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In the Get To KNOW A School series, relocating families share their school selection experience with KNOWAtlanta, including reflections on everything from the first visit to the applications process and how their students are doing after they've been accepted. Learn more about metro Atlanta K-12 private and independent schools by visiting our Education page.
When the Dervan family moved from Albany to Griffin, their first priority was to find a great school for their children. The Dervans, who moved here after when Mr. Dervan accepted a new job as a pastor, have five children total, four of which are school age, so education is something that is constantly on their mind.
The school they ended up choosing was Strong Rock Christian School in Locust Grove. Just a short ride up the road from their new home in Griffin, they found Strong Rock to be a perfect fit after touring several schools in the area. “This school is truly passionate about Christian Education,” said Mr. Dervan. “It is a beacon in Henry County and offers huge opportunities for students and families. We were blown away.”
Four children from the Dervan family attend Strong Rock Christian School in Locust Grove.
Easing the Transition
The family has students ranging from kindergarten to 7th grade. All have made a fairly smooth transition to their new school, in no small part because of the excellent teaching staff at Strong Rock. “It feels like our kids are the only ones the teachers have in their class,” said Mrs. Dervan. “Each teacher wants our kids to reach their potential and bends over backward for their students.”
Having their older two boys involved in sports has also helped with the adjustment. They are both playing on the school’s middle school soccer team and are making great friends. It may seem like a trivial thing, but the Dervan's say another big winner for their children is the lunch program at Strong Rock. “This is the first place our kids are excited to eat lunch!” says Mr. Dervan. “What they ate for lunch is often a hot topic of conversation each night when we get home.”
The admission process to the school was also seamless. The family came for a tour of the facility, which was very helpful. “It put us at ease to meet the staff and see how genuine everyone is,” said Mrs. Dervan. “I also enjoyed seeing the art in the hallways and how cheerful everything looked.” After the tour, the family filled out applications on the school’s website. Next, the students all came in for admissions testing, and then all four children were accepted to the school. “We were communicated with on the front end and then every step of the process,” said Mrs. Dervan. She also noted that a few weeks after the students had enrolled at Strong Rock, the director of admissions called Mrs. Dervan to see how the family was doing and answer any questions they had.
Making the Adjustment
Any time a family makes a major move like this, there is bound to be a period of adjustment. The Dervans have tried to maintain open communication between parents and kids. “I try to teach them not to focus on what they are missing from their old community, but to instead focus on the now and the awesome opportunities in front of them,” said Mr. Dervan.
Strong Rock Christian is a private Christian school that provides a rigorous college-preparatory and Biblical worldview education. Its mission is to “glorify God and partner with families in educating and inspiring their children to impact the world for Jesus Christ-The Strong Rock.” Located in Henry County, the 138-acre campus offers phenomenal facilities, state-of-the-art technology and the finest faculty that pours Christ-like love in to pre-K3 through 12th-grade students.