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December/January 2009

Wesleyan School
Small School, Big Programs
by Carrie Whitney

Wesleyan School  
ABOVE AND BELOW: Wesleyan School, a “small, full-activity school,” offers a small- campus feel but full academic, athletic and arts programs.
Wesleyan School helps ensure that its students do not feel lost or alone. The faculty and staff call each student by name— in the hallways, in the classroom, on the playground. This is because the school’s goal is to maintain a small-campus feel so that students are individuals rather than a number. However, Wesleyan provides opportunities of a larger school, offering full academic, athletic and arts programs. Established 45 years ago as part of Sandy Springs United Methodist Church, Wesleyan moved to its current campus in 1996. Today, Wesleyan is a college-preparatory school that focuses on creating an environment that is both academically challenging and character-building while offering a variety of activities, allowing students to find success in the class, on the stage, on the field—or wherever else they might choose.

“Our Christian mission is what defines our school,” says Andy Cook, director of admissions. The school incorporates the motto JOY, which means “consider Jesus, Others and Yourself”—in that order. Since it is typically Christian people who live the mission of Christianity, Wesleyan faculty are all Christians. However, students are not required to be Christian.

Wesleyan is unique in that it is set up much like a college campus, with multiple buildings on 80 acres and with academic, athletic and arts offerings that could rival some colleges (For more information on Wesleyan’s college-style atmosphere, see page 42.) The campus consists of separate high school, middle school and lower school areas and buildings. “We are not just an 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. school,” says Cook. Relying heavily on student participation, Wesleyan offers its students a wide variety of extracurricular options, from marching band to water polo to bowling to ping-pong to Academic Quiz Bowl.

There are four gyms on campus—the newest seats 1,500 with stadium seating. For drama-minded students, Wesleyan has both a 470-seat state-ofthe- art theater and a black-box theater with 100 seats. A 50,000-square-foot art building includes a music studio, recording rooms, a graphic design studio, various art rooms and chorus rooms.

Wesleyan believes that all children are uniquely gifted and offers a Christian-based college-prep program designed to challenge, nurture and strengthen students. The honor code is highly valued at Wesleyan. You rarely find a lock on a high school student’s locker.

The lower school provides a safe and nurturing environment that promotes self-esteem and a love of learning. The core curriculum includes traditional academic subjects as well as Bible, foreign language, computer science, music, art and physical education. In the middle school, students are encouraged to think and communicate through both oral and written forms. They learn such skills as note-taking, reading comprehension and public speaking. High school students at Wesleyan can choose from standard, honors and Advanced Placement courses to meet their individual needs. All students attend weekly chapel services.

Wesleyan’s challenging curriculum works. More than 80 percent of students taking AP exams score 3 or higher (a score of at least 3 earns college credit). With its challenging academics and countless opportunities, it’s easy to understand why Wesleyan School boasts such a long history of success.

The Specifics

Grades/Ages: K-12
Student/Teacher Ratio: LS 15/1; MS 17/1; HS 14/1
Annual Tuition Range: $14,680-$16,935
Location: Norcross
5405 Spalding Drive
Norcross, GA 30092

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