Atlanta Independent School Guide
Atlanta is home to many excellent schools and learning resourceswhich means you can find exactly the right environment for a challenging and nurturing education for your child. The following profiles represent a selection of independent schools and nearby boarding schools serving the metro Atlanta area. For additional information about the schools listed below, including location, tuition, class size and open house dates, turn to “Beyond the Basics.”
Atlanta Academy, located in Roswell, serves 385 private preschool through eighth-grade students in surrounding North Fulton communities. Small class sizes allow teachers to understand students’ strengths and help them discover their unique talents. This warm, nurturing culture fosters good character alongside academic success, and research shows that this learning environment enriches students’ academic performance, well-being and happiness.
The school’s forward-thinking curriculum focuses on building confidence and skills while providing various opportunities for students to succeed at public and prestigious private high schools. Its graduates thrive in a range of exceptional college-preparatory high schools, with over 96 percent of Atlanta Academy graduates being accepted into their top-choice high school.
High-performing student achievement is nurtured in the school’s inclusive, non-denominational, family-engaged atmosphere. Teachers model and instill values encouraging social and emotional development, such as empathy, integrity, resiliency and honesty. The Atlanta Academy faculty ranks among some of the industry’s best educators. The school is fully invested in helping children grow into well-educated, independent problem solvers prepared to excel in high school and beyond. To schedule a tour, call 678-461-6102 or visit atlantaacademy.com.
Atlanta International School
Atlanta International School (AIS) is an inclusive, intercultural, community providing a world-class education to over 1,300 US and international students from kindergarten (starting with 3-year-olds) to Grade 12.
Offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) to all, AIS provides a rigorous academic program that is complemented by unique language acquisition programs beginning with a full-immersion preschool program in French, German, Chinese or Spanish.
In addition to the prestigious IB diploma, AIS offers STEM- and STEAM-endorsed and bilingual diplomas. The curriculum is further enhanced with a wide range of activities to expand learning beyond the classroom. Students participate in award-winning performing and fine arts opportunities, competitive athletics, and an impressive range of global experiential learning options, all designed to help students realize the school’s mission: To develop courageous leaders who shape their world for the better.
Along with the authorization to offer IB education, AIS is also accredited by the following academic programs: AdvancED/Cognia, Agency of French Teaching Abroad (aefe), Council for International Schools (CIS), The Educational Collaborative for International Schools (ECIS) and Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS). For more information, visit aischool.org or call 404-841-3840.
Located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Baylor School is among the finest college-prep schools in the country and is only two hours from Atlanta.
Since 1893, academics has been a mainstay in Baylor’s history through a college-preparatory program that engages, challenges and inspires students to achieve their greatest academic potential at both Baylor and beyond.
While Baylor is first and foremost an academic institution, it believes that prepping students for college requires attention to the body and the spirit as well as the mind. That commitment is reflected in every aspect of Baylor life outside the classroom.
Its students find that balance on what is arguably the most beautiful independent school campus in the Southeast, with 690 acres along the Tennessee River and an abundance of extracurricular opportunities. The campus is home to boarding students from 15 countries and 23 states who enjoy a deep sense of community while discovering an independence most students are not able to experience until college. For more information, visit baylorschool.org or call 423-267-5902.
The Cottage School
Building a sense of self for students with special learning needs through academic and experiential programming, The Cottage School (TCS) prepares individuals for fulfillment of their true potential as confident, productive and independent adults.
TCS provides an educational environment for students with learning differences in grades 3-12 by meeting the students where they are today. Recognizing that all students learn differently, it is the school’s approach to teach differently.
Based on the three pillars of strength: academic, social and emotional, TCS offers:
- Experiential learning
- Small class sizes (10-student average) for individualized learning
- Customized education plans for every student
- A business-based model that teaches life skills.
- Technology, athletics and fine art programming available to all students
- Post-secondary planning that promotes continued success after graduation
Visit the school’s beautiful 23-acre campus by contacting the director of admissions for an appointment today. For more information, call 770- 641-8688 or visit cottageschool.org.
The Friends School of Atlanta
The Friends School of Atlanta (FSA) provides a progressive curriculum in a diverse environment, drawing on the Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship to empower its students to go out into the world with conscience, conviction and compassion.
Founded as a model of diversity in 1991, FSA embraces an inclusive learning environment where diversity is cherished and celebrated. Its curriculum emphasizes hands-on learning, critical thinking and the development of strong moral values. The school encourages students to be active participants in their education, promoting their natural curiosity and helping them discover their unique passions and talents. And, through embracing diversity and inclusion, the school aims to cultivate global citizens who appreciate different perspectives and work towards creating a more equitable and just world.
Offering classes for children from PreK3 through eighth grade, FSA’s program is designed to prepare students for a successful high school future and a lifetime of engagement as thoughtful citizens. Enrolling for 2023-24, class space permitting. For more information, visit friendsschoolatlanta.org or call 404-373-8746.
Johns Creek Montessori School of Georgia
A Montessori education develops children who are responsible, creative, innovative, respectful and kind. Montessori children are truly the citizens of the future, equipped to face challenges with confidence and competence.
Located near the intersection of Ga.141 and McGinnis Ferry Road in Johns Creek, Johns Creek Montessori School of Georgia provides excellence in Montessori education for infants, toddlers and children up to 6 years old. JCMSOG provides an authentic Montessori environment, where each individual’s needs are respected, and everyone works together for the good of the community. The focus is always on helping the children develop themselves in a caring, peaceful environment. By helping children develop independence, the school assists them in their physical and emotional development. As their sense of security in their ability to care for themselves and their environment grows, their brains have more energy or “bandwidth” for increased academic learning. Additionally, this focus on development of muscular control is a first step in developing self-discipline. The JCMSOG difference is best experienced in person. To schedule a visit with your child to observe their “Montessori Magic,” call 770-814- 8001 or visit jcmsog.org.
High Meadows School
For 50 years, High Meadows School has inspired children to think critically, learn creatively, act globally and live compassionately. High Meadows is about learning and laughter, exploration and discovery, and friendship and connection. At a school built on 42 acres of historic farm property in Roswell, students from 3 years old through eighth grade experience a school environment where adventure and play go hand-in-hand with extraordinary academic preparation and exemplary student outcomes. From the outstanding faculty and breathtaking campus to the small class sizes and acclaimed International Baccalaureate curriculum, a High Meadows education is unlike any other. Visit us to experience the magic of High Meadows, located at 1055 Willeo Rd., Roswell, GA 30075. For more information, visit highmeadows.org or call 770-993-2940.
Oak Meadow Montessori School
Oak Meadow Montessori School (OMMS) is celebrating 30 years of awakening children’s natural desires to learn. Its high-fidelity Montessori environments serve children ages 15 months through sixth grade. Well-equipped Montessori classrooms and the school’s dedicated, experienced staff combine to cultivate a nurturing, inclu- sive and vibrant Montessori experience that fosters independence, self-motivation and a lifelong love of learning. Exploration of its classroom and outdoor environments ignites students’ natural curiosity and its guides (or teachers) fan their flames of interest, allowing students to maximize their potential.
OMMS is accredited by both the American Montessori Society and SACS/Cognia, ensuring the highest of Montessori and academic stan- dards are met. Schedule a visit and see what the excitement is all about.
For more information, visit oakmeadowmontessori.com or call 770-963-8303.
Saint Francis School
With campuses in Milton and Roswell, Saint Francis School’s mission is to provide a college-preparatory education to K-12 students with varied academic abilities in a structured, challenging and supportive environment. Opened in 1976, the coed school is fully accredited and non-sectarian.
With a 14-1 student-teacher ratio, Saint Francis is able to maximize each student’s learning potential in all areas of study. Saint Francis has
a 100 percent graduation rate, and all of its seniors take the SAT or ACT and are accepted to a college or university. The school offers Advanced Placement, Honors, Traditional and Support classes.
In middle and high school, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is popular both as a class and after-school club at Saint Francis. Students are encouraged to rely on logical thought processes and problem solving to develop solutions to real-world scenarios and problems.
Broadcasting is also a very popular class as well as after-school activity. The Broadcasting Club is a hands-on, student-driven group that provides participants with the ability to plan, record, edit and create a “news” type program suitable for broadcasting.
The school also offers a top-notch athletic program, offering 20 teams in 17 high school sports. In Saint Francis’ history, its boys’ and girls’ basketball squads have won four state titles each, its boys’ tennis squads have captured two state championships and its boys’ soccer team won one.
Saint Francis’ high school is located at 13440 Cogburn Road in Milton, and its middle and lower schools are located at 9375 Willeo Road in Roswell. For more information, call 770-641-8257 (elementary and middle schools) or 678-339-9989 (high school) or visit saintfrancisschools.com.
Springmont, the oldest Montessori school in the Southeast, is celebrating its 60th anniversary this school year. Offering students 18 months through middle school an authentic Montessori experience that is extraordinary by design, individualized learning inspires students to become creative, independent and globally minded. Classrooms are large, light filled and thoughtfully prepared while the campus’ many natural areas, class gardens, and farm animals afford rich outdoor life science lessons.
Specially designed Montessori materials support children’s developmental needs and offer students a wide variety of hands-on activities that concretely reinforce skills, lessons and concepts. Highly-experienced teachers guide students through an individualized curriculum that develops the whole child—socially, emotionally, and academically. Multi-aged classes allow younger children to learn from older ones and older students to mentor younger classmates.
Art, music, physical education, and Spanish are important parts of each student’s experience. At Springmont, each student is challenged to reach his or her fullest potential and is empowered to help steer his or her own education. Students’ innate curiosity grows into a lifelong love of learning and a quest for meaningful discoveries and deeper knowledge.
Middle school students run micro-economies, compete in regional academic competitions, and enjoy a week-long trip at the end of each school year. They have opportunities to hone time-management skills, experience active leadership roles, articulate complex ideas, and work both independently and in diverse groups.
Springmont graduates are confident, collaborative, engaged learners, prepared for success in Atlanta’s premier high schools as well as life beyond academics. Springmont School—Extraordinary by Design. For more information, call 404-252-3910 or visit springmont.com.
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School
Founded in 1903 and located just two hours north of Atlanta, Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School prepares young people for college, career and a lifetime of leadership and service. On its beautiful mountain campus, Rabun Gap inspires students to grow in character, intellect and spirit.
The school values educational accessibility and fosters a community of learners whose diversity is honored and reflects the world. Rabun Gap is the most geographically diverse boarding school in the nation, made up of a student body from 56 countries and 15 states.
The 1,400-acre mountain campus provides many opportunities for hands-on learning, as well as arts and athletic activities. Rabun Gap students graduate ready for college: 100% attend the top colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the world. Rabun Gap makes a boarding school education a reality for families, with more than 75 percent of students receiving financial aid and merit scholarships. For more information, call 706-746-7720 or visit rabungap.org.
The Walker School
At The Walker School, the infinite worth and dignity of each student defines our approach to learning. Walker is the top pre-K3-12th-grade school open to all faiths in metro Atlanta. At Walker, students engage in advanced academics taught by dynamic faculty. With an average class size of 15 students, each child is challenged, supported and encouraged to explore all opportunities on its campus.
At Walker, you can star in the fall musical, represent your school on the soccer field and design your own genetic research project. Upper school students are able to customize their high school experience, choosing from a wide range of academic offerings, including 26 of the 31 College Board Advanced Placement courses. Most of all, your child is known.
One hundred percent of graduates are accepted to four-year colleges and universities. Walker students are excited and confident about college and beyond. Walker is located 2 miles from the Marietta Square, and it offers more than 20 bus routes in the metro area. At The Walker School, tuition assistance is available to bridge the gap between the cost of tuition and a family’s ability to pay. For more information about the wonder of Walker, visit thewalkerschool.org/admission/why-walker.
With renowned college-preparatory academics and a community defined by its geographic, racial, spiritual, economic and cognitive diversity, Woodward Academy is Atlanta at its best. From pre-K through 12th grade, Woodward is a place where a child can study Gauguin and golf, Copernicus and coding, rhetoric and robotics—all in one day.
With 2,500 students across two campuses spanning 133-acres, complemented by the intimacy of a 6:1 student-teacher ratio, Woodward offers the vast resources and opportunities of a college or university coupled with the intimacy and attention of home. Students learn how to think about and engage in the world outside of themselves, making a commitment to do their best, and gaining the confidence to make a difference. This shared purpose is something the school calls The Woodward Way.
Woodward challenges its students to explore new academic frontiers and reach their fullest potential. What does success look like? Look no further than the 24 AP classes, the renowned Transition Program for students with mild learning differences, more than 100 clubs and cocurriculars 75 yearly arts performances and 18 varsity sports. Woodward’s Global Connections Program offers extensive international study abroad programs, and its innovative STEAM programs are woven into the curriculum—from coding for kindergarteners to the Independent Scientific Research program, which pairs juniors and seniors with university professors to work on real-world problems.
At Woodward, students don’t just gain knowledge. The Woodward Way imbues them with skills and traits such as respect, social awareness, empathy, open-mindedness, accountability and dedication to service, which will serve them throughout their lives and enable them to make their mark in the world. A typical Woodward graduating class attends more than 100 different colleges and universities, devotes 5,000 hours to community service and earns more than $20 million in merit scholarships. For more information, visit woodward.edu.
Atlanta offers a wide variety of faith-based schools to choose from, which means you can find exactly the right environment for your child’s values, academics and foundation.
Faith-based schools, or religious schools, are independent schools that are supported by or affiliated with a particular church or religious organization, and incorporate elements of that religious faith into their curriculum.
The following profiles represent only some of the faith-based schools in the metro Atlanta area.
Holy Spirit Preparatory School
Holy Spirit Preparatory School is a classical Catholic school serving preschool-12th grade. Its curriculum combines the best of classical pedagogical traditions in a joyful, engaging and thoroughly Catholic environment. This curriculum includes STEM-based coursework, fine and performing arts and a robust athletic program.
Through these, it seeks to enkindle in students the desire to pursue excellence in every endeavor they undertake and provide them with all the tools necessary to lead successful, rewarding lives in a manner consistent with the sublime end for which they have been created: eternal life with God. This vision informs its curriculum and animates its efforts to help students grow in virtue and to love truth, goodness and beauty.
For more information, call 678-904-2811 or visit holyspiritprep.org.
Landmark Christian School
At Landmark, students are prepared to impact the world for Christ. Toward this goal, the school offers a world-class education in a Christ-centered environment. Landmark students step into college ready to live out their faith, equipped to lead well and prepared to steward God’s unique purpose for their lives.
Its faculty and staff members steward the daily opportunity to prepare students for this goal of impact in the context of a college-preparatory education and in covenantal partnership with Christian families.
Landmark is ranked as one of the best schools in the state and nation, serving grades PK3-12 in Fairburn. The school invests in children’s spiritual, academic and overall development with engaging academics, Christian values and immense opportunities. One-hundred percent of graduates have college acceptances, most with scholarships and college credits.
With intentionally small class sizes and a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:8, world-class faculty offer dynamic learning environments helping students discover their passions and develop their talents to impact the world for Jesus Christ. Students are immersed in hands-on learning stimulating imagination and invention. Innovative offerings include aviation, music, film, leadership, visual arts, engineering/STEM, leadership and fashion.
Dual enrollment taught uniquely on campus, AP and honors courses, paired with numerous sporting and arts opportunities, create an exceptional student experience. TED, Spotlight Theatre and Imagination Stations stir the minds of the youngest. A new state-of-the-art high school opened in 2021.
For more information, call 770-692-6742 or visit landmarkchristianschool.org.
Whitefield Academy’s college-preparatory education is built on Christ-centered values and beliefs, enabling students to succeed in both college and life. Whitefield teachers engage deeply with their students in the pursuit of knowledge and truth with shared experiences, grace and accountability. And because students are known, valued and loved, they thrive academically and are equipped to face the challenges of the future.
Located just off I-285 in Smyrna, Whitefield maintains a solid academic reputation with its numerous Advanced Placement and honors courses, and a rigorous curriculum that sets the framework for 100 percent of its graduates to matriculate to colleges and universities. With more than 50 sports teams, including 20 varsity squads, Whitefield athletes have multiple opportunities for both participation and success.
Whitefield’s award-winning fine arts programs and newly debuted Innovation Lab are allowing students to explore and develop their passions in theater, music and visual arts, as well as STEM subjects, such as engineering and robotics. For more information about Whitefield or to register for a virtual tour, visit whitefieldacademy.com.
Wesleyan School believes faith and intellect are great partners with each other. At Wesleyan, it’s not a matter of choosing faith or intellect, but rather using both to create the best possible education for your child. The school leadership and faculty work to provide students with an atmosphere that is challenging, reinforces the value of hard work and emphasizes character and integrity above accomplishment. Wesleyan prepares students for each stage of life and provides them the opportunity to see all the possibilities that lie before them.
The school is located just outside of I-285 at Peachtree Corners. Wesleyan started the 2023-24 school year with 1,206 students enrolled in grades K-12. Wesleyan offers bus routes throughout the metro Atlanta area and has morning and afternoon options. For more information or to schedule a campus tour, call 770-448-7640 or visit wesleyanschool.org.