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The Moody Foundation Approves $4.6 M for a School for Young Men in AISD

The Moody Foundation has approved $4.6 million over seven years for a School for Young Men in the Austin Independent School District. The project has multiple phases, including a Feasibility Study in the first year of grant implementation. Based upon the exceptional results of AISD's Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders and longstanding community interest in developing a School for Young Men, the district has been exploring the possibility of duplicating this successful model for boys over the past year.

AISD's proposed School for Young Men will be modeled after other successful, urban single-gender schools for boys to provide a high-quality educational experience that prepares boys and young men in Austin for success in college, work, and life. The school could incorporate a range of elements that studies of other similar schools have shown to be successful for engaging boys in learning. The specific ways in which these elements will be integrated into the school will be determined during a Feasibility Study.

Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said, "We are very fortunate to have found a partner in The Moody Foundation. The Foundation has an interest in quality education and exceptional educational models equal to our own, and they are willing to commit to significant resources over an extended period of time to replicate an exemplary educational model during tough budgetary times."

The Moody Foundation support will enable an essential first phase of the process by supporting a Feasibility Study to research the effectiveness of a range of school models, and select the model that most closely aligns with both district goals and the specific needs of district students. The Feasibility Study process could include: determination of grade configuration; consideration of a potential school site; articulating a vision for a School for Young Men; determining the school's name and academic theme, main curriculum and instruction model; and application criteria and processes. Grant funding will support best practice site visits, community engagement and outreach activities, the overall Feasibility Study, and school start-up costs.

"The Moody Foundation is excited to partner with the Austin Independent School District to create a School for Young Men that is as exceptional as the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders has proven to be," said Ross Moody, Moody Foundation Trustee. "For years the Moody Foundation has proactively developed projects that meet the needs of the community. There is no greater legacy than providing exceptional schools for our children. A school that meets the needs of young men is an urgent need in the community, and we are an enthusiastic partner in this work."

Beyond Galveston, the Foundation's historic base, the Moody Foundation, makes grants primarily in Austin and Dallas, with an emphasis on education, social services, children's needs, and community development. The most enduring of these have been the Moody Scholars Program, Moody Gardens, and the Transitional Learning Center. This year, 14 AISD students received $84,000 in scholarships through the Moody Scholars Program.