Savannah: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools system consists of 49 schools and 9 educational centers educating 36,000 students, and featuring outstanding curricula as well as a number of special programs for students from K-12. The Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools Academy Programs (formerly the Magnet program) offer students the opportunity to pursue specialized courses of study. The system also offers Select Schools, a group of four schools with one or more special features, as well as majority-to-minority transfers. Other special programs include the Business, Legal, and Financial Academy at Savannah High, which provides practical working experience; the Performing Arts Academy at Savannah High, which requires auditions for acceptance; and special elementary school programs that focus on the cultures of the world, interdisciplinary instruction through modern technology, computer expertise, and music. A Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools' construction program, with projects totaling $221 million, resulted in the opening of 13 new schools between 1996 and 2003.

In the state of Georgia, any student who graduates from high school with at least a B average is eligible for free college tuition and a book allowance at any of the state's public colleges, universities or technical colleges. Those who choose a private college in Georgia get a $3,000 grant. The scholarship and grant program is called HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally).

The following is a summary of data regarding Savannah-Chatham County public schools as of the 2003-2004 school year.

Total enrollment: 34,554

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 31

junior high/middle schools: 11

senior high schools: 7

other: 9 educational centers

Student/teacher ratio: 14:1

Teacher salaries

average: $43,000

Funding per pupil: $7,272

Private schools in Savannah include Benedictine Military School, Bible Baptist Day School, Blessed Sacrament School, Calvary Baptist Day School, Hancock Day School, Memorial Day School, Notre Dame Academy, Providence Christian School, Ramah Junior Academy, Rambam Day School, St. Andrew's School, St. James Catholic School, St. Michael's Catholic School, St. Peter the Apostle, St. Vincent's Academy, Savannah Christian Preparatory School, Savannah Country Day School, and Urban Christian Academy.

Public Schools Information: Marketing Services Department, Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, 208 Bull Street, Room 204, Savannah, GA 31401; telephone (912)651-5685

Colleges and Universities

Savannah State University, part of the University System of Georgia, enrolls more than 2,700 students and offers bachelor's degrees through its schools of humanities and social sciences, business, and sciences and technology. Master's degrees can be earned in business administration, public administration, and social work. Armstrong Atlantic State University enrolls more than 6,000 students and offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degrees in arts and sciences, health professions, and education. A new 84,000-square-foot building houses the university's Criminal Justice Training Center.

One of the largest art and design schools in the country, Savannah College of Art and Design offers bachelor and master of fine arts programs and graduate courses in architecture. Founded in 1993, the School of Visual Arts/Savannah, part of the School of Visual Arts/New York, awards bachelor's degrees in arts, computer graphics, sculpture, and other arts-related disciplines. South University, whose main campus is on Mall Blvd. in the heart of the Southside offers bachelor's, masters's and doctoral degrees. Savannah Technical College offers job training and skills in more than 50 certificate, professional, diploma, and associate degree programs. The Coastal Georgia Center for Continuing Education provides adult continuing education. Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, 50 miles from Savannah, enrolls 15,075 students.

Brewton-Parker College offers bachelor's degrees as well as evening courses for students employed full-time. The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is located on the Hunter Army Airfield and offers courses in aviation-related fields. Online as well as campus-based courses are offered at Saint Leo University's Savannah center.

Libraries and Research Centers

Savannah's Live Oak Public Libraries serve Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties. It has 19 branches and one bookmobile. The library has more than 500,000 volumes and makes available thousands of periodicals, records, cassettes, compact discs and videocassettes, CD-ROM resources, and special collections on local history. The library also offers access to state-of-the-art computerized indexes, on-line information services, and the Internet. Other libraries in the area include college-related and medical libraries, a municipal research library, the Georgia Historical Society Library and other historical libraries, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography Library, and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers technical library.

Marine research is conducted at the University of Georgia and at Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. At Herty Foundation Research and Development Center, fibrous materials are studied. Armstrong Research Institute assists industry with problems in engineering, chemistry, mechanics, and other technical areas. The Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory are science and technology centers.

Public Library Information: Chatham-Effingham-Liberty Regional Library, 2002 Bull Street, Savannah, GA 31401; telephone (912)652-3600