Planning for the 2020-2021 School Year

Reopening for 2020-2021

Since Headwaters’ inception in 2001 and 2002 as The Khabele School and Primavera Montessori, we have been resourceful and agile. We have “done school” in homes, trailers, yards, parks, at picnic tables, on rugs, on camping trips, and, of course, in a van or a bus. We do this because we know learning can and does happen anywhere. Our kids and guides know that, too.

Like other schools and learning communities, we will be challenged in the coming school year to be sure every student is cared for, challenged, and connected to us in ways that ensure social & emotional growth, academic & intellectual growth, and growth as learners. We remember, during this time, the importance of our foundational language – the world needs a school that cultivates identity formation, fosters empathy, and embraces diversity to bring more peace to the world. The world needs Peacemakers, Advocates, Creators and Thinkers. Those ideas have kept us committed to the very challenging but crucial work of preparing for an unknown future.

Our 2020-2021 plan is a work in progress. As August approaches, we know there will be adaptations to this plan, and we will keep you informed every step of the way. 

See the Communications Archive below for the latest news and information shared with our families.

Priorities for Reopening

In order to reopen campuses, Headwaters School is assessing information, acting decisively, and developing guidelines and procedures in service of our community. Part of our planning for the 2020-2021 school year is the work of the Scenarios Planning Group. This group is composed of board members and senior administrators who provide counsel and guidance on overarching aspects of our planning for the coming year, including decisions to open or close our campuses, extending the school year, and ensuring our long-term financial sustainability. These members include Jerry Aubin, Jim Rudden, Jessica Rio, Heather Vickers, Amy Nylund, Alex Penry, Paul Cronin, and Ted Graf.

This group is supported by several working task forces made up of teachers and administrators, who are focusing on three key areas: health and safety, teaching and learning, and calendar and operations.
  1. If we are permitted to be open and on campus, we will be on campus. Our decision-making will be informed by local authorities, state authorities, and the CDC. 
  2. We are taking a long view of the virus and making plans that can be sustained for more than a few weeks or months.
  3. Each program requires a customized approach that is responsive to the students’ developmental needs. For our younger students, that means meeting in person as much as possible.
  4. If we must shift to periods of Headwaters at Home, we will prioritize small group teaching sessions for more meaningful interactions, age-appropriate and consistent accountability, and streamlined and consistent use of technology.
  5. We are committed to taking full advantage of this opportunity to emphasize our belief and value in students becoming self-directed learners.
  6. We are committed to regular communication with our parents, students, and guides to provide clarity and confidence.
  7. We will continue to invest in personal protective equipment (PPE) and other COVID-related supplies to be ready to carry out daily safety protocols on each campus.
Plans and details shared here are subject to change. Families will be updated regularly this summer. Thank you for your patience.

Headwaters Helpful Links

Resource FAQs

List of 8 items.

  • Digital Etiquette

    Her is a short video on video conferencing etiquette. Created by a colleague at Awty International School in Houston, it is an excellent entry point (or reminder) of how to comport ourselves while participating in an online class. Parents are encouraged to view it with their students, too.
  • FAQs for Families in Response to COVID-19

    We have created a FAQ document to answer your questions about the impact of COVID-19 on financial, programmatic, and general questions. Click here to view this living document.
  • How Can I Learn to Use the Nest?

    We have created a regularly updated tutorial document with text and video directions for many of the need-to-know details. Check it out at this link. 
  • How Do I Access a Bulletin Board?

    To access Bulletin Boards for your child(ren), please follow these steps:
    1. Login to the Nest
    2. On the top left, you will see either the name of your child OR the word Children. Click here to access your child’s Progress tab.
    3. Scroll down and under Courses, Activities, or Community, you will see a list of your child’s groups by category The name of the group is hyperlinked and can be clicked. Click the name to get to the Bulletin Board.
  • How Do I Access the Nest?

    Any user can access the nest by going to Headwaters.org and clicking “Nest Login” at the top right or by clicking this link. If you forget your username or password, just click “Need help logging in?” to be guided to a page to recover your username and/or password with just your email.

    Middle and High School students may use the Google Apps for single sign on (SSO).

    If you have further login problems, please reach out to
  • What are Nest Notification Settings?

    Last summer, we went ahead and opted parents into all pertinent Nest Notification Settings so that we could use the Nest in a useful and effective way with more frequent use of Announcements and News notifications for the various groups you and your child are a part of. For most parents, this is welcome information that is not overwhelming or taxing on your inbox. If you ever need to adjust your notification settings, just follow these steps:
    • On the left, under Account Settings, click Notifications.
    • Here, you can choose the email and the phone number your could receive notifications.
    • Then, in the next section, you will see various types of communications and checkboxes for types of notifications via e-mail or text. If you can’t check a box, it’s because you need to adjust the Setup Options, just click and check the boxes for the groups you wish to receive that specific type of communication.
    • It auto-saves, so you are all set!
    To learn more on how to Set Notification Settings and what settings we suggest, just click here.
  • Why Screencast-O-Matic?


    Guides will use this to narrate/do a voice-over of a lesson, read a book, explain an assignment, and more! This allows guides to give a lesson any time via a link.

    No option for any guests to join. 
  • Why Zoom?


    We will be using Zoom for classroom meetings. Zoom is a great platform that doesn’t require users to have an account--all you need to do is click a link that your guides will provide.

    In addition, we will also be recording the Zoom sessions for availability after the meeting ends. 
    Those recordings may be available as guides get more familiar with the system.

    Those who do not wish for their children to be video-recorded may opt to attend the meeting with audio only.

Communications Archive

List of 3 news stories.

View All News

Springs Campus

18 months to Pre-K
6305 Menchaca Rd.
Austin, TX 78745
Phone: 512-443-8843

Creek Campus

Elementary School
9607 Brodie Ln.
Austin, TX 78748
Phone: 512-804-2708
Fax: 512-628-4810

River Campus

Middle & High School
807 Rio Grande St.
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-480-8142
Fax: 512-480-0278