Dripping Springs Schools: Achieving Excellence in Education

, Mar 19, 2024

Looking for insights on Dripping Springs schools? In this detailed article, we provide an analytically driven look at Dripping Springs Independent School District’s performance, from student-teacher ratios to test scores and notable programs. Whether you’re concerned about academic standards, teacher expertise, or student services, you’ll find the factual information you need to make an informed decision.

Key Takeaways

  • Dripping Springs ISD boasts a long history of educational excellence, serving over 8,000 students with a focus on fostering literacy in elementary schools, a supportive bridge in middle schools, and academic prowess in high school, where the graduation rate exceeds 99%.
  • The district celebrates diversity with a rich cultural mix in its student body, backed by robust support services, including special education and ESL programs, to cater to students of varying needs, including those at-risk or economically disadvantaged.
  • DSISD emphasizes teaching excellence with 99.6% licensed teachers, a low student-to-teacher ratio for personalized learning, strong academic performance with above-average state test scores, and significant investment in advanced courses to prepare students for higher education.

Exploring Dripping Springs Independent School District

Dripping Springs Independent School District

Dripping Springs ISD, nestled in the serene landscapes of Dripping Springs, Texas, has been a beacon of educational excellence for over a century. The district began its journey in 1876 and has witnessed significant milestones over the years, including the separation of Lake Travis Independent School District in 1981 and the recent expansions to accommodate growing enrollment.

Spanning a 200-square-mile area, the district serves over 8,000 students across eight schools, including the recently added Cypress Springs Elementary and the expanded Dripping Springs High School. The district’s commitment to providing quality education in a nurturing environment is evident in the continual growth and development of its schools.

Elementary Schools

In the district’s elementary schools, literacy is at the heart of educational efforts. Here, students are grounded in a curriculum that prioritizes strong reading and writing skills. Among these schools stands Cypress Springs Elementary, which has adopted the ‘Daily 5’ approach to bolster development in reading and writing.

At Rooster Springs Elementary—a public school within this system—there’s an additional focus on personal growth through exceptional initiatives like ‘Leader in Me’. This program endeavors to cultivate leadership qualities and essential life competencies at a young age.

Middle Schools

DSISD’s middle schools act as a critical transitional phase, connecting elementary education to high school while offering extensive support services and various extracurricular options. These schools facilitate students’ all-around growth through counseling, health services, and access to technological learning tools.

The ‘House System’ at Sycamore Springs Middle School creates intimate community groups that promote closer ties among individuals and foster a sense of pride in the school. These middle institutions present an array of extracurricular pursuits, such as athletic events and scholarly contests. Specifically, the SSMS Tiger Dads initiative welcomes father figures to be more involved in the school environment.

High Schools

Dripping Springs High School

Dripping Springs High School serves as the pinnacle of academic pursuit within its district, epitomizing a dedication to scholarly excellence. Approximately 2,300 students are enrolled at this institution, which boasts an impressive graduation rate exceeding 99 percent. About 95 percent of these graduates continue their educational endeavors at institutions of higher learning.

The stature of Dripping Springs High School transcends scholastic achievements alone. It is recognized for distinction across various disciplines. This is evidenced by its position among the top 10 schools in Conference 5A according to the Lone Star Cup standings for the years 2021–22, an acknowledgment that applauds both intellectual and athletic accomplishments.

Student Diversity and Support Services

Student Diversity in DSISD

The district is committed to fostering an educational atmosphere that embraces a wide range of cultural backgrounds and caters to the distinctive requirements of every student. In DSISD, there’s a rich blend of ethnicities and races among students, which contributes to creating an educational space where diversity is honored.

In its dedication to supporting student success, DSISD offers extensive support services tailored to each individual’s needs. These services include specialized education programs, guidance counseling, and ESL (English as a Second Language) provisions, ensuring that all students are given the opportunities they need to excel.


Within DSISD, the composition of students showcases our community’s diverse cultural background. The breakdown is as follows:

  • White: 68.9%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 21.5%
  • Asian: 3.1%
  • African American: 0.8%
  • Native American/Alaskan: 0.1%
  • Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%

A portion amounting to about two or more races constitutes a total of:

  • Other racial identifications for two or more races:5%

Consequently, minority groups represent about one-third (30%) of the student enrollment.

As one of the smaller districts, DSISD has notably fewer economically disadvantaged pupils when set against the state average and similarly reports lower participation rates in bilingual and ESL programs relative to state figures. What’s more striking is that less than half as many students within our district are considered at-risk compared with those across Texas broadly speaking, highlighting the well-supported learning conditions present here at DSDI.

Support Services

At Dripping Springs Independent School District, we hold a firm belief that all children should have the chance to thrive. To support this vision, our district provides extensive support services tailored to meet student needs across various areas, such as career guidance, college readiness assistance, and emotional well-being initiatives. A professional team is on hand to offer these resources, addressing the unique requirements of our pupil population. We provide special education programs for approximately 14.1% of students in our care so they can achieve their full potential despite any learning differences.

Dripping Springs High School has developed specific initiatives targeting at-risk students, including:

  • Tiger Academy: focuses on credit recovery to keep students on track for graduation
  • Community Services Department: provides additional help beyond standard school hours
  • Kids Club and Adventure Camp: deliver structured activities outside traditional classroom settings

These efforts are complemented by offering meals at reduced prices, among other forms of aid designed specifically to enhance the educational journey for those who face greater obstacles than their peers.

Teaching Excellence in Dripping Springs Schools

The foundation of any successful education system rests on the shoulders of its teachers. At DSISD, we take pride in our team of educators who are not only highly skilled but also bring extensive experience to the table, essential for molding the futures of our students. In line with Texas Education Agency (TEA) regulations, an impressive 99.6% of these professionals are certified to teach. A notable 27% possess advanced degrees, which underscores their deep educational expertise.

These seasoned educators boast an average tenure of 10.7 years within the teaching realm, demonstrating a substantial accumulation of knowledge and skills pertinent to education excellence. This expertise is complemented by a favorable student-to-teacher ratio set at 15:1 that guarantees individualized focus for each learner at our institution—all contributing factors towards outstanding academic achievements among our students.

Teacher Qualifications

At DSISD, our students are taught by a cadre of exceptionally skilled and dedicated educators committed to delivering an unparalleled educational experience. The qualifications of our teaching personnel include:

  • A remarkable 99.6% have attained licensing in accordance with the requirements set forth by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
  • More than a quarter, or 27%, possess advanced degrees, which underscores their profound academic foundation and devotion to teaching.
  • With an average tenure of 10.7 years in education, they bring extensive knowledge and professional expertise into their classrooms.

Even our instructional aides must satisfy specific educational benchmarks to ensure that every level of student instruction is facilitated by capable adults. What’s more, we provide our teachers with access to exhaustive resources for continuing their professional growth. This allows them not only to stay abreast but also to be proficient in contemporary pedagogical methodologies and state-of-the-art learning instruments.

Student-Teacher Ratio

At DSISD, the ratio of students to teachers is a crucial element for successful education. We pride ourselves on a student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1, which is considerably below the state average. This allows our educators to provide more individualized attention and contributes significantly to excellent academic results, as evidenced by our notably low dropout rate—just 0.8% compared with the state’s 2.4%.

The effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated by our outstanding graduation rate, reaching an impressive 99.7%. The advantage of having fewer students per teacher can be seen not only in these statistics but also in how well-prepared our graduates are for education. After leaving DSISD, about 70% go on to four-year higher educational institutions, while another quarter choose two-year colleges.

Academic Performance and Test Scores

At DSISD, the evidence of our dedication to outstanding education is seen in the consistently high academic achievements and test scores of our students. Our schools are frequently recognized for their superior quality, with many achieving ratings that surpass the average school quality indicator. This includes higher-than-average proficiency levels and test scores when compared against statewide averages.

It’s not just about maintaining excellent academic standards. Our students have also displayed greater academic growth than peers at other state schools. This underscores a devoted pursuit of ongoing learning enhancement and development across our student body.

Statewide Comparisons

DSISD students stand out when their performance is measured against state averages. Since 2021, our third through eighth graders have regularly scored passing marks on the STAAR tests that surpass the average for the state, showcasing their exceptional academic capabilities.

Their skills in reading are notably more proficient than those in math compared to other students across the state. They still demonstrate excellence in both subjects. This indicates a comprehensive and well-rounded education at DSISD that promotes balanced academic growth.

Achievement Gaps

At DSISD, our conviction is that every student deserves the chance to maximize their potential, irrespective of their individual background or life situation. We are dedicated to bridging the educational performance divide and providing specialized assistance for all students, with particular attention to those who may be disadvantaged. Recognizing existing disparities in certain academic areas—like varying Social Studies test scores among diverse racial and ethnic groups—we’ve instituted specific intervention measures and support mechanisms geared toward students considered at risk.

Our efforts aimed at narrowing achievement discrepancies amongst these vulnerable student demographics will undergo evaluation by the Texas Education Agency when they release their accountability ratings this September.

Advanced Courses and College Preparation

In DSISD, we are dedicated to fostering an environment of academic excellence and offer a comprehensive selection of Advanced Placement (AP) courses that underscore our commitment to preparing students for higher education. We hold the conviction that by exposing our students to challenging material similar to what they will encounter in college, we equip them with the necessary tools for future scholastic success. During 2022, there was significant participation in AP exams within our district. Specifically, 93 students engaged in taking as many as 421 AP exams—and impressively, 78% of those exams were scored at levels suggesting potential eligibility for college credit.

We also believe learning should be a continuous journey that extends beyond just nurturing our student population. Accordingly, we provide various educational opportunities tailored not only to individual learners but also to groups and businesses throughout the community.

Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

At Dripping Springs High School, we pride ourselves on fostering an academically challenging environment through our robust Advanced Placement program. The school offers a wide selection of 22 AP courses in different subjects for students aspiring to engage in more demanding coursework.

During the spring of 2022, the high caliber of our student body was evident as they excelled in their AP examinations—78% achieved scores ranging from 3 to 5 at Dripping Springs High School. This level of performance reflects favorably on students’ opportunities for receiving college credits based on these results.

College Success Awards

At Dripping Springs High School, our dedication to equipping students for collegiate and future success is evident and has earned recognition. We are proud recipients of the College Success Award, honoring schools that excel in preparing students for postsecondary achievements. Our college-bound pupils boast notable entrance exam results with an SAT mean score of 1169 and an ACT average score of 23.5—both figures exceeding the state norms significantly. An impressive proportion of graduates from our school—95%, to be exact—opt to continue their education, demonstrating the efficiency of our programs aimed at preparing them for college.

The fruits of these efforts can be seen through several statistics.

  • A substantial 59.8% rate demonstrates proficiency in reading and math among our alumni
  • This percentage notably outpaces Texas’s state average by nearly twenty points, which sits at only 40.4%

These numbers underline the robust educational foundation laid down by the high school, facilitating strong academic performance as students transition into higher education institutions.

District Finances and Spending

Ensuring that students receive a top-tier education involves a blend of steadfast commitment and substantial financial investment. The Dripping Springs Independent School District (DSISD) is dedicated to the judicious and impactful allocation of its funds to enhance our students’ learning experiences.

On an annual basis, the district invests approximately $8,301 in each student. These funds are allocated across diverse educational programs and resources within DSISD, underscoring our unwavering focus on optimizing school-related expenditures in favor of elevating student education.

Revenue and Expenditures

The district generates a yearly income of $99,437,000. This amount equates to an investment of $13,653 for each student’s education and is sourced from federal, local, and state funds. Our priority is the judicious distribution of these funds to maximize their benefit to the educational outcomes of our students.

At present, our expenditures total $72,199,000. The breakdown of spending includes 60% directed towards instructional services. Staff and student support receive 10%; administration accounts for 13%; and operations, along with food service and other expenses, constitute the remaining 17%.

Per-Student Spending

Our commitment to providing students with an excellent education is matched by our dedication to cost efficiency. The total expenditure per student at DSISD stands at $22,503, which falls below the state average in Texas of $9,606.

We maintain efficient use of resources, as evidenced by our spending per student, which remains below the national average of $12,612. This underscores our focus on economic resource management while delivering quality educational services.

Parent and Community Involvement

At DSISD, the strength of the community is at the core of our achievements. The dedication and effort from both students and staff are amplified by the active participation and backing from parents as well as the broader community.

To facilitate this collaboration, we’ve created initiatives such as the Community Advisory Council. This council provides a significant opportunity for parents to engage directly in shaping school strategies and participating in governance activities.

Parent Engagement

At DSISD, the involvement of parents plays an essential role in our achievements. Initiatives such as the Community Advisory Council empower parents by involving them in key decisions related to campus development and financial planning. We promote the active participation of fathers in school affairs with programs like SSMS Tiger Dads, which encourage their engagement.

We welcome not only parents but also other community stakeholders to volunteer at our various schools. By doing so, they have the chance to share their distinct talents and knowledge within our wide-ranging educational settings and enhancement programs.

Community Support

Our success is greatly bolstered by the unwavering support of our community, which is reflected in the exemplary performance of schools within our districts. Notably, Dripping Springs High School has garnered top honors for its performing and visual arts programs while also earning recognition as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” from the NAMM Foundation.

To enhance this community engagement, our Community Services Department facilitates additional educational opportunities by coordinating private lessons, camps, and classes using facilities across school districts. This initiative ensures that comprehensive education support extends to everyone.


Since its establishment in 1876, the Dripping Springs Independent School District (DSISD) has evolved significantly, now encompassing eight schools and educating over 8,000 students. The district stands out for its storied past, varied student population, accomplished faculty with extensive experience, comprehensive support services, as well as a focus on scholastic achievement and preparing pupils for college. DSISD is recognized as a pillar of educational success. Continuing this legacy into the future hinges on our dedication to delivering an all-encompassing education that empowers our students to have an impact both locally and globally.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Dripping Springs ISD rated?

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has awarded Dripping Springs Independent School District an “A: Superior Achievement” rating, and in the Texas Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) report, it achieved a score of 90.

How many kids attend Dripping Springs High School?

As of the 2021-2022 academic year, Dripping Springs High School serves a student body consisting of 2,325 students.

What is Dripping Springs High School ranked?

Based on its achievements in state-required testing, graduation rates, and readiness for college, Dripping Springs High School holds the #3,074 position in the National Rankings.

How many schools does Dripping Springs have?

The Dripping Springs Independent School District encompasses eight schools, providing education to a student body of 8,500 within the district of Dripping Springs.

What is the student-teacher ratio at Dripping Springs ISD?

In Dripping Springs ISD, the average number of students per teacher is 15:1, which falls below the state’s average student-teacher ratio.

About the Author

Last updated: 03/19/2024

2300+ Client reviews!

Sally was referred to me via a business network when I first moved to Austin in 2022. She helped me understand the area, evaluate my options, and find the perfect spot in a tough market. Sally has been a joy to work with because she creates partnerships + friendships with her clients!

I was impressed by Sally’s expertise in selling both my investment property and my primary residence, and in helping us buy our dream home. At our initial meeting, we found Sally knew the real estate market, but found even more impressive her emotional quotient in understanding and navigating the differences between my partner’s and my very different personalities. For my investment property, she timed the showings and sale perfectly and created a helpful Excel spreadsheet comparing the many offers. She was also savvy enough to suggest we pay the tenants a fair amount of money to make the property available for viewing from 9am – 5pm on the first weekend to make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to get through, and we let her deal directly with the tenants because we could tell her people skills would serve us well

We got multiple offers by the deadline on Monday afternoon with one outlier that was $150K higher than what we had unsuccessfully listed the property for (with a different realtor) a year earlier!

When it came to selling my primary home, Sally’s expertise in the luxury market, and in historic homes in particular, truly shone. She understood that selling a high-end property, with various restrictions, required a different approach. Sally crafted a listing for the home that perfectly captured its unique character and premier location. Her marketing strategy was well timed and appropriate for the more limited market, attracting the right buyer pool and creating a sense of exclusivity around the property. She suggested listing it on the private market for a week or two before sending a message that it would be listed on the MLS. She organized private showings that allowed buyers to experience the warmth and charm of the home and the neighborhood, which I believe was instrumental in securing a sale.

The pricing and marketing strategy Sally recommended was spot-on, and we sold the home at a price that far exceeded our expectations. Sally helped thread the needle perfectly.

Sally is also accessible. We found more well-known realtors would respond to our email days later, whereas she was always available right away to answer my questions, and provided us with regular updates, making sure every detail was handled with care. Selling a high-end property can be a stressful experience with fewer potential buyers and some downtime inherent in waiting for the right buyer, but Sally made it a smooth and surprisingly easy process encouraging us to be patient while giving us enough information on what was happening to satisfy both me and my partner. In the end, we were thrilled with the results

Sally’s rep of us as sellers could not have been more professional, but her work repping us as buyers is the most memorable. We were trying to be our dream home in an overheated market, and Sally gave us advice that at each turn proved invaluable. She recommended offering just the right amount above the offer price for us to make it to the next round of offers. She handled a very difficult appraisal process by advising us on financing sources, even offering to help us put down a higher amount by loaning us money herself! We were able to finance the home without taking her up on that offer, but how many realtors make that kind of offer to their clients? In the end, we closed on the house ontime and ended up with the home of our dreams, thanks to Sally’s world-class advice and service.

We cannot say enough good things about Sally’s technical knowledge, people skills, and responsiveness. You won’t find a better realtor in Austin.

I have lived here in Austin for more twenty-five years, and have bought and sold several homes and rented others during those years. I have worked with five realtors during that time. SALLY IS BY FAR THE BEST OF ANY IN TOWN. Her work ethic is simply unmatched. She hides her competitive streak underneath a layer of Austin hip and friendly, but she will absolutely get you the best home, the best deal, and stop at NOTHING to get your home sold as well!

Sally loves real estate. She has a genuine passion for Austin, too, and for her client’s well-being. She took time to understand my needs and was always available to answer any questions and provide me with honest and insightful advice.

We toured many homes in Barton Hills and settled on a great home that was hotly contested by builders and homeowners. Sally understood how we could be the preferred buyer without getting into a bidding war. She knew the motivations of the Seller and we maneuvered and negotiated the contract and secured my dream home.

Furthermore, at the 11th hour, the day before we were set to close, our lender said we needed to put a fence around the pool before they would release the funds. The seller was not inclined to extend the closing again. We were out of town. Sally saved the day by racing to Home Depot and getting the largest tarpaulin available and then securing it over the pool at the house. Sent pics to the lender and we were set to close.

In short, Sally will work harder and smarter than anyone. She’s simply the best.

Sally is incredible! She spent nearly 2 years with us – understanding our very specific preferences and needs – to help us find our dream home. She was the first agent to reach out when the home was listed and negotiated the contract astutely so that we secured the home. The home was only in the framed stage, still had a few months until completion. Once it was completed, however, our plans had changed and we needed to get out of the contract. We were expecting to have to relinquish our very considerable deposit. But Sally spent the entire weekend working on a way to get us out of the contract AND get our deposit back. Everyone we have spoken to about this extraordinary outcome has been surprised that Sally managed to get our deposit back for us. Thank you Sally, we can’t recommend her highly enough.

Sally is reliable, diligent in her research, prompt on exchanges, creative in deal making, and has a tremendous work ethic. She is the sole reason we were able to close on our primary residence, which has been our dream home and a fantastic investment. From there, we’ve gone on to close on multiple rental property purchases in Austin together. Thanks to her astute analysis, we’ve passed on many deals as well, which has proven just as valuable. I cannot recommend her highly enough.

I highly recommend Kiel if you’re looking to rent a place in Austin. We originally met him to look around a particular unit, and when it was not to our satisfaction, he was able to quickly take us around many more units that day. He also set up a whole day of viewings for the very next day! Within 48 hours we had done enough viewings to be confident in choosing a new home. The landlord accepted our offer and Kiel handled all of the paperwork, even stopping by our hotel to pick up the needed checks. We couldn’t be happier.
Kiel is highly organized and unlike some realtors in the Austin area, he is responsive and ready to move quickly. We were always able to contact him and never left waiting.

Kiel has your BACK!! We are so grateful to have had his guidance and knowledge while navigating the intense, frustrating and way competitive Austin rental market. He quickly picked up on our taste and designed a game plan to help us push through the clutter and get to the properties that best suited us. He was ALWAYS available to us and answered our emails, calls and texts with great speed. We’re so grateful to have had him on our search team. Because my goodness, it really is a crazy market out there!

Kiel was amazing to work with! He walked us through everything, explained anything we didn’t understand, and he is is just a great guy to work with. As a first time home buyer, his knowledge was invaluable. 10/10 would recommend!

Kiel was referred to me by a friend, and we were so pleased with his services. He jumped in and guided us through the entire process, made himself readily available for us during the whole process, checked in with us via text every step of the way, and provided any and all information we requested. As a first time home buyer, I was not totally familiar with the process. Kiel helped me through the lending process, walk through inspection and closing procedures. It was such a pleasure to work with him, and we look forward to hiring him again when we purchase our next property.

I’ve never met anyone as knowledgeable and hard working as Kiel. Everything he said he was going to do, he did it. Kiel is a very easy person to get along with. He made us comfortable with the process and also made it fun. In 5 words…HE GETS THE JOB DONE!

It was great working with Kiel. He understood what we really wanted in a home. When it came to the process of the contract, it was obvious how knowledgeable he was. He did exactly what we wanted while giving great advice.

We had the pleasure of working with Will Mackintosh as our agent, and couldn’t be happier with the experience. From start to finish, the process was incredibly smooth and easy, thanks to Will’s expertise and professionalism. He guided us every step of the way making what could have been a stressful experience surprisingly enjoyable. Will’s attention to detail and dedication to finding the perfect property for us truly stood out. We couldn’t have asked for a better agent. I highly recommend Will and Bramlett Residential to anyone buying or selling a home in the Austin area.

Click Here to Read All Reviews