Athenians’ thirst for knowledge is apparent from the public and private schools that offer exceptional education for the city’s youth to the colleges and universities that are nationally and internationally known and respected.
The University of Georgia, which was founded in 1785 as the nation’s first chartered land-grant university, is a symbol of intellectual innovation, diversity, and performance and shows the nation how greatly higher education is esteemed among the city’s population.
The quest for knowledge and personal excellence can be seen in the entire population from students to senior citizens. With an unparalleled level of quality offered by both public and private institutions, no matter your age, you are never far away from bettering yourself through academic success.
Clarke County School District
With 21 schools and more than 12,000 students, the Clarke County School District offers students a diverse learning environment that propels them to academic success. Thirty-four native languages are spoken and Clarke County students graduate with a deep cultural awareness – giving them an edge in today’s global society.
The district is made up of neighborhood schools in a college town of more than 100,000, creating a true sense of community among teachers, parents, and students. The school district was named a Title I Distinguished District for being the #1 large district in the state for closing the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students. In addition, all Clarke County middle schools, as well as Cedar Shoals High School and Clarke Central High School, are authorized schools for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP).
The school district, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Education, is a model technology school district. Most students in grades 3-9 are able to take home district-provided devices.
In addition, students benefit from the district and University of Georgia College of Education forming a nationally innovative Professional Development School District. Furthermore, students can earn early college credit – fully funded by the district – through the Athens Community Career Academy, a partnership with Athens Technical College. Qualified credits transfer to the Technical College System of Georgia and/or University System of Georgia.
The school district has a long commitment to the arts, and has been named one of the Best Communities for Music Education from 2013 and 2014.
Graduates from the district are regularly offered upwards of $3 million in scholarships, not including the HOPE Scholarship. And both Cedar Shoals High School and Clarke Central High School are Advanced Placement Honor Schools, as awarded by the Georgia Department of Education. Recognitions were given for high scores of students, as well as the diversity of students taking exams.
Clarke County School District
240 Mitchell Bridge Rd.
Athens, GA 30606
By Georgia law, children must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1 to enter pre-K, 5 years old on or before Sept. 1 to enter kindergarten, and 6 years old on or before Sept. 1 to enter the first grade. Registration requires the child’s birth certificate, Social Security card, immunization record (Georgia Form 3231), proof of residence (mortgage, lease, rental agreement or current utility bill), picture I.D. of the parent or legal guardian, and name and address of the last school attended. ALL of these documents are required to register your child.
Clarke County Mentor Program
The Clarke County Mentor Program matches trained adult volunteers with students in the Clarke County School District who would benefit from having a mentor to help them become successful adults. A mentor is a role model, listener, and friend.
Mentors visit their “mentee” at school, once each week, for a meal, homework help, game and/or conversation. Visit scheduling is flexible, and a one-year commitment is required.
The Clarke County Mentor Program, a nonprofit agency, was begun in 1991 as a joint initiative of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce and the Clarke County School District. Mentored students have better school attendance and are more likely to graduate from high school. Companies who encourage their employees to mentor benefit from a more educated and community-minded future work force and client base, as well as employees with greater productivity and morale. Community members who mentor state they get more out of mentoring than they put in.
Volunteers complete an application, background check, and training session; trainings are held monthly August-November and January-February.
Along with our exceptional public schools, Athens offers a wide array of outstanding private schools from which to choose.
Athens Academy is a coeducational, independent, college preparatory school serving students from three years old through 12th grade. Accredited by SAIS and SACS, the school operates on a beautiful 150-acre campus with more than 950 students from 19 counties across northeast Georgia and into metro Atlanta. In accordance with the school’s mission, Athens Academy strives for “excellence with honor in the educational and personal experience of each student” through academics, athletics, fine arts, and service.
Athens Academy’s student body consistently performs above state and national achievement standards for public and non-public schools. STEM concepts (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) are integrated into the curriculum from Preschool through Upper School. The newly-opened Dr. Ward B. Lewis Center for International Studies serves as the focal point of a school-wide program emphasizing the importance of global understanding and thinking. Foreign language instruction is provided in grades 1-12. Formal art instruction begins in kindergarten. General music instruction begins in the first grade, with an optional string orchestra program beginning in second grade. Service and leadership are integral to the curriculum in all divisions.
Today, as it has been for more than 45 years, Athens Academy’s goal is to prepare students to become successful, responsible, and involved citizens of the community, the country, and the world. For more information or to set up a tour, please visit www.athensacademy.org.
1281 Spartan Lane
Athens, GA 30606
Athens Christian School
Athens Christian School was founded in 1970 as an interdenominational, college-preparatory institution. ACS is located on 60 acres in northern Athens-Clarke County, and has spacious facilities including separate kindergarten, elementary/middle school, and high school buildings, two gymnasiums, a performance theater, lighted football and baseball fields, a softball field, a youth football field, tennis facilities, and a state-of-the-art track.
From its beginning, Athens Christian School has provided families with a “quality education in a Christian atmosphere.” ACS is accredited by the Georgia Accrediting Commission and the Association of Christian Schools International, and offers a rigorous academic curriculum, including a number of Advanced Placement and Enrichment courses. The faculty and staff are made up of more than 90 individuals – many with advanced degrees – who are committed to upholding the high academic standards of the School as a whole, while serving the individual needs of each student. Students at Athens Christian School consistently score two years above the national average in standardized testing each year.
In addition to providing a quality education, the school emphasizes a Biblical world and life view in its instruction. Bible classes are offered for every grade, and elementary, middle school, and high school students attend chapel programs each week.
The school also offers a wide variety of outstanding extracurricular activities in athletics, music, speech, and drama. Many students participate in a full schedule of football, basketball, baseball, softball, tennis, track, cross-country, volleyball, and wrestling. The school also presents a number of high-quality fine arts performances each year across all grade levels.
Athens Christian School seeks to minister to families in Athens-Clarke County and the surrounding areas. Students from 16 counties attend ACS, and many take advantage of six bus routes offered by the school. ACS also has a unique family discount for families with multiple children. In addition to offering one of the lowest tuition costs for private schools in the area, the third student in a family is charged only one-half the tuition price. Any children after three attend the school for free.
1270 Hwy. 29 N.
Athens, GA 30601-1128
Athens Montessori School
Athens Montessori School incorporates seven buildings on a beautiful, landscaped 10-acre campus. The school provides: five Primary classrooms for 3-6-year-old students, three Lower Elementary classrooms for 6-9-year-old students, one double Upper Elementary classroom for 9-12-year-old students, one Middle School for 12-15-year-old students and one multi-purpose Arts Space room. Three solar towers distinguish the school as the first school in Georgia primarily powered by solar energy.
The school has been teaching ages 3-15 since 1978, planting the seeds for a lifetime love of learning while developing a child’s natural learning patterns. Athens Montessori School prepares children for the challenges of today’s world through a program of self-discipline, logic, and initiative. The highly experienced staff specializes in providing an environment rich in creative, hands-on experiences.
3145 Barnett Shoals Rd.
Athens, GA 30605-4327
Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School
Known for its academic excellence, Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School is a warm and welcoming campus that builds the “whole child.” Invested in the trinity of mind/body/spirit, students participate in athletics, theatre, art, and music so that they have a diverse bank of experiences from which to draw as they grow.
The School’s Catholic Identity deems that they serve others, participate in community service and require excellence in their daily lives. Recognizing that “the Golden Rule” is non-denominational, Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School requires that students and faculty treat others as they want to be treated and welcome students of all faiths and backgrounds. One does not have to be Catholic to attend.
The population at MDCHS is 150 students. Intimate class sizes allow for individualized attention and room to excel. One hundred percent of its students graduate and 100 percent are accepted into college.
Because the school is small in size, students do not have to compete for opportunities to participate in school offerings. The environment ensures each individual is nurtured and appreciated for their unique talents and qualities. The School’s mission is to develop leaders “That Radiate the Lord.”
In 2014, the School broke ground on “the Dooley Family Field” to celebrate Vince and Barbara Dooley’s 50 years of service to Athens and UGA and to honor their dedication to this school. As Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School reaches out to offer regional play to the 12 surrounding counties, the School desires to broaden the experiences of each and every community member and become a benchmark of excellence known to all.
590 Lavender Rd.
Athens, GA 30606-1114
Saint Joseph Catholic Parish School
Saint Joseph Catholic Parish School, founded in 1949, is dedicated to the mission of encountering Christ through the pursuit of academic excellence, social consciousness, emotional growth, religious formation and physical development in a caring community. SJS operates on a new, state-of-the-art, 46-acre campus. The campus includes a new Field Turf soccer field and cross country course.
Saint Joseph also offers academic and fine arts extracurricular opportunities. SJS is a Google Apps for Education school, with a 1:1 Google Chromebook program for all students in 4th through 8th grades. Saint Joseph Catholic Parish School is accredited through AdvancED.
958 Epps Bridge Parkway
Athens, GA 30606
Prince Avenue Christian School
Prince Avenue Christian School offers an academically challenging college prep curriculum for PK-4 through 12th grade students. The school serves more than 845 students from 13 different counties. Prince is located on a new 40-acre campus in Oconee County.
Prince Avenue Christian School is dedicated to helping students to become involved in the world around them, to provide a positive influence in their community, and to be effective Christian leaders of integrity. The entire curriculum reflects the belief that the pursuit of excellence should be every student’s goal, with the understanding of a Christian world view.
2201 Ruth Jackson Rd.
Bogart, GA 30622
Athens Technical College
Athens Technical College has, for nearly 60 years, served the citizens of its surrounding 10-county service area by providing programs of the utmost scope and quality. The college offers more than 150 program specializations in the fields of business, life sciences, technical, and manufacturing-related fields. Many courses are offered through a convenient distance learning delivery system, and the college is well noted for the application and integration of technology into the teaching and learning process.
Of equal importance is the college’s focus on support services including advising, career counseling, and financial aid, along with a highly trained and experienced staff available to help all students to attain their highest educational goals.
800 U.S. Hwy. 29 N.
Athens, GA 30601-1500
Brenau University, founded in 1878, is a private, not-for-profit comprehensive institution of higher education that enrolls about 3,000 students in graduate and undergraduate studies on campuses and online. Gainesville-based Brenau includes the residential Women’s College, which represents the academic and philosophical underpinnings of the liberal arts university. Brenau also provides coeducational opportunities through the doctoral level, including on-ground programs in Gainesville and other Georgia locales: Augusta, Kings Bay, Norcross and Fairburn.
Brenau offers doctorates in nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy, a terminal M.F.A. in interior design, master’s, bachelor’s, associate’s and specialist in education degrees as well as professional certifications. The Women’s College boasts 10 nationally competitive intercollegiate Golden Tigers sports teams, national honor societies and national sororities with dedicated residential facilities on campus.
For all students the university provides outlets for artistic expression and community service. Brenau, which possesses an extensive and distinctive permanent collection of art, presents year-round art exhibitions, lectures, debates and literary readings, and theatrical and musical performances.
500 Washington St. SE
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 534-6299 or (800) 252-5119
University of North Georgia Oconee Campus
The University of North Georgia is a member of the University System of Georgia and is designated as a state leadership institution and as the Military College of Georgia. With about 15,000 students, UNG is the state’s seventh-largest public university. The regional, multi-campus university offers more than 100 programs of study ranging from certificate and associate’s degrees to professional doctoral programs.
UNG was formed in January 2013 through the consolidation of North Georgia College & State University and Gainesville State College, two of the top-performing schools in the University System of Georgia. UNG provides a culture of academic excellence in a student-focused environment that prepares students to become civic, professional, and military leaders who serve communities locally and globally.
UNG’s four campuses are located across the northeast Georgia region in Dahlonega, Gainesville, Oconee County, and Cumming, and are close to retail areas, outdoor recreation via Lake Lanier and the Appalachian Trail, and the rich multicultural activities of metro Atlanta and Athens.
The university’s Oconee Campus, on Bishop Farms Parkway, recently marked its 10-year anniversary there. UNG offers a selection of core curriculum classes and associate’s degree programs on the Oconee campus, which has an enrollment of approximately 2,400 students and is known for its vibrant, close-knit community that fosters the academic and personal success of its students.
UNG is one of only six senior military colleges in the United States and its residential ROTC program on the Dahlonega Campus consistently ranks among the best in the country. UNG competes in NCAA Division II in baseball, softball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s soccer, mixed rifle, and women’s cross country.
UNG is part of the University System of Georgia Complete College Georgia initiative to improve the retention, progression, and graduation of students. Grounded in the successes and strengths of the past and inspired by the potential of the University of North Georgia, the UNG Complete College Georgia plan seeks to transform educational attainment in the northern part of the state, making the regions of Northeast Georgia and North Georgia Mountains one of the most vibrant and dynamic areas in Georgia and the Southeast.
1201 Bishop Farms Pkwy.
Watkinsville, GA 30677
Piedmont College’s Athens campus is designed for students who enjoy a more intimate educational environment along with the myriad amenities that a city such as Athens offers. Founded in 1996 with only 65 students, today Piedmont College-Athens has served more than 3,500 students.
The Athens Campus offers undergraduate degrees in business, criminal justice, education, health care administration, nursing, political science, psychology, and sociology. Piedmont in Athens also offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, as well as specialist and doctoral degree programs in education.
Piedmont College–Athens Campus
595 Prince Ave.
Athens, GA 30601
The University of Georgia
The University of Georgia, a land-grant and sea-grant university with statewide commitments and responsibilities, is the state’s flagship institution of higher education. It is also the state’s oldest, most comprehensive, and most diversified institution of higher education.
The University offers more than 34,000 students baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist, doctoral, and professional degrees in the arts, humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, agricultural and environmental sciences, business, environmental design, family and consumer sciences, forest resources, journalism and mass communication, education, law, pharmacy, social work, public and international affairs, veterinary medicine, public health, ecology, and engineering. The University also is home to the Georgia Regents University/University of Georgia Medical partnership.
The University main campus sits on approximately 750 acres in Clarke County and owns about 40,000 acres throughout the state.
212 Terrell Hall
Athens, GA 30602