IDEA Austin to Establish Nation’s First Dedicated Health Professions School for Kinder through 12th Graders

AUSTIN (June 20, 2018) – The first dedicated Kinder through 12th grade comprehensive health professions public charter school in Austin will be established by IDEA Public Schools Austin, and is slated to open for the 2019-2020 school year. 

A recipient of the Magnet Schools Assistant Grant Program, the purpose of the grant is to reduce minority isolation in public schools by funding racially diverse magnet schools.

IDEA will offer a specialty model, but like all of IDEA’s schools, IDEA Health Professions will be free, open-enrollment by lottery, and will offer an academy and college preparatory program. The new school will be located south of MLK at highway 183 and Wilcab. The school will open in August 2019 with grades K – 2nd, and 6th.

“This is a new and exciting adventure for IDEA Austin,” said Patricia Noyola, Executive Director of IDEA Austin. “IDEA’s Comprehensive Health Professions will develop the next generation of leaders who will solve health policy challenges, and we’re thrilled to be able to launch in Austin.”

Jarod Hawk and Cameron Cook have been announced as the founding principals of IDEA Austin Health Professions. They bring diverse leadership experience to the school, and are excited to lead the launch of this school in 2019.

“We believe that students who experience a racially and socioeconomically diverse school will be set up to persist at competitive universities and develop into well-rounded, compassionate, and diverse leaders of the next generation,” said Cameron Cook, Founding Principal of IDEA Austin Health Professions College Prep.

The Academy level, grades K through 5th, will feature a STEM-focused program along with its rigorous foundational academic program. The College Preparatory level, grades 6th through 12th, will feature a comprehensive health profession focus along with its rigorous AP for All academic program, which sees all IDEA students take 11 Advanced Placement course during their high school years. High school students will also participate in a capstone, in-field internship allowing them to receive true hands on experience before graduation.

In addition to curriculum, emphasis at IDEA Austin Health Professions will also be placed on community partnerships in health professions including guest speakers, field lessons, and internships.

Recent national recognition for IDEA Public Schools includes:

●      For the 10th consecutive year, IDEA’s college preparatory schools were ranked among the best performing high schools in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report. Four IDEA Public Schools high schools received a gold medal ranking for college readiness and high rankings on the list.

●      IDEA CEO and Founder, Tom Torkelson, and JoAnn Gama, IDEA Co-Founder, President and Superintendent, were inducted into the 2018 National Charter School Hall of Fame. They will be joining 35 esteemed inductees since the Hall of Fame’s inception in 2007.

●      100% college acceptance for the twelfth straight year in a row. The class of 2018 was awarded more than $41 million in grants and scholarships, 4654 acceptances to 377 universities across the county, 17 Ivy league acceptances, 257 Tier 1 acceptances, 584 Tier 2 acceptances and over 590 first generation college students.

For more information about IDEA Public Schools Austin, visit


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