High School

Paulo Freire

The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.
At our High School, we believe that student agency is important for authentic learning. Our teachers are guides, pointing students in the right direction and giving them the resources to find their way while being careful not to limit their pursuits and interests.
We promote collaboration and communication, depth over breadth, and genuine engagement. The lessons of self-sufficiency and self-advocacy learned in ninth and tenth grades culminate in our International Baccalaureate (IB) program for juniors and seniors. All of this is supported with intentional community building, a robust advisory program, and a personalized college counseling experience.

Headwaters School is an International Baccalaureate World School offering the Diploma Programme. IB schools share a common philosophy--a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education that Headwaters School believes is important for our students.

W.E.B. Du Bois

Education must not simply teach work––it must teach Life.
Located in downtown Austin at 807 Rio Grande Street, our River Campus is home to our Middle and High School programs. 

Each of our eight River Campus buildings is full of unique character, housing classrooms and administrative offices. The Middle and High School programs share the entire campus, though they have a staggered schedule. Middle School classes run from 8:20 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and High School classes run from 9:40 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Our River Campus classes take advantage of our downtown location. We are close to UT Austin, the Austin Recreation Center, parks, museums, the Central Library, and so much more. We love to use the city as a classroom.
Earlier this year we hosted conversations for each of our programs that connected current parents with prospective parents. View these sessions at the following links:

High School Academics

High School students take courses in English, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, World Language, and the Arts, as well as Electives and Headwaters Core Classes. All 11th and 12th grade students choose from a variety of International Baccalaureate course offerings.

Learn more about our High School curriculum below.

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  • Classes at Headwaters

    Between classes there is the normal hustle and bustle of adolescent life, students laughing, gathering their materials and talking to their friends as they head to class.
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  • International Baccalaureate Diploma

    Headwaters School is an IB World School offering the Diploma Programme for 11th and 12th grades.
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  • Student Leadership

    Student voice is a key aspect of culture at Headwaters School. As the PACT states, our students are invited to be Peacemakers, Advocates, Creators, and Thinkers--often expressed through student leadership.
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  • Advisory

    Foundational to our academic structure is our advisory curriculum. Much more than a home room, an advisory creates a daily support structure for academic and personal success.
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  • Inspiring Guides

    The Headwaters High School teaching staff is committed to both building relationships with their students and developing skills and knowledge through engaging experiences.
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  • City as Classroom

    The River Campus is located in the heart of downtown Austin. Our vision for the River Campus is an upper school program that is deeply integrated with civic, tech, environmental, and service opportunities for our students beyond the walls of our schools.
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  • Project Week

    Every year, each Headwaters student invests in a personal project. Students pick their topics in January and develop their projects through early March leading up to Project Week.
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  • Senior Colloquium

    Senior Colloquium is similar to Project Week Presentations, however the colloquium is focused on our senior class presenting and imparting knowledge they have gained from their Senior Thesis (called the Extended Essay by the IB).
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Spring Campus

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Creek Campus

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River Campus

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As a 501(c)3 non-profit school, Headwaters School does not discriminate because of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other classes protected by federal, state, or local law in its admissions, financial aid, hiring, or board membership processes.