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Old 01-23-2019, 12:01 AM
 
7 posts, read 873 times
Reputation: 10

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By way of quick background, wife and I (native Georgians) with our 4 and 6 year old (rising K and 2nd) are planning to relocate back to Atlanta from out of state in the next few months (pretty set on ITP, most likely Buckhead, Midtown, Sandy Springs, maybe Decatur/Druid Hills/that corner of Dekalb).

We're navigating the private school application process from afar to have options open, but not 100% set on private - we'd be open to top tier public if they fit the bill; there's an outside chance we'd be in the area in time to apply for charter lotteries too, but know that competition is strong enough there that we can't count on those options.

To cut to the chase - based on our own career and educational experience, my wife and I are both cynical at best about excessive technology or screen time in the classroom. For instance, Westminster brags about being an "Apple Distinguished School". That's not a selling point for us.

At the same time, despite it's being closer to what we're looking for on the tech side, a Waldorf isn't really our thing for all the other reasons that make Waldorf not the best fit for lots of people.

In short - what schools (private or public) should we be looking at that (ideally) provide a more mainstream/normal education, big enough to have a good spread of athletics, extracurriculars, and course options, but doing so with limited technology integration?

In other words, technology as a necessary evil, not the end-all-be-all.

The websites and marketing across the board for everyone other than Waldorf and Montessori (from Westminster to Paideia and everything in between) seems to be competing on who can give the kid his own screen earlier.

Is that really how it is in practice? We're looking most closely at Pace, Galloway, and AIS at this point. Which of those are closest to what we're aiming for? Should we be looking at others too? Elementary only (i.e. Trinity)? How about the publics (primarily looking at Brandon, Jackson, Morningside)?

We recognize deadlines have started to hit; for purposes of discussion here, lets pretend that everything is on the table.

Appreciate any insights - thanks!
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:06 AM
 
130 posts, read 73,854 times
Reputation: 256
Just saying I agree with you. If I were a parent, I would honestly go with the school that had the least amount of technology. Kids have plenty of time to learn how to use an IPAD and tap icons on a screen. I would prefer that they read actual books, and learn how to write a proper paper or letter with their hands. Ask a current HS senior to write a paper where there is no spelling or grammar check and it's shocking.
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:31 AM
 
2,914 posts, read 6,344,875 times
Reputation: 5280
For all the reasons that you mentioned, this will be difficult to determine without spending some time in the schools and talking to parents with kids who are currently at that school. I agree that the top-tier privates all seem to think that touting their early tech immersion and constant access to a device is a major selling feature and that no school wants to be the one who steps out and says "we use technology in a more moderate fashion", but I'm sure that there are some differences between how prevalent that technology really is in the classrooms.

Go visit, ask lots of questions, don't be afraid to be that one in the group tour that voices some concern.
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
1,926 posts, read 4,635,009 times
Reputation: 2078
Just know that if you do intend to apply to the private schools, you'd better hop on that pronto. Testing deadlines for JATP are in just a couple of weeks for most of the schools.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:43 AM
 
7 posts, read 873 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by CMMom View Post
Just know that if you do intend to apply to the private schools, you'd better hop on that pronto. Testing deadlines for JATP are in just a couple of weeks for most of the schools.
We've already done testing from afar (with results such that I expect we'll be offered admission to any school to which we apply; have applications underway pretty much everywhere as we speak - just haven't pulled the trigger on them).
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:48 AM
 
7 posts, read 873 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetreelover View Post
For all the reasons that you mentioned, this will be difficult to determine without spending some time in the schools and talking to parents with kids who are currently at that school. I agree that the top-tier privates all seem to think that touting their early tech immersion and constant access to a device is a major selling feature and that no school wants to be the one who steps out and says "we use technology in a more moderate fashion", but I'm sure that there are some differences between how prevalent that technology really is in the classrooms.

Go visit, ask lots of questions, don't be afraid to be that one in the group tour that voices some concern.
I've got a few phone calls scheduled with admission folks; agree 100% that an in person visit is a requirement (before enrolling at the very least, if not before). The trick is that given our circumstances (being remote - either an all day drive or a 2 hour flight), we'll most likely need to pull the trigger on applying to some/nearly all of the schools we want to have on the table before we're able to visit them.

Hoping to get at least a little insight from parents at some of these spots here (particularly those that aren't the go-to's for the admissions folks - some independent perspective, as it were).
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
1,926 posts, read 4,635,009 times
Reputation: 2078
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyJayATL View Post
We've already done testing from afar (with results such that I expect we'll be offered admission to any school to which we apply; have applications underway pretty much everywhere as we speak - just haven't pulled the trigger on them).
Just FYI; your older child is not testing for an expansion year (2nd grade). The only openings will be due to attrition, so don't get overly confident. If there are no openings, there will be no offer even if your child is Albert Einstein. Have your Plan B ready.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:53 AM
 
234 posts, read 101,247 times
Reputation: 534
This probably wouldn't work for private schools for to their smaller size, but for public schools, go to the district website and find the technology department employees. Try calling the director, or even contacting one of the technology support specialists assigned to the school you are interested in. They are in the schools and in the classrooms while the teachers are teaching, keeping all the "apple distinguished" (or Dell, etc) products up and running for the teachers and students.

I bet they would give you honest feedback about what technology is used, how often, beginning when, etc.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:54 PM
 
2,158 posts, read 505,856 times
Reputation: 2398
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyJayATL View Post
By way of quick background, wife and I (native Georgians) with our 4 and 6 year old (rising K and 2nd) are planning to relocate back to Atlanta from out of state in the next few months (pretty set on ITP, most likely Buckhead, Midtown, Sandy Springs, maybe Decatur/Druid Hills/that corner of Dekalb).

We're navigating the private school application process from afar to have options open, but not 100% set on private - we'd be open to top tier public if they fit the bill; there's an outside chance we'd be in the area in time to apply for charter lotteries too, but know that competition is strong enough there that we can't count on those options.

To cut to the chase - based on our own career and educational experience, my wife and I are both cynical at best about excessive technology or screen time in the classroom. For instance, Westminster brags about being an "Apple Distinguished School". That's not a selling point for us.

At the same time, despite it's being closer to what we're looking for on the tech side, a Waldorf isn't really our thing for all the other reasons that make Waldorf not the best fit for lots of people.

In short - what schools (private or public) should we be looking at that (ideally) provide a more mainstream/normal education, big enough to have a good spread of athletics, extracurriculars, and course options, but doing so with limited technology integration?

In other words, technology as a necessary evil, not the end-all-be-all.

The websites and marketing across the board for everyone other than Waldorf and Montessori (from Westminster to Paideia and everything in between) seems to be competing on who can give the kid his own screen earlier.

Is that really how it is in practice? We're looking most closely at Pace, Galloway, and AIS at this point. Which of those are closest to what we're aiming for? Should we be looking at others too? Elementary only (i.e. Trinity)? How about the publics (primarily looking at Brandon, Jackson, Morningside)?

We recognize deadlines have started to hit; for purposes of discussion here, lets pretend that everything is on the table.

Appreciate any insights - thanks!
When you have no educational merits, pride yourself on flashy technology.
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:06 PM
 
13,130 posts, read 21,373,313 times
Reputation: 4244
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
When you have no educational merits, pride yourself on flashy technology.
This.
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