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Old 01-11-2010, 04:51 PM
 
11 posts, read 18,099 times
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My husband and I are moving to ATL this summer. We're looking at the I-85 corridor (I posted here earlier this week ... thanks to everyone who helped!).

My question this time is about the public schools in Gwinnett. I know they have a great reputation, but the attendance numbers are HUGE. Can someone with some experience in the schools tell me a little about how that worked - or didn't for - them?

My kids aren't in tiny schools, but certainly nothing in the 2500 range.

They will be going into 3rd, 6th and 8th grades next year. I liked the web sites and what they had to say for Peachtree Ridge HS, Lanier Middle, and Suwanee and Level Creek elementary schools.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,262 posts, read 2,580,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rookersg View Post
My husband and I are moving to ATL this summer. We're looking at the I-85 corridor (I posted here earlier this week ... thanks to everyone who helped!).

My question this time is about the public schools in Gwinnett. I know they have a great reputation, but the attendance numbers are HUGE. Can someone with some experience in the schools tell me a little about how that worked - or didn't for - them?

My kids aren't in tiny schools, but certainly nothing in the 2500 range.

They will be going into 3rd, 6th and 8th grades next year. I liked the web sites and what they had to say for Peachtree Ridge HS, Lanier Middle, and Suwanee and Level Creek elementary schools.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
I really wish that I could help you more on this. I didn't go to high school in the metro, so I can't comment from firsthand experience. However, I know a lot of people who have, and there are a few kids in my neighborhood that attend Brookwood High, which is the largest in Georgia I believe, with almost 3500 kids. Most of the high schools in metro Atlanta are going to be quite large, however, I think Gwinnett County contains some of the largest ones. From what I hear, the schools are broken out quite a bit, and almost function as schools within schools. It makes it a little less daunting. The schools here are excellent, I'm sure that your children will be able to adjust, especially as they are relatively young still.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:49 AM
 
14,385 posts, read 23,049,595 times
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Originally Posted by ericsonga View Post
I really wish that I could help you more on this. I didn't go to high school in the metro, so I can't comment from firsthand experience. However, I know a lot of people who have, and there are a few kids in my neighborhood that attend Brookwood High, which is the largest in Georgia I believe, with almost 3500 kids. Most of the high schools in metro Atlanta are going to be quite large, however, I think Gwinnett County contains some of the largest ones. From what I hear, the schools are broken out quite a bit, and almost function as schools within schools. It makes it a little less daunting. The schools here are excellent, I'm sure that your children will be able to adjust, especially as they are relatively young still.
Yes...
Even though Metro Atlanta has large schools, the schools in Gwinnett County are the largest by far--and has schools that are way larger than almost all other metro school systems.

The elementary schools in Cherokee County are also pretty large overall (although Cherokee County middle/high schools are not).
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:01 AM
 
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To be honest, I don't know that it really matters in the grand scheme of things, as long as the class sizes are right. My girls were in a small elementary school in NJ (maybe 350 kids total K-6), and are now in an elementary school in Cherokee County with +/- 1,000 kids, and you'd never know the difference. When you walk through that school during the day, you'd have no clue as to how many kids go there- the halls aren't crowded, the cafe, gym etc., are very organized, and even the end-of-day procedures are extremely well organized.

Their classes are 19-20 students, which is the same as the classes in NJ, and that's what really matters.
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:58 PM
 
188 posts, read 532,431 times
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Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
To be honest, I don't know that it really matters in the grand scheme of things, as long as the class sizes are right. My girls were in a small elementary school in NJ (maybe 350 kids total K-6), and are now in an elementary school in Cherokee County with +/- 1,000 kids, and you'd never know the difference. When you walk through that school during the day, you'd have no clue as to how many kids go there- the halls aren't crowded, the cafe, gym etc., are very organized, and even the end-of-day procedures are extremely well organized.

Their classes are 19-20 students, which is the same as the classes in NJ, and that's what really matters.

Agreed. Find out about the actual classroom sizes, and if you can, visit the schools. Our elementary school has 800 kids, and it has never felt that big.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
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My kids also go to a large elementary school in Gwinnett, but really we have had a great experience. The only disadvantage that we have noted is that some kids are stuck with early or late lunchtimes. However, the teachers seem to accomodate for that by incorporating reasonable snack times into the day, so that it has never been an issue, at least for us.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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Large schools may not be problematic in the younger grades, but it can make a difference in middle school and high school, especially to athletes. There are only so many players on the team, and competition can be daunting.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:49 PM
 
7,848 posts, read 18,629,414 times
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Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Large schools may not be problematic in the younger grades, but it can make a difference in middle school and high school, especially to athletes. There are only so many players on the team, and competition can be daunting.
I think they are problematic for younger grades as well. School can be a little overwhelming at times for a 5-10 year old, and when the school has 1,500 students it's simply too big. I did some student teaching at Norcross Elementary...great school, but it's actually the old Norcross High School Campus and was WAY too big for an elementary school - most of which have somewhere around 300-700 students.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Roswell, GA
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We moved from Gwinnett to North Fulton for a variety of reasons, but the size of the schools in of most of the better Gwinnett school clusters was a major reason we didn't want to stay in Gwinnett. Our kids' elementary had over 1200 students. We were looking at middle schools with 3000 kids, high schools with close to 5000. Any place that large, particularly at the high school level where teachers and administrators aren't holding anyone's hand, some kids are going to get overlooked, ignored, lost in the shuffle, whatever. And one of the biggest factors in determining whether people get involved in anti-social, destructive behavior is the degree to which they have strong ties to others -- whether the people around them know them, know their families, know what they're like and what they've done in the past. It's a lot easier to lapse into bad habits when no one notices that you're doing it.

Also, as has been mentioned earlier, things like athletics and other activities don't scale particularly well -- no matter how big the school is, there's only so many spots available on most athletic teams, and for clubs and other activities it can be difficult to get the opportunity to participate fully.
Given the established importance of activities in helping kids form connections with solid peer groups, anything that makes that difficult or impossible has to be seen as a negative.

One news story I recall from several years ago, about Collins Hill High IIRC, mentioned that they had over 80 girls trying out for 12 spots on their volleyball team, all of whom had been active players in middle school in previous years. You practically have to be a college scholarship prospect just to make the team at some places in Gwinnett. My kids aren't that athletic, but the same is true for many other types of activities as well -- I want them to have the opportunity to do things that interest them, and not be shut out just because there are too many other kids around.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:15 PM
 
14,385 posts, read 23,049,595 times
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Originally Posted by rackensack View Post
We moved from Gwinnett to North Fulton for a variety of reasons, but the size of the schools in of most of the better Gwinnett school clusters was a major reason we didn't want to stay in Gwinnett. Our kids' elementary had over 1200 students. We were looking at middle schools with 3000 kids, high schools with close to 5000. Any place that large, particularly at the high school level where teachers and administrators aren't holding anyone's hand, some kids are going to get overlooked, ignored, lost in the shuffle, whatever. And one of the biggest factors in determining whether people get involved in anti-social, destructive behavior is the degree to which they have strong ties to others -- whether the people around them know them, know their families, know what they're like and what they've done in the past. It's a lot easier to lapse into bad habits when no one notices that you're doing it.

Also, as has been mentioned earlier, things like athletics and other activities don't scale particularly well -- no matter how big the school is, there's only so many spots available on most athletic teams, and for clubs and other activities it can be difficult to get the opportunity to participate fully.
Given the established importance of activities in helping kids form connections with solid peer groups, anything that makes that difficult or impossible has to be seen as a negative.

One news story I recall from several years ago, about Collins Hill High IIRC, mentioned that they had over 80 girls trying out for 12 spots on their volleyball team, all of whom had been active players in middle school in previous years. You practically have to be a college scholarship prospect just to make the team at some places in Gwinnett. My kids aren't that athletic, but the same is true for many other types of activities as well -- I want them to have the opportunity to do things that interest them, and not be shut out just because there are too many other kids around.

Good points, rack--

And I think y'all made a great choice by deciding to live in your East Roswell cluster.
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