Editor's note: Some schools did not submit their list of new facilities or programs before the Neighbor’s deadline. The list from these schools will be published later in August.
The opening of a new school year means not only new faces on campus but also, at least at some local schools, new buildings and programs.
Mount Vernon will open its new upper school building when classes start. Focused on technology and flexibility, the nearly 60,000 square-foot facility will accommodate up to 400 students in grades nine through 12.
The building features leading-edge automated windows by View Glass, mobile walls, hand-crafted furniture, an industry-grade recording studio, a glass-walled cafe with a coffee shop, a wing dedicated to the arts, plus a virtual and augmented reality lab, a black box theater, dance studio, college counseling suite, STEM and maker spaces, community spaces and learning studios.
The grounds of the upper campus also include a new large community field with stepped seating adjacent to the football/soccer/lacrosse field.
Atlanta Classical Academy will begin the new school year with new HVAC system as part of the school's capital campaign.
Whitefield Academy is launching a Student Leadership Institute with a goal of teaching leadership skills for students and creating meaningful ways for them to lead. The student leadership categories include athletics, student government, student missions, peer leadership and student service academy.
The Atlanta Jewish Academy has eight new programs it is rolling out this school year, including the first AJA High School National Volleyball Invitational Tournament slated for Sept 18 through 22.
In addition, the school is starting a Junior Jag Program designed to instill mentoring leadership, confidence and teamwork in its lower school students. These students will be mentored by middle and high school athletes for volleyball and soccer and during home games will act as ambassadors to create school spirit and connection.
The school’s other new programs include compassionate integrity training, which will cultivate basic human values for the purpose of creating individual, social and environmental flourishing as well as an expanded high school Judaic studies class.
Also on the Atlanta Jewish’s docket this school year is a basic lessons training program where all middle school educators participate in a one-one-one coaching program regarding instructional strategies.
In addition, the school will offer a better lessons training program and positive school-wide climate and culture training as well as an expanded theater program that will include eighth-graders starting this year.
At the Howard School, its new high school building is under construction and expected to open in 2020.
At Cumberland Academy of Georgia, the school has added new outdoor classrooms. They will provide another tool for teachers to reinforce classroom material and will assist the counseling staff in their social and emotional growth curriculum. In addition, new high school classrooms will be added later this month.
Also, Cumberland has developed a Learning Ally program, which will be a premier source of human read audio books for students with learning and other disabilities.
Other new programs include having access to healthy, fresh food and meals prepared from scratch daily.
From an athletic standpoint, Cumberland is adding archery and tennis to its sports program.
The school has also added a new program called STEAM It, which allows teachers to integrate multiple disciplines (science, technology, education, arts and math) in their academic approach. In this program, students are taught concepts around coding and are able to test their skills through the use of drones.
Holy Spirit Prep is adding a music department this year, headed by its new performing arts teacher, Cristina Dinella. It will host fall and spring concerts, including instrumental music and chorus, and a theater workshop.
Woodward has developed a Social, Emotional and Ethical (SEE) program, designed to support ethical leadership development for students. The instructor, Jennifer Knox, will supervise and monitor service-learning efforts school-wide and support Woodward's work with equity and inclusion.
She will also work with the school's administration, faculty and staff to align initiatives in counseling, advisory, mindfulness practices and responsive classroom to incorporate the social, emotional and ethical learning curriculum developed by the Center for Contemplative Science at Emory University.
The Atlanta Girls’ School is extending its transportation services this year to Cobb County, Druid Hills, Sandy Springs and Roswell.
At Lovett this year, the school will pilot a bus program to provide students’ families with an affordable and convenient transportation option that will also reduce the number of cars entering and leaving the campus daily.
The transportation will include morning pickup and afternoon drop-off services, as well as a mid-afternoon departure as well as a later bus to accommodate students participating in athletics and other after-school activities.
Ben Franklin is offering new STEAM class opportunities for students this year.
As part of Riverwood’s multiyear construction project to redevelop the entire campus, the school is opening a new media center. It will also have a new cafeteria wing with additional classrooms above it.
North Springs is one of five Fulton County high schools receiving a synthetic turf and track replacement this summer due to the natural lifespan of the existing materials.
Ridgeview Charter and Sandy Springs middle schools each are getting new fire alarm systems, and Lake Forest Elementary School is receiving an upgrade to its surveillance camera system. The camera system, which is similar to those used in the nation’s major airports as well as other highly secured environments, allows safety and security teams to monitor activities in and around the school via desktop computers, monitoring stations or mobile devices.
High Point Elementary School is debuting an upgraded playground this fall.
The Weinberg Early Learning Center, a preschool at The Temple in Midtown, is kicking off its 16th year with an expansion that includes a brand-new infant room for 3- to 12-month-old children, a young toddler classroom for 12- to 18-month-old children, a state-of-the-art STEM lab, renovated interiors and a new director. Applications are being considered for the 2019-20 academic year.
The center’s enhancements include a fresh color scheme achieving a warmer and lighter feel, innovative academic centers in the classrooms and an infant room that is accepting up to nine children at a time.
The new infant room features a low 3:1 student-teacher ratio, a warm and nurturing environment and a stimulating and age-appropriate, play-based curriculum.
Temple Sinai Preschool, a childcare center in Sandy Springs, announced it has expanded to provide full-day infant programs in addition to its current half-day programs. Previously the school had only offered half-day programs for children 18 months and older, but its programs will now shift to year-round beginning in January and run from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Registration for the infant program opens online at www.templesinaipreschool.org Sept. 9 and closes Sept. 20. Spaces are limited and families will be notified of acceptance by the end of September.
The school prides itself on nurturing children in a safe, welcoming, Jewish environment. Its curriculum is focused on the whole child – physical, social, emotional and academic – which provides students with a well-rounded education in an inclusive atmosphere.
Atlanta International School in Buckhead is beginning the new school year with three new programs for students, which include media and film programs, the school's first bilingual Model United Nations program and a new summer internship program.
The media and film production program allows students to experiment with film and multimedia technology to acquire the skills and creative competencies required to successfully communicate through the language of the medium
This year, the Model UN program is off to Panama City, Panama, for its first bilingual conference.
Half the delegates will debate world issues in Spanish-speaking committees while others debate in English.
This will offer students a great opportunity to connect language learning and a global outlook.
The internship program provided 85 students in grades 11 and 12 with opportunities to work in the fields of engineering, architecture, medicine, computer science, health, business, science and the arts and will offer real-world learning beyond the classroom.