Private schools

Editor’s note: Just because a school is listed here, please don’t consider that an endorsement. This list is a starting point. Before enrolling at any school, visit, talk with administrators, and try to measure the school’s fit with your child’s personality and learning style.

Metro Atlanta has two private schools that exclusively admit gifted students:

  1. The Dinoff School in Griffin, serving kindergarten through 12th grade.
  2. Midtown International School in northeast Atlanta, serving kindergarten through ninth grade, expanding to K-10 for 2017-18, and adding a grade each year thereafter until they reach K-12.

A handful of other private schools in the metro Atlanta area have a reputation as good places for bright children. But be warned: Private schools aren’t subject to the state law that mandates gifted services. Many of these schools have an advanced curriculum, but most of them don’t have formal gifted programs, and some won’t be receptive to the idea of differentiated instruction. A sit-down meeting with an administrator should help you find out how they accommodate gifted students.

Among the private schools to consider for your gifted student are:

The Paideia School in Decatur, serving preschool through 12th grade

The Galloway School in north Atlanta, serving preschool through 12th grade

Cliff Valley School in Decatur, serving preschool through 8th grade

Pace Academy in northwest Atlanta, serving kindergarten through 12th grade

Atlanta International School in Buckhead, serving preschool through 12th grade

High Meadows School in Roswell, serving preschool through 8th grade

The Schoolhouse Preschool Academy in Duluth, serving children ages 1-5

Fulton Science Academy in Alpharetta, serving pre-K through 10th grade

Ben Franklin Academy in the Emory area, serving grades 9-12.

Holy Spirit Preparatory School in the north Atlanta area,  serving preschool through 12th grade

Sora Schools, serving 9th through 12th grade

Links on this page verified 9/24/2019. If you find errors in the links or in the information presented here, please submit a correcting using the Contact page on this site. Thank you.

  1. Belle
    July 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Most of your higher tier independent schools require pre-admission testing to determine if the child would thrive the more rigorous academic environment these schools offer. Gifted programs are needed in the come-one, come-all atmosphere of a public school setting. Simply put, children in a given independent school classroom are playing from the same deck. Those that may edge out their peers benefit from an array of opportunities to advance to their capabilities at every grade.

    • August 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      I don’t agree, Belle. Private schools may have a “more rigorous” academic environment, but that does not necessarily make them adequate or appropriate for a gifted learner. The private schools I’ve spoken to are about six months ahead of the standard public school curriculum. A child who has advanced beyond that mark could easily become bored and frustrated if the school has no support system in place for them. I personally have been told point blank by private schools that they offer nothing for gifted kids beyond their “advanced curriculum,” which they believe is good enough for anybody.

      I think it’s simplistic to say that all the kids in a private school are “playing from the same deck.” Wouldn’t you agree that even at, let’s say, Pace Academy, while there may be a minimum level of competency or achievement, there still may be children who learn more quickly or more deeply than others?

      Your comment hints at an important question for advocates of the gifted, which is: What does “gifted” really mean? I plan to expound on this topic on the blog soon.

      – Dori

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