Cobb County Schools
The Cobb County School District serves its gifted children through a pull-out program in elementary school and advanced classes in middle and high schools.
The elementary school program, called Target, is provided for one full school day each week. Students are introduced to various enrichment topics. Target students are excused from the class work and homework assigned in their regular classroom on the day that the gifted class meets.
Middle- and high-school gifted students are eligible for advanced classes in the core subject areas of math, science, social studies and English / language arts. In high school, students also have access to honors and advanced placement (AP) courses. Some high schools may offer additional elective classes in English or social studies for gifted students.
You can learn more about gifted programs on Cobb County’s gifted services page.
Identification of gifted students
All students are automatically considered for gifted services in 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th grades, based on their scores on standardized tests given in those grades. A student may also be referred for consideration at any time by teachers, counselors, administrators, parents or guardians, peers, self, or other individuals with knowledge of the student’s abilities. Referral forms are available at the local schools on request. After an assessment process, decisions are made at the school level by a gifted eligibility committee.
Cobb County Public Schools has a formal policy governing above-grade acceleration (grade skipping). Parents, teachers or administrators can request acceleration. Decisions are made by the local school administration, overseen by the county’s advanced learning staff.
International Baccalaureate magnet school
Campbell High School in Smyrna houses an International Baccalaureate (IB) magnet program. The IB Programme is a widely known, rigorous curriculum which culminates in earning an IB certificate or diploma. Many colleges will grant sophomore status to incoming students who hold an IB diploma. Students can apply for the school during the fall of their 8th grade year, to enter as freshmen.
Math and science magnet schools
The Academy of Mathematics, Science & Technology is housed at Kennesaw Mountain High School. Students progress through their math and science courses at an accelerated rate, giving them the opportunity to take advanced courses not usually offered in high school. Juniors and seniors concentrate on a particular field of interest, and seniors complete an internship with a local college, professional group or business. Students can apply to the school in 8th grade, to enroll as freshmen.
The Academy of Research and Medical Sciences is located at South Cobb High School in Austell. Students can choose either research or medical science as their track of study. Students get a strong foundation in chemistry, biology, math and technology, taking core classes modeled after the Cobb County honors curriculum. Students progress through the coursework at an accelerated rate, giving them the opportunity to take courses beyond those found in traditional high schools. Seniors take an advanced scientific research course and complete a field experience with a local medical professional, college or business. Students can apply to the school during their 8th-grade year, to enroll as freshmen.
The Center for Advanced Studies in Science, Math and Technology is located at Wheeler High School in Marietta. In just two years, students finish what is the four-year science curriculum at a traditional school. With the core science classes completed, students can take advanced classes, some of which are taught through a collaboration with Georgia Tech. Seniors complete an internship and a math or science research project. Students can apply during their 8th grade year, to enroll as freshmen.
Magnet school for performing arts
Students with exceptional talent and passion for the performing arts can apply to the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts, located at Pebblebrook High School in Mableton. Students can major in voice, dance or drama, although “double majors” are common. Students spend two hours per day in classical training in their major area of study. The school holds auditions every spring for rising 9th graders and at any time for potential transfer students.
At the county office
ALP falls under the Department of Assessment and Personalized Learning, under the leadership of department director Gretchen Walton, who can be reached at (770) 426-3316. Up the chain of command from that office is the Division of Teaching and Learning; however, the assistant superintendent position over this division is currently vacant.
Chris Ragsdale was named interim superintendent of Cobb County Schools in April 2014. A search for a permanent superintendent is being conducted.
Cobb County Public Schools are governed by a seven-member Board of Education. All meetings are held at the central office, located at 514 Glover Street in Marietta. If you’re unable to attend the meetings but want to see what’s happening, you can watch past meetings online.
A special note for Marietta residents
If you live within the Marietta city limits, you are served by Marietta City Schools.
Links on this page were last verified on 8/8/2013.