence. How does good communication help us make friends? keep friends? solve problems between friends? What communication skills help us when we use tools, play in water, play games, and on teams? How do animals and plants communicate?




         Each Day at MasterSchool Has Five Parts: 

           Community Gathering, Morning Classes, Lunch, Workshops                                            Afternoon Free-time Activities           



                         Community Gathering

                            From when we arrive (around 8:30) - 9:00

We all gather in the barn to welcome each other, put up our stuff and settle in. We have a community conversation on various topics: communication, listening well, speaking carefully, interdependence, cooperation, appreciating others, solving problems with friends, etc.  We often send an email to interested parents reporting on this always interesting and wise exchange of youngsters' views.

Before we leave for our morning classes, we have our first big drink of water.






                              Morning Classes

                                                 9:00-10:00 and 10:30-11:30

   (Youngsters take a break for snacks and free play from 10:00-10:30)

The morning classes begin after our community gathering.  Classes are limited to a maximum of 15 MasterStudents per teacher. Youngsters rotate through each of the morning classes, spending one week in each class so that by the end of the session, they will have participated in each of the following classes:




                    Communicating With Wild Beasts




















We know you are  a Wild Beast yourself, so we thought you’d like to get to know other wild beasts from the major classes of animals in the world.

Wild Beasts like Joan’s snakes and lizards, sponges, crabs and

jellyfish as well as the creatures that live at MasterSchool: the fish, birds, horses, chickens, pigs, bunnies, spiders, doodle bugs and those tiny wild beasts we’ll need our microscope to study.

We’ll go on Wild Beast hunts through the woods and to the MasterSchool

ponds. We’ll collect, handle, talk to and take care of our Wild Beasts and study the many ways we humans connect with them (food webbing and energy flow through the ecosystem, and genetic relationships between animals and through time).  Are you wild enough to communicate with Wild Beasts?

Twenty-Five year MasterTeacher:   Joan Tennison






                     Communicating with Words


  Let’s write to each other!  

  Without a phone (we don’t

  bring them to MasterSchool) 

  you’ll write text messages,

  tweets, memos, notes to

  self and lists. You’ll write odes,

  poems or a love letter to…what?

  your lunch? your socks? your  

  best friend? or…....?
You’ll write in any genre you'd like: journalism, drama, comedy, sci-fi, fantasy, adventure, poems, essays or something completely new. You’ll create stories individually and connect with friends...we’ll also make up stories as a group. Got “writer’s block”?—we’ll play games to get unstuck.
If you’re not yet a writer, you’ll enjoy communicating orally with words—telling your stories and illustrating them!
Twenty Five year MasterTeacher, Clark Perry







                       The Secret Life of Plants:
How Plants Communicate with Each Other and Us


We’ll go on plant safaris searching for edible, medicinal and other useful plants at MasterSchool. We’ll cook up some tea and cookies or dye our t-shirts with what we find. We’ll learn Supermarket Botany, plant fast growing black-eyed peas and radishes, tend the other plants in our garden (We’ll eat what we grow!), and explore how plants feed, clothe and shelter us.
Oh and we'll find out how plants communicate!

Are you ready to learn the secret life of plants?
Four year MasterTeacher, Lauren Peterson






                          Communicating with Tools
                                  Horse River and
                                      Each Other


















  We’ll go to Horse River at   

  MasterSchool where there are trees,

  stones, dirt, pebbles, bushes, a little 

  pond, vines, mud, leaves, shadows,

  sticks, tree trunks and other

  treasures we can build with. Using

  a variety of saws, hoes, shovels,

  clippers, hammers, rakes, screw

  drivers, axes, picks, our hands, our

  creativity and each other’s help,

  what might we construct? palapa?

  bench? raft? shrine to Horse River?

  trails? maps? The only way to pull

  this off is to learn how to

  communicate with each other, the

  tools and the treasures in the


  Thirteen year MasterTeacher:   Gustavo Cortés-Vega





















Please bring your own nutritious lunch, two snacks--one for the morning, one for the afternoon--and a big water bottle to use throughout the day. (See the Happy Camper's Checklist created by MasterSchool kids for healthy lunch ideas.) 









Please choose one of the workshops described below.  You will meet in these workshops daily for the full 5 week MasterSchool session.




                                           Soccer Workshop:

                        Communicating in a Team


  Communication is key to being a

  good team player. Every day we’ll

  go to the public park down the road

  from MasterSchool and/or play

  soccer in our little MasterSchool

  home field. You’ll learn to play

  smart, think creatively on your feet,

  keep your sense of humor, enjoy

  the game and communicate well

  with the ball and your teammates.

You’ll learn to be an intelligent, creative, versatile soccer player and you’ll discover the strategies, skills and techniques needed by midfielders, sweepers and defenders as well as forwards and goal keepers.


This class is for both girls and boys and for beginners as well as those with experience in soccer. You’ll need a soccer ball, shin guards, and soccer shoes and socks.
Thirteen year MasterTeacher: Gustavo Cortés-Vega   Ages: 8-14







                                          Ranch Hands:
Caring for and Communicating With Ranch Animals



In the Autumn of last year our beloved horse, Miss Priss died. She was not in pain and died peacefully. Her daughter Lilly and her friend Red were by her side.
Because she was our best riding horse, we will not be able to offer horseback riding this year. Instead we invite you to help us feed, take care of, wash, groom and train Lilly and Red and to feed and take care of our other animal friends at MasterSchool--chickens, pig, cats, dogs, bunny. This takes love, careful communication (with words and your body), cooperation and patience. Are you ready to be a Ranch Hand?
Four year MasterTeacher, Lauren Peterson     Ages: 9-14






                             Communicating Swimmingly:
                               Daily Swim Lessons



Although free swimming is available to all MasterStudents, you will receive special beginning or intermediate swimming instruction in small classes based on your abilities and the American Red Cross standards.


Do you want to get comfortable and feel safe in the water and learn some new swim strokes?

Twenty-five year MasterTeacher:  Joan Tennison

Ages:  5-9 










                       Communicating With an Audience:
                         Creating an Epic Production


   If you’ve seen any of 

  MasterSchool’s previous

  Epic Productions you know

  how awesome they are. To

  get to that level of

  entertainment, we’ll play

  improvisation games where

  we make up the action

  together as we go along,

  play games that spark our

  creativity and brainstorm

  story lines. What subjects

  interest you: kingdoms,

  animals, space, your

  favorite character in a book,



  We’ll take our time coming

  up with ideas and listening

  with care to each other’s

  suggestions and proposals.

  We’ll figure out how our

  ideas fit together then add

props, sets, songs, makeup, wigs, and action as needed. We’ll rehearse until we’re good enough to perform for the other kids at MasterSchool and for parents and friends on the last day of MasterSchool. There are roles for all, whether you want to perform on stage or work behind the scenes.
Twenty Five year MasterTeacher, Clark Perry     Ages: 5-15




                                        Games Workshop:

                        Communicating for the Fun of It

Tripp is teaching his first “official” class at MasterSchool! (He’s been an amazing MasterStudent, Counselor in Training, Counselor, Assistant Teacher and Substitute Teacher.) He says:
You’ll learn the art of creating and playing games. We’ll play board games, card games and other games that require us to communicate clearly. We’ll play mind games, fantasy games, map games, action games, survival games, rhythm and word and math games. We’ll have races and relays. We’ll learn card tricks, solve puzzles, go on scavenger hunts. We’ll play Ghost in the Graveyard! and Dragon Tag. If you don’t mind getting a little bit wet, you’ll like Drip, Drip, Drop. Honkey Donkey I’m Too Slow is a really  funny card game. When we play Autograph Bingo you’ll learn some goofy facts about your friends. When we play Wizards, Giants and Elves—which one will you be? Human Sculpture requires communication, trust, imagination and a big sense of humor. Those are just a few of the games we'll play.

Come play with me!
Fourteen year MasterTeacher:  Tripp Swiderski       Ages: 5-10 years





                      Afternoon Activities



                                                                            Free Choice

You decide how you spend this part of your afternoon.  Some choices:



Come build, paint and decorate your own rocket!  Youll take your rocket to the open spaces at the nearby park so you can shoot it off (then recover it and take it home.)     Fifteen year MasterTeacher:  Thuan Tang










  Since 2014, The International Office

  at The University of Texas at Austin

  has hosted 25 bright young leaders

  from every country in Sub-Saharan

  Africa. In addition to academic

  coursework they visit entrepreneurs

  and executives at businesses in Austin

  such as Google, We Work, Capital

  Factory, PeopleFund, Dropbox…..and

  for the last 2 years, MasterSchool!



Here are some of the comments from children after their visit with us last year:

“We danced as some of us sang 'Jambo!' (which means 'hello') and others sang 'Jambo Sana!' (hello! how are you?) and we sang 'Aguna matata' (no worries.)"

"My new African friend Didi came to the pool and watched me and counted while I swam under water.”

"Kaya rolled up her jeans and took of her shoes and waded in Frog Pond with us.”

"My African friend was terrified of frogs so we kept the frogs away for her.” "My African friend wanted to know what a frog looked like so I found one and showed it to her then let it go."





                                               Think and Swim



While the older children work on guided creative thinking and high level thinking skills, the younger children have the pool to themselves.  At 3:30 they switch.






                         Preparing to Go Home

                                                                4:00- 4:30
We sing songs, tell MasterSchool stories, find socks and underwear

and look for water bottles....




                                              4:45- 5:00

We arrive at our stations in Austin (Disch-Falk, Northwest Recreation Center or Westwood on Bee Caves Road).  Please be on time to pick up your youngster.






Total tuition for the full day 5 week MasterSchool Summer Program is $1875.  Transportation from/to Disch-Falk for the full 5 week session is $160; from/to the Northwest Recreation Center and the Westwood Shopping Center, $260.  T-shirt and class photo are free.