Metro Atlanta's private schools offer variety in programs, personalities

Private schools in metro Atlanta are as different as the kids in them.

Many are small, require uniforms an have strict religious or ceremonial traditions. Others are large and allow kids to set their own priorities and dress how they want. Some campuses focus on creative expression and public service. Some are academic boot camps. Others specialize in helping students with disabilities reach scholastic success.

Need help shopping? The following is an excerpt from a recent AJC survey of metro Atlanta private schools on their offerings. Some schools did not answer some questions, such as providing a school's average SAT score.

Pace Academy

County: Fulton

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Web site: www.paceacademy.org

Enrollment: 1,018  (pre-K-12)

Tuition: $18,255- $21,015

Financial aid awarded in 2010-11: $1,385,000 $1.3 million in need-based financial aid.

Percentage of minority students: 13 percent

2010 Average SAT score: 1984

Percentage of seniors to graduate in 2010 and go to college: 100 percent

Curriculum: College prep

Average class size: 11 in Upper school

Average teacher experience: 16 years on average; 74 hold graduate degrees; 14 percent of upper school faculty have doctorates.

Total number of teachers/administrators: 144 Teachers; 199 including teachers and staff

Advanced Placement classes: 20

Athletic teams: 53

Championships: Boys'  and girls' cross country, boys'  soccer; girls' tennis; 22 state debate championships.

International travel opportunies: Yes.

Famous alumni:  Jim Walsh, class of 1977, is a leading international security expert and diplomatic advisor who frequently appears on national media outlets including CNN and National Public Radio to comment on terrorism and nuclear proliferation. Michael Barrett, class of 1995, catcher with New York Mets.

The Lovett School

County: Fulton

Website: www.lovett.org

Enrollment: 1,588 (K-12)

Tuition: $17,535 -- $20,935

Financial aid awarded in 2010-11: More than $2.6 million

Percentage of minority students: 20 percent

2010 Average SAT score: Range of 1700-2029

Percentage of seniors to graduate in 2010 and go to college: 100 percent

Average class size: Lower School, 20; Middle School, 18; Upper School, 15

Average teacher experience: 17 years of teaching experience. Of all education staff, 137 have master’s degrees and 11 hold doctorate degrees.

Total number of teachers/administrators: 234

Advanced Placement classes: 18

Athletic teams: 65 in 15 sports

International travel opportunities: Yes.

Famous alumni:  U.S. Army Lt. Col. Shane Kimbrough, class of 1985, is a NASA astronaut who flew on the space shuttle Endeavour in 2008. Kabir Sehgal of the class of 2001, co-wrote, "Walk in My Shoes: Conversations Between a Civil Rights Legend and His Godson on the Journey Ahead, with Andrew Young. Kabir works at JPMorgan in New York.

Christ the King School

County: Fulton

Website: www.christking.org

Enrollment: 567  (K-8)

Tuition: $8,000 -- $11,310

Financial aid awarded in 2010-11: $193,556 thus far ($25,899 in reserve)

Percentage of minority students: 12 percent

Average class size: 22

Average teacher experience: 13 years teaching experience; 45 percent of teachers have advanced degrees

Total number of teachers/administrators: 71

Athletic teams: Sports programs offered through Cathedral of Christ the King

Famous alumni: Raymond King, CEO of Zoo Atlanta; Clarence Smith, President & CEO of Havertys furniture stores.

Holy Innocents' Episcopal School

County: Fulton

Website: www.hies.org

Enrollment: 1,330

Tuition: $10,310 to $19,720

Percentage of minority students: 10 percent

Financial aid awarded in 2010-11: $1.7 million

2010 Average SAT score: 1900

Percentage of seniors to graduate in 2010 and go to college: 100 percent

Average class size: 14

Average teacher experience: 20 years, master’s degree (some faculty members have doctorates)

Total number of teachers/administrators: 360

Advanced Placement classes offered: 19

Athletic teams: 23

International travel opportunities: Yes 

Championships: 2009 Middle School Equestrian National Champions; Middle School team won state championship in cross-country in 2010. Girls finished 1st;  boys finished 3rd. HIES team won best overall team based on combined results. Science Olympiad team placed second in regionals and sixth in state.

Famous alumni:Actor Brian Baumgartner, who plays “Kevin” on NBC's "The Office" sitcom. Professional golfer Davis Love, III, who has won 20 events on the PGA Tour, including the 1997 PGA Championship.

Greater Atlanta Christian School

County: Gwinnett

Website: www.greateratlantachristian.org

Enrollment: 1850 (pre K-12)

Tuition: $12,100 -- $14,400

Financial aid in 2011-12: Already full for 2011-12 school year.

2010 Average SAT score: 1715

Percentage of seniors to graduate in 2010 and go to college: 100 percent

Curriculum characteristics: College preparatory

Average class size: 1:13

Average teacher experience: More than 72 percent hold masters, specialist and doctorates

Total number of teachers/administrators: 150 teachers

Advanced Placement classes offered: 19

Athletic teams: 71

International travel opportunities: Yes

Championships: Basketball, golf, tennis, and soccer; GAC Academic Team – 2nd in state this February. 

Woodward Academy

County: Fulton

Website: www.woodward.edu

Enrollment: 2,735

Tuition: $9,500-$21,300

Financial aid awarded in 2010-11: $2.7 million.

2010 SAT score: 1838

Percentage of minority students: 34.5 percent

Curriculum characteristics: College prep and transition program for students with mild learning differences.

Average class size: 16

Average teacher experience: 15 years average tenure; 80 percent hold masters degrees; 5 have doctorates.

Total number of teachers/administrators: 300 (full + part-time)

Percentage of seniors that graduated in 2010 and went to college: 100 percent

Advanced Placement classes offered: 22

Athletic teams: 17 Varsity level sports; 17 Junior Varsity level sports; 4 ninth-grade level sports

International travel opportunities: Yes

Championships: For the past four consecutive years, the volleyball team has captured the state titles. Championship in girls' tennis, boys' tennis and girls' golf in recent years.  Nationally ranked No. 1 debate team in 2010; First place at Georgia National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

Famous alumni: Robert W. Woodruff, 1908 graduate (Coca-Cola Company), U.S. Sen.William P. Gramm, 1961 graduate (U.S. representative and U.S. senator in Texas), Ben F. Johnson III, 1961 graduate (Retired managing partner of Alston & Bird)

Marist School

County: DeKalb

Website: www.marist.com

Enrollment:1,079

Identity/qualities: An independent, Roman Catholic, college preparatory day school.

Tuition: $15,475

Financial aid awarded in 2010-11: $1.7 million

Percentage of minority students: 18

Curriculum: College prep

Average class size: 18

Average teacher experience: 20 years of experience, advanced degrees held by 77 percent of faculty.

Total number of teachers/administrators: 90/14

2010 Average SAT score: 1720-2040

Percentage of seniors to graduate in 2010 and go to college: 100 percent

Advanced Placement classes offered: 19

Athletic teams: 72

International travel opportunities: Yes

Championships: Cross country (2010), girls swimming (2011), baseball (2010), softball (2009). Academic Team finished second in the state in 2010. Debate team won the 2009 and 2010 4-A State Championships. Marist student Julia Denniss won the 2010 state spelling bee and went on to the national competition where she made it to the sixth round of semifinals.

Famous alumni: Bret Baier, class of 1988, anchor of Fox News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier;" Ernie Johnson, class of ’74, sportscaster for Turner Sports

St. Pius X Catholic High School

County: DeKalb

Website: www.spx.org

Enrollment: 1080

Tuition: $10,800

Financial aid awarded in 2010-11: $696,410

Percentage of minority students: 21 percent

Curriculum characteristics: College prep

Average class size: 23

Average teacher experience: 17.9  years with a master’s degree or higher

Total number of teachers/administrators: 96 teachers; 8 administrators

2010 Average SAT score: 1790

Percentage of seniors to graduate in 2010 and go to college: 100 percent and 99 percent (265 Graduates)

Advanced Placement classes offered: 21

Athletic teams: 21

International travel opportunities: Yes

Championships: Girls soccer: 2009 national champions and 2009 and 2010 state champions; Boys cross country: 2010 state champions; Girls tennis 2010 state champions; computer science team won state championship.

Famous alumni:Richard Armitage, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State; Michael Messner, partner in Seminole Capital, a  New York investment firm

Atlanta Girls’ School

County: Fulton

Website: www.atlantagirlsschool.org

Enrollment: 220

Financial aid awarded in 2010-11: 17 percent of budget; 34 percent receive some level of aid

Tuition: $18,300

Percentage of minority students: 46 percent

Curriculum characteristics: College preparatory with emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math.

Average class size: 16 in Middle School; 11 in Upper School

Average teacher experience: 11 years plus bachelor's degree or equivalent and master's degree or equivalent

Total number of teachers/administrators: 49

2010 Average SAT score: 1800

Percentage of seniors to graduate and go to college in 2010: 100 percent

Advanced Placement classes offered: 9

Athletic teams:11

International travel opportunities: Yes

Championships: Top vocalist in the state for last two years;

Famous alumni:Hannah Salwen, co-author of "The Power of Half," and Glamour Amazing Young Woman of 2010

Ron Clark Academy

County: Fulton

Website: www.ronclarkacademy.com

Enrollment: 100 (middle school)

Tuition: $18,000

Financial aid awarded in 2010-11: Amount: $1.5 million

Percentage of minority students: 98 percent

Curriculum characteristics: Advanced (2 grade levels above Georgia Curriculum Standards)

Average class size: 15-30

Average teacher experience: 13.5 years plus masters degree

Total number of teachers/administrators: 8

Athletic teams: 3

International travel opportunities: Yes

Notre Dame Academy

County: Gwinnett

Website: www.ndacademy.org

Enrollment: 452

Curriculum characteristics: International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme taught to Pre-K3 through 5th Grade; high school preparatory program using block scheduling taught to 6th through 8th Grade

Average class size: 20 with 14 in Pre-K3 and 18 in Pre-K4.

Average teacher experience:11 years with over half holding a masters degree

Total number of teachers/administrators: 44

Tuition: $2,315 -- $11,445

Financial aid awarded in 2010-11: 4 percent of annual budget

Athletic teams: 7

International travel opportunities: Yes

Blessed Trinity Catholic High School

County: Fulton

Website: www.btcatholic.org

Enrollment: 935, grades 9-12

Tuition: $10,500

Financial aid awarded in 2010-11: about $900,000

Percentage of minority students: 11 percent

Curriculum characteristics: College prep with A/B block schedule where students take eight 90-minute classes, four a day over a two day period.

Average class size: 21

Average teacher experience: 13 years experience; 41 with master's degrees; 36 with bachelor's degrees

Total number of teachers/administrators: 79

2010 Average SAT score:  Would not disclose

Percentage of seniors to graduate in 2010 and go to college: 100 percent

Advanced Placement classes offered: 22

Athletic teams: 22

International travel opportunities: Yes

Championships: State 2-A champions in 2010-11 in Volleyball; 2009-10 champions in girls' tennis; 2008-09 academic team state 2A champions

Paideia School

County: DeKalb

Website: www.paideiaschool.org

Enrollment: 960

Tuition: $10,962-$19,764

Financial aid awarded in 2010-11: $1.9 million 

Percentage of minority students: 28 percent

2010 Average SAT score: Would not disclose

Percentage of seniors to graduate in 2010 and go to college: 100 percent

Athletic teams: 10 sports programs.

Championships: Academic Bowl state champions 2006, 2008, 2009; Girls national ultimate champions 2008 and 2009.

International travel opportunities: Yes

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