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April/May 2006

High Meadows School
Cultivating a World of Wisdom
by Roy E. Miller

A visit to High Meadows School, situated on 40 sprawling acres of woodlands near historic Roswell, proves one truth: academic excellence and having fun are not mutually exclusive.

Since its foundation in 1973, High Meadows School has successfully created a learning environment where children flourish as unique individuals and develop a life-long love of learning. Serving children aged three through the eighth grade, the school engages students' curiosity by presenting an integrated academic curriculum and by encouraging them to think critically about what they have learned. This process is made fun and appealing through hands-on projects, where students apply what is taught in class to real-life situations.

Staffed with two accredited teachers each, the classrooms themselves are divided into multi-age groups, which primarily consist of two successive grades together in one classroom. This type of organization provides the children the opportunity to be both a mentor and a mentee, and to be with the same peer group and teachers for two years. This approach builds rapport between teachers and students, and opens the door to advanced learning and social skills that are not typically developed until a little later in life.

The campus of High Meadows School, which includes a small petting zoo and vegetable garden, proves to be a veritable outdoor classroom, and is certainly conducive to this interdisciplinary approach to teaching. For example, one recent lesson of the second and third grade class integrated Newton's Laws of Motion with activities and art. Students shot bows and arrows on the grounds while thinking about the action's potential and kinetic energy, and also discussed the force of gravity while dropping balloons filled with different amounts of paint onto a canvas. This last experiment resulted in an impressive art piece resembl ing the works of the famous painter, Jackson Pollack, which recently sold at the school's annual auction for several thousand dollars. The auction is one of the many events and service projects where High Meadows School involves the parents and the community.

The school also encourages its students to develop a global and environmental perspective. In fact, High Meadows School is currently a candidate in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, which is designed as an international standard of excellence in which children whose families move throughout the world can receive a transferable, internationally valued education. If granted, the school would become only the second private school in Metro Atlanta to boast the program. As it stands now, children and staff from 21 different nations are represented at the school.

Designated a No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 2004 for its standardized test scores ranking in the top 10 percent of the country, High Meadows School students and staff have garnered multiple other accolades as well. Last year's debate team and speaker won top honors in the state, and Environmental Education Program Coordinator Chris Robie was named an Environmental Teacher of the Year in 2004--two perfect examples of the well-rounded education and learning environment provided at High Meadows School under which the students so eagerly thrive.

The Specifics

Grades: 3 yrs-8th grade

Affiliation: None

Students Enrolled: 350

Total Teachers: 45

Annual Tuition Range: Pre-K, $4,160-$9,715;
K-8th, $11,730-$12,850

Open House: Call for appointment

Location: Roswell

1055 Willeo Rd.
Roswell, Ga. 30075

Newcomer Magazine - 200 Market Place, Ste. 230 - Roswell, GA 30075 - Phone: (770) 992-0273 - Fax: (770) 649-7463