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Old 05-21-2007, 05:26 PM
 
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I have been away and just catching up on the posts. Thanks to all for the great information. I will be researching each one of the links provided.
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Old 05-26-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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I so appreciate the information shared by the poster. I am looking to move to the East Cobb area from Gwinnett Co. I am very dissatisfied with the schools in our cluster. So much so that I have my youngest (7) in a private school so she learns her fundamentals in an environment that works for me. I'd like to know one thing...I have heard nothing about after school programs. I work in the Downtown ATL area and my husband works in the Midtown/Buckhead area. We will no doubt need after school care for our second grader. Any advice, suggestions or recommendations are welcome. Based on the home we are looking at, we will be in the Kincaid/Sprayberry school cluster.
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Old 05-26-2007, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Atlanta/DC
563 posts, read 2,773,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErynnsMommi View Post
I so appreciate the information shared by the poster. I am looking to move to the East Cobb area from Gwinnett Co. I am very dissatisfied with the schools in our cluster. So much so that I have my youngest (7) in a private school so she learns her fundamentals in an environment that works for me. I'd like to know one thing...I have heard nothing about after school programs. I work in the Downtown ATL area and my husband works in the Midtown/Buckhead area. We will no doubt need after school care for our second grader. Any advice, suggestions or recommendations are welcome. Based on the home we are looking at, we will be in the Kincaid/Sprayberry school cluster.

Most, if not all Cobb elementary schools have an after-school care program. I looked at the website of the school your daughter may potentially attend: click here (http://www.cobbk12.org/~kincaid/ - broken link) , and sure enough, they have an after-school care program. When you go to the site, click on "information" to learn more.
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Old 06-07-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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Default East Cobb Schools

I have been reading all of these posts and feel that I have to add some information about Wheeler since I have 1 child who graduated from Wheeler and 2 that attend now. My son that graduated in 2006 now attends MIT. Take it from someone who knows, the Magnet program at Wheeler IS "that great". All 3 of my children made the decision to attend the Wheeler Magnet program instead of going to their districted school, Pope. Pope is a great school too. It's just that my kids are very interested in Math & Science. The Magnet program offers post AP science and math classes that are not offered at any other high school in Cobb County. The Center for Advanced Studies at Wheeler High School has received national recognition and families are choosing to relocate to Atlanta in order to take advantage of this rigorous public education option. Current students come from public, private and homeschool backgrounds. They come from almost all of the Cobb County high schools, yes even Walton.

The Magnet program has been in existence since 1999. In that time, 33 students have scored a perfect 800 on 1 or more sections of the SAT. The average composite SAT score for the Class of 2007 was 1950 (out of a possible 2400). Graduates are attending MIT, Yale, Julliard, Harvard, Brown, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Georgia Tech, Washington University, U Penn ... you can see more on the matriculation page of their website at Wheeler Center for Advanced Studies.

The school is very diverse; Wheeler welcomes students from over 50 countries. This only adds to the rich culture and welcoming attitude at the school. 90% of the students participate in extracurricular activities. From the nationally ranked basketball team, regional champion football team, to the state champion debate team, award winning math team, science olympiad team and nationally renowned robotics team, Wheeler is highly competitive.

Individually, students have received national recognition in prestigious science competitions including semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search, semifinalist and finalist in the Siemens Westinghouse Science Competitions, and semifinalists in the Young Epidemiology Scholars Competition, just to name a few.

The Magnet program at Wheeler has been and still is a wonderful experience for my children, it is definitely worth looking into.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:43 PM
 
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Default Wheeler High School

I certainly agree with Just Visiting. My children chose to attend Wheeler, leave their home school and are part of the magnet program in Math, Science and Technology. The magnet is very competitive, the largest, and we think most successful in Cobb County. We have kids transfer to Wheeler from many of the major private schools, like Westminster, Walker and the Epstein School and ALL of the neighboring East Cobb High Schools, including Walton, Pope and Lassiter.

However, the other academic departments at Wheeler are extremely strong too. My children also participate in orchestra, which consistently receives superior ratings in adjudicated events.
Wheeler was also recently named in the top 5% of high schools in America by Newsweek Magazine. We were one of only two Cobb High Schools to be in the the top 1000.

Wheeler offers many opportunities for students not found at other high schools. Senior Projects and Internship and Research get students involved in actual hard data research in places like the Centers for Disease Control, Georgia Tech, Emory, engineering firms, doctor's offices, hospitals, just to name a few. My daughter conducted brain tumor research at Emory for one of her two internships at Wheeler. Other students have done equally as significant research, including breast and other forms of cancer research, during their high school career at Wheeler. Students who have interned at Georgia Tech have also conducted significant research in physics and other hard sciences.

One of the best aspects of Wheeler is the positive attitudes of teachers and administrators. They are extremely open and always willing to listen to ideas and suggestions. Parents at Wheeler are considered true partners. We are a part of the Wheeler Family and that makes a huge difference in the entire school atmosphere.

Yes, Wheeler is very diverse. So is the real world. Wheeler does a great job of meeting the very diverse needs of the students. No East Cobb high school has the range of diversity at Wheeler. When you can be successful with kids who don't have all the advantages in and out of school as well as with kids who do, THEN you can call yourself a GREAT high school. Wheeler does just that. We would not choose to be at any other East Cobb high school.
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:10 PM
 
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Question Non-Magnet Wheeler Classes and Students

[quote=wheelermom;849062]I certainly agree with Just Visiting. My children chose to attend Wheeler, leave their home school and are part of the magnet program in Math, Science and Technology.

Questions: What is required to enter the magnet program at Wheeler? Do you have feedback on the students not in the magnet program? What are classes and student grades for students not in the magnet program at Wheeler?

Thanks
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Old 06-10-2007, 07:19 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,331 times
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Default Wheeler

To get into the Magnet program, you fill out an application and take an admissions test. They have an open house each year in November, that tells all about the program and admissions process.

If a student doesn't get into the magnet program freshman year, and they are Wheeler students, they can still take magnet classes if room is available and they have met the prerequisites. Students are allowed to transfer into the program sophomore and possibly junior year.

Wheeler offers 18-20 AP classes each year. The number of students taking the AP classes is what got them the Newsweek ranking of the top 5% in the country. There are also a lot of honors classes available and the magnet offers post-AP classes in Chemistry (Chemical engineering), Biology, and Physics (Robotics). Also they offer Georgia Tech Calculus I & II that is taught via video conferencing.

The most recent SAT scores that I could find on Wheeler's website are for 04-05. The average was 1071 (out of 1600). Cobb's average for the same year was 1047.
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Old 06-10-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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Default Wheeler-Non Magnet

My child just finished Freshman year at Wheeler in the NON-Magnet program. He had been in private schools all his life, so I was hesitant about sending him to Wheeler. (Math is not his thing, so I didn't bother with Magnet.)

I don't have enough good things to say about Wheeler NON-Magnet. The teachers have been absolutely incredible. All our years in private school, I've never encountered such helpful, responsive, and awesome teachers as we encountered at Wheeler.
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:30 AM
 
15 posts, read 71,473 times
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Default great info

Thanks for the great information!
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:26 PM
 
2 posts, read 13,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GF72 View Post
Best Middle Schools in Atlanta
Best High Schools in Atlanta
Best Elem.-Middle-High Systems in Atlanta
Map of high school districts (broken link)
Map of middle school districts (broken link)

Those lists are just for reference, since they are lists they can't explain things to you. But I live in East Cobb and know the schools really well.

The best high schools are Walton, Lassiter, and Pope. The best middle schools are Dickerson, Dodgen, Hightower Trail, Simpson, and Mabry. Any combination of these schools is a winning choice. Note that there's a typo on the list, Durham Middle School is not in East Cobb, in fact it's really far away in Acworth.

Walton, Pope, and Lassiter serve only East Cobb. Sprayberry and Wheeler are both physically located in East Cobb (close to the western edge though), however these schools serve many different areas. The Sprayberry school district serves part of East Cobb as well as unincorporated parts of Kennesaw and north Marietta, including most of the Town Center retail/apartment district. Wheeler serves part of East Cobb, unincorporated eastern Marietta, and most of the Cumberland business district, which is a large office/retail district with a skyline of office towers where a HUGE amount of people work. It's one of the five employment hubs of Atlanta (the others are Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, and Perimeter). About 100,000 people live in Cumberland, most of whom have no older children or any children at all. It's the most city-like place in Cobb County (though still not urban).

This zoning is the chief reason Sprayberry and Wheeler are viewed as average schools. Walton, Lassiter, and Pope serve a residential, almost completely single-family house area. The main reason these schools do well is because the area is wealthy and people move there specifically to send their kids to the best schools, so these three schools have slowly grown in excellence and continue to do so. Sprayberry and Wheeler have very mixed demographics compared to the other three schools, in terms of family income and also how settled down the families are, resulting in your average American high schools. Definitely not bad, but not exceptional.

Out of the three you noted, Mabry/Lassiter is definitely the best. Sprayberry and Wheeler are very similar, but Simpson is a far better middle school than East Cobb. In fact, East Cobb Middle is easily the worst middle school in the whole area (east of I-75).

Wheeler Magnet is not that great in the first place, and Wheeler High School for students not in the Magnet is a very average high school. I know a girl who went to Wheeler Magnet for 2 years but transferred to Walton (where she actually lives) because she hated Wheeler Magnet so much. She graduated from Walton and went to Northwestern.

Sprayberry is your average high school in every way. They even have security guards and hall monitors (these ideas are unthinkable at, for example, Walton, where security is of practically no concern and students can walk around whenever they want without consequence). I know several people well who went to Sprayberry, and they all went to Georgia Tech afterwards. They were however among the best in the school, and good students are going to do well regardless of what school you put them in.

Pope and Lassiter are both above-average high schools. Lassiter has one of the absolute best music programs in the country. These are both highly recommend schools.

Walton on the other hand is a very unique school. It is the best school out of the group, and probably the entire state. Walton excels in pretty much everything (sports, academics, music), and parents specifically move to this district to send their kids to Walton, more than any other place in the area. This part of East Cobb used to be be a conservative old-Georgia Republican type of area, but that is changing as there are tons of transplants now from other parts of the country and state. Walton also resembles a private school in many ways. Walton has its own special charter (which it gets to have only if 99% of Walton parents vote to keep it, which is done every 4 years). This charter allows Walton to pretty much have its own rules and transcend Cobb County regulations. Walton parents are also more involved than any of the other schools. Walton extracurricular activities like sports and music are all top-ranked, mostly because parents push their kids and also because parents pour lots of their own money into the school. Walton gets the same amount of funding as the other schools but spends far more, mostly from donations from parents and local businesses. The marching band alone spends something like $100,000 more per year than what the county gives them.

However, Walton is extremely packed. The school is practically overflowing with kids and is constantly expanding. The school buildings themselves is also not that nice, very average. However, many of the sports fields and things like that are very nice because the parents pay for them. Houses in the Walton district have practically unfair prices compared to other parts of the county, simply for being in the district. It's an expensive place to live which is the biggest downside. Pope is also very expensive. Lassiter is probably the best value.

Keep in mind that a good student is going to do well regardless of the schools. However good schools can be a big help to students. However, there's one thing that bears mention. Walton is not a friendly school for average students. Walton caters to its best students (which is a good 200 to 300 students out of the 600-700 per grade). A student with a 4.0 GPA will not even be in the top 100 of the class at Walton. Walton is a really split school: you have the 400 kids in the grade who take all regular classes, are not really payed attention too, and most of these end up in your average universities, mostly in Georgia because of HOPE (which practically every in Walton will get). Then you have the 200 kids in the grade who take nothing but college level classes, have 4.0 and higher GPA's, get ridiculous SAT scores, are taught by the best teachers at Walton (the AP teachers, most of whom are more than qualified to be excellent professors), and all of these kids will go either to GA Tech, Emory, UGA, or high ranked schools in the north and California. Only students at Walton can really tell you this, but Walton students are treated differently and have very different experiences based on if they are in the "regular" or "AP" group of the student body.

This is a lot of information, but I'm telling you this because everyone likes to say Walton is so great (and it is), but Walton is a very specific place and not for everyone, and most average students actually dislike the school, though most high-achieving students, of which there are a lot, really love it.

Pope and Lassiter on the other hand, don't really have this unique situation. They are simply good schools with nothing really weird to comment about.

Since you mention graduation and colleges... kids from Sprayberry and Wheeler tend to go to "worse" colleges, but like I said before a good student will still be a good student. Around 10 to 15 students from Sprayberry go to GA Tech per year for example, compared to at least 50+ per year from Walton or Pope. The number would be over 100 per year from Walton if students did not leave the state for college.

As for the middle schools.... it really doesn't matter. They are all fine. Dickerson is perhaps unnaturally ahead in math classes offered because of its connection to Walton (it is not uncommon for 9th/10th graders at Walton to take college level Calculus courses), but they are really all the same. Mabry, Simpson, Hightower Trail, Dodgen, Dickerson are great. Daniell and McClesky are pretty good. Avoid East Cobb Middle School. (note that a large part of McClesky students go to Kell High School, which is a rather bad school, but some go to Sprayberry and Lassiter I believe)

I've been rambling on, mostly because I'm bored, but I guess some of this information will be useful to you.
Thank you so much for the notes you provided on this thread. I am considering moving to EC and I am at a loss at what to do. I a bit ovewhealmed with the size of some of these elementary schools!

My predicament:
1. Provide better education.
2. Shorten my commute (Buckhead).

We were considering the Walton district, but I am not sure if it is the best thing. I have three kids (one of which has autism) which are going to be heading to elementary. I want to find a special needs friendly school for my son. I can't find info on the threads or website about special needs program anywhere. We are thinking about:
1. Sope
2. M. Bethel
3. Timber Ridge (because it is small).

What do you think? I heard that special needs program at elementary/middle schools are not widely available. I don't want to ship my son to East Cobb Middle later.

Any help, much appreciated.
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