Mount Bethel opened in 1998 as a kindergarten, and the school has added grades almost each year since it opened. Sixteen years later, the school is ready to grow even larger and add an upper school, with grades nine through 12.
The school will slowly grow into its upper school, adding one grade each year.
Applications are now available for roughly 40 ninth grade spots at the new upper school and can be found online at mtbethelchristian.org.
There are a little more than 500 students at Mount Bethel Lower School, on Lower Roswell Road in Marietta, and after eighth graders graduate, there are no other faith-based schools in the east Cobb area, said Jim Callis, the head of school.
Nearly half of Mount Bethel’s eighth grade graduates go on to nearby public high schools Walton or Wheeler or enroll in far-away private schools, Callis said.
Each application is about four pages long and asks applicants to disclose details of their academic history, interests, goals and objectives.
Applicants are required to submit teacher recommendations, a recent report card and transcripts. A family interview and interview with the applicant are also required. Interested students will sit for a timed essay and an admissions test at the school, Callis said.
Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and will be evaluated as they are received. Accepted applicants will be offered a spot at the new school as soon as a decision is made, until the class is fully enrolled. The freshman class, Callis said, is anticipated to be made up of about 40 students.
Mount Bethel will continue to accept applications and add roughly 40 students per grade each year until the upper school is fully enrolled with about 160 students in grades nine through 12.
In 2018, the construction of the new upper school is expected to be complete and Callis hopes to again open enrollment to grow the school to a total of 480 students, with 120 pupils per grade.
Current eighth grade students will be treated preferentially in the admissions process, Callis said, assuming they have completed all eighth grade coursework and made satisfactory academic progress at the school.
Mount Bethel leaders bought 33 acres in east Cobb at 2509 Post Oak Tritt Road from the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta in 2013, and have been working to construct an upper school on the property, which includes a 33,500-square-foot building with recreation facilities, a baseball field, tennis courts and an Olympic-sized pool, a press release said.
The first class of ninth graders will have the opportunity to enroll in a number of college preparatory classes, including honors English, Latin, studio art and advanced placement courses in human geography. A number of sports teams, including basketball, cross-country, golf, tennis and swimming, will also be created and are expected to compete with nearby schools, Callis said.
The school will add new bus routes to Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and one connecting the main campus on Lower Roswell Road to the upper school campus.
The new class of ninth graders is expected to enroll at the school in August. For more information, visit mtbethelchristian.org.