Tag Archives: atlantas best schools

Time Flies…

This time of year I often feel like time is moving faster than I’m able to keep up with, somewhat like a gerbil racing in its wheel.  I also wonder if I’m accomplishing more at this faster pace or just spinning my own wheel.

As the new school year began 8 short months ago, I almost felt myself physically bracing for all the changes that lie ahead for my high school senior son and my college senior son, which inevitably will lead to an empty nest for my husband and I and our dear 12-year-old chocolate lab.  I considered recording all the “lasts” we would experience throughout the year to share on Facebook with catchy captions, but it somehow seemed too morbid so instead I just braced myself for the ride.

Here we are in the midst of our last high school baseball season after a 16-year run of watching both boys play.  How did we get here so fast?  When the last pitch is thrown, the last out is called, the last game is over and I watch my son walk off the baseball field for the last time, it will feel like it has been so much more than just a game, but instead a metaphor for the many seasons of raising children.

Throughout this 18-year time span so many decisions are made and lessons learned. Growing up can certainly be described as a team sport with fans, coaches, umpires, team mates, opposing teams, celebrations and defeats, knowing when to bunt or when to aim for the fence, while at times feeling alone at the plate.

As a mother, I’m grateful for a book club with other mothers, an insightful leader, and a wise author to guide us through this transition toward having adult children.  I highly recommend, Now That They Are Grown: Successfully Parenting Your Adult Children, by Ron Greer http://www.ronaldjgreer.com/now_that_they_are_grown As a mother in the group said, “We are the first generation to take on parenting with the intensity of a CEO only to work ourselves out of a job.”

As 2 graduations approach less than 2 months away, the tight grip I was trying to hold on to my children’s lives is slowly loosening as I tentatively yet faithfully try to change my focus to the journey that will unfold with many “firsts” instead of focusing on all the “lasts”.

Why do people buy and sell homes?

So why do people buy and sell houses?

Bottom line it’s usually because of life circumstances.  My husband bought his first condo because I think he was ready to be an adult and was ready to ask me to marry him.  He probably thought owning a condo was a good step toward both of those ambitious goals.  Why did we buy our next home?  I was expecting our first child and the 17th floor of a Buckhead condo didn’t feel like the best place to start a family.   Our second home? Our 4 ½ year old son would soon be starting Kindergarten forcing us to consider important education decisions. We decided to move to a great public school district instead of paying private school tuition. Our next home?  We tore down our 1920’s bungalow to stay in a great neighborhood and increase our property value more than we could have with a renovation.  After that, with my husband and I both having careers in real estate, we got a little carried away and moved more times than I originally planned over the years.

Sure everyone is interested in interest rates and how the market is doing, but it’s the people that live in the homes and the circumstances at the time that prompt the move.  Having been blogging for a couple of years now, I’ve realized the posts I enjoy most are the ones that are from personal experience while still relating to great schools in the Atlanta area and all the things affecting families and children with their changing needs and interests.  For that reason, all my posts will now be original instead of stats or information that can be found on Google.

I have a wealth of information on all things relating to home buying and selling in and around the Atlanta area and would love to be considered your “go-to” for answers and advice.

Happy New Year and to a year full of many happy life circumstances.

Atlanta Private School Admission Letters Mailed April 5th

I remember this day well when my own children were waiting to see if they had been accepted to their school of choice.  The letters typically arrive on Saturday after being mailed on Friday.  After many months of visiting schools, completing applications, and going for interviews, the decision day finally comes.  From my experience with my children and their friends, everyone got into a school that was a good fit for them academically and socially. Best of luck to everyone that is waiting!

Go to this site: http://www.aaais.org/calendar/2013-04 to keep up with different schools open houses and deadlines.

Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2013 Education Guide Hits Newstands Today

Each year I look forward to the latest Education Guide from the Atlanta Business Chronicle to see how each school’s test scores changed from the previous year.  The scores on my blog will be updated to reflect the latest scores for all the school districts featured here, but here’s a preview of Fulton County’s High Schools ranked by SAT scores.  To receive the new edition of the Education Guide, email me at dede@atlantafinehomes.com and provide a mailing address and I’ll be glad to get one in the mail to you.

Jan 23, 2013, 11:39am EST

Fulton County public high schools ranked by SAT score

Senior Online Editor- Atlanta Business Chronicle

Who tests the best in the metro?

Atlanta Business Chronicle’s annual Education Guide hits newsstands on Friday, Jan. 25, and it will certainly shed a lot of light on metro schools. But we also have some data that you will only get online. We will publish high school SAT scores by region so you can see the best and worst performers.

Today, we take a look at Fulton County public high schools:

  1. Northview High School — 1,769
  2. Johns Creek High School — 1,729
  3. Milton High School — 1,681
  4. Roswell High School – 1,677
  5. Chattahoochee High School — 1,674
  6. Alpharetta High School — 1,660
  7. Riverwood International Charter School — 1,631
  8. Centennial High School — 1,582
  9. North Springs High School — 1,459
  10. Independence High School –1,377
  11. Westlake High School — 1,316
  12. Tri-Cities High School — 1,299
  13. Creekside High School — 1,250
  14. Langston Hughes High School — 1,231
  15. Frank McClarin High School — 1,198
  16. Banneker High School — 1,160

For high schools, we show the mean scores for the SAT of the 2012 senior class. This score is calculated by using the student’s most recent test administration. The highest possible score is 2,400.

Source: Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

Click here for Atlanta’s public high schools ranked by SAT score.

 

The Wood Acres School – Academic Excellence in East Cobb

Quick Facts about the Woods

  • Wood Acres was founded in 1969 as the Wood Acres Country Day School. Originally located on the corner of Johnson Ferry and Roswell Roads in East Cobb County (yes, it was once just a beautiful forest!), the school provided unprecedented educational programs for Early Childhood students.
  • Wood Acres moved to its present location in 1983. A multi-million dollar campus renovation was completed in 2007 in preparation for program expansion and growth into the middle school years.
  • The Wood Acres logo, the oak leaf and acorn, comes from the original campus oak still seen on Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb. With the addition of Turner Hall, Wood Acres adopted its mascot, Navi-Gator. The compass rose, found in the school plaza, provides the school community a daily reminder of the importance of direction and purpose in all that we do.
  • Many schools, both public and private, tout low teacher-pupil ratios (TPR) but embedded in the numbers are additional non-homeroom teachers and support staff. Wood Acres’ TPR is a true representation of the importance we place on small class size and personal attention to a student’s learning. The Twos average TPR is 7:1, Threes, Fours, and Kindergarten average is 8:1, Grammar School (first through 4th grades is 16:1 and Upper School (5th through 8th grades) is 18:1. These TPR averages include applicable teaching assistants as they directly impact instruction. Toss in all our specials teachers (i.e. music, art, etc) and our TPR drops to an amazing 5:1 in the Early School, 8:1 in the Grammar School, and 8:1 in the Upper School!
  • For the discerning family who compares both educational value and expense, The Wood Acres School has no competition. Our tuition is not just competitive; it consistently ranks on the top of lists comparing quality vs. tuition. Wood Acres firmly believes that a first class private school education should not cost more that college tuition! Specifics concerning tuition and fees can be obtained during your on-campus tour or by calling the Wood Acres Financial Accounts Manager.
  • Leadership at Wood Acres ascribes to the tenets of 30 years of research on effective schools. Hence, The Wood Acres School focuses on a clear and focused vision, high expectations for student achievement, strong instructional leadership, a safe learning environment, close monitoring of instruction and time on task, a positive school climate, and close home-school-community partnerships. Through these lenses leadership and teaching teams constantly evaluate themselves for continuous improvement.
  • Wood Acres is accredited by the Georgia Accrediting Commission. Founded in 1901 this commission accredits both private and public schools in the state.
  • Wood Acres does not ascribe to any one teaching methodology, any one curriculum approach, or any one academic mindset. The programs and adopted curriculum are strongly research-based, geared to national standards, and represent myriad approaches that have proven successful for student achievement and academic success.
  • Although an independent school, Wood Acres students do not wear school uniforms at this time, although a smile is a prerequisite throughout the school day! Spirit wear is popular and available through this website.
  • Choice in education can be both an invigorating experience as well as a challenging one to implement. The Wood Acres School works closely with prospective families in hopes of making a great educational match between student and school. One visit to our campus will help you shape your child’s educational journey.

New Student Housing For Georgia State

A little publicity for my husband for the sale of this downtown Atlanta property that will soon be new student housing for Georgia State.

Ambling affiliate buys downtown site for student housing

Atlanta Business Chronicle   by Douglas Sams, Commercial Real Estate Editor

Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 1:42pm EST

An Ambling University Development Group affiliate will redevelop an abandoned downtown hotel into a new student housing project.

Ambling is planning the project in two phases, the first opening next summer after a renovation of the old 200-room Ramada Hotel into about 138 units and 291 beds. A new tower featuring about 108 student-housing units and 424 beds will open in summer 2014. A new parking garage will also open then.

In August, Atlanta Business Chronicle reported Ambling University Development Group was planning an 18-story student housing project in downtown. The Valdosta Ga.-based company had submitted plans to the city of Atlanta to redevelop the abandoned hotel and service station at Courtland Street and John Wesley Dobbs Avenue.

The development would serve nearby Georgia State University, whose freshman enrollment this fall is expected to reach record levels and total enrollment should top 32,000 students.

Ambling’s affiliate recently closed on the $7.9 million purchase of the almost 1.5-acre site, just 100 yards from the future location of Georgia State University’s new business and law schools. John DeYonker, vice president of land and developer services at Bull Realty, represented the seller, Legacy Palms LLC, in the transaction.

An early rendering of the new Ambling student housing project in downtown Atlanta.

Enlarge Image

An early rendering of the new Ambling student housing project in downtown Atlanta.

Real Estate Recovery Run around The Westminster Schools

Last weekends Real Estate Recovery Run was an 8 mile run to gear up for the upcoming half marathon season that took place with my friend Julie through the neighborhoods along West Paces Ferry at I-75 and behind The Westminster Schools.  As a loan officer in a bank, Julie can certainly relate to the downfall of the real estate market and upheaval of the financial system.  She’s logged in hundreds, maybe thousands of miles on foot and her bike in search of sanity over the last few years.

Sunday was a beautiful morning with a touch of fall in the air.  We met at the West Paces Ferry shopping center near Starbucks, which is a popular hangout place for the students that attend the private schools in the area.  Passing the beautiful estates mixed with more modest homes that possess the blue chip addresses on West Paces Ferry took our mind off of the long gradual incline. The sharing of war stories of the market and hopeful recovery we are seeing kept our adrenaline flowing.

After a refreshing downhill break we crossed Northside Parkway toward The Westminster Schools.  Years of carpooling memories came back to me, warming my heart as we plodded deeper into the quiet neighborhoods with estate sized properties and rolling lawns surrounding the campus.  The few For Sale signs along the way were a reminder of the declining inventory of available homes. Eight miles seemed to pass rather quickly as we soaked in the serenity of our peaceful surroundings.

See below the available homes for sale within close proximity to The Westminster Schools and other Buckhead private schools.

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High School Football begins in Atlanta

Football season is upon us.  As the mother of ball loving sons, I often feel like my life can be categorized by what ball was being played with at that particular time.  We sold our house during baseball season, my grandmother passed away during football season, etc.  I confess I prefer the beautiful spring days of baseball season and the fast paced roar in the gym of basketball season to the late and often cold Friday nights of high school football season. My long lean sons don’t possess the stature required for an injury free football season so the sound of crashing helmets can cause me great stress.  I’ve learned to watch the game by just scanning the field so as not to focus on the intricacies of each play or see which player ends up on the bottom of the heap.

Growing up in small town Georgia I do get the enthusiasm and pride that goes along with supporting the local team.   The star players in those small towns often go on to run for mayor, own the local sporting goods store, or coach a team of their own and continue to relive their championship season and the play by play of each game well into their senior years.  The marching band, twirling majorettes, and pom- pom shaking cheerleaders set the tone each Friday night as the town fills the stadium.  My enthusiasm for high school football waned when I attended my children’s Buckhead private school games.  High school football without a marching band is like the Dallas Cowboys without the cheerleaders.  With the private schools priority being placed on academics and other extra-curricular activities like chess club or debate team, the marching band slowly became extinct.   I’m sorry, but a few beatnik type musicians playing their instruments in the stands does not compare to the stadium rocking sensation of the marching band.

Since my younger son has decided to retire his cleats and shoulder pads this year, I will no longer be regularly attending Friday night games.  My husband on the other hand will still be in the stands so I will look forward to a season of girl’s nights with Georgia, our chocolate lab.  Someone was looking out for me when we happened upon a lab that cares nothing about a ball.

Go Team!

Price Reduced on Stunning East Cobb Home

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