What makes a Catholic school different from a public school, charter school or a different type of private school?

Catholic education forms the whole person – intellectually, socially and morally – which in Catholic life means an encounter with the Spirit, message and teachings of Jesus Christ. Catholic education provides academic excellence in a safe, nurturing environment for all our students, enabling them to become productive citizens for today’s society. Catholic education has a long history of transforming society by lifting up new immigrants and providing them with an educational advantage that helps greatly close the achievement gap with their peers.

Do you have to be Catholic to attend a Catholic school?

No, we welcome children of all faiths. Everything we do is rooted in dignity for the human person and our Catholic faith tradition, and we offer this to everyone.

Do you offer nursery or preschool programs?

Yes, we have early childhood and pre-kindergarten programs associated with some of our elementary schools. See additional information in our Preschools Section.

Are there any Catholic middle schools?

In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, elementary schools typically accommodate students in Pre-Kindergarten and / or Kindergarten through eighth grade. High Schools educate children in grades 9 through 12.

What does it mean to be a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence?

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence.  Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools and their students score in the Top 10-15% as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.  The coveted National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.

How is tuition set?

Per student tuition in the Archdiocese of Atlanta is closely tied to the per student cost to educate (tuition covers about 80-85% of the cost). While the cost to educate a student is fairly consistent across the country, in other dioceses the gap between the cost to educate and tuition is made up by the parish, in some locations as much as 40% of the cost. In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, most parishes, not just those with schools, are assessed a school subsidy of approximately 11.5% of ordinary income. These funds are earmarked for financial aid and repayment of the debt on the five schools opened in 1999-2000, not for operational expenses.  Check with each respective school for their tuition amount as well as possible financial aid and scholarships that may be available.

Are there scholarships and / or financial aid available?

Yes. Sources of financial aid include GRACE Scholars (www.gracescholars.org), archdiocesan block grant to schools, local school financial aid and scholarships. In 2019-20, approximately $9 million in tuition assistance has been awarded to qualified families. More detailed information on each of these sources of aid is available through the local school admission’s office.

Do you provide transportation to the school?

We do not offer transportation.  Families often work together to set up car pools with one another to help.

Are the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Atlanta accredited?

Yes. The Office of Catholic Schools was awarded archdiocesan-wide accreditation status for all 18 of our schools through AdvancED (now called Cognia) in 2018; Archdiocesan Schools were awarded accreditation status through AdvancED (the parent company of SACS). To merit this status, schools engaged in a rigorous self-study, followed by an external review completed by the AdvancED team.

How many days of school are in a typical school year?

180 student days are planned for every school year.

Are there extra-curricular activities and sports offered in Catholic schools?

Yes. Extra-curricular activities, including athletic programs, serve as a vehicle to enrich the basic school experience for our students. Our schools offer many extra-curricular opportunities for academic enrichment, social engagement, and spiritual growth that fall under the categories of STEM, Performing Arts, Sports and Social/Spiritual clubs. Students are encouraged to explore these opportunities and to participate whenever possible.

Are teachers certified and qualified in their subject areas?

Yes. The Administration, Faculty, and Staff at our schools are experienced, nurturing and skilled educators. Teaching faculty must be certified and have the credentials required for effective teaching.  A large percentage of our faculty have earned advanced degrees with a combined experience of hundreds of years.  While experience and credentials are essential, what really differentiates the teachers at our schools is their commitment to Catholic education, the mission of their schools and their level of dedication that extends far beyond the classroom.

What options are available for working parents who need before and after care?

Many of our schools offer an Extended Day Program, which provides an alternative for those needing care beyond regular school hours. The programs typically include time for homework completion, snack, physical activity and a rotating craft or play activity.  Please inquire at each respective school for specific program details, requirements and opportunities.