Announcement for 2018-2019 school year

Message from Caitlin, the Schoolhouse Organizer:

It is with a heavy heart that I have come to the hard truth that I need to close the doors of Radicle Roots next school year. I have done a lot of soul searching to reach this point, and I know I have to admit it, despite it being an extremely tough call.

Several things have influenced the decision to close. The bottom line is I really want to be with my own family and child more, and am planning on growing my family soon. The growth of the schoolhouse has also brought several challenges that have accumulated beyond the limits of my mental health and energy level.

Here are some other options to consider as an alternative to Radicle Roots:
Whole Life Learning Center
Clearview Sudbury Valley School
Progress School
Inside Outside School
Integrity Academy
And if unschooling / deschooling is an option for your family, there are great networks, list-serves, and resource centers to plug into (such as Yawp! in Mueller, Austin Area Homeschoolers, and the Austin Unschoolers FB group), plus many enrichment programs listed in the Directory at Alt-Ed Austin.

In closing, I want you to know how deeply I have appreciated the opportunity to work together with families to create a more just and sustainable future through learning and growing with beautiful young people. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Love and Light,


Late Summer Garden Update

The early gardener gets the cherry tomatoes!

Thanks to all the garden-sitting volunteers, the schoolhouse garden is alive and thriving as we reconvened after the summer. It was no small feat, considering how hot and dry it was. The garden looks great!

A special shout-out to Nicholas Koch and his company, Equitable Green Group, for installing our brand-new awesome rain barrel! And thanks to the city of Austin for the grant that paid for it! Caitlin and I applied for the Bright Green Futures grant almost two years ago; the city gave us the grant last fall; Nick installed the rain barrel this summer; and Hurricane Harvey filled it up. And thanks to a generous donation from a friendly neighbor, it’s now hooked up to a new garden hose. We are ready to put it to work. 😀

Rain tank overflowing with Harvey’s rain.
The kids have been busy in the garden too. They made tea from mint that they picked and that they shelled dried black-eyed pea pods last week. Many mornings you can find children harvesting black-eyed peas, a few tomatoes, and lots of Tatume squash. They also helped pull up bindweed, which makes pretty flowers but spreads like crazy and out-competes the more useful plants.
Showing off the harvest!
We have a small number of okra plants, which are producing a few pods. One of the pods is almost mature enough to pick and dry for seeds to plant next May! The kids also like to nibble on the perennial herbs, including mint, oregano, and garlic chives – a fave snack during Democratic Meetings each Friday. Yarrow and aloe are also on hand in the garden for cuts, scrapes, and itchy bug bites.
By Angela
(Our Permaculture Guru and Sam’s Mom)

Radicle Roots Organizer, Caitlin Macklin, interviewed by Family Pedals

Radicle Roots has always had a commitment to sustainability, since its origins as 9th Street Schoolhouse. For a slice of schoolhouse history, and more about my personal experiences biking with a kid in Austin, check out this interview with friend and fellow cyclist Sarah Kopper on her new podcast Family Pedals. Video of the 2014 schoolhouse move-by-bike linked in the show notes!

Creative Car-Sharing with Caitlin Macklin

Immediate job opening: Extended Day Counselor (K-5th)

Radicle Roots is NOW HIRING!

Immediate job opening: Extended Day Counselor (K-5th)

We are looking for a creative, flexible, and hardworking Extended Day Counselor for our new Radicle Roots extended day program, beginning this school year. This program is an extension of the Radicle Roots Community Schoolhouse day where our mission is to be a diverse and accessible learning community that has the freedom to pursue meaningful learning, joy, and connection.

We believe that giving children the freedom to pursue their own interests and to follow their innate curiosity will build a love of learning that will carry them into adulthood. Read more about our philosophy at

Radicle Roots is committed to building a culturally and racially diverse teaching staff, and strongly encourages applicants who identify as people of color to apply. LGBTQIA applicants strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants of the teaching profession minority (aka male-identified) are encouraged to apply.

Details of Position:

15 hours/wk. Monday-Friday 2:30-5:30pm @ $10/hr.

Start date:

August 28th (a week of training prior to schoolhouse start date)

Duties include:

  • Train in and carry out the Radicle Roots teaching methodologies
  • Plan and implement arts and crafts, games, free play, and nature activities
  • Coordinate with parent volunteer teachers and schoolhouse Organizer
  • Responsible for attendance, student health and safety, materials, and parent communication

Required qualities:

  • Excellent organization and communication
  • Love and trust of children
  • Self-motivated, reliable, follows through


How to apply:

Send your resume, including references, to

Reference Extended Day in the subject line.

Spring gardening!


Spring has sprung at the Radicle Roots school garden. Every day, children are snacking, grazing on lettuce, snap peas, pea shoots, green onions, chives, mint, parsley, cilantro and other herbs. They talk about harvesting “refreshments” — real food for their pretend play. 

The younger class has been hard at work, learning about the lifecycle of plants. How do seeds germinate? What is a sprout, a seedling, vegetative growth? What does “propagation” mean and what different ways do plants reproduce themselves? How do humans help? They planted seeds in trays of compost, transplanted the seedlings into small pots, and then planted them in the garden when the plants reached the vegetative growth stage. Cucumbers, cantaloupe, squash, and tomatoes. As the plants continue to grow in the garden, we will watch them flower and make fruit. If all goes well, we will harvest and eat the fruits of our labor before the school year ends. We even had extra veggie starts left over to sell to raise money for our gardening budget! The kids were so proud of their work and loved getting their hands in real (home made!) compost.

The parent volunteers have also been hard at work in the garden. Weeding and wall-building are such satisfying work, and it’s a fun opportunity to socialize. Garden volunteers get to take home some of the abundance of lettuce that has all but taken over one of the garden beds. Yum!
 *** A special shout out to Angela for her guest post and for all her hard work on the garden***

Now Hiring! Fall 2017 Job Opening: Elementary (2nd-5th) Teacher


Update: This position is now filled. Thanks for your interest!

Now Hiring! Fall 2017 Job Opening: Elementary (2nd-5th) Teacher

About Radicle Roots:

The schoolhouse is an experiential, democratic learning community in East Austin where youth have the freedom to pursue meaningful learning, joy, and connection guided with strong and loving mentorship. We are committed to diversity, equity, and accessibility. Learn more about our independent, nature-connected, free-school inspired learning community at before applying.

Position Overview:

Radicle Roots Community Schoolhouse is hiring a full-time teacher for the 2017-2018 school year. Option for 2-3 part time teacher positions available.

We are seeking a new team member who trusts children, who is inspired by collaboration with other teachers, is motivated to design innovative learning experiences, and is dedicated to empowering youth to be self-directed learners. We are looking for someone who is visionary, creative, flexible, and hardworking in their approach to supporting life-long learners.


Primary Responsibilities:

Develop strong relationships with kids based on love and trust. Learn the Radicle Roots methodologies. Encourage students’ strengths and find ways to guide them to master challenges through Coyote Mentoring and inquiry-based interactions. Document observations of children through anecdotal records and photos. Share a love of the outdoors and encourage connection with nature. Provide opportunities for and use language that empowers children to develop all parts of themselves, including social skills / conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, self awareness, and physical development, in addition to academic learning and intellectual growth. Give meaningful feedback to students on their work through written, verbal, and visual means. Be light on your feet!*

*As Chris Mercogliano explains it: “Teachers who are light on their feet are able to see the goodness in every child and we continue to love them even when they are at their most annoying. We don’t get plugged in and instead we try to use humor to change the channel. We respond in unexpected ways if at all possible and try to approach each situation as if it were brand new. This is because responding in patterned ways encourages children to try to drag us into power games… We are flexible and able to tolerate disorder and think on the fly.”
Design curriculum and build the learning environment

Identify children’s growing edges and design appropriate hands-on activities and projects in the Radicle Roots style to help them progress. Use information from observations of students to prepare the learning environment and maximize student initiation of learning activities. Use knowledge of each child’s interests and talents to create engaging curriculum that is not limited to state standards. Seek out community resources and non-traditional ways to encourage learners to follow individual and authentic learning paths.


Work as a team with other teachers through open, honest, and effective communication. Possess self-awareness, self-compassion, and a willingness to examine inner assumptions and patterned actions to continue personal growth and deepen skills as a mentor. Take part in our weekly democratic decision making process with students and staff.

Work in partnership with parents
Spend time getting to know the feel of the Radicle Roots community as well as the individual families through informal and formal channels. Communicate what’s going on at the schoolhouse and seek info about what’s happening at home. Identify parent skills and connections that can be utilized for learning opportunities and collaborate with parents to incorporate those talents into the schoolhouse. Prepare for and conduct family conferences three times a year.
Assist with outreach

Table at events, such as the Education Transformation Alliance alternative school fair. Be a positive representative of the schoolhouse and build community connections with diverse populations.



  • Minimum 3 years as a lead teacher in a classroom, outdoor education, or other formal learning environment.
  • Experience teaching project-based learning and developing curriculum or activities tailored to student interests.
  • Working knowledge of child developmental stages.
  • Ability and willingness to cultivate real relationships with children and parents.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills including being able to give and receive feedback.
  • A self-starter who can learn on the job, identify opportunities for creativity, take initiative, and follow projects and responsibilities through to completion.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Certified elementary teacher.
  • Bilingual English/Spanish speaker.
  • Experience teaching in multi-age settings, free schools, or Montessori schools.
  • Experience or trained in working with special needs students.
  • Experience using Positive Behavior Support.
  • Experience using non-violent communication and conflict resolution.
  • Experience or training in literacy instruction.
  • Experience or training in student-centered or project-based mathematics.
  • Familiarity with Coyote Mentoring.

Radicle Roots is committed to building a culturally and racially diverse teaching staff, and strongly encourages applicants who identify as people of color to apply. LGBTQIA applicants strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants of the teaching profession minority (aka male-identified) are encouraged to apply.

Start date

Mandatory paid training / planning / preparation weeks begin August 21st.  Option to start immediately to begin training during the Spring semester.  First day of the 2017-2018 school year is Tues Sept. 5th.


$25,000-$30,000 annually. Benefits include great coworkers, a health and wellness stipend, and the opportunity to contribute your voice, time, and talents to a growing, mission-driven radical learning community. Work on a beautiful 3-acre campus on the east side of Austin, spend plenty of time outdoors, and bring home fresh organic produce from the schoolhouse garden. Tuition waived for children of teachers. We take 3 months off from June-August, one week at Thanksgiving, two weeks for Winter Holidays, and one week at Spring Break. Schedule generally aligns with AISD.

How to apply

Send your

  • letter of interest including a statement of why you are drawn to work with us,
  • resume,
  • and letter of references


Please reference Teacher in the subject line. Position open until filled.


Have you met Gaby??

This winter we ushered in the new year with many exciting changes at the schoolhouse.  One of the most exciting additions was welcoming our newest mentor, Gaby!

Though Gaby originally hails from Chile, she and her family come to us most recently from New Hampshire.  Along with Caitlin, this spring she is mentoring in the Garden House, bringing new smiles, enthusiasm and a bilingual twist to our younger classroom.  She’s amazing!  Just check out her bio…………..

Hola, my name is Gabriela Rodriguez and I was born in Arica, Chile.  I left Arica in the year 2000 and began a journey of knowledge and self-awareness. I studied theatre, dance, health coaching, prenatal yoga, and to be a Doula.  I also completed a post graduate degree in music therapy, body awareness and Psychology.

I began my teaching journey with neighborhood children’s classes when I was 14 years old.  From that time on I have been involved in diverse forms of teaching: Spanish tutoring, integrative after school programs, child care, Montessori substitute teaching, as a Baha’Ă­ children’s class coordinator, and as a health coach.

My interest in teaching children grows every day, and my hope is to contribute to their future and to help coach them to their brightest potential. I strive to serve humanity and to create a better world by walking my path and taking actions. I enjoy this chance of learning by doing, by making mistakes and growing from them. I challenge myself by keeping a humble and positive attitude in front of our children, especially because I will never stop learning from them.  They are the most sincere mirror I have ever had, and I feel pretty grateful for that.

When I’m not at the schoolhouse, usually you will find me spending time with my family, Elijah (my husband) and my kids, Aayan and Amaya.  We like to spend time in the woods, camping, walking, exploring… Or with friends, sharing a delicious meal, talking or playing games. I personally love to dance (I feel that when the body dances, the mind rests).  I also enjoy spending time alone admiring nature. I like keeping myself connected with my friends from all over the world, and I feel pretty grateful for technology that helps me to keep them close to my heart every day. I also love to talk to my mom, brother and my little nephews in Chile.


We are all back from our winter breaks and excited to be ushering in a new year. 2017 has brought the schoolhouse some exciting changes, including five new students (we now have 22 kids!!) and our newest teacher, Gabriela Rodriguez.

Gaby originally hails from Chile, but comes to us most recently from New Hampshire. Along with Caitlin, Gaby will be working with the younger students in the Garden house. We are excited to have her and eager to have her background, enthusiasm for teaching and her bilingual skills complimenting our program.

Please join us in welcoming Gaby, her husband Elijah and their two children who are also two of our new students, Aayan and Amaya, into our community.


You are invited to our Kid Art Oasis – stop #66 for EAST!

east_art_oasisWe are excited to announce we are stop #66 at this years East Austin Studio Tour!

Come join the schoolhouse on November 12th and November 19 from 10am-6pm (Saturdays only). There will be a collaborative art project, kid art gallery, kids art for sale, and outdoor kid activities.

This is a free, self-guided art tour around East Austin. Learn more about Big Medium’s event HERE





2016-2017 Enrollment Continues Through Summer


Although the deadline for 2016-2017 has passed, it’s not too late for your child to become part of the Radicle Roots learning community!

We are seeking the following students:

  • 5th grade – all genders
  • 4th grade – girls
  • 3rd grade – boys
  • 2nd grade – all genders

Please go here to sign up for a summertime tour appointment. Simply include a $20 late fee with the application fee. We’re looking forward to sharing this real-life learning path with your family!