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Old 02-16-2014, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
68 posts, read 128,676 times
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I totally agree with CMMom. Trust your instincts. You know your child. You know what learning environment you want for your child. You know the classrooms you'd like your child to learn in and the tools you want them to have to learn. Following the tours, observations and open houses, you've likely seen a lot of what you'd need to know to make your decision. You may be surprised how easy it is to make the decision once you've cleared your head from any anxiety and just focused on what you want for your child. I was surprised by how I felt an immediate affinity for the school my child ultimately attended. (Surprised because my instincts are usually dormant.) Good luck to all parents applying. I hope that you all pick the right school for your child and the right school picks you!
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:31 PM
 
28,110 posts, read 24,639,595 times
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President Bush was well known for praying over things and then going with his gut. I don't recall him making too many mistakes.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:02 AM
 
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Thanks all....it is interesting the gut feeling you get from a school that may be completely different from another parent. I really like Lovett. I thought the school facilities and staff were so impressive and everything just seemed perfect. I would run to the admissions office with joy to give a deposit if that was the only place we were accepted BUT Lovett seems a little (maybe a lot?) blueblood Buckhead and very exclusive. Woodward is also a great school but is very diverse and just seemed like a regular school that also has awesome opportunities for their kids. I felt a better "fit" there. I got a great feeling from several of the schools and I think that there is definitely multiple schools that my child could excel at.
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Old 02-17-2014, 06:24 AM
 
1,683 posts, read 1,668,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chabang View Post
Thanks Lastminutemom, I think that is good advice. It seems to me most of the consultants help people with the whole process of the applying from start to finish. We are done now with everything and just awaiting word of acceptance so really what I'm looking for now is help with deciding which school to choose once we find out where we are accepted (if anywhere). When I visited the schools, they all talk about making sure the school is a good fit for your child and doing your research on the schools. Well, of course I know my child very well but even with a visit, tour and asking a few people, I know very little about what it will really be like to attend the school. They ALL sound great that I'm applying to and maybe that means my child would do well at any of them but it's very hard for me to get a read on the school. I think the most important thing to me, at least for the early years, is that the school be very nurturing and that more emphasis is placed on play-oriented learning and developing a love of learning rather than strict academics. Usually this means a smaller school with a tighter community. The ones that SEEM to be more like this are Pace, Paideia, and Trinity but I may be completely wrong about this.
Of the three schools you listed in your search for a small, nurturing school that emphasizes play-oriented learning in the younger grades, Paideia is the farthest along the continuum, Trinity is in the middle--between play-oriented and direct instruction. Pace definitely fits the bill in terms of small and nurturing, but it is squarely in the direct-instruction camp, not in the play-oriented camp. Pace's lower school is currently in a search for a new principal, however none of the 4 candidates proposed is radically different in approach to the current philosophy. That being said, I do expect--or at least hope!-- the new choice to loosen up the curriculum a bit. Still, I don't think you would be unhappy at Pace. It is a very loving, personable community. Westminster's lower school has moved in a more student-led/play-oriented direction in the last three years.

In addition, I would add Galloway, The Children's School and Springmont (formerly First Montessori) to your list. There's also a brand new school, Midtown International, that I am hearing great things about. All of these are small, nurturing and have a play-centric, student-led orientation...Maybe Mt. Vernon Presbyterian as well. . . it would be more in the middle, like a Trinity, I believe. Others may know more about it.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek area
9,555 posts, read 8,616,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chabang View Post
Thanks all....it is interesting the gut feeling you get from a school that may be completely different from another parent. I really like Lovett. I thought the school facilities and staff were so impressive and everything just seemed perfect. I would run to the admissions office with joy to give a deposit if that was the only place we were accepted BUT Lovett seems a little (maybe a lot?) blueblood Buckhead and very exclusive. Woodward is also a great school but is very diverse and just seemed like a regular school that also has awesome opportunities for their kids. I felt a better "fit" there. I got a great feeling from several of the schools and I think that there is definitely multiple schools that my child could excel at.
Go with the place your gut tells you. Woodward, while not as academically rigorous as Westminster or Pace, is nonetheless a good school.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:15 AM
 
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Interesting comment. I thought it was common knowledge that Woodward is as rigorous as Westminster and has the highest SAT/ACT scores in the city, by far?
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnsleyPark View Post
Go with the place your gut tells you. Woodward, while not as academically rigorous as Westminster or Pace, is nonetheless a good school.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:19 AM
 
1,683 posts, read 1,668,089 times
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Woodward has many top students, but it has a much broader range of students, academically speaking, than does Westminster. For example, Woodward offers the Transition Program to help LD middle schoolers mainstream into their high school.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:26 AM
 
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Interesting analogy. Similar to President Bush, prospective parents will try to figure out what is in their own best interest and follow that approach. President Bush did what was in his best interest and he (and Vice-President Cheney) are much richer men for it. LOL.

All jokes aside, at the end of the day, prayer can bring a bit of clarity to a situation for some people. Parents may need this. It can be difficult to block out the other voices and really look at what is best for your child. It's like the people who turn down the supposed end-all-be-all Westminster for Galloway or Pace or Lovett or AIS. At some point, you have to listen to your internal voice and figure out what is best for your child. For some people, that is a school other than Westminster. For others, it is Westminster. The important point is that there is a genuine focus on the gut instinct and the child when the decision is made, no matter the final decision. Schools can only extend an offer of admission but no one knows a child like his/her mother/father.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
President Bush was well known for praying over things and then going with his gut. I don't recall him making too many mistakes.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:41 AM
 
126 posts, read 206,366 times
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I was recently very surprised to see the middle school requirements for admission to Padeia, as I was browsing their website. In addition to all the usual test scores, SSAT, transcript etc, they wanted a parent interview, two essays, and a sample of a graded English paper. Seems like a difficult school to get in...even their FAQ section seemed to suggest that...
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:40 AM
 
2,599 posts, read 2,976,792 times
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Yes, I think that Paideia is really interested in assessing the way that a candidate thinks, that he/she can really think and communicate those thoughts, and that the commitment to the school will be more than just a monetary donation from the family. I think this is what paideia schools are all about in essence. Kind o like how montessori schools have their own approach. I think Paideia wants kids from families that will be *physically* involved in their school. I do like that they tend to focus on certain things that they think are important as opposed to more status quo type stuff. For example, they promote the use of recycled materials in their preschool as opposed to construction paper, and they don't require the kids to call teachers by the last name or other more formalistic approaches that really don't mean a whole heck of alot. I'd been told that the children can relax on sofa setups or sit at tables but they don't do the whole desks in a bunch of columns thing. I initially thought that was out of the ordinary. Then, I realized that it is - and it's ok. What's wrong with being comfortable while learning? Some won't get it/like it but I guess that is why there are all different types of schools.

What they do do is provide individualized instruction and multi-age classrooms. And I have heard that they do this well (although I have no real way of knowing). This appears to get at the whole point of truly meeting your child where he/she is, regardless of age. It seems like (I could be wrong) they are really getting at the pursuit of knowledge and thought and leaving alot of the other formalism stuff to the side. I have alot of respect for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snsh5713 View Post
I was recently very surprised to see the middle school requirements for admission to Padeia, as I was browsing their website. In addition to all the usual test scores, SSAT, transcript etc, they wanted a parent interview, two essays, and a sample of a graded English paper. Seems like a difficult school to get in...even their FAQ section seemed to suggest that...
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