Early Education

Prepping to Attend a New School in Atlanta

One of the most important things a parent or guardian needs to consider upon relocating to a new area is where their child will attend school. Dr. Bev Amlaner, principal at Atlanta North School of Seventh-day Adventists in Dunwoody, offers the following tips to think about when searching for the school that best fits your family’s needs:
-Commute from home
-Class size
-Openness of communication between the school and parents
-Amount school involves parents in child’s education
-The amount of focus on the whole child: Whether they are focused heavily on academics, but not so much on the other aspects of your child’s well-being — spiritually, emotionally, socially and physically
-Is the school accredited? What is/are the accrediting bodies?
-Are there morning and after-school care programs?

There are also several records that a parent will need to submit to the school while registering their child, but Dr. Amlaner reminds parents to look into any application or registration fees that are necessary. “In this case, register as early as possible so that you are not having to pay tuition and registration fees at the same time,” she advises. “If this can’t be avoided, try to plan ahead so it’s not too much of a financial burden.” She adds that if a parent has their heart set on a certain school, but they aren’t sure if they can afford it, don’t let fees and tuition deter them from applying. “Always speak to the faculty and see if there are other options, such as financial aid or scholarships,” she says. “It can never hurt to ask.”

To help prepare your child for a new school, Dr. Amlaner recommends the following:
-Most private schools require an interview with the parents and student before acceptance; either way, it’s always best to bring the student with you to get a feel for the school.
-See if there is anything you can get beforehand; in addition to a supply list, some principals/teachers may be willing to give you some suggestions of things you can do with your student to help them prepare.
-Preparation is always a good thing, but keep in mind that too much preparation can sometimes cause more stress; make sure they enjoy their summer.
-Shortly before classes begin, start mapping your daily routine (bedtime, when your child wakes up, etc.) so that the school schedule won’t be such a shock.
-When school begins, have an after-school routine — work in some downtime with your child; exercise before homework is always helpful; include family time; and a good night’s sleep is crucial for students of any age.
-When school starts, keep an open line of communication with your child; if you have any concerns, please make sure the school is aware. Don’t be afraid to ask the principal and teacher(s) how your child is doing and/or if there is anything you can do to make their transition easier.
-Most schools offer online resources for parents to check grades, etc. Be sure to check often; this is another resource for parents to get a line on what is going on with their child’s education.
-A good school will always recognize the need for parental involvement; it’s a partnership. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open.

Atlanta North School of Seventh-day Adventists serves students in pre-K through eighth grade. It is an Adventist Edge School of Excellence and is accredited by the National Council of Private School Accreditation, the Georgia Association of Private Schools and Colleges and Middle States Association of Schools. The mission of the school, like its faith, is to serve others. To learn more, contact Dr. Bev Amlaner at (770) 512-8456 or bamlaner@gccsda.com, and visit the school website at atlantanorthschool.com.