2018 Ultimate Guide to The Best Private & Public Schools in Atlanta
Looking for the best school in Atlanta for your child? Atlanta Parent’s comprehensive listings provide information on schools from all over the metro area. Atlanta moms and dads look to us for school advice because we provide the largest list of the best area schools in our January Education Issue, in our annual Education Guide, and in our directories online.
Choosing a school is one of the biggest decisions a parent will face. With public charter schools in the mix along with private schools, magnet programs and the option of homeschooling, parents certainly have plenty of choices and much to consider.
Before you look at schools, consider the traits that make your child unique. Some children need structure. Some students thrive in smaller settings. A school might be great for one child and not quite right for another. Also consider your finances and how far you are willing to commute to the school. Whether parents prefer a public, private or homeschool setting, the checklist for the ideal classroom is different for each student.
One great way to get the feel of a school is to schedule a visit or visit during a school open house, check out our Open House Directory for dates and locations. Before visiting the school, prepare questions and keep your eye out for elements you want for your child—Are the teachers passionate? Do they use books or laptops? What about language immersion? Also speak with parents in your community who already attend the school to get the first-hand scoop.
It is important to start with a firm foundation, which is why selecting the right preschool is a big decision. The very best preschools help children who are ready to advance beyond age norms, but they also nurture children who are behind so they catch up in these early years. Ask how pretend play is woven into the daily schedule and look for positive relationships between teachers and children. Don’t try to get your child into the “it” preschool unless you have done your research and are convinced that the “it” preschool is a good match.
The Metro area has many schools to choose from – public, charter, magnet, private, Montessori, faith-based and special area-focused.
With approximately 70 independent schools in the Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools (AAAIS), families have several opportunities to pursue private education. The process to apply can be daunting, but if you start the process early, meet deadlines and apply to more than one school, your family will find the right fit.
If you have interest in a Montessori-based education for your child, we have answers to your questions. A Montessori classroom is a little different. Instead of desks, students work at tables or sit on mats on the floor. There are multi-age classrooms where younger kids have the opportunity to learn from older. The learning is self-paced and the teachers instruct each child on an individual level. Montessori methods that teach independence and responsibility can also be applied into the home.
Making sure your child has the opportunity to become bilingual may be of importance to you when looking for a school. Language immersion can start from an early age, with some programs teaching exclusively in Spanish or French. Other schools intertwine languages into the curriculum, and students visit a daily or weekly Spanish, Mandarin or German class. We compiled a list of metro public and private schools that offer foreign language immersion.
If you are thinking about sending your child away to learn, there are some great boarding school options. Many of America’s leaders are graduates of distinguished boarding schools, and young men and women thrive in this environment. Boarding schools often have smaller class sizes and a wider variety of extracurricular activities. Students develop a sense of independence without their parents, but administrators are quick to step in and offer a helping hand.
What about homeschooling? There are pros and cons to consider when taking on the primary role to educate your child. Parental stress, socialization and willingness to think outside of the box with curriculum are all things to consider. Hybrid homeschooling may be the answer if you want a combination of your own teaching and learning through an online system or in a classroom.
Where to start? Look below for our comprehensive list of Atlanta schools categorized by type to find the perfect fit for your child.
The world is exciting, complicated, and changing fast. At Academe of the Oaks, this global reality inspires a radical and relevant educational approach, emphasizing active involvement, experiential learning, imagination and creative consideration. Learning at Academe is centered on lived experience.
The Annunciation Day School provides an exceptional learning experience for students and parents through advanced teaching skills and a nurturing environment of Christian love.
Students are encouraged, through an interdisciplinary approach, to seek academic challenges, develop critical thinking skills, and apply new concepts as they strive to become responsible, impactful leaders of the future. High expectations for achievement, creativity, self-discipline, and social responsibility are the cornerstones of The Atlanta Academy.
Blazing into the future of education and technology while holding onto the cornerstones of traditional teaching, new Headmaster, Honará Turner is eager to “Motivate ACDS students to achieve their intellectual best while preparing them for college and to be ethical, responsible, and confident young adults.”
AGS offers girls in grades 6 through 12 a college-preparatory curriculum of the highest standards. 100% of our graduates are accepted to a four-year college or university. Our faculty has an average of 10 years of experience, and 61% hold advanced degrees.
Brandon Hall’s mission as a coeducational boarding and day school is to provide a challenging college preparatory experience enhanced by technology. Our community embraces diversity, celebrates individual strengths, fosters global citizenship, encourages athleticism and the arts, and inspires creativity.
Cambridge is an affordable, tuition-based private day school for students who are highly academically motivated and in need of a stimulating, supporting and nurturing learning environment. Cambridge Academy has been educating students from ages 3 years to 7th grade since 1960.
Since 1975, CCS has sought to define education in the reformed and classical traditions while developing Christian character in Biblical truth.
Fellowship Christian School nurtures and educates the whole child — heart, mind, body and soul — and provides a balanced, yet challenging college-preparatory curriculum that includes honors and Advanced Placement classes; 53 athletic teams; and an award-winning fine arts program encompassing visual, musical and theatrical skill development.
Fulton Science Academy Private School envisions a pre-K through 12th grade nationally ranked and recognized school serving advanced and gifted student populations committed to academic success, civic responsibility, and high ethical values within a safe environment that celebrates diversity and is supported by the collaborative efforts of its stakeholders and the broader community.
Located in Chastain Park, The Galloway School is an independent day school that serves a diverse student body of around 750 students age 3 through grade 12. Guided by a unique approach to teaching and learning, Galloway offers students dynamic learning experiences that inspire them to become fearless learners for life.
GAC offers a dynamic experience to 1,800 students (infants through 12th). GAC never stands still, and consistently adopts new learning strategies to better prepare students for collegiate experiences at top universities.
Conveniently located in North Gwinnett, Hebron Christian Academy rejoices in the privilege to serve over 900 students. HCA partners with parents to provide a Christcentered, K – 12 college preparatory program of uncompromising quality.
Heritage is the only covenant, classical and Christian Pre-K through 8 school inside the perimeter of Atlanta. This distinctive creates an environment where life is lived in community with other like-minded families who share the same values and standards.
Since 1973, High Meadows School has inspired children in preschool through eighth grade to think critically, learn creatively, act globally and live compassionately. Adventure, play, and discovery go hand in hand with extraordinary academic preparation and exemplary student outcomes.
Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School is Atlanta’s only comprehensive Episcopal school, with 1,376 students ages 3 years old through 12th grade. On its 43-acre campus, HIES has a standalone Primary School, Lower School, Middle School and Upper School, as well as a Fine Arts Building, two modern gymnasiums and four expansive athletic fields.
Holy Spirit Preparatory school is a dynamic Catholic school in the Atlanta metro area. It serves students from 6 months through 12th grade, so is perfect for families. Its high school has been named as one of the top Catholic high schools in the country by the Catholic Education Honor Roll.
Johnson Ferry Christian Academy prepares students for life academically, spiritually, and relationally in a vibrant community atmosphere. We deliver a personalized, accredited, college-preparatory education with a uniquely flexible schedule. The JFCA community offers students an active school culture, rich with opportunities for growth and achievement.
Landmark Christian School seeks to honor Jesus Christ by equipping college-bound students to become lifelong servant leaders in their communities and in the world. We offer a comprehensive, academically rigorous K4-12 education within a non-denominational, Christ-centered worldview.
Founded in 1926 by Eva Edwards Lovett, we continue today as an Atlanta independent school serving children in Kindergarten through Grade 12. With an emphasis on the whole child, we provide integrated experiences in academics, arts, athletics, and service through an education grounded in learning, character, and community.
McGinnis Woods Country Day School is a private, non-parochial school offering a challenging preschool-grade 12 education. The beautiful school is located in Alpharetta on the border of Forsyth and North Fulton counties. The Preschool accepts children as young as 6 weeks and the Elementary and Middle School teaches students in PreK 4 through 8th grade.
Midtown International School serves gifted and academically superior students who thrive in small class environments. The globally-minded curriculum and problem-based instruction create a community of engaged global leaders dedicated to the values of respect, responsibility, citizenship, and justice.
Mill Springs Academy is an SACS/SAIS accredited college preparatory, independent school community dedicated to the academic, physical and social growth of those students who have not realized their full potential in the traditional classroom setting. Since 1981, Mill Springs has been supporting student learning by raising expectations and developing self-motivation, while providing skills and values for life.
Mount Paran Christian School provides students with a journey to maximize and then exceed their potential in a safe environment; encouraging students to take risks – sometimes falling short, always learning – developing their own ideas and exploring diverse perspectives while embracing their Christianity.
Located in the heart of Sandy Springs, MVPS is a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact. Grounded in Christian values, Mount Vernon prepares all students to be college ready, globally competitive, and engaged citizen leaders.
Provides a truly Christ-centered education for our children through an environment that develops and encourages academic excellence, spiritual growth, and a lifelong love and desire for learning.
North Cobb Christian School provides a biblically based, academically excellent education in a nurturing environment, developing students’ potential to impact their world for Christ.
OMNI’s mission is to develop the whole student on all developmental domains and prepare them to be active and engaged in an interrelated world with an international advantage. We operate under the premise that language is an integral component to world interconnectedness and the key to global citizenship. We emphasize foreign language proficiency, cultural diversity, and above all, academic excellence.
With 1,105 students in Pre-First through 12th grade and a 9:1 student-teacher ratio, Pace focuses on developing each child’s passions and strengths through academics, athletics and the arts. But we also understand that education today is more complicated than the three As; it’s about providing global perspectives in the classroom and an integrated experience before and after the bell rings.
Pinecrest Academy is a PreK3-12th grade, college preparatory Catholic school, located in Cumming, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta. The school provides an atmosphere of academic rigor and critical thinking, while offering personalized attention in a Christ-centered environment.
Rivers Academy creates a path for our students to develop into confident, independent thinkers who are able to face the future with personal success. Our highest priority is to provide our students with the balance between being a child and excelling in both their academics and their chosen passions. We will encourage our students to become lifelong learners by instilling academic curiosity, modeling respect for others and maintaining accountability to core values.
St. Joseph Catholic School educates each student by embracing faith and upholding academic excellence within a Catholic community devoted to developing the whole child.
St. Martin’s Episcopal School is a place where each child can discover his or her unique gifts. Serving over 600 students from 3 years old through 8th grade, St. Martin’s has offered a quality education in a loving, Christian environment for more than 50 years.
With our experienced and dedicated Christian teachers and staff, along with our beautiful state-of-the-art facilities, we believe that we can impact the lives of every child and family member who partners with us.
Sugar Hill Christian Academy currently serves students 12 months through 8th grade and enrolling grades 9 and 10 beginning this fall. Their mission is to offer an excellent academic and Christian education, while developing a lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ.
Tabula Rasa creates a family-like environment where babies through 5th grade become fluent in a second language (Spanish), become familiar with a third language (French or Chinese) and learn the culture of the countries speaking that language. A strong aspect of the daily programs and activities involves diversity, respecting the environment and each other.
We are a progressive elementary school currently serving students from age three through sixth grade – but expanding to seventh and eighth grades by fall 2018 – in a diverse community in Midtown Atlanta. Grounded in principles of excellence, innovation and play, we graduate passion-driven young adults who lead lives of purpose in an interconnected world.
The Cottage School marks its 32nd year of providing a comprehensive educational program for middle and high school students with learning differences and ADHD. In August 2016, TCS expanded its program to 4th and 5th grades.
At The Davis Academy, we don’t teach to the test, we teach the whole child. We are focused on creating confident and compassionate leaders who, when they graduate, are academically prepared as they enter the next phase in their development.
The SAE School is an independent project-based learning school located in Mableton, GA, serving preschool-12th grade students in the Smyrna, Mableton and South Cobb areas of Metro Atlanta.
Childhood First. Celebrating over 30 years, The Waldorf School of Atlanta offers a revolutionary notion – that in the midst of a high speed world, children should be provided a timeless space to do their sacred work.
The Walker School is Metro Atlanta’s college-preparatory school for families seeking an engaging, perspective widening academic program within an intimately scaled, caring environment where meaningful relationships inspire transformative learning.
The Weber School, Atlanta’s only high school serving students from all Jewish backgrounds, offers a robust advanced academic and co-curricular program. Our collaborative and creative faculty lead a powerful learning community where student initiative and intellectual inquiry is encouraged and fostered while the rich interdisciplinary Jewish and general studies program features a variety of opportunities for advanced academic work and extracurricular stimulation.
The Trinity educational program includes hands-on learning, classroom instruction, the use of technology, and an abundance of creative exploration. The Mission of Trinity School is to create a community of learners in which each child can acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to achieve his or her unique potential and become a responsible, productive, and compassionate member of the expanding global community.
Westminster is a coeducational Christian preparatory school which seeks to serve students who are bright, motivated, and curious by nurturing them through challenge. The environment develops leaders of conscience who will be a positive force in the world.
Located just off I-285 on a beautiful, 100-acre campus, Whitefield maintains a solid academic reputation with its numerous AP and honors courses, and a rigorous curriculum that sets the framework for 100 percent of its graduates to matriculate to colleges and universities.
Woodward Academy is the largest independent school in the continental U.S., with 2,700 students spanning two campuses on 133 acres in metro Atlanta. With an average class size of only 8:1, teachers, coaches, and counselors provide wise, individual guidance at every step, mentoring students, instilling qualities of good character, and helping them reach their fullest potential.
Click here for more private schools.
Tabula Rasa creates a family-like environment where babies through 5th grade become fluent in a second language (Spanish), become familiar with a third language (French or Chinese) and learn the culture of the countries speaking that language.
Click here for more preschools.
Click here for charter schools.
Founded in 1970, Arbor is one of the largest and oldest Montessori schools in the Southeast, serving 300 students from ages 18 months to 14 years. Arbor is one of only two Montessori schools in Georgia accredited by AMI, SACS and SAIS.
Carlisle Montessori School located in Atlanta was founded in 2008 by Gina Ward, an AMI trained teacher and director with 26 years of experience in Montessori Education. Our goal is to closely follow Dr. Maria Montessori’s educational methods and philosophies in guiding and nurturing the “whole child.” This means teaching them academically, emotionally and spiritually.
Established in 1981, Covered Bridge Montessori School offers educational programs for children ages 14 months to 9 years in Atlanta, Mableton, Vinings, Austell, Powder Springs and surrounding areas. The staff and faculty are committed to academic excellence in a nurturing environment, and a dedication to academic and social growth is a priority.
Cresco Montessori School is a year-round GAC certified private school, and full-service childcare center. Serving families in Marietta, Buford, Johns Creek and Woodstock for over 10 years.
Established 30 years ago, The Duluth Montessori School is fully accredited by Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), the organization established to protect and maintain the integrity of the Montessori principles. We educate children 14 months to 15 years of age.
We offer the highest quality individualized Montessori education experience, focused on fostering independence combined with a sense of community and global awareness. We give this to each child from 13 months to 9 years old.
Montessori School at Emory is a thriving, vibrant community. With over 175 students, from 15 months through 14 years, the Montessori School at Emory continues to support the whole child and prepare them for life through accredited, authentic quality Montessori programs.
To see the joy of learning in action, come visit Northwoods Montessori School. The school offers innovative early childhood education programs catering to the needs and abilities of children at each stage of their development – from toddler care and primary (preschool) through elementary levels.
Since 1963, Springmont has been a Montessori learning environment where diversity of thought and global perspective empower students to be inquisitive, knowledgeable, independent, compassionate and effective. Our students are collaborative and celebrate the success of their peers with as much enthusiasm as they do their own.
Click here for more Montessori Schools.
Founded in 1962, Arthur Morgan School is a progressive boarding and day school for 27 students in grades 7-9. AMS is located on one-hundred acres of farm land just north of Asheville, N.C.
Since 1921, each student’s unique and infinite value has been recognized at Christchurch School, a co-ed boarding and day school for grades 9-12 in Christchurch, Va. As an Episcopal school, the goal is to inspire and guide each student’s journey toward self-confidence, purpose and identity.
Florida Prep prepares students for the unique challenges of today’s academic and business climates. Founded in 1961, the academy is in Melbourne, Fla., and serves boys and girls in grades 5-12.
New York Military Academy develops young leaders for success in college and in life. The academy is a college preparatory boarding school serving boys and girls in the 6-12 grades.
Riverside Military Academy produces highly educated and motivated young men of character. Established in 1907, the boarding and day school in Gainesville, Ga., serves boys in grades 7-12.
Since 1842, Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh, N.C., has been dedicated to academic excellence and personal achievement for girls and young women. An Episcopal boarding and day school for girls in grades 9-12, Saint Mary’s believes in the greatness of girls.
The Vanguard School is a co-educational, fully accredited boarding and day school for students in grades 6-12. Established in 1966 in Lake Wales, Fla., the school is one of the first to serve children who learn differently.
The goal of a Trinity-Pawling education is to unlock the potential for greatness that exists in each boy. Located in Pawling, N.Y., and founded in 1907, Trinity-Pawling is a boarding and day school serving boys in grades 7-12.
Click here for homeschool options.