Tag Archives: top schools in atlanta

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 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!

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.

Top East Cobb School Districts Show Stronger Home Sales and Fewer Homes For Sale

The news involving the real estate market often seems confusing and conflicting from day to day.  We’ve been hearing alot about strong sales and declining inventory of available homes which would lead you to believe the market is recovering, but after the past few years anyone in the real estate field is cautiously optimistic but hopeful that this breeze of activity may soon turn into a gust.  I recently researched the East Cobb area that is so popular for the excellent schools to see how the market is doing with some sound statistics, not just speculation.  This graph below is from Trendgaphix and shows the sales activity for the past year from May 2011 through May 2012 for the zip codes of 30062,30067, and 30068 for the price range from $300,000 and up.  You’ll see the number of available homes in May 2011 was 450 compared to May 2012 of 307, a 31.8% decline.  The number of homes that went under contract rose slightly, but the sales rose 16.4%.  With the decreased inventory and increased sales, the months of inventory based on closed sales is much more favorable at 4.8 months compared to a high of 13.9 months in January of 2012 and 8.2 months in May of 2011.

This is great news for sellers that have really been beat up over the past 5 years by this buyer’s market.