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April/May 2007

The Heritage School
Community is Key
by Meg Donahue

If you haven’t yet discovered, Atlanta is a big city filled with many top-notch schools. With so many options presenting themselves, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and even lose focus. So what is it that makes a school stand out in Atlanta’s vast educational landscape, with statistics to analyze, recommendations to filter through and numerous open houses to visit? The students, parents and teachers at the Heritage School can tell you—it’s a sense of continuity and community. Since 1970, the Heritage School in Newnan, GA has continued its tradition of academic excellence with one of personal growth in its students. Here, relationships are formed, students are encouraged and a solid sense of self is fostered in all students, from its three-year olds through its college-bound 12th graders.

To better offer age appropriate resources, classes are separated into four divisions: an early learning center, a lower, middle and upper school, which the large, 63-acre campus can easily accommodate. However, as the children transition between these divisions, they experience the consistency of small class sizes, parallel academic themes and a continuity of guidance and instruction.

“Through every activity in and out of the classroom, my daughter is compelled to ask ‘Why’ and ‘What if?’ Those answers lead to more questions, which cultivates her desire to learn,” says Alice Browning, an alumna, parent and teacher at the Heritage School. Indeed, starting with its youngest students, the school strives to instill a love of learning. In an innovative twist of teaching, children in the first through fourth grades enjoy “theme-based” education. A social studies theme is chosen—for example, the first grade children learn about Native Americans—and each subject, from science to language, somehow ties into the theme. In each successive year, classes continue to build upon this social studies theme.

The fifth through eighth graders focus on mastering the skills essential to success in more advanced studies, practicing time management and self-discipline. Students benefit from advisors in these years who assist in their development and preparedness before the jump to upper school is made. Once there, students benefit from as many as 13 different AP classes. Alternately, for those requiring a bit more assistance, teachers are available for 40 minutes in the middle of the day for additional tutoring, and a study lab offers help to those in academic need.

Outside of academics, the Heritage School strives to educate the “whole” child. Courses in music and art are offered at all grade levels, and interested students enjoy the award-winning drama department as well as specialty focused courses, such as digital video production. Various sports teams offer the opportunity to compete, and with its natural wooded setting, the campus is a favorite spot for local cross country meets. Students are also taught the importance of community involvement. Even those three years of age contribute to the can-a-thon.

“Because ours is a small student body, teachers know the students as individuals, not as numbers in a computer. We know their hopes and dreams, their disappointments and their specific strengths and weaknesses,” says Glenda Davis, an upper school English teacher. It is this attention to the individual at every grade level, this caring approach to the personal and academic development of a child that makes the Heritage School stand out among a sea of others.

The Specifics

Grades: PK3-12

Religious Affiliation: None

Students Enrolled: 399

Total Teachers: 44

Annual Tuition Range: $6,210 - $11,755

Open House: Fall—call for more information

Location: Newnan

Address: 2093 Highway North

Newnan, GA 30263


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