School Resources

Classroom photoThere are hundreds of public and private schools in some 27 school districts throughout metro Atlanta. Narrowing down the possible choices can be a daunting task for any family looking to move into a new home.

Parents of school-aged children who are considering a home purchase will want to know about the quality of local public and private schools before making any decisions about where to live. Luckily, there are several resources available to those looking for a new home.

The Atlanta Metropolitan area is one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation. As the population increases, so has the size and scope of the school districts. The districts surrounding the city of Atlanta are among the largest in the state.

Fulton County includes the city of Atlanta, along with its northern and southern suburbs. The Fulton County School District covers a wide geographical region. In the south, such cities as College Park, East Point and Union City are within the district. Meanwhile, to the north are Alpharetta, Roswell and Sandy Springs. Atlanta divides the district in half. The racial and ethnic composition of the schools is more diverse now than ever. With 93, 800 students, the Fulton County School District is the fourth largest in all of Georgia.

DeKalb County is east of downtown Atlanta. Small portions of Atlanta are actually part of DeKalb, though the overwhelming majority of the city is in Fulton County. DeKalb County has a mixture of urban and suburban communities. The schools in this area are extremely diverse with 98,700 students, who speak 142 different languages and represent 157 countries. The DeKalb School District is the third largest in the state.

Cobb County sits northwest of downtown Atlanta. Once fairly rural, the area is now primarily suburban. Cobb has witnessed tremendous growth since the 1990s. With 106,000 students, the Cobb County School District is the 2nd largest in Georgia. Furthermore, it is the 24th in student enrollment among all districts in the nation. The 112 schools comprise the 2nd largest employer in Cobb.

Atlanta Public Schools (APS) remains the center of the local educational matrix. With increased suburbanization, the schools continue to lose students, however. Currently, 47,000 students attend APS schools. The institutions tend to have certain educational focuses. Some schools emphasize math and science, for example. A few single-gender academies exist for younger students.


Resources

The Georgia Board of Education and the State Superintendent oversee public schools, set education policy and distribute state and federal funds to local districts. It is their responsibility ensure that Georgia’s children are provided the best education possible. More information anbout the Board of Education can be found here: http://www.gadoe.org/Pages/Home.aspx

Public schools are evaluated by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, which grades public schools on a variety of factors. For more information on the Office of Student Achievement, visit: http://gosa.georgia.gov

There are also third-party resources available, like GreatSchools.org, which hosts parent reviews and additional information about individual public and private schools here: http://www.greatschools.org