Elementary Specials

Elementary Specials

We round out our Elementary program with enrichment classes conducted by wonderful specialists. These classes, called "specials," include Art, Spanish, Physical Education, Music, and Gardening. We also have an after-school program called Creativity Club that provides a fun and enriching environment for children who need after-school care.

List of 7 items.

  • Art

    The Elementary arts program at Headwaters provides children with opportunities to apply their imagination and explore their creative instincts while learning a wide variety of techniques. The program is broadly based, and includes instruction in drawing, painting, printmaking, clay, collage, sculpture, and crafts.

    Our art teacher, Brannon Via, guides the children through projects uniquely designed to develop their skills in:
    • personal expression through art production
    • critical thinking
    • creative problem solving
    • the technical process
    • identifying the role and importance of art and artists in society, culture, and history
    • critically assessing works of art from aesthetic and cultural perspectives
    These projects become more complex from grade to grade, but are adapted to the children as they grow in order to further inspire their interests and empower them in their own abilities.
  • Gardening

    Every elementary student attends gardening class once per week, which are led by our Gardening Guide, Lucille Berrones. Students learn how to care for an edible garden, building basic skills such as how to water, weed, build healthy soils, and seasonal planting. Her classes extend into many lessons, such as good nutrition, sensory tastings, botany, native habitats, sustainable practices and more. She gives students time to observe, reflect, and build a deeper awareness of the environment around them. The majority of the garden space is allocated to annual vegetables and cut flowers, which are either eaten during class or sold by students at a farm stand to raise money for the garden.
  • Music

    Music at Headwaters, taught by Beth Berman, is a lively and immersive experience. Using the renowned Orff-Schulwerk curriculum and processes, students in all grades are exposed to a variety of instruments and percussion techniques designed to help children gain independence as musicians and composers. Recorders and ukuleles will be introduced in the upper elementary program to expose students to music reading, composing, and improvisation. Structured play, dynamic movement and rhythmical speech and song are designed to create a high level of engagement and fun. A musical community evolves as students feel the joy of singing, dancing, and playing music together.
  • Physical Education

    The goal of our Physical Education program is to show each child how to possess the healthiest body, spirit, and mind possible, taking into account that what's right for one child might not be right for another. Modeling values, ethics, and character-building are a big part of this learning experience. Elementary students have PE classes three times per week, and are challenged with cooperative and team building games, as well as basic individual skills that involve gross motor movement, ball handling and hand-eye coordination. Health and wellness is also an important part, and the children learn about different muscle groups, how the heart works and why aerobic exercise is important, and how to develop healthy habits for life. Our PE teacher is Jennie Glass.
  • Spanish

    In the Headwaters Elementary Spanish program, language is our tool to excitement!

    With Spanish acting as a tool to explode a volcano, make ice cream, or play a game with friends, not only do the children acquire fluidity naturally and holistically, but they also build a solid confidence in further using and learning the language. From their positive and dynamic experience, children consistently desire more; they ask for grammar, they discover cultural-linguistic differences, they are motivated to read and write.

    For Headwaters Elementary students, learning Spanish is not an end goal. Speaking, reading, and writing Spanish is a tool to understand and connect with the world around us. From an educator's and, more significantly, from a global citizen's perspective, Headwaters Elementary students are undertaking a giant step in preparing to interact globally with respect and understanding. And they have tremendous fun in the process!

    Erin Sheppard teaches our Elementary Spanish classes.
  • Creativity Club

    Our optional after-school program is called Creativity Club (CC), and it runs until 6 p.m. each day. At CC, students can choose from many options--playground time, arts and crafts, board games, and more. We also offer additional Creativity Club classes ranging from Outdoor Leadership, Sports Club, Theater, Art, and more. Offerings change each semester. 

    Our CC Guides provide a fun and safe space for children to spend their post-school afternoons.
  • Life Ki-do Partnership

    We are delighted to partner with Life Ki-do Martial Arts, Parenting & Life Education, whose life skills program empowers children to become their personal best from the inside out. Through simple, kid-friendly tools, children develop focus and mindfulness, self-confidence and resilience, relaxation skills to deal with stress and anxiety, and social/emotional intelligence for healthy relationships. Our teachers receive training in this life skills philosophy and integrate that training into our classrooms and our PE program.

Outdoor Classroom: The Bird's Nest

Donated in the fall of 2013, the Bird’s Nest is 10.7 acres of beautiful trees, wildflower gardens, native mixed-grass prairie habitat, and an expansive outdoor classroom including a low-element ropes course located at 9524 Brodie Lane. The area remains true to its natural habitat, with Texas Persimmon, Ashe Juniper, Texas Mesquite, Cedar Elm, Texas Live Oak, and Deciduous Yaupon trees. Natural pathways lead to each section of the Bird’s Nest. This land is not able to be developed and will remain a natural space close to the greenbelt. 

The Bird's Nest is located directly west of the main Creek Campus. It is accessible via a crosswalk close to campus. 

This land is a place where all of our students will learn independence, outdoor skills, teamwork, a love of nature, and much more. All of our programs have the ability to use this land, too!

What happens The Bird's Nest?
  • Group hikes
  • Community Events
  • Family Campouts
  • Ropes course teamwork and leadership-building activities
  • Lifetime memories made

List of 5 items.

  • What is the Bird’s Nest

    The Bird’s Nest—Headwaters School’s Nature Habitat on Brodie Lane—is 10.7 acres of beautiful trees, wildflower gardens, native mixed-grass prairie habitat, and an expansive outdoor classroom including a challenge course. The area will remain true to its natural habitat, with Texas Persimmon, Ashe Juniper, Texas Mesquite, Cedar Elm, Texas Live Oak, and Deciduous Yaupon trees. Natural pathways will be created that lead to each section of the Bird’s Nest. Over time, we hope the land will offer space for campouts, community events, and outdoor learning.
  • History of the Bird’s Nest

    The Bird’s Nest was donated to the school in December of 2013. The school met the land owner/developer when we were searching for property for the Creek Campus. The owner loved the school’s mission and thought we could use the land for nature walks and outdoor learning. This land is very special and very protected. It is part of the Edwards Aquifer and the cave system that is south of the property. It is considered an environmentally sensitive area, but one filled with natural habitats that are great for learning.
  • How was the land developed?

    In working with the city of Austin environmentalist, State Biologist, Arborist, Landscape contractor - Palamino, and expert outdoor learning staff members, a plan for the land was created. The goal was to create nature paths, walking trails, campground space and a challenge/ropes course. The property is beautiful, but limited in what we can do with it. We do not have water access and can not disturb the land by adding anything into the ground. The idea is to keep the area natural to support the natural habits, bird species, and plant growth. 
    The landscaper was approved to cut a path through the property and place mulch as a walkway. The ropes course was designed and built by Ropes Works Inc. in partnership our expert staff members, David Heroy and Dave Wofford (past Staff member). David Heroy has built courses in his past and his knowledge was invaluable.
  • What elements are part of the Challenge Course?

    The challenge course was created for students ages K and up. We have trained our first group of four staff members. In the spring and then before school starts again next fall, we will train more staff. The challenge course will begin to be used as part of classroom work, PE, specials, after-school clubs, etc… We will not be renting out the space due to liability, and the desire to keep it in great shape for our students. 
  • More about the low ropes course

    We are very fortunate to have one of the few low ropes courses inside the City of Austin! It is also known as a “challenge course,” because it challenges its participants to learn and experience more about themselves and each other. It includes a series of individual and group activities that are physical, mental and emotional, and which require a combination of teamwork skills and individual commitment.
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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