2017 Ultimate Guide to Schools in Atlanta
Looking for a school 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 here, 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.