Tag Archives: top schools atlanta

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.

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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East Cobb Home Open Sunday, August 5th from 2-4pm

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Exceptional Value in Popular East Cobb Neighborhood

This is a great new listing in the Tritt Elementary, Hightower Trail Middle, and Pope High School District.

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Georgia Students Show Improvements in CRCT Scores

More Georgia students than ever are exceeding standards on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests.

The 2012 CRCT results show the performances of students in grades 3-8. The biggest overall gains were in Grade 5 Social Studies (six percentage points) and Grade 8 Science (seven percentage points).

“The best news in the 2012 CRCT report is that more of our students are exceeding the standards,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said in a statement. “Teachers are doing a great job teaching the more rigorous Georgia Performance Standards and they are to be applauded for raising expectations for all students.”

However, there were a few decreases in 2012, including Grade 3 Science (two percentage points), Grade 4 Mathematics (one percentage point), Grade 5 Mathematics (three percentage points) and Grade 8 Mathematics (one percentage point).

Percentages did not change on six of the content-area tests.

“While I am pleased to see an increase in the majority of the exams, I am concerned about those where we saw decreases or no change at all,” Dr. Barge said. “As we begin teaching the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards next school year, we know the curriculum and the tests will be more difficult, so we must continue to focus on successfully implementing the new standards.”

State law requires third, fifth and eighth grade students to meet or exceed expectations on the Reading portion of the test in order to move to the next grade. Fifth and eighth grade students must also meet or exceed expectations on the Mathematics portion.

Results for Atlanta Public Schools include:

Grade 3 Reading * 4,072 students tested * 16.2 percent did not meet the standard * 44.6 percent met the standard * 39.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 3 English/Language Arts * 4,080 students tested * 16.5 percent did not meet the standard * 50.6 percent met the standard * 33 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 3 Mathematics * 4,088 students tested * 32.3 percent did not meet the standard * 35.3 percent met the standard * 32.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 3 Science * 4,190 students tested * 35.1 percent did not meet the standard * 35.1 percent met the standard * 29.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 3 Social Studies * 4,179 students tested * 28.9 percent did not meet the standard * 43.9 percent met the standard * 27.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 Reading * 4,055 students tested * 16.7 percent did not meet the standard * 48.3 percent met the standard * 35 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 English/Language Arts * 4,047 students tested * 14.9 percent did not meet the standard * 55.5 percent met the standard * 29.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 Mathematics * 4,019 students tested * 33.3 percent did not meet the standard * 41.5 percent met the standard * 25.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 Science * 4,153 students tested * 30.2 percent did not meet the standard * 37.8 percent met the standard * 32 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 4 Social Studies * 4,150 students tested * 32.9 percent did not meet the standard * 46.4 percent met the standard * 20.7 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 Reading * 3,977 students tested * 14.9 percent did not meet the standard * 58.5 percent met the standard * 26.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 English/Language Arts * 3,980 students tested * 10.2 percent did not meet the standard * 56.5 percent met the standard * 31.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 Mathematics * 3,953 students tested * 28.7 percent did not meet the standard * 45.3 percent met the standard * 26.1 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 Science * 4,135 students tested * 33.2 percent did not meet the standard * 34.3 percent met the standard * 32.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 5 Social Studies * 4,132 students tested * 36.4 percent did not meet the standard * 42.6 percent met the standard * 20.9 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 Reading * 3,423 students tested * 7.8 percent did not meet the standard * 59.9 percent met the standard * 32.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 English/Language Arts * 3,417 students tested * 11.7 percent did not meet the standard * 64.9 percent met the standard * 23.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 Mathematics * 3,398 students tested * 34.8 percent did not meet the standard * 50.2 percent met the standard * 15 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 Science * 3,524 students tested * 44.7 percent did not meet the standard * 41.7 percent met the standard * 13.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 6 Social Studies * 3,515 students tested * 43.9 percent did not meet the standard * 29.3 percent met the standard * 26.8 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 Reading * 3,320 students tested * 9.8 percent did not meet the standard * 71 percent met the standard * 19.2 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 English/Language Arts * 3,309 students tested * 9 percent did not meet the standard * 54.4 percent met the standard * 36.6 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 Mathematics * 3,279 students tested * 17.9 percent did not meet the standard * 54.8 percent met the standard * 27.3 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 Science * 3,395 students tested * 24.8 percent did not meet the standard * 44.5 percent met the standard * 30.7 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 7 Social Studies * 3,386 students tested * 39 percent did not meet the standard * 30.6 percent met the standard * 30.4 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 Reading * 3,283 students tested * 7.9 percent did not meet the standard * 61.6 percent met the standard * 30.5 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 English/Language Arts * 3,287 students tested * 7.1 percent did not meet the standard * 62.1 percent met the standard * 30.9 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 Mathematics * 3,271 students tested * 40.7 percent did not meet the standard * 44 percent met the standard * 15.3 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 Science * 3,386 students tested * 46.2 percent did not meet the standard * 42.7 percent met the standard * 11.1 percent exceeded the standard

Grade 8 Social Studies * 3,380 students tested * 41.3 percent did not meet the standard * 39.8 percent met the standard * 18.9 percent exceeded the standard

See all the results here

Summer Reading Important for Children

I must admit as a parent I’m not a big fun of summer reading.  Homework in the summer just doesn’t seem fair. Is it not okay to lose a little bit of knowledge over the summer?  Does every possible moment have to be spent gaining knowledge so we can get ahead in life?  There must be something to be gained from sleeping late, jumping on the trampoline, riding your bike, and catching lightening bugs. Well that’s my opinion, but here’s what the experts say regarding the importance of summer reading:

Research shows:

  • Students who read over the summer do better in school in the fall.
  • Students who do not read over the summer demonstrate academic loss in fall.
  • 8 out of 10 studies indicate students who read for fun out-performed those who did not.
  • Students read more when they can choose their own books.
  • Summer reading loss is cumulative.  By the end of 6th grade, children who do not read over the summer are two years behind other children.

What Parents Can Do:

  • Stress the importance of summer reading with your child.
  • Make reading exciting; don’t think of it as a chore.
  • Create a reading list.
  • Create a no TV or electronic game time during part of each day.
  • Join a summer reading program at your local library.
  • Let your child choose his/her own books.
  • Keep a supply of reading materials around the house.
  • Go to the library regularly.
  • Ask your child questions about the books he/she is reading.
  • Read a book to your child.
  • Listen to your child read to you.
  • Pick a favorite author or series and read all the books.
  • Listen to books on tape while traveling.
  • Model reading.

Most of the schools have the summer reading lists on their websites, so go ahead and kick back and enjoy the lazy days of summer with a good read.

Atlanta, DeKalb, and Fulton School Boards facing tough budget choices this year

Reported by Dan Whisenhunt at Reporter Newspapers

Local boards of education will be cutting costs and making do during the next budget year in an effort to deal with stagnant property values and increased expenses.

All three systems in the Reporter Newspapers area – Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Public Schools and Fulton County Schools – will begin the Fiscal Year 2013 on July 1. Only one, Fulton County Schools, doesn’t plan significant cuts and can balance its $810 million budget with $20 million from its reserves with no tax increases.

Officials with each school system said lower property tax collections and increased health care costs for employees are making it hard for local school boards to balance budgets.

“It’s the economy for the most part,” Atlanta schools spokesman Keith Bromery said. “The economy has not recovered to the point where the state can fully fund education … you find school districts have to cut back in relation to what they’re getting in terms of funding from the state.”

DeKalb County Schools is considering a $760 million budget but faces a $73 million budget shortfall. The school system has nothing in its reserves and the board is being asked to consider a 2-mill increase in property taxes, meaning a $200,000 home would see taxes increase by $160 a year.

Atlanta plans a $605.2 million budget but will need to fix a $47 million budget gap. The school board is considering cutting between 285 and 475 jobs across all departments.

So how did Fulton County start the year in a better position than its neighbors? Several reasons, Fulton School officials say. District 3 Board of Education member Gail Dean said in 2010 the school board voted to cut 1,000 jobs. Also, the board recently opted not to renew the charter of Fulton Science Academy after school board members and school officials could not reach an agreement. That saved the school system $3.8 million, Dean said.

Marvin Dereef, executive director of budget services for Fulton County Schools, said the school board’s earlier actions made this year’s budget process less painful. The school plans to keep 18 percent of its operating expenses in reserves, he said.

“We made the big choices early,” Dereef said. “We saw the writing on the wall and took action significantly enough where we could weather the storm for awhile.”

DeKalb County Schools BOE members are looking for alternatives to the proposal to raise taxes, spokesman Walter Woods said. DeKalb County schools during the last few months leaped from one crisis to another. Prior to the $73 million shortfall, it faced an unanticipated $36.5 shortfall in its sales-tax funded school construction account.

The BOE found a way to move sales tax money around to cover it.

Woods said the BOE is weighing its options to deal with the latest dilemma, saying “everything is on the table.”

Woods said it’s too early to discuss whether the system will be able to replenish its reserve account.

“We have to balance the budget first and then we’ll talk about a reserve,” Woods said.

Like DeKalb, Atlanta Public Schools faced daunting challenges within the last year. The system continues to deal with the fallout from a cheating scandal that found some teachers manipulated test results to boost scores system-wide. Recently, the BOE angered many in the community with plans to close and rezone schools.

The school system in April voted to close seven schools. Bromery said “there may be some savings” as a result, but said it will mostly be a non-factor.

“It wasn’t to save money,” Bromery said of the school closures. “It was to focus more of our enrollment into a fewer number of schools. To a degree, this will be offset by the additional resources that will be placed in these schools that will see increases in enrollment.”

Bromery said there is also a planned 10 percent cut across all departments in the Atlanta Schools system, except for curriculum and instruction, which will see a 7 percent cut.

“The revenues have not kept up with spending we need to reduce that or eliminate it,” Bromery said.

Lovett Boys Baseball Advances to the Semi-Finals


The regular season is a little slow for me, but the playoffs are when I really feel like a fan. As we arrived for our first game at Calhoun High School, ready for our first two games out of a three game series, the port-a-potty clean out truck parked within reach of the stands was a reminder that we were not in Buckhead anymore. As the stench filled the air, the mood was lightened and the first pitch was thrown.  Country or city, the love of the game is evident wherever we go.  Having warmed many baseball stands over many years, the monotony of the regular season can seem long and oh so routine.  My husband and I seem to spend more time passing each other in the garage than we do in any other area of the house. Practices here, games there, some work in between, fast food, late nights and early mornings, and I’m ready for the playoffs.

A friend of mine with non-sports playing children recently commented to me that she wished she and her husband shared in the sports comaraderie of watching their children play. I quickly corrected her and said, “Oh, do not be fooled by thinking this is something we do together.” My husband sees a completely different game than I do as he leans in the mens corner on the edge of the stands, and I join mom friends in the bleachers.  As we later reminisce, he oftens asks if I was at the same game he was.

Having split our first two games against Calhoun, we headed back on day two for a do- or-die third game.  At the game I attended, I joyfully watched the coaches wife with two young daughters and lincoln log bin in tow to postpone boredom, the grown men that left their jobs in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon to drive over an hour to watch high school boys play ball even without a child on the team, the loving grandparents that wouldn’t miss a game, the little sisters that got dragged to a possible final game, the pitcher’s mom that appeared pale and weak, senior moms teary-eyed at the possibility of seeing their son walk off a baseball field for the last time, and the superstitious rituals of where to sit, pace or sit, change clothes or not, cheer or not cheer, etc.  Although these are the scenes and events that seemed to keep my attention for most of the game, I was forced to be consumed by the competition taking place on the field.

Top of the 7th and Lovett is down 4-1.  This is our last chance to advance to the semi-finals or move on to studying for final exams.  After a Lovett rally we go into the bottom of the 7th with Lovett up 6-4 and Calhoun at bat.  As the team mom and I were clenching hands and practicing something like Lamaze breathing to relieve the tension, Calhoun hit a one run homer, 6-5. Our sophomore lefty closed the game with his ever so confident and calm style and a big W.  On to Pierce County Monday.  Go Lions!

Go here for a play-by-play report by the Northside Neighbor

2012 Varsity Baseball Team