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Old 02-01-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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could someone give me an honest opinion of the differences between the 3 private schools in Buckhead (westminister,pace and lovett)? Thanks
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:22 PM
 
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Well they are only 3 of about 10 in that area, what specifically are you looking to know? Atlanta magazine this month has a good comparison.
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Old 02-01-2008, 05:04 PM
 
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That is such a tough question to answer because each person is looking for something different in a private school. As the person above mentioned, what exactly are you looking to know? Types of kids, families, academics, sports, class sizes, facilites, etc.? Also, you need to find the school that best fits your child and you.... there is not one "best" school for all kids. It is a matter of finding the best match for you and your family. I cannot speak to the differences among the three schools that you mentioned. However, if you are seriously thinking about private school, it probably makes sense for you to visit each one (Open Houses have already started) and see what you think

Just my 2 cents, but I thought Westminster was extremely snobby (the actual admissions staff - no opinion on the families/students who attend there).

Blackrabbit, which issue of Atlanta magazine has the private school info? Thank you!

Last edited by kagmypts; 02-01-2008 at 06:40 PM..
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Old 02-01-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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I am looking as an elementary school teacher and would be interested from a faculty member's point of view.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:31 PM
 
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Some of the traits I am looking for:
A traditional education as opposed to progressive
Small classes
Goes all the way to 12th grade
Has a strong sense of community.
I am also looking at where seniors went to college
Nurturing to kids in the lower grades
Up to date campus and facilities
Has strong athletic AND ART PROGRAM (sometimes forgotten)
Does not forget the importance of teaching kids to be kind and respectful.

Does that help?
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:50 AM
 
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I think that all three of those fit your requirements pretty well.

I cannot speak to community question and I think each families experience varies on this one by the activities they are involved in inside and outside the school. I think one family may love a school while another make think it is snooty and move their children. (I see or hear of this all the time.) One families heaven may be another's h*ll.

Small class size (which most view as a positive) can be a negative if your child fails to find friends. I have one child in a private school (not one of the ones you mentioned) and looking at the size of the grade was very important to me. We preferred a larger school that still has small class size within the grade levels.

The college question is an interesting one. The South is different from the NE. (I also have a high school student so I have become more and more aware of this.) First, let me say, that many people elect to send their kids to private school for reasons that are different than in the NE -- while quality of education is a factor for some, for others it is for social reasons, family history reasons, etc. Harvard isn't on these families' radar screens, even at the top private schools. Many southerners have intense loyalty to their alma maters and that flows into their children. I have one friend whose child went to Westminster for 13 years and is at Ole Miss. I am amazed at the number of really bright capable children (in both public and private school) I know who don't want to go more than driving distance from home. On top of that, if you stay in state in GA and had decent grades in high school, undergraduate is free. (Google the Hope Scholarship for more information.) For families who have been paying tuition for 13 years, this can be a real relief. (Keep in mind that both UGA and GATech have good to great reputations and are only improving because of the calibre of students who choose to stay in state to attend.)

That said, all those schools can help your child get into whatever college she (or you) aspires to. They have excellent guidance staffs and will help your family through the process. My high schooler is in public school and this is much less true (much larger case loads). However, for far less than private school tuition, we can hire a private counselor to do the same, if we feel we need to. Many of the schools you list actually do college visit trips. If you aspire Ivy League, the only negative may be that number of students from the relatively small class that have the same aspirations. Harvard is unlikely to accept everyone that applies from Westminster, for example.

Here are the list of from the schools you are asking about -- where last years seniors are at college.

http://www.lovett.org/parents/07Colleges.pdf (broken link)
The Westminster Schools: Admissions Frequently Asked Questions (http://www.westminster.net/admissions/faq.asp - broken link) (you may have to click on the question for this one --where to W students attend college)
Pace Academy: College Profile (http://www.paceacademy.org/page.cfm?p=268 - broken link) (scroll to the bottom)
Woodward Academy Academic Profile (you may have to click on something on this one as well)

Pace only gives a list of acceptances. Be wary of this kind of list -- the other two give matriculations. This is important because 1 student can be accepted into 7 top schools while no one else is. Matriculations give you a better picture.

Given your requirements, I would add Woodward to the list -- we were there last night for an athletic competition and it is a gorgeous campus. There are lots of Buckhead families there and people do love it.

I wouldn't consider Galloway or Paideia if I were you. While I think they have great communities, they probably aren't traditional enough for you.

Have you researched the admissions process yet?
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:53 PM
 
351 posts, read 1,295,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastminutemom View Post
I think that all three of those fit your requirements pretty well.

I cannot speak to community question and I think each families experience varies on this one by the activities they are involved in inside and outside the school. I think one family may love a school while another make think it is snooty and move their children. (I see or hear of this all the time.) One families heaven may be another's h*ll.

Small class size (which most view as a positive) can be a negative if your child fails to find friends. I have one child in a private school (not one of the ones you mentioned) and looking at the size of the grade was very important to me. We preferred a larger school that still has small class size within the grade levels.

The college question is an interesting one. The South is different from the NE. (I also have a high school student so I have become more and more aware of this.) First, let me say, that many people elect to send their kids to private school for reasons that are different than in the NE -- while quality of education is a factor for some, for others it is for social reasons, family history reasons, etc. Harvard isn't on these families' radar screens, even at the top private schools. Many southerners have intense loyalty to their alma maters and that flows into their children. I have one friend whose child went to Westminster for 13 years and is at Ole Miss. I am amazed at the number of really bright capable children (in both public and private school) I know who don't want to go more than driving distance from home. On top of that, if you stay in state in GA and had decent grades in high school, undergraduate is free. (Google the Hope Scholarship for more information.) For families who have been paying tuition for 13 years, this can be a real relief. (Keep in mind that both UGA and GATech have good to great reputations and are only improving because of the calibre of students who choose to stay in state to attend.)

That said, all those schools can help your child get into whatever college she (or you) aspires to. They have excellent guidance staffs and will help your family through the process. My high schooler is in public school and this is much less true (much larger case loads). However, for far less than private school tuition, we can hire a private counselor to do the same, if we feel we need to. Many of the schools you list actually do college visit trips. If you aspire Ivy League, the only negative may be that number of students from the relatively small class that have the same aspirations. Harvard is unlikely to accept everyone that applies from Westminster, for example.

Here are the list of from the schools you are asking about -- where last years seniors are at college.

http://www.lovett.org/parents/07Colleges.pdf (broken link)
The Westminster Schools: Admissions Frequently Asked Questions (http://www.westminster.net/admissions/faq.asp - broken link) (you may have to click on the question for this one --where to W students attend college)
Pace Academy: College Profile (http://www.paceacademy.org/page.cfm?p=268 - broken link) (scroll to the bottom)
Woodward Academy Academic Profile (you may have to click on something on this one as well)

Pace only gives a list of acceptances. Be wary of this kind of list -- the other two give matriculations. This is important because 1 student can be accepted into 7 top schools while no one else is. Matriculations give you a better picture.

Given your requirements, I would add Woodward to the list -- we were there last night for an athletic competition and it is a gorgeous campus. There are lots of Buckhead families there and people do love it.

I wouldn't consider Galloway or Paideia if I were you. While I think they have great communities, they probably aren't traditional enough for you.

Have you researched the admissions process yet?
Very well written. We have our two kids at another (unmentioned) private school in this area for many of the reasons stated and what Ivy League college our kids go to is not that high on the list. We also did not want a school that held athletics in super high regard (that dropped a lot of our list ) and wanted one that respected intellect, the arts and culture more than how far someone can throw a ball. I remember going to one school open day (again) not on the list and literally 75% of the tour was telling us how great their athletics were.

Another thing to think about is how much money do you have? In some private schools the fees are only the beginning of the financial cost...................certain schools who will never stop asking for more cash and just a 10% donation is frowned upon.
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:54 PM
 
351 posts, read 1,295,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kagmypts View Post

Blackrabbit, which issue of Atlanta magazine has the private school info? Thank you!
I think this months I just saw it in Barnes and Noble.
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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That is strange these children and their parents do not strive to go to ivy league schools after all the money spent on a private school education. Also, it is like throwing a deck chair off the Queen Mary if after investing that kind of money, you now want to save money at the college level. In NY and most of the North East there is a much different mind set. In terms of ivy league aspirations, I have to disagree with on the small class theory. At my child's present school the senior class was 49 students and at least 10 of them went on to ivy league schools. I think it really depends on the applicant not the percentage they take from a particular school. And lets be honest it is so difficult to get into these top schools now.
In terms of the application process, the real estate agent we are working with has set us up with an educational consultant, so I am thinking she can help. Having been through this difficult process before in NY, I also believe that the school has to right for the child and everyone is different. So we will see... Thanks for your help!
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:58 PM
 
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Quote:
do not strive to go to ivy league schools
It depends on what the kids want to do for a living. Ivy League doesn't have the best answers to ALL professions.

This is probably more applicable to graduate degrees than undergraduate but if I were interested in mathematics and I new better (I am and I didn't when I was in school) I would go to MIT or GATech. Texas A&M, Berkely. Harvard and Princeton have good Math program, too, but they're not given any more weight than MIT or GATech *for that degree* so choosing them over MIT or GATech because of Ivy League status doesn't make sense.

For Exercise Physiology, UGA is one of the top 5 programs.

Now, my cousins (I have 8 in that one very wealthy side of the family - old money Catholics) all went to Ivy League. The only one working for a living is a nurse. The others just married into more money. Don't get me wrong - these are super nice people and don't put on any attitude of snobbery. It's only that if someone is going to actually work for a living they should go to school that has the best programs in their field of interest - that's not always Ivy League.
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