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October/November CONTENTS FEATURES North Georgia’s Autumn Attractions . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .10 Newcomer’s 2016 Education Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..19

Panoramic mountain views and a variety of festivals and events will reward visitors to North Georgia’s mountains in the peak fall season.

Our annual look at metro Atlanta education includes dealing with stress on test day, the growing role of technology, and more.

Buying a New Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..14 Getaways to Chattanooga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Home builders are enjoying a robust market in Atlanta, and newcomers benefit from a large new home inventory to choose from.

Chattanooga is a great destination for a day trip, a long weekend, or an extended stay—and visitors will likely leave wanting more.




DEPARTMENTS The inside scoop on news, events and happenings around Atlanta.

Relocation Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Neighborhood Spotlight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

A comprehensive guide to help you find your way before, during and after your move, including counties, neighborhoods, relocation tips, a map to metro Atlanta and much more.

Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, offering a thriving nightlife and foodie scene, is central to Atlanta’s downtown neighborhood revival.

Upcoming Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Get caught up on the best exhibitions, theatrical productions, special events and live music across the metro area.

Special Advertising Section: Atlanta Independent School Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Searching for information on local schools? Consult our select list of

Hidden Atlanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

some of Atlanta’s most distinguished independent schools to find the right educational environment for your child.

Arts@Tech programs combine elements of art with science, engineering and technology for a one-of-a kind experience.

Find Newcomer Magazine on Facebook and Twitter


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For additional information before and after your move, from news on deals and events to tips on real estate, organizing, events, restaurants and much more!

PHOTOS: (Left) Courtesy D.R. Horton, Inc.; (Right) Courtesy Rock City.

In Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

We wish to thank all the people who made this publication possible through their valuable time and dedication. We graciously thank our advertisers for their support of Newcomer magazine. ­—PK publisher/president

Patrick Killam


Larry Anderson & promotions Jeff Thompson


contributing writers

Amanda Adams, Michelle Bourg, Camille Moore, Jackson Reeves, Cady Schulman director of sales & marketing

Patrick Killam account director

Lacey James

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Newcomer magazine, October/November 2016 Volume 20, Issue 4. Submissions, photography or ideas may be sent to Killam Publishing, Inc., 200 Market Place, Suite 230, Roswell, GA 30075. Submissions will not be returned unless otherwise requested and accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Newcomer magazine reserves the right to revise any necessary submissions. Reproduction in whole or in part of any elements of this publication are strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. © 2016 Killam Publishing, Inc.

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PHOTO: Richard Ferris


PHOTO: Jesse Scheve

Get a head start on your holiday shopping at Lilburn Daze. This family-friendly arts and crafts festival, now in its 43rd year, features 150 vendors working in a variety of media, including jewelry, pottery and bottle art. And don’t leave the little ones at home—the kids can enjoy activities including a train ride, pony rides, inflatables and more. Oct. 8 at Lilburn City Park. For more information, please visit

Everyone who’s ever spent weeks anxiously awaiting Dec. 25 can certainly relate to A Christmas Story: The Musical. Based on the beloved film, this familyfriendly production tells the story of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest for the ultimate Christmas gift: a Red Ryder air rifle. The show runs from Nov. 29 through Dec. 4 at the Fox Theatre. For tickets and other information, call 800-278-4447 or visit

Students at Roswell’s High Meadows School recently took in Bella Luna, a neglected thoroughbred who was 250 pounds underweight. She is now gaining weight and happily enjoying her new home. Meanwhile, 40 student volunteers from Holy Spirit Preparatory School worked with Habitat for Humanity to help construct a safe, affordable home for a low-income family. And Woodward Academy sixth grader Kaiden Dye’s poem “Be the Difference Maker” was selected for publication in the upcoming book “The Super Chronicles: Stories About the Power to Make a Difference.” Great job, everyone!

A Celebration of Dance and Style A few hundred lucky folks were treated to a preview of fall fashions and the upcoming season of the Atlanta Ballet at the 2016 Corps de Ballet Luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in September. The 18th annual event, a benefit for the Ballet and its Center for Dance Education, whipped up anticipation for the Ballet’s first season with new artistic director Gennadi Nedvigin, and also featured a performance by Atlanta Ballet Fellowship dancers. 8 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Courtesy Holy Spirit Preparatory School

Kids Making a Difference

inFOCUS Here’s to Another 100 Years!

PHOTO: Courtesy PetSuites of America

When’s the last time you saw a 100-yearold look this good? That’s right—the town of Braselton, which was officially chartered way back in 1916, marked its centennial anniversary on Aug. 21 on the city’s lush new Town Green. Spread across portions of Barrow, Gwinnett, Hall and Jackson counties, this charming community boasts a vivid sense of history, a beautiful downtown and much, much more. Pay it a visit sometime soon—and wish it a happy birthday while you’re there!

Pamper Your Four-Legged Friend Planning a trip but can’t bring your beloved dog or cat along? Then treat them to a luxurious stay at PetSuites’ new Norcross resort instead. Like PetSuites’ popular Roswell location, the new spa offers the very best in boarding, day care and grooming for your favorite furry family member. The new resort is located at 6865 Jimmy Carter Blvd. For more information, please visit | Newcomer Magazine | 9

Gibbs Gardens.


AUTUMN TRADITIONS Kaleidoscope of Changing Fall Colors Are Just the Start of It

Combining vibrant landscapes, historical landmarks, friendly townsfolk, and hidden gems, North Georgia in the fall abounds with irresistible traditions for Atlanta families. Visitors are drawn to the breathtaking, panoramic views of the mountains with their lush, colorful foliage. They are welcomed to the area by a host of festivals and events that highlight the natural beauty of the state and celebrate the area’s storied history and culture. 10 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Rick Cannon

By Amanda Adams

Burt’s Pumpkin Farm September 1-November 10 A historic, family-owned estate that enchants visitors with its impressive acreage and pumpkin selection, Burt’s Pumpkin Farm has something for the whole family. Hayrides are popular for all ages, allowing guests to tour the land while hearing a story from Autumn and Gordy, the farm’s two most famous pumpkins. Burt’s also houses a well-stocked country store that sells fresh baked goods (pumpkin pie, anyone?) and fall décor. 5 Burts Pumpkin Farm Road, Dawsonville, 706-265-3701,

Dahlonega Gold Rush Days October 15-16 Hosted by the Dahlonega Jaycees in honor of the 1828 discovery of gold in the area, Gold Rush Days offers an opportunity to see gorgeous autumn colors, as well as experience more than 300 arts and crafts exhibitors and food vendors. Voted one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, Gold Rush Days draws an estimated crowd of more than 200,000. Public Square and Historic District, Dahlonega,

Georgia Apple Festival October 8-9, October 15-16 Billed as “North Georgia’s Biggest Celebration,” the annual Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay celebrates its 45th year with more than 300 arts and crafts vendors, as well as craft demonstrations, a parade, and an antique car show. Widely known for its scenic Appalachian landscape, Ellijay is the heart of Georgia apple country. Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, 706-636-4500,


hile North Georgia offers many interesting spots to visit for new residents and returning visitors, the following destinations are a great starting point. Each is close enough to the city to make for a convenient day trip, and far enough removed to provide a pleasant change of scenery—perhaps worthy of a long weekend. Why not gather the family and enjoy the colorful autumn season in the North Georgia Mountains?

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway Fall Foliage Tours: October 1-November 6 Experience autumnal beauty first-hand with the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway’s Fall Foliage Tours. This 4-hour, 26-mile trip winds the scenic Toccoa River, stopping for a 2-hour layover in the sister towns of McCaysville, Ga., and Copperhill, Tenn. Departing from Blue Ridge’s historic depot, which was constructed in 1905, passengers can elect to travel in either climate-controlled or open-air railcars. 241 Depot Street, Blue Ridge, 877-413-8724,

Georgia Mountain Fall Festival October 7-15 Hiawassee’s vibrant mountain scenery provides the perfect backdrop for the annual Georgia Mountain Fall Festival. Each year this nine-day event combines arts and crafts vendors with exciting live music, educational demonstrations, a flower show, and Georgia’s Official State Fiddlers’ Convention. Hiawassee is also known for its gorgeous Lake Chatuge and historic Young Harris College. 1311 Music Hall Road, Hiawassee, 706-8964191,

Gibbs Gardens Fall Festival: October 8-9, 15-16 Japanese Maples Colorfest: October 22-23 Featuring 220 acres of stunning seasonal landscaping, Gibbs Gardens is located just one hour north of Atlanta. One of the nation’s largest residential estate gardens and open from March to December each year, Gibbs is hosting many fall-themed events in 2016. Two of these events, a fall festival and Japanese Maples Colorfest, will exhibit the dynamic | Newcomer Magazine | 11

Red Top Mountain State Park.

beauty of the property while also offering live music, delicious barbecue, and sweet desserts. 1987 Gibbs Drive, Ball Ground, 770-893-1881,

Family owned and operated for over 30 years, Hillside Orchard Farms is a 100-acre estate where guests can gather their own apples, blackberries, muscadines, and more. The property’s Country Store boasts over 700 jams and jellies to choose from as well as bread, pies, and fritters from their fully commercial bakery. The farm also offers several fall events for kids, including hayrides, a corn maze, and tours of the property on the Ol’ #3 train. 18 Sorghum Mill Drive, Lakemont, 706-782-2776,

R&A Orchards Situated on the outskirts of the Chattahoochee National Forest amid rolling foothills lush with fall foliage, family-owned R&A Orchards offers a bountiful variety of apples throughout the summer and fall seasons. Housing approximately 60 acres of apple trees and 10 acres of peaches and nectarines, R&A also features farm tours and a Roadside Market that’s open seven days a week. 5505 Hwy. 52 East, Ellijay, 706-273-3821,

Red Top Mountain State Park

With a huge selection of apples and other fruit, Mercier Orchards also has rustic charm and a gorgeous mountain landscape. Founded over 70 years ago in the charming mountain town of Blue Ridge, the Orchards offer a jam-packed schedule featuring U-Pick events in which guests are invited to pick their own fruit. There are also a bakery and deli, market store, and a farm winery where hard cider is made. 8660 Blue Ridge Drive, Blue Ridge, 706-632-3411,

Located on the idyllic Lake Allatoona, Red Top Mountain State Park is only 45 minutes north of the city and proves to be both a convenient and relaxing getaway. Park accommodations include camping, a lodge, and both cottage and cabin rentals. Park activities include mountain biking, boating in a privately owned, full-service marina, and hiking. For those interested in Red Top’s fall foliage, the Georgia State Parks “Leaf Watch” provides an online travel planner in October and November, found at 50 Lodge Road SE, Cartersville, 770-975-0055,

North Georgia Canopy Tours

Tallulah Gorge State Park

Another great way to experience the scenic beauty of North Georgia, North Georgia Canopy Tours offers a higher perspective on nature with zip line excursions that cross the North Oconee River, ravines, ponds, pastures, and wildlife. Amenities include rustic camping with a communal fire pit and heated and air conditioned teepees in a variety of sizes sleeping between two and 10 people. Visitors can also play disc golf,

Voted one of the Ten Top Georgia State Parks for Fall Color, and another great spot to use the “Leaf Watch” travel planner, Tallulah Gorge is located in the northeast corner of the state. Hiking the rim of the breathtaking, nearly 1,000-foot gorge is the park’s biggest draw, while RV and tent camping options allow for an overnight stay. 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Drive, Tallulah Falls, 706-754-7981,

Mercier Orchards

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Hillside Orchard Farms

mini-golf, and free 5-stage geocache. 5290 Harris Road, Lula, 770-8697272,


Equipping students to know, grow and go. Pre-3 through 8th grade

• Excellence in Christ-centered Education • ACSI and Advance-ED Accredited • Low Student-Teacher Ratio • Integrated Technology • Championship Sports Program • Art, Band, Drama, and Music • Arrowsmith Cognitive Program Available Join us for Open House: Preschool - 8th grade Saturday, November 5, 9-11 a.m.

Schedule a Tour Today! 770-751-1972 • 4755 Kimball Bridge Road, Alpharetta, GA 30005 | Newcomer Magazine | 13

ABOVE: (Left to Right) D.R. Horton Inc. is active in the Atlanta new home market; CalAtlantic offers great room-centered floor plans; Village of Belmont in Smyrna by David Weekley Homes.




By Larry Anderson

There’s no shortage of choices when seeking to buy a home in the Atlanta area, and more options become available every day, courtesy of a thriving home construction market. The strength of Atlanta’s new home market is reflected by a 4.6 percent annual appreciation for new homes (compared to the national rate of 2.9 percent). Home construction has increased in 2016, but is still below the boom years in the early 2000s. 14 | Newcomer Magazine |

LEFT PHOTO: Courtesy D.R. Horton Inc.

Builders Focusing on In-Demand Northern Suburbs


ost of Atlanta’s new home construction is focused in the northern suburbs, outside the perimeter, especially along an arc running through Marietta, Alpharetta, Duluth, Roswell and Lawrenceville. New homes today are typically more expensive and built in higher-income neighborhoods. Aaron Terrazas, senior economist for Zillow, a real estate website, says the average home price (including new and used) is $246,000 in counties that have the highest density of new construction, and only $109,000 in areas with lower density of new construction. Higher-end homes are the norm today because of the economics of land and capital, says Terrazas. Land is expensive, especially in highgrowth areas, so builders tend to build larger homes to help them recover land costs.

‘Town Center’ Type Developments Outlying locations are still popular, but there is also a trend toward people wanting more convenience in their lives. Serving the demand are “town center” developments that offer new homes located near commercial areas and employment centers. Increasingly, people want to live near where they work, but don’t want to compromise on amenities, living space, or good schools. They want to be able to walk to shops and restaurants, and not have to be tied down with a big yard to take care of.

Newly built homes are more expensive than older homes, and the gap has increased in recent years. New homes in the Village of Belmont in central Smyrna appeal to buyers who want a more urban, walkable setting. The higher-density development offers three types of smaller houses and lots, with single-family detached homes that are more “vertical” in design. Pricing

in the David Weekley Homes development is from the high $200s to the $400s. David Weekley Homes is also planning a similar development, called Broadview Place, in Buckhead. The development is within walking distance of the Lindbergh MARTA station. Features are smaller lots, vertical homes and home maintenance provided by a homeowner’s association (HOA). Sales are opening this fall, from the high-$400s and low-$500s up to the $700s, with seven different floor plans on 95 lots. The variety of plans and lot sizes ensures a breadth of price ranges.

Bridging the Economic Gap Newly built homes are more expensive than older homes, and the gap has increased in recent years—it’s currently around 37 percent in the South, according to Zillow. David Gernatt, product manager in Atlanta for David Weekley Homes, points out that considering the extra cost of maintaining an older home can fill the gap. And do you really want to spend the weekend dealing with a broken appliance? Energy efficiency is another element in the economics of buying a new home. David Weekley’s homes have higher energy ratings that yield about 42 percent savings in energy costs compared to a home built just six years ago, says Gernatt. Factoring in the cost savings can also | Newcomer Magazine | 15

Arbors at LakeView in South Forsyth by CalAtlantic Homes.

The 36-ounce Bone-in Ribeye Tomahawk Steak at Park 75.

Because Atlanta has no natural boundaries to stop geographic growth, new home submarkets have continued to expand. help close the economic gap. David Weekley has been active in Atlanta since 1999, and builds homes from the high $200s to more than $800,000, and everything in between. Their core counties are Cobb, Cherokee, North Gwinnett, North Fulton and Forsyth. The Reserve in Old Atlanta is a David Weekley development in south Forsyth County, backing up to the St. Marlo Country Club, and in the Lambert High School District. The tech boom has yielded plenty of new jobs in the area. The gated community for upscale suburban fami-

lies offers lots of amenities and prices from the $600s to over $800,000

Submarkets Expanding, Too Because Atlanta has no natural boundaries to stop geographic growth, new home submarkets have continued to expand into areas farther from the Atlanta city center but within proximity to regional employment areas. Castleberry Heights is a D.R. Horton community with resort-style amenities, The Forsyth County location, close to Lake Lanier, also offers plentiful shopping in Cumming, proximity

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to Highway 400, and highly ranked schools. Houses are priced from $308,900 to $382,990. Heritage Club is an Express Homes (D.R. Horton) community in Dallas, Ga., offering affordable prices in a family-friendly community. Prices are $159,990 to $205,990, and features include a clubhouse, pool, tennis courts and a playground. Tom Hill, East Region President, says D.R. Horton offers several brands of homes for a range of buyers, from first-time buyers (Express Homes) to move-up and luxury buyers (D.R. Horton and Emerald Homes) and active adult

ilton Mill area, not far from I-285 and I-985. A lower-priced option is a 2,400-square-foot home in the $300s, and there are also choices approaching 4,000 square feet and $500,000. The large community includes a clubhouse, Olympic size pool, walking trails and a children’s playground. Arbors at Lake View in South Forsyth, off Aaron Sosebee Road, is a suburban neighborhood of two-level homes starting in the low$300s (2,400 square feet) and going up to the mid-$400s (3,800 square feet). There are multiple home choices and amenities including a clubhouse and Olympic size pool with a water slide.

buyers (Freedom Homes). In Atlanta, D.R. Horton has been expanding its Express communities, offering quality homes at affordable prices. D.R. Horton closed 2,359 homes in 2015 (including all brands), around four times as many as in 2012.

CalAtlantic Offers 22 Communities Ryland Homes has been an Atlanta area builder for 30 years. The company merged in October 2015 to become part of CalAtlantic Homes, headquartered in Irvine, Calif. CalAtlantic currently sells out of 22 communities in the Atlanta area. Historically, Ryland was an entrylevel home builder, but CalAtlantic now serves the up-market with homes from $300,000 to $435,000, typical suburban move-up homes. CalAtlantic Homes developments in Atlanta include Towns at Breton Ridge, on Herodian Way, just south of Windy Hill Road and near the new Braves Stadium in Cobb County. The town home community has units that are 2,500 to 3,500 square feet, starting in the $360s, with some deliveries in the low-$500s. A second development, Towns at Druid Hills on Druid Hill Road, has townhomes starting in the $470s to the $500s, with square footage between 2,500 to 3,500. Ed Woodland, Atlanta President for

Strong Fundamentals, Healthy Market

CalAtlantic Homes, says these homes are a smaller part of the company’s business, which is mostly larger homes north of the city. A more typical CalAtlantic subdivision is Ashbury Park in Gwinnett County, in the Ham-

Atlanta’s economic fundamentals are among the best in the country, including job and wage growth and employment stability. It’s great news for the new home market, and lots of building activity ensures plentiful choices for any newcomer. Consumers today are feeling more secure and are therefore willing to take on more risk for a larger home. Mortgage rates are attractive – still in the mid-3s. Down payments may be as low as 3 percent. No wonder Atlanta is the top relocation market in the Southeast. | Newcomer Magazine | 17


SPOTLIGHT Old Fourth Ward By Jackson Reeves


Camden Fourth Ward Apartments

Housing For young professionals, Old Fourth Ward’s hip environs offer plenty of appeal—and the neighborhood’s residential choices can rival those found in more established enclaves, such as Buckhead. Thanks to a mixed-use design that features lofts alongside small businesses, Studioplex (404-872-8300) provides its residents spots to grab lunch or get a wax within a stone’s throw of their doorsteps. Located in the shadow of the neighborhood’s eponymous water tower, the Water Tower Stacks are right next to the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail and Krog Street Market. Farther up the BeltLine, AMLI Ponce Park (855-638-9972) overlooks Historic Fourth Ward Park. Camden Fourth Ward Apartments (404549-7087) sit on major thoroughfare Ponce de Leon Avenue.

Local Treasures Nestled just south of the Civil Rights leader’s birthplace, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site (404-331-5190) features an exhibit on the movement and the man, titled “Courage to Lead,” along with special exhibits in the D.R.E.A.M Gallery. Across the street, you can visit where King delivered his first sermon at the pulpit, Ebenezer Baptist Church (404688-7300). Right off the BeltLine, Historic Ponce City Market

A Variety of Great Spots For Foodies

THE INSIDE TRACK Mostly developed in the years following the Civil War, the neighborhood is one of the oldest in the city. Boulevard, the central roadway of the Old Fourth Ward, has evolved repeatedly throughout its history— more than 100 years.

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Fourth Ward Park (404-546-6757) includes a skate park and hosts the neighborhood’s annual arts festival.

Culinary Treats The newest hot spot for foodies, Ponce City Market (404-900-7900) features such offerings as artisanal kimchee and Korean steamed buns at Simply Seoul Kitchen, deep-fried chicken at Hop’s Chicken, and meat kebabs at Marrakesh. On the other end of the neighborhood, Krog Street Market (770-434-2400) includes such high-end restaurants as the Luminary and Superica. For tasty dessert options, check out Jake’s Ice Cream at Irwin Street Market (678-7057945). Lovers of home-style Italian cooking will relish the sumptuous pasta selection at BoccaLupo (404-577-2332), while those hungering for Neapolitan pizza will appreciate Ammazza (404-228-1036) down the street.

Arts and Entertainment In the mood for a comedy tour or a big-name concert? Hit up Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center (404-523-6275). Interested in shows by less mainstream acts? Swing by Masquerade (404-577-8178) and enjoy a live music act. If you want some dinner before you dance, try The Sound Table (404-835-2534). N PHOTOS: (Left and Far Left): Ponce City Market by Sara Dorio

Ebenezer Baptist Church

PHOTO: Courtesy National Park Service

ocated on the east side of Atlanta, the Old Fourth Ward boasts Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthplace, a central hub for the BeltLine, along with a thriving nightlife and foodie scene. Situated just west of Inman Park, the area is at the crux of Atlanta’s booming downtown neighborhood revival. It was part of the historic Fourth Ward political area until the 1950s, when Atlanta changed to a district system.

2016 Technology’s Growing Role in Education EDUCATION GUIDE

How Atlanta’s Classrooms Are Changing in the Digital Age By Larry Anderson


reater use of technology at private and public schools is changing how students learn. More innovation in the classroom also prepares students to prosper in a world where technology rules. The Atlanta area is full of examples of technology’s growing role in education. At McGinnis Woods Country Day School in Alpharetta, middle school students are assigned laptops and folders on a server. At The Friends School of Atlanta, students build and program LEGO robots. At The Piedmont School of Atlanta, interactive projectors and whiteboards

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help students reach their academic potential and meet social and emotional needs. At Woodward Academy, students in primary grades learn foundational skills in technology, robotics, coding and general computer skills.

It Starts at an Early Age Technology is integrated into every element of education these days. At High Meadows School in Roswell, for example, Technology Integration

beta-test Minecraft’s new Education Edition. “I love the multi-age collaboration and excitement that Minecraft brings to learning,” says Williams.

‘Continually Adding Technology’ At McGinnis Woods Country Day School in Alpharetta, students have access to technology at all grade levels. Teachers use interactive whiteboards to introduce and reinforce new concepts. Students use technology to complete Web quests, and work on skills through software and websites such as IXL Learning or Pearson Education resources. Students create presentations beginning in the first grade, and also spend time with robotics and simple programming. “We are continually adding technology to our classrooms,” says Mary Johnson, principal of McGinnis Woods. “In the middle school we use technology in every one of their core classes,” says Johnson, using assigned laptops and folders on the server. In line with an emphasis on STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] learning, students build and program robotics, and the parent association recently purchased a 3D printer. Johnson emphasizes the importance of staff training and development to support use of technology and wise use of technology funds.

Across Disciplines and Concepts

Woodward Academy

Specialists partner with all homeroom teaching teams to enhance students’ learning and experiences through technology. Even early years students (pre-school through second grade) carry iPads outside to take pictures of the wide variety of caterpillars on campus. Then they research the caterpillars, and use a diagram app to show what butterflies each turns into. Students in fifth through eighth grades learn to program a 3D printer and design objects. One student, for example, designed educational braille chips that looked like dominoes. Every kid likes video games such as Minecraft, and now video games are finding their way into the classroom. Also at High Meadows, an innovative Minecraft music program was created by music director Paula Williams. It uses the popular video game to help students master the nuts and bolts of music. High Meadows was one of 100 schools in 30 countries to

The Friends School of Atlanta integrates technology into the Innovation Lab to help students engage in critical thinking and problem-solving activities while learning concepts of science, mathematics and engineering. “It’s a fun and collaborative environment where there are no wrong answers,” says Jennifer Wardell Smith, the school’s innovation teacher. Students involve themselves with hands-on projects to build creations such as a LEGO robot programmed to sound an alarm when someone nears their computer or a video game to educate users about a social issue or injustice. Class activities are designed across a variety of disciplines and concepts, all encouraging hands-on engagement, experimentation and exploration. The Friends School of Atlanta also has a “1:1 program”— each student receives a Chromebook computer. Technologies such as interactive projectors and whiteboards and collaborative and assessment software are being implemented at The Piedmont School of Atlanta, an independent school serving high-achieving children with autism and other learning and social challenges. Technology provider Boxlight Corp. has designated The Piedmont School as a national demonstration school and provided a range of instructional | Newcomer Magazine | 21

nologies to help students in prekindergarten through ninth grade reach their academic potential and fulfill social and emotional needs. Dr. Catherine Trapani, head of the school, says The Piedmont School of Atlanta will be showcasing “an incredibly engaging and motivating learning environment and powerful instructional strategies [using the technology].”

Engaging and Just Plain Fun

PHOTO: Michie Turpin Photography

At Woodward Academy, technology helps students learn to think critically, collaborate, and solve real-world problems involving STEM disciplines. In the classroom, technology can be engaging and just plain fun. It can be used to differentiate instruction to provide opportunities for students to learn in a variety of ways. Woodward Academy seeks to “meet students where they are.” Technology implementation at Woodward Academy includes a K-12 programming/coding curriculum, a sustainability curriculum, a global scholars program, school MakerSpaces, drone and robotics teams, and an emphasis on design thinking and project-based learning. MakerSpaces are areas where students can gather to create, invent and learn through tinkering and building in a fun environment. The library is no longer just a place to check out books—it’s a com-

munity learning hub, and technology plays a role. The Woodward Academy Primary School Collaboratory invites students to explore, design and create. Tinkering fosters curiosity, and failure becomes opportunity. It can be as complex as programming robots. At Woodward North, a learning space called Eaglesphere serves as the center for STEM programming and design thinking. A small group might conduct research in the extended Learning space, and a coding class might be working in the Engineering Lab, while small groups work at Collaboration stations. Learning labs, computers, and the latest student-centered learning tools and applications are employed. Also at Woodward North, students in primary grades attend weekly classes to learn foundational skills in subjects such as technology, robotics, coding, and general computer skills. Rapid technological advancements are changing the way we all interact, communicate and access information. No surprise that educators are incorporating those advancements into the classroom. By using an array of computerized devices and programs, they create better interactive learning environments, while offering students a greater understanding of the technology they use every day.

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Taking the Stress Out of Tests How to Keep Anxiety at Bay By Larry Anderson



Any student can tell you: Tests cause stress. Students who are new to Atlanta, in particular, may feel additional stress from testing. For example, the results of placement tests could impact the course of their education journey, so a lot is at stake. And the anxieties of an unfamiliar school, new surroundings, new teachers and a new community can make testing even more stressful. However, testing is a reality in school environments, including public and private schools, and at any grade level. With any test comes some level of stress for most children. What can parents do to help their children deal with test-related stress? The Sources of Testing Stress Dreaded standardized tests can be especially stressful, given their unfamiliar instructions, rigid timing and rules, and general inflexibility. The teacher may even act differently on the day of a standardized test. Private schools tend to put less emphasis on standardized testing, and many educational professionals argue that the whole idea of standardized 24 | Newcomer Magazine |

testing is flawed. In fact, a new law signed last May is aimed at lowering the number of standardized tests taken in Georgia’s public schools. Related to private schools, new students face testing such as the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) or the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) when seeking to enroll. The U.S. Department of Education requires both public and private schools to submit to National Assess-

ment of Education Progress (NAEP) testing every four years; about 10 percent of schools are tested in any given year, chosen randomly to generate statistically accurate results. But standardized tests are only the beginning of test-related stress. Students may get stressed out about any kind of test, whether a pop quiz, scheduled test, a mid-term exam, or a final exam. How can parents help? The first thing to remember is that stress is contagious. Parents themselves should be careful not to stress out about testing and inadvertently pass that anxiety on to their children. There are lots of other strategies, too.

How to Deal with Test-Related Stress Understand it. It’s helpful when combatting stress to understand the source of the anxiety. If the stress emanates from memories of experiences on previous tests, students should search their souls honestly to explain those experiences. Was it a lack of preparation and planning that caused a bad outcome on the test? Did the student feel extra stress because of the high expectation of others? Was the student trying too hard to compete with their peers? Go past it. Working through stress is possible, and some level of stress could even play a positive role in test-taking. Students must avoid being overcome by stress, or to be debilitated by it, but should use it

to push them harder. When facing stress during study, students should pause, relax, take deep breaths, and then push on with the job at hand. Distract yourself. A variety of activities can help to push stress to the side, whether listening to classical music or taking a quick walk. Try relaxation techniques, give your mind space, meditate, take deep breaths, loosen up. Eat dark chocolate (in moderation, of course). Believe it or not, dark chocolate has been shown to fight the stress hormone cortisol, to release endorphins, and to have an overall relaxing effect. Pet the dog (or cat). Some colleges and universities have “puppy rooms� to help college students cope with stress. The same approach can work on a smaller scale and at lower grades, too. Let it all out. Talking about stress with parents or others can help. Certainly, stress-related anxiety does its most harm if kept bottled up inside. Parents should encourage their children to share their feelings about stress. Never discourage open communication by focusing only on desired outcomes.

Avoiding the Sources of Stress There are practical ways students of all ages can combat the sources of stress when facing a test. But the simplest advice to deal with stress is | Newcomer Magazine | 25

to channel it in a constructive way. In other words, prepare for the test using these suggestions. Preparing ahead • Determine what will be covered on the test. The more a student knows about what to expect from a test, the less anxiety he or she is likely to feel. Always go to review sessions, and try not to miss class the last day before the test. Try to determine the test format in advance. • Maintain good study habits and preparation, which can strip away the stress of testing and replace it with confidence. Avoid distractions and don’t try to multitask: Think of the brain as a spotlight that can only focus on one thing at a time. Right before the test • Get plenty of sleep. Being well-rested for a test can help a student focus more effectively and have less stress. Losing sleep for extra study may backfire if the test-taker loses focus at a critical time. •Eat something. Don’t skip breakfast on test day. Having food in your stomach will provide energy and better focus, but avoid heavy foods that could cause grogginess. • Don’t be late. Show up at least 5 minutes ahead of time to avoid any last-minute panic that may occur.

26 | Newcomer Magazine |

• Go to the bathroom. You don’t want to lose precious time during the test, or have to be uncomfortable. During the test • Manage the time. Take a watch so you always know how much time remains. • Come prepared. Bring the proverbial “number 2 pencil” (or better yet, two!), and a calculator or whatever else you will need during the test. • Stay relaxed. Don’t panic during the course of the test. Take deep breaths to relax and maintain a positive attitude. • Have a plan, and execute it. Go through and answer the easiest questions first, or the ones that have the highest points value. Then come back to the rest as time permits. Use your time wisely; avoid spinning your wheels. But don’t rush: Read questions carefully and pay attention to details. • Use all the time. Don’t compete to finish first, or worry about when others finish. Don’t rush, but pace yourself. If you have extra time at the end, use it to check over your work to avoid careless mistakes. Excessive stress is not inevitable when students face a test. Sensible approaches can help deal with stress, and good study habits and thoughtful strategies can minimize the sources of the stress. There are plenty of ways students – and their parents – can learn to “chill out.”

Johns Creek Montessori sChool of GeorGia

Sowing the seeds of organic learning Multi-age, vibrant learning communities with uninterrupted blocks of work time Montessori certified teacher in every classroom Hands-on, multi-sensory learning materials Nutritious lunch, organic milk, and healthy snacks offered daily 6450 East Johns Crossing • Johns Creek, GA 30097 770-814-8001 •

Enabling Children with Learning Differences

to Succeed ✔ Pre-K through 8th Grade ✔ Small group instruction using multi-sensory techniques ✔ Academic programs matched to individual’s strengths Phone: 770-594-1313 I 200 Cox Rd. Roswell

W W W. P O R T E R A C A D E M Y. O R G | Newcomer Magazine | 27



Atlanta Independent School


Independent schools in Atlanta offer a rich variety of environments to nurture and challenge any child’s education. The following profiles are evidence that metro Atlanta is home to many excellent independent schools and learning resources. For additional information about the schools listed below, including location, class size and open house dates, turn to “Beyond the Basics” on page 33. ARLINGTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

It all comes together at Arlington Christian School: Christian educators working with families to provide an unparalleled comprehensive Christian education for students. The Christian worldview permeates every endeavor as the school continually strives to uphold its core values: Knowledge, Honor, Truth, Wisdom, Excellence, and Integrity. “Leadership” is what characterizes the Arlington experience in college prep academics, quality fine arts, and multiple athletic offerings. Students develop their God-given talents in a nurturing, safe, and student-centered environment. Extracurricular activity abounds. ACS students earn solid academic credentials amid a background of approaching life from a Christian perspective. For more information, contact the school directly at 770-964-9871 or visit 28 | Newcomer Magazine



Atlanta Girls’ School offers girls in grades 6 through 12 a college-preparatory curriculum of the highest standards. Graduates attend Ivy League schools, prestigious liberal arts colleges, leading Southeastern universities and respected research institutes. Atlanta Girls’ School was custom-built for one purpose: girls’ achievement and success. Girls attending AGS learn to take appropriate risks, be courageous leaders, give back to their communities and project personal confidence and competence in all they do. The school’s open house on November 13 will provide plenty of information on what makes it truly unique. For more information, call 404-845-0900 or visit

The Bedford School offers a fresh start to students who are frustrated in a traditional setting due to learning differences. The school serves children who have been professionally diagnosed with specific learning disabilities and related disorders. Bedford is located on a 45-acre campus in Fairburn, 15 minutes south of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Its mission is to maximize the potential of children with learning differences and develop foundations for success; this is accomplished through small classes, a structured, multisensory approach and a dedicated staff. The school’s Squirrel Hollow Camp summer program offers academic tutoring in a recreational environment. Contact Dr. Betsy Box, Director, at 770-774-8001 or visit





Brandon Hall isn’t any old school. It takes a unique approach to learning, extra-curricular activities, and student life to help students succeed in many areas. Brandon Hall is a prestigious boarding school that draws students from the southeast and around the world. The campus is a historic nature preserve filled with iconic stone buildings, and the faculty and staff members are world-class. Brandon Hall’s mission as a coeducational boarding and day school is to provide a challenging college preparatory experience immersed in technology. Its community embraces diversity, celebrates individual strengths, fosters global citizenship, encourages athleticism and the arts, and inspires creativity—where every student’s dream to attend college becomes reality. Brandon Hall focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math education that will prepare students for the rapid pace of innovation in the world. It provides students with the confidence to thrive in this global world, while caring for the environment, health and wellbeing, and service. For more information on Brandon Hall, call 770-3948177 or visit

Covenant Christian School in Smyrna partners with Christian parents and the local church to help fulfill the call to make disciples of God’s children. The school combines rigorous academics and lots of fun in an atmosphere of joy, respect, and order. Covenant Christian School teaches children as God made them to learn, following a classical and Biblical pattern. Built on a foundation of Biblical truth, the school’s instruction equips students to think critically, reason Biblically, and live gloriously. Covenant Christian School’s growing arts program features chorus, strings, recorders, art history, appreciation, and techniques, along with practical computer technology, chess, National Junior Honor Society, Student Council, field trips, cross country, physical education, Fun-Friday Clubs, and much more. To find out more visit Phone or email our admissions office at 770-435-1596 or

The Friends School of Atlanta (FSA) provides challenging academics in a diverse environment, drawing on values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship to empower students to go out into the world with conscience, conviction and compassion. Founded as a model of diversity in 1991, FSA strives to address the development of the whole child and seeks to nurture the goodness within each student. Offering classes from pre-K through eighth grade, FSA’s program is designed to prepare students for a successful high school future and a lifetime of engagement as thoughtful citizens. For more information, call 404-373-8746 or visit


Courtesy High Meadows School

HIGH MEADOWS SCHOOL Since 1973, High Meadows School has inspired children to think critically, learn creatively, act globally, and live compassionately. From the outstanding faculty and breathtaking campus to small classes and acclaimed International Baccalaureate curriculum, High Meadows School is an exceptional place to learn and grow. High Meadows School is independent, non-sectarian, co-educational and progressive. Grades span from Pre-K3 through 8th grade. The campus encompasses 40 acres of meadows and woods in Roswell, Ga. High Meadows School is highly respected and consistently recognized for best practices, innovation and excellence by major educational organizations, including the International Baccalaureate Organization, SAIS-SACS and AAAIS. To schedule your visit, please call 770-993-2940 or visit SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

If you’ll excuse the cliché, Holy Spirit Preparatory School is a hidden gem in Atlanta. The young but accomplished school is one of the few independent Catholic schools in the Atlanta metro area. It serves students from 6 months all the way through 12th grade, so is perfect for families. Its high school is named repeatedly as one of the top Catholic high schools in the country by the Catholic Education Honor Roll. Really, it’s all about fit. Because they maintain a smaller enrollment than most independent schools, HSP finds the right place for each student—channeling them to the right club, the right gifted classes, the right team—and the right college fit after HSP. This school is all about personalized learning, small class sizes, and forming students in “mind, body, and soul” in a family of faith and learning. For more information, call 678-7617992 or visit u Newcomer Magazine | 29

INTERNATIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL OF ATLANTA The International Charter School of Atlanta (ICSAtlanta) is a dual-language immersion public charter school in Roswell, offering grades K-5 in the 2016-17 school year and adding a new grade each year through 12th grade. As a Georgia state charter school, enrollment is free and open to all Georgia residents. The school offers language tracks in Spanish, French, Mandarin, and German. ICSAtlanta’s mission is to empower all students to reach their academic and social potential by developing them into inquiring, multilingual, and intercultural citizens who will have a competitive advantage in an increasingly global business world. For more information call 470-222-7420 or visit


Johnson Ferry Christian Academy is a certified University Model® School that prepares students for life academically, spiritually, and relationally in a vibrant community atmosphere. It delivers a personalized, accredited, collegepreparatory education with a uniquely flexible schedule. The staff leads with a love for Christ, a desire for all students to discover God’s purposes in their lives, and a passion to prepare students for life. Established in 2004, JFCA is a ministry of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and provides an educational program for grades K-12. JFCA offers rigorous academics, low teacher/student ratio, opportunities for spiritual growth and personal development in a vibrant school culture with an array of activities including academic competition, athletics, and fine arts. Mid-semester applications will be accepted following the November 1, 2016 Open House. JFCA is accredited through AdvancEd, the Association of Christian Schools International, and the Georgia Accrediting Commission. For more information, call the school at 678-7845231 or visit 30 | Newcomer Magazine

JOHNS CREEK MONTESSORI SCHOOL OF GEORGIA Johns Creek Montessori School of Georgia offers authentic Montessori education in the heart of Johns Creek. Observe the “Montessori Magic” happening in the school’s vibrant classroom communities, where children are free to choose from a wide variety of activities and lessons best suited to their development. Specially-trained teachers act as “guides” to the extensive curriculum, planting a seed of wonder that grows into a desire for greater knowledge. Multiage classrooms allow younger children to learn from older ones, and for older children to reinforce and “test” their learning when helping younger ones. This dynamic, structured environment nurtures a strong work ethic, love of learning, and a passion for discovery not found in other schools. Dr. Maria Montessori wrote: “Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.” Help your child to reach his or her full potential. Call 770-814-8001 to schedule a tour or visit



Lanier Christian Academy is a preparatory school for grades K-12. LCA features two educational models, the Traditional five-day school, and the UMS model with three days of class instruction and two days under the supervision of parents in the home. Lanier Christian Academy provides a strong Christian education taught from a Biblical worldview. In partnership with families to develop a well-rounded student, LCA offers discipleship, character development, and leadership as a part of the overall LCA program. To prepare Lanier Christian Academy students for life beyond LCA, the school also offers AP and Dual Enrollment classes. LCA is accredited by AdvancED, ACSI, and NAUMS. For information, call 678-828-8350 or visit

The Piedmont School of Atlanta serves bright children in Pre-K through 9th grade with challenges in areas of learning, social skills, and social problem solving. A team of certified, masters-level teachers delivers differentiated instruction using a project-based dynamic approach. The curriculum exceeds the Georgia Standards and includes PE, Art, Foreign Language, and Community-Based Instruction. The Piedmont School has been named a Boxlight National Demonstration School and will serve as a model site for incorporating technology in the classroom. The school offers after-school programming including a Lego/Robotics Club and other activities. For information call The Piedmont School of Atlanta at 404-382-8200 or visit




For nearly twenty years, Mt. Bethel Christian Academy has been the school of choice for families from East Cobb and beyond desiring a JK-12th grade, Christ-centered education for their children. College-preparatory in its approach, Mt. Bethel’s curriculum challenges students with rigorous studies that include a dual track STEM program, honors and AP opportunities. A one-to-one laptop program (5th through 12th) allows students to access their textbooks and reference material online and includes a communication tool connecting students and parents to teachers. With two campuses in East Cobb County, the combined facilities include spacious classrooms, performing arts, visual arts and video production studios, dining halls, learning commons with dedicated student collaboration space, an 1800 sq. ft. fully equipped fitness center, two indoor gymnasiums, a 6-lane, 25 yard year-round swimming pool, an outdoor pavilion covering a regulation-size basketball court, lighted tennis courts, athletic fields, and two recreational lakes. Beyond the classroom, a championship athletic program includes volleyball, soccer, basketball, swimming, cross-country, baseball, golf, tennis, lacrosse, clay targets, archery, cheerleading, and an equestrian team. Bus service is available to the Main Campus (Jr. Kindergarten-8), located at 4385 Lower Roswell Road, and the North Campus (9-12), located at 2509 Post Oak Tritt Rd. Visit their website at for further information and Open House dates.

Celebrating more than 60 years of Catholic education as a K-8 school within the Archdiocese of Atlanta, St. Joseph Catholic School is a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence—a two-time recipient of this prestigious award. Accredited by AdvancED, St. Joseph embraces the Catholic faith while offering an academically challenging curriculum that is enhanced with weekly school mass, art, music, computer lab and Spanish. Extracurricular opportunities include drama, LEGO robotics, basketball, volleyball and more. Before- and after-school care is available. The school is located at 81 Lacy Street in Marietta, Ga. 30060. Call 770-428-3328 or visit for more information about this remarkable school. u

RIVERSIDE MILITARY ACADEMY For more than 109 years Riverside Military Academy (RMA) has remained one of the nation’s premier military college preparatory academies, and produces young men of purpose, character, and a commitment to those ideals necessary for citizenship and leadership in a free republic. RMA offers a traditional, American-style education where personal values, honor, and love of country still matter. RMA is not owned or operated by any particular religious denomination, but supports the spiritual and educational goals of all families. The military process at RMA is not an end in itself; it is simply the means to an end. The end being an educated young man who has experienced the challenges of the military model of education and who is completely prepared for the rigors of college—a cadet who is poised, polite, and confident in any social environment. Hence, RMA cadets stand tall, offer a firm handshake, respect authority, and display a level of confidence that parents may not have observed previously. The military setting adds structure, responsibility, accountability and yes, consequences when necessary. All contribute to a well-rounded young man. This environment works for those who have historically underachieved, who simply have not been able to manage their time, and who tend to procrastinate in every endeavor. The rigorous days at RMA are filled with academics, military activities, social activities, and athletics. At RMA, the goal is to change what cadets think is good enough in terms of effort and achievement. Please visit the beautiful 206-acre campus located in Gainesville on the shores of Lake Lanier, and the foothills of the north Georgia Mountains. Call 1-877-MY-CADET or email Visit for more information about Riverside Military Academy. SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Newcomer Magazine | 31

PORTER ACADEMY When parents first come tour Porter Academy, many of them feel heavy with frustration, anxiety, and sadness because they have fought hard for their children, but with little success to show for their efforts. These same families, within a few months of enrollment, are able to relax and feel hopeful, knowing that their children are finally happy and learning. Here’s a comment from one Porter Academy Parent: “We are so pleased with the progress our child has made so far this year. He is beaming when he reads aloud, and his confidence is soaring. He is no longer too timid to take chances and try something new. We couldn’t be happier!” The school’s founder, Claudia Porter, didn’t teach a curriculum, she taught a child. She knew each child’s passions, strengths, and stumbling blocks. She knew that their past struggles had made them feel less...less capable, less important...and that these feelings had led many of them to resist trying. They had learned to slip through the cracks or to distract from the real problems by acting out behaviorally. Mrs. Porter knew that the first step to getting children to learn was to rebuild their self confidence and self respect. The school has grown, but the child-centered care and teaching persists, enabling each child to find joy and success in learning. For more information, visit or call 770-594-1313.



Serving Bright Children Grades Pre-K to 9 with learning and social challenges


Academic, Social, and Life Skills


Differentiated and Community-Based Instruction


Regular Education Curriculum Georgia Standards by Master’s Level, certified teachers using educational technology 4484 Peachtree Road NE Atlanta, GA 30319 404-382-8200

32 | Newcomer Magazine

Woodward Academy is celebrating its second century of fostering excellence, character, and opportunity. With almost 2,700 students, Woodward is the largest independent school in the continental U.S. and spans two campuses on 133 acres in metro-Atlanta. The main campus (pre-K–12) is 11 miles from downtown Atlanta, and the north campus (pre-K–6) is in Johns Creek, on a 33-acre wooded campus. Woodward offers a full range of college-preparatory instructional tracks including 25 AP courses as well as a Transition Program for students with mild learning challenges in grades two through eight. The average class size is only 16, allowing for a personal and intimate learning experience. Teachers, coaches, and counselors provide wise guidance at every step, preparing students for best-fit colleges, mentoring them in life-shaping qualities of good character, and helping them reach their fullest potential. At Woodward, diversity is more than skin deep. Students develop a deep respect for difference as they collaborate with peers from over 20 metro-Atlanta counties and a broad array of religious, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Woodward offers prolific opportunities to try and triumph, including hundreds of courses in traditional and innovative subjects as well as a wide range of clubs, arts opportunities, and athletic options. The Academy’s Global Connections Program develops students’ knowledge of the world’s cultural diversity through international study abroad programs. Because of the Woodward experience, students are more confident and well-prepared for today’s evolving world. A typical graduating class attends more than 100 different colleges and universities, devotes 5,000 hours to community service projects, and earns more than $13.5 million in scholarship awards. Please visit and Discover the Woodward Difference today. For more information, call 404-765-4001 or visit” SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Beyond The Basics School




Annual Tuition

Avg. Class Size

Religious Affiliation

Accreditations or Affiliations

Open House Dates

Arlington Christian School







AdvancED, SACS

11/1, 1/10, 1/22

Atlanta Girls’ School









The Bedford School








Contact School

Brandon Hall



Sandy Springs





Contact School

Covenant Christian School








10/18, 11/5, 1/10

The Friends School of Atlanta








12/3, 1/7, 2/4

High Meadows School



Roswell/East Cobb





11/13, 1/20 & by Appt.



Preschool: 11/2, 1/29, 5/1; K-6th: 11/3, 2/6, 5/2; 7-12th: 11/4, 1/29, 5/3

Holy Spirit Preparatory School



Buckhead/ Chastain


Lower School, 22; Upper School, max 12

International Charter School of Atlanta


Fulton (Georgiawide enrollment area)


Enrollment is Free



Dual-Language Immersion

First Thursday each month

Johns Creek Montessori School of Georgia



Johns Creek


Multi age classroom



Contact School

Johnson Ferry Christian Academy



East Cobb





11/1, 12/6, 1/24, 3/3

Lanier Christian Academy


Hall County

Flowery Branch






Mt. Bethel Christian Academy



East Cobb





Lower and Middle: 11/10, 1/11, 2/2; Upper School: 10/16, 11/12, 1/12

The Piedmont School of Atlanta



Oglethorpe Campus, Brookhaven




Georgia Accrediting Commission

Contact School

Porter Academy








9/7, 11/9, 1/18, 2/15, 3/15

Riverside Military Academy




$15,600 (day cadet); $34,840 (boarding)





St. Joseph Catholic School






Roman Catholic


10/11, 10/18, 11/29, 12/6, 1/7


College Park (Main Campus) and Johns Creek (Woodward North)


Main Campus, 16; Woodward North, 10



Main Campus, 10/23; Woodward North, 11/13

Woodward Academy



Newcomer Magazine | 33

Chattanooga Fall

Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

in the

The Quick Trip Up I-75 Means Less Travel, More Adventure

Just a couple hours’ drive north of Atlanta on I-75, Chattanooga provides an exciting Southern getaway that is as convenient as it is varied. A wealth of new experiences awaits visitors to Tennessee’s Scenic City, including a world-class aquarium, one-of-a-kind outdoor getaways, and restaurants for every taste. There are plenty of museums and beautiful, historic hotels, too. The alluring Tennessee River flows through Chattanooga, which is engulfed by majestic mountains and gorgeous views. Whether planning a day trip, a long weekend, or an extended stay, Chattanooga is an optimal destination, and dazzling fall colors just enhance the experience. 34 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTO: Chattanooga CVB

By Larry Anderson

You can see seven states at Rock City’s panoramic view. BELOW: Ruby Falls is the nation’s tallest underground waterfall.


unforgettable views of Chattanooga’s Riverfront and Maclellan Island. Visitors board an authentically renovated World War II amphibious landing craft at the corner of Market and Fifth Street for a narrated tour of downtown Chattanooga. For walking, cycling, or sightseeing along the river, the Tennessee Riverpark (423-842-0177) has it all. Reminiscent of Atlanta’s BeltLine, the 10-mile path stretches from downtown Chattanooga to the Chickamauga Dam, with parks, public art, fishing piers, wildlife and picnic facilities along the path.

Attractions for Everyone

PHOTOS: (Top) Rock City; (Inset) Ruby Falls

Outdoor Getaways One of Chattanooga’s top nearby attractions for 80 years, Ruby Falls (423-821-2544) is the nation’s tallest underground waterfall, featuring the deepest cave accessible to the public. Located just south of Chattanooga right below Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls includes a 4,100-foot public walking trail surrounded by majestic rock formations and gardens of wildflowers. Rock City (706-820-2531) features a jutting ledge on Lookout Mountain that provides a panoramic view of seven states. It’s called “Lover’s Leap,” based on a Cherokee legend about start-crossed lovers. There are also a 140-foot aboveground waterfall and ancient rock formations. Rock City Gardens feature more than 400 native plant species. Traveling along the Enchanted Trail woodland path highlights a variety of natural beauty. The Chattanooga Ducks boat tour along the Tennessee River offers

The historic Lookout Mountain Incline Railway (423-821-4224) near Chattanooga is the world’s steepest passenger railway and a National Historic site, operating since 1895. Visit the machine room to see where the giant gears are put into motion. The two buildings of the world-class Tennessee Aquarium (800262-0695) provide a diverse gathering of animals above, around and within the water. One building highlights the “river journey” with river otters, colorful frogs, amazing turtles and various freshwater fish species. The “ocean journey” brings visitors face-to-face with big sharks, playful penguins, jellyfish and thousands of colorful reef fish. The Creative Discovery Museum (423-756-2738), just steps away from the aquarium, is one of the nation’s top children’s museums, inspiring a passion for learning through play with an array of education programs. Whether creating a clay sculpture in the Artists’ Studio or learning about liquid nitrogen in a science demonstration, it’s all here. And “spur of the moment” activities provide surprises along the way. Hunter Museum of American Art (423-267-0968) includes works from the Colonial period to the present day, by everyone from Thomas Cole and Mary Cassatt to Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol. The museum is housed in an early 20th-century mansion joined to a | Newcomer Magazine | 35

porary glass-and-steel structure, perched on an 80-foot bluff overlooking the Tennessee River. The River Gallery (423-2655033) showcases painting, jewelry, sculpture and other fine arts. A turn-of-the century home in the Bluff View Art District houses the collection. The picturesque sculpture garden spans a two-acre outdoor space overlooking the Tennessee River. On a historical note, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center (423-2668658), named after a famous blues singer of the 1920s, showcases cultural and artistic accomplishments of African and African-American heritage. For more history, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (423-894-8028) includes half-day train rides along a beautiful nature path to the Hiawassee Loop.

Festivals and Other Events

Where to Stay Chattanooga offers abundant lodging options. Children love the Historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel (423-266-5000) – relax in a refurbished train car! Also, downtown’s Read House Historic Inn and Suites (423-266-4121) opened originally in 1872. Springhill Suites by Marriott (423-834-9300) has a great location right on the river, combining contemporary style, spacious comfort and good value. It’s a good option to stay overnight, for an extended weekend or longer, and it’s convenient to the Chattanooga Waterfront’s array of museums and shops. For a romantic vibe, the Bluff View Inn (423-265-5033), a bed-and-

PHOTO: Chattanooga CVB

Autumn is the season for Chattanooga’s top festivals and events, including Rocktoberfest in Rock City Gardens during October; Oktoberfest at the open-air market Chattanooga Market; Wine Over Water wine-tasting festival on Oct. 4; and 3 Sisters Music Festival (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) at the downtown riverfront. There are also Ruby Falls’ Haunted Cavern, Lake

Winnepesaukah’s WinnepeSPOOKah!, Tennessee Valley Railroad’s Halloween Eerie Express, Chattanooga Zoo’s Boo in the Zoo, and RiverRocks Outdoor Adventure Sports Games. (Information at The “Enchanted Garden of Lights” celebration of holiday lights begins at Rock City Gardens on Nov. 18. Check out live music at one of the music venues including Track 29, Tivoli Theatre and Memorial Auditorium.

36 | Newcomer Magazine |

breakfast, provides scenic river views. A more modern choice is the Chattanoogan (423-756-3400), an elegant, upscale hotel in the heart of downtown. About 10 minutes from downtown, the Garden Walk Bed and Breakfast Inn (706-820-4127) on Lookout Mountain is an oasis amid 100-year-old pine trees and lush gardens. Atop the mountain, the Chanticleer Inn Bed and Breakfast (706-820-2002) offers sweeping views. The Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau (723-7568687) can help with planning a trip, including all-inclusive packages to meet any need or interest.

Restaurants to Grab a Bite Uncle Larry’s Restaurant (423-757-5894) offers downhome seafood, hushpuppies and fried green tomatoes. 212 Market (423-265-1212) features brunch items and contemporary American fare in a laid-back atmosphere. Bluewater Grille (423-266-4200) specializes in fresh seafood served amid a casual and sophisticated décor. Big River Grille and Brewing Works offers craft beers created on-site, served with pub grub, salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Terra Mae Appalachian Bistro (423-710-2925) emphasizes farmto-table fare and craft cocktails. St. John’s Restaurant (423-266-4400) allows you to indulge in four-star fine dining in a historic early 20th century ambiance. The Camp House (423-702-8081) offers Counter Culture Coffee and famous Belgian waffles. The short drive to Chattanooga ensures that even a quick weekend visit will include plenty of extra time to explore. And for longer stays, there are attractions in Chattanooga to keep travelers interested and engaged for days—until they leave, still wanting more. | Newcomer Magazine | 37

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Vehicle Emission Inspection Vehicles dating from 1985 through 2006 model year must be checked each year for emission standard compliance. Visit a statedesignated inspection station for the service. Call 800-449-2471 or visit

Mass Transit

One way to avoid long commutes is to take advantage of the city’s local transit system, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Offering both train and bus service, MARTA is a convenient way to travel to downtown or the airport. The fee for traveling one way is $2.00 including transfers, and payment is even easier now with the Breeze limited-use and extendeduse cards. Weekly and monthly passes can be obtained at discounted rates. For fares, schedule and route information call 404848-5000 or visit

40 | Newcomer Magazine |

Driving Tips

MARTA Rail Service

The Georgia DOT provides daily updates of road work, road closings and traffic delays, which are helpful when commuting. Updates can be obtained by calling (toll free) 1-877-694-2511, by dialing 511, or by visiting | Newcomer Magazine | 41

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION PUBLIC SCHOOLS Cherokee County Schools Board of Education 770-479-1871

Cherokee County QUICK INFO

Elementary Schools 22 Middle Schools 7 Intermediate Schools 1 High Schools 6 Alternative 1 Evening 1 Per-pupil expenditures $8,578 School & bus information 770-720-2112

County Neighborhoods Schools

PRIVATE SCHOOLS Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS HOME SERVICES Cobb Energy (Electricity, Security, Telephone and Satellite TV) 770-429-2222 ELECTRICITY 706-276-2362 Amicalola EMC Cobb EMC 770-429-2100 Georgia Power 888-660-5890 770-887-2363

Sawnee EMC

GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE 888-436-8638 AT&T ETC Communications 678-454-1212 TDS Telecom-Nelson 770-735-2000 Ball Ground Windstream 800-501-1754 WATER Cherokee County Water Authority City of Ball Ground City of Canton City of Waleska

770-479-1813 770-735-2123 770-704-1500 770-479-2912

City of Woodstock


CABLE TV Charter Communications 888-438-2427 Comcast 404-266-2278 ETC Communications


HOSPITALS Northside Hospital-Cherokee 770-720-5100 Wellstar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Avg. SAT Scores Cherokee Co. 1560 Georgia 1460 National 1509

Median household income: $63,518 Median age of residents: 34 Population: 210,529 Sales tax: 6% Chamber of Commerce Cherokee County 770-345-0400, Property Taxes Per $1,000 of assessed value is: Unincorporated Cherokee County, $26.80; Incorporated Cherokee County, $24.06. Tax Commissioner: 678-493-6400

Cagle Dairy Farm, Canton

Located northwest of Atlanta, Cherokee County gets its name from the original inhabitants of the area, the Cherokee Indians. The county seat, then called Etowah, was established in 1833 and renamed Canton in 1834. Today, the city is enjoying its greatest economic boom in its history since more than $60 million was invested in residential and commercial development in 1998. Despite developing its own industrial base, Cherokee County remains idyllic and serene. Farming, especially poultry processing, remains a leading industry. Canton and the neighboring community of Woodstock have seen tremendous growth as subdivisions crop up to accommodate newcomers. In fact, nearly 60 percent of the county’s population are commuters. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median value of homes in 2006 was $194,900. Homes for well over $1 million can be purchased in such neighborhoods as Bradshaw Farms, Bridge Mill and Town Lake Hills. Interstate 575 and Ga. Highway 92 traverse the county, affording residents easy access to Atlanta and the nearby attractions of Town Center Mall, Lake Allatoona and the North Georgia Mountains. Other great places to live,

42 | Newcomer Magazine |

Ridge Mountains and along the banks of the Etowah River, Canton is prime location for development.


work and play in Cherokee County include the cities of Ball Ground, Holly Springs and Waleska.


Canton Canton was incorporated in 1833 and renamed in 1834 at the request of two founding fathers who had visions that the town might become a silk center similar to what existed in Canton, China. Canton did become famous for its “Canton Denim,” known worldwide for the high-quality denim produced by Canton Cotton Mills. Today, Canton is attracting new industry and residents. As a result, the city is re-investing in its downtown. As part of its “Streetscapes” program, downtown Canton will be restored to its historic look and features a newly designed theater on Main Street. Located at the foothills of the Blue

Twelve miles south of Canton, Woodstock is the fastest-growing city in Cherokee County. With a growth rate of 70 percent over the past 10 years, the city has doubled in size. Residents enjoy easy access to Interstate 575 and Ga. Highway 92, allowing short commutes to Cobb and Fulton counties. While affording convenience to big-city attractions, Woodstock still maintains its small-town appeal. Buildings dating back to 1879 characterize the downtown, where antique and other specialty shops are located. Various golf courses are located in Woodstock, including Arnold Palmer’s Eagle Watch, a course with wooded countryside views that is considered to be one of the top places to play in Atlanta. The 11,860-acre Lake Allatoona provides additional recreation. Woodstock is also convenient to more than 13 state parks. N For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Web site at


PUBLIC SCHOOLS Cobb County Schools Board of Education 770-426-3300 Elementary Schools 71 25 Middle Schools High Schools 16 Magnet 6 Charter 6 Special 4 Per-pupil expenditures $8,816

Cobb County

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

White Water



One of Family Circle magaCobb County came into zine’s “Ten Best Towns for Famibeing in 1832 when the state lies,” Kennesaw takes pride in its County redistributed land once part small-town atmosphere and boasts Neighborhoods abundant parks and green space, of the Cherokee Nation. exceptional recreational programs Named after Thomas and top-notch schools, includWelch Cobb, the county ing Kennesaw State University. experienced a devastating Kennesaw’s Historic Downtown setback during the Civil features shopping, dining and atWar when most of it was Schools tractions such as the Smithsoniandestroyed during the Battle affiliated Southern Museum of at Kennesaw Mountain. Median household income: $65,123 Civil War and Locomotive History, Today, Cobb County, Median age of residents: 35 located north of Fulton the Smith-Gilbert Arboretum and Population: 698,158 County, is one of the fastnearby Kennesaw Mountain NaSales tax: 6% tional Battlefield Park. est-growing counties in the Chamber of Commerce nation. With a diverse ecoCobb County nomic base that includes 770-980-2000, Rapidly defining what’s new jobs in the service, retail, Property Taxes and progressive in quality of life aerospace and technology The property tax is $28.75 per $1,000 of assessed and citizen services, Smyrna sectors, Cobb County ofvalue. Tax Commissioner: 770-980-2000 fers a quality of life unsurdelivers an amazing sense of style passed in the Southeast. More and love of life. The new Market than $770 million has been spent luxury apartments and condos near Village, home to fabulous restaurants, on transportation improvements in Cumberland Mall, secluded sub- bars and upscale shops and services, recent years, allowing residents easy divisions in East Cobb and horse is the final piece of a master plan for access to Atlanta and the commer- ranches in the northwest corner success. Call it “Main Street USA” or cial districts of Vinings Overlook, of the county. The small towns of “Disneyland,” but don’t overlook its Cumberland Parkway and the pres- Marietta, Vinings, Smyrna and Aus- charm and ability to offer the best in tigious “Platinum Triangle” in the tell still retain their Southern charm fresh, trendy lifestyle options. N amidst urban settings. According to Galleria area. For more counties and neighborhood A variety of housing options the Census Bureau, the median valinformation, visit our Web site at exist in Cobb County, including ue of homes in 2006 was $205,200.



Marietta City Schools Board of Education


Elementary Schools 7 Middle Schools 1 1 High Schools Sixth-Grade 1 Magnet 1 Per-pupil expenditures $9,061 School and bus information 678-594-8000 Avg. SAT Scores

Cobb Co. 1534 Marietta City 1514 Georgia 1460 National 1509 PRIVATE SCHOOLS Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS HOME SERVICES Cobb Energy (Electricity, Security, Telephone and Satellite TV) 770-429-2222 ELECTRICITY 770-974-5233 Acworth Power 770-429-2100 Cobb EMC Georgia Power 888-660-5890 770-942-6576 GreyStone Power Corp. Marietta Power/ Columbia Energy 770-794-5100 GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE 888-436-8638 AT&T Comcast 404-266-2278 770-541-7235 MCI Worldcom Outside Georgia 800-356-3094 WATER Austell Water Cobb County Water Systems Marietta Water Powder Springs Water Smyrna Water

770-944-4300 770-423-1000 770-794-5100 770-943-8000 770-319-5338

CABLE TV Bellsouth Multimedia 770-360-5000 Charter Communications 888-438-2427 Comcast 404-266-2278 HOSPITALS Emory Adventist Hospital 770-434-0710 WellStar Cobb Hospital 770-732-4000 WellStar Kennestone Hospital 770-793-5000 WellStar Windy Hill Hospital 770-644-1000 | Newcomer Magazine | 43

COUNTY INFORMATION EDUCATION PUBLIC SCHOOLS DeKalb County Schools Board of Education 678-676-1200

DeKalb County Located east of Fulton County, DeKalb County is the second largest county in the state with a population of about 705,000. DeKalb County contributes to Atlanta’s status as an “ international city” with its businesses and residences representing more than 30 different countries and 120 languages.

Elementary Schools 83 Middle Schools 20 High Schools 20 Per-pupil expenditures $9,896 School & bus information 678-676-1300 City Schools of Decatur Board of Education


Early Learning 1 Elementary Schools 4 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Per-pupil expenditures $13,444 School & bus information 404-370-8737


Decatur The county seat of DeKalb, Decatur is a charming historic city known for its recreation and pedestrian-friendly streets. Its beating heart

PRIVATE SCHOOLS Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.



Snapping Shoals EMC


Walton EMC


GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE AT&T



404-780-2355 WATER

DeKalb County Water System 770-621-7200 CABLE TV Charter Communication


Comcast Cablevision


HOSPITALS Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston


DeKalb Medical Center


Emory University Hospital


Piedmont Hospital and Medical Care Center


Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Avg. SAT Scores DeKalb Co. 1334 City of Decatur 1577 Georgia 1460 National 1509

The square is also home to some beautiful public art, and hosts numerous festivals, town celebrations and neighborhood events. Decatur is home to a diverse population, attracting young professionals, families, retirees and bright young college students—the city is home to the prestigious women’s university Agnes Scott College, and world-renowned Emory University is just outside the city limits. Older brick homes, smaller bungalows and cottage homes distinguish the community and the surrounding neighborhoods of Avondale Estates, Oakhurst and Candler Park.


Emory University


DeKalb County prosCounty pers in part due to its exNeighborhoods cellent transportation sys- tem. Five major road ar- teries traverse the county: Interstates 20, 85, 285, 675 and US Highway 78. Schools Hartsfield-Jackson Inter national Airport is only six miles from DeKalb’s Median household income: $51,753 southern border and the Median age of residents: 35 Population: 739,956 DeKalb Peachtree AirSales tax: 7% port, a general aviation field, is reported to be Chamber of Commerce DeKalb County the second busiest air404-378-8000, port in Georgia. DeKalb County is also a leader in Property Taxes The property tax rate is $41.50 per $1,000 for the biomedical commuunincorporated DeKalb County. Tax Commissioner: nity with The Center for 404-298-4000 Disease Control headis the Courthouse Square, which quartered there. The median value of homes in features an eclectic mix of store2006, according to the Census Bu- front boutiques and shops, restaurants and entertainment options. reau, was $190,100.

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In the northern corner of the county is Dunwoody, a popular neighborhood among established professionals and young, upwardly mobile professionals raising families. It is often referred to as the “tennis set” neighborhood because of its numerous recreational outlets that include Lynwood Park and Recreation Center, as well as Blackburn Park and Tennis Center. Cultural attractions include the Dunwoody Nature Center and the Spruill Gallery. A variety of housing is available in Dunwoody, including apartments, townhomes, ranch-style homes, bungalows and mini-mansions with manicured lawns. Nearby Perimeter Mall provides shopping, dining and family entertainment. With its proximity to all major expressways and North Fulton’s booming business opportunities, Dunwoody is a hotspot for families. N For more counties and neighborhood information, visit our Web site at | Newcomer Magazine | 45


PUBLIC SCHOOLS Fulton County Schools Board of Education 404-768-3600 Elementary Schools 58 Middle Schools 19 High Schools 17 Charter 8 Centers 4 Per-pupil expenditures $9,561 404-802-3500

Elementary Schools 52 Middle Schools 14 High Schools 20 Charter 15 Alternative 6 Per-pupil expenditures $13,069 School & bus information 404-802-5500 Avg. SAT Scores Fulton Co. 1567 Georgia 1452 National 1498 PRIVATE SCHOOLS Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS ELECTRICITY City of College Park 404-669-3759 City of East Point 404-270-7010 City of Fairburn 770-964-3481 City of Palmetto 770-463-3322 Georgia Power 888-660-5890 GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit TELEPHONE AT&T 866-271-9724 Comcast 404-266-2278

Fulton County



CABLE TV Charter Communications 887-906-9121 Comcast 404-266-2278 HOSPITALS Atlanta Medical Center 404-265-4000 Atlanta VA Medical Center 404-321-6111 Center for the Visually Impaired 404-875-9011 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta 404-785-9500 at Hughes Spalding Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite 404-785-5252 Emory University Hospital Midtown 404-778-2000 Grady Memorial Hospital 404-606-1000 North Fulton Regional Hospital 770-751-2500 Northside Hospital 404-851-8000 Piedmont Hospital 404-605-5000 Shepherd Center 404-352-2020 St. Joseph’s Hospital 678-843-7001

Fulton County serves as the center of the metro Atlanta area. With 90 percent of the city of Atlanta, including the state’s capital building, located within its borders, it sits at the hub of the area’s financial, transportation, retail, communications and cultural services. A number of Fortune 500 companies, including the Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines and UPS, are headquartered here. More than 970,000 people live in Fulton County, drawn by its convenience to Interstates 75, 85 and 285 and Georgia State Route 400. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median value of homes in the county is $246,200. Fulton is home to many of Atlanta’s signature neighborhoods, including its bustling downtown district. Older neighborhoods like Inman Park, Grant Park, Candler Park and Virginia-Highland offer affordable housing, pedestrianfriendly layouts and plentiful parks and recreational options. Midtown Atlanta is the heart of Atlanta’s cultural scene, with the Woodruff Arts Center (home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art) and the historic Fox Theatre, as well as a host of art galleries. Midtown’s Piedmont Park, the city’s most popular green space, hosts many outdoor festivals and concerts.

filled with high-rises, upscale restaurants, the Governor’s Mansion, the historic Swan House and the Atlanta History Center. Buckhead is also an entertainment and dining hotspot. With more than 200 restaurants, bars shops and luxury hotels, the Buckhead area is a magnet for young professionals.

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development.

Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education

Fulton County

Downtown Atlanta skyline




Buckhead is “where old money lives and new money parties,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. With its mixture of mansions and uniquely styled homes, Buckhead is a favorite among architecture and history buffs. Convenient to Georgia 400, Interstate 85 and MARTA, it’s

46 | Newcomer Magazine |


One of metro Atlanta’s most vibrant and affluent cities, Alpharetta is home to approximately 62,000 residents, according to 2012 U.S. Census Bureau estimates. They're drawn to its mix of big-city vitality and small-town charm, as well as its many amenities and affordable housing options. Homes range Median household income: $57,664 from large apartment comMedian age of residents: 34 munities to elegant subPopulation: 977,773 divisions, with a median Sales tax: 7%, Atlanta City: 8% value of $324,300. Chamber of Commerce Alpharetta offers a vaGreater North Fulton riety of parks and outdoor 770-993-8806, Metro Atlanta attractions, including the 404-880-9000, Big Creek Greenway trail. South Fulton Shoppers flock to North 770-964-1984, Point Mall for a multiProperty Taxes tude of retail options. The The property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value is: city’s historic downtown $44.12 for the City of Atlanta; $29.13 for incorporated area boasts an appealing Fulton County; $41.60 for unincorporated Fulton town square surrounded County; $33.75 for Johns Creek; $33.86 for Sandy by restaurants and shops. Springs. Tax Commissioner: 404-613-6100 The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre hosts big-name The neighborhood also offers numerconcerts each summer. N ous antique stores, art galleries and For more counties and neighborhood mall shopping at Lenox Square and information, visit our Web site at Phipps Plaza..

County Neighborhoods Schools

Photo: Georgia Dept. of Economic Development

Gwinnett County

COUNTY INFORMATION for any railroad aficionado. Some of Duluth’s neighborhoods include Edgewater Estates, Sweet Bottom Plantation, and Riverbrooke. Affluent estates with antebellum architecture can be found as well as apartment communities, older brick, ranch-style homes and subdivisions. Duluth still retains some of its original small-town businesses, along with chain businesses, many accessible by Ga. 400 and I-85.


Suwanee is named after the Shawnee Indians who settled here in the latter part of the 18th Originally part of Georgia’s century. Following the official Native American territory, Gwinnett founding of the city in 1837, County was created by the State Suwanee became a railroad stop Legislature in 1818 and named after along the Southern Railroad route. It Button Gwinnett, the third signer of remained a small country town well the Declaration of Independence and into the ’70s when construction of a former state governor. I-85 and U.S. 23 brought easy access While the county was to the region. once largely rural with small Since then, Suwanee County towns, country stores, farms has experienced tremenNeighborhoods dous growth, from 2,000 and forests, today it is home to residents in 1990 to more than 245 international more than 10,000 today. companies and 450 high-tech To help manage growth, firms. With an average of 260 Schools the city has developed new professional and industrial a comprehensive developcompanies relocating to the Median household income: $64,005 ment plan that promotes county each year, attracting more Median age of residents: 33 pedestrian-oriented dethan 6,000 new jobs, Gwinnett Population: 789,499 velopment and mixedCounty remains in the top 10 Sales tax: 6% use zoning. Designated ranking for growth nationwide. Chamber of Commerce a Tree City USA for more The county supports many Gwinnett County than 10 years, the city cultural events, restaurants 770-232-3000, is committed to preserving and shopping opportunities, Property Taxes 27 percent of its land as including the Mall of Georgia. The property tax in unincorporated Gwinnett green space. Gwinnett County remains County is $31.77 per $1,000 of assessed value. Such foresight has affordable for renters and firstTax Commissioner: 770-822-8800. allowed Suwanee to retain time home buyers, many of whom find homes in the communities of of the most exclusive neighborhoods its old-fashioned charm while proDoraville, Lawrenceville and Snellville. in Metro Atlanta and is home to viding contemporary convenience. The median value of homes in 2006, some of the best golf courses and Only 35 miles from downtown Ataccording to the Census Bureau, was private tennis clubs. There are lanta, Suwanee is close to big-city numerous parks for recreation and attractions, business districts and $193,100. participatory sports, including shopping. Many antique shops and Bunten Road Park and “Shorty” historic structures, including severHowell Park. Two major malls, al Victorian and regional farm-style Gwinnett Place and Northpoint, homes, are located near downtown are located near Duluth. The Suwanee. N Southeastern Railway Museum, For more counties and neighborhood Amidst the pristine setting of which preserves and operates old information, visit our Web site at Gwinnett County, Duluth has some railroad equipment, is a must-see

Mall of Georgia




EDUCATION PUBLIC SCHOOLS Gwinnett County Schools Board of Education 678-301-6000 Elementary Schools 72 Middle Schools 24 High Schools 20 Alternative 6 Open Campus 1 Per-pupil expenditures $8,338 City Schools of Buford Board of Education


Elementary Schools 1 Middle Schools 1 High Schools 1 Academy 1 Per-pupil expenditures $10,198 Avg. SAT Scores Gwinnett Co. 1526 City of Buford 1455 Georgia 1460 National 1509 PRIVATE SCHOOLS Visit our Web site at for a list of private schools in this county.

UTILITIES & CONTACTS ELECTRICITY City of Buford 770-945-6761 770-963-2414 City of Lawrenceville City of Norcross 770-448-2122 Georgia Power 404-395-7611 770-963-6166 Jackson EMC Sawnee EMC 770-887-2363 770-972-2917 Walton EMC GAS Georgia’s natural gas market is deregulated. For a list of providers for this county, visit


TELEPHONE 888-436-8638

WATER Buford 770-889-4600 Dacula 770-963-7451 Gwinnett City Water 678-376-6800 Lawrenceville 770-963-2414 Norcross 770-448-2122 CABLE TV Bellsouth Multimedia 770-360-5000 Charter Communications


Comcast 404-266-2278 HOSPITALS Emory Eastside Medical Center


Joan Glancy Memorial Hospital 678-584-6800 Gwinnett Medical Center


Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion 678-312-4770 Summit Ridge Center for Behavorial Health 770-822-2200 | Newcomer Magazine | 47


Family Day, Northeast Georgia History Center “Medieval Times: The Dark Ages Come to Light” explores the Middle Ages with handson activities, performances, demonstrations of arms and armor and more. Free and open to the public. Oct. 9, 770-297-5900,

Taste of Suwanee, Town Center Park

Cabaret, Fox Theatre

Theater & Concerts Disney on Ice: Follow Your Heart, Philips Arena Bring the little ones for a fun night with Dory and Hank from “Finding Dory,” Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” and more beloved characters. Oct. 5-9, 800-745-3000,

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, Fox Theatre Experience the hit songs of today performed in classic styles of yesteryear including swing, doo-wop and more. Oct. 15, 855-285-8499,

Carol Burnett, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

A Man for All Seasons, Holy Spirit Preparatory School

PHOTO: Joan Marcus

Sample delicious bites and drinks from more than 30 local restaurants and vendors. The festival also features live music and performances, televised college games, and a kids zone with lots of fun activities. Oct. 8,

Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics, High Museum of Art The High is the first U.S. museum to present this new exhibit featuring more than 30 works by the German photographer. Oct. 16-Jan. 8, 2017, 404-733-5000,

Taste of Atlanta, Technology Square

This student production of the famous play explores the last days of St. Thomas More, sentenced to death for standing up to King Henry VIII. Nov. 10-12,

Atlanta’s premier food festival celebrates its 15th year with celebrity chef appearances, cooking demonstrations, a “best bartender” competition, a silent auction and, of course, food from more than 90 of metro Atlanta’s top restaurants. Oct. 21-23,

Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Adult Halloween Party, Downtown Gainesville

Enjoy all-new orchestral arrangements drawn from classic Pokémon games, and catch, battle and trade Pokémon from your favorite games.

Enjoy a live DJ, costume contests, party games and more at this adults-only event. Oct. 22, 770-

Nov. 19, 800-745-3000,

Exhibits & Events


Halloween Week, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids Make fun treat bags and other Halloween crafts! Oct. 24-30, 770-536-1900,

Mule Camp Market, Gainesville Square

The comedic actress answers audience questions and shows clips from “The Carol Burnett Show” during this intimate evening. Oct. 24-25,

This regional fall festival features arts and crafts, mule rides, live music, great food and much more. Oct. 7-9, 770-536-7509,


Ghost Walk, Downtown Gainesville Take part in a walking tour and see locations believed to be visited by spirits. Oct. 27-28, 770-297-1141,

Cabaret, Fox Theatre

Trek or Treat, Suwanee Creek Park

Enjoy this award-winning musical set in the infamous Kit Kat Club, with music by Kander and Ebb. Nov. 1-6, 800-278-4447,

Kick off Halloween a little early with this kidfriendly event for children 10 and younger, with fall festival-style games, music, contests, inflatables and a free hot dog lunch (while supplies last). Oct. 29,

Silent Night, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Brick-or-Treat, LEGOLAND Discovery Center

The Atlanta Opera performs this moving work based on the powerful true story of a Christmas truce between British, French and German soldiers during World War I. Nov. 5, 8, 11 & 13, 800-745-3000,

Day Out With Thomas, Georgia Veterans State Park

48 | Newcomer Magazine |

Treat your scavenger and more center will

kids to a “find the pumpkins” hunt, pumpkin-building classes every weekend in October. The also host a costume contest at 12

Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting, High Museum of Art

and 3 p.m. on Oct. 29 and 30. Through Oct. 30,

Chihuly in the Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden This fine art exhibit returns, featuring 21 sculptural installation sites showcasing glass artist Dale Chihuly’s colorful, visually stunning work. Through October 31,

Fridays N Duluth, Duluth Town Green Enjoy a free block party every Friday in historic downtown Duluth, with live music, food trucks and more. The first and third Friday of the month brings the Flicks on the Bricks movie series, featuring “The Jungle Book” (Oct. 7) and “Hocus Pocus” (Oct. 21). And don’t miss the Duluth Fine Arts League Art Walk on Oct. 14. Through October,

Suwanee Wine Festival, Town Center Park Enjoy more than 100 hand-selected premium wines from around the world at this fourth annual event, which also features a craft beer tent, live entertainment, food and more. Nov. 5,

Suwanee Classic Car Show, Town Center Park See many different types of classic cars, take part in a silent auction, enjoy live music and more. Nov. 6,

Jingle Mingle, Gainesville Square

Smoky Mountain HarvestFest, Sevierville, Tenn.


Enjoy outdoor activities, a driving tour to catch the beautiful fall colors, and elaborate displays of pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows and more. Other activities include the National Music and Harvest Festival at Dollywood in nearby Pigeon Forge and the Gatlinburg Craftsmen Fair in neighboring Gatlinburg. Oct. 1-31,

Walhalla Oktoberfest, Walhalla, S.C. This rollicking fall celebration features arts and crafts, lederhosen, carnival rides, and authentic German food, music and dancers. Oct. 21-23,

M u s E u M

Take a 25-minute ride with Thomas the Tank Engine as he visits the SAM Shortline excursion train! Meet sir Topham Hatt and enjoy arts and crafts, storytelling, face-painting and many more children’s activities. Oct. 21, 22, 23, 29 & 30,

Enchanted MAIZE, Rock City Explore 10 acres of fun, including a corn maze, food, live music, tractor-pulled hayrides and much more. Through Oct. 31, www.

Your favorite characters reunite in this brandnew story, which you can only see at LEGOLAND Discovery Centers! Ongoing, 404-848-9252,


Revolutionary War Weekend, South Carolina Celebrate the rich history of the American revolution at this multi-day event at different locations. Oct. 1-9,


Haunted Cavern, Ruby Falls

Smoky Mountain Winterfest, Sevierville, Tenn.

This 57th annual art festival features fine arts and crafts on Hendersonville’s historic Main Street. Oct. 1-2, 828-693-8504,

Original Gone With the Wind memorabilia on display from the private collection of Dr. Christopher Sullivan.

The LEGO Movie 4D: A New Adventure, LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Art on Main, Hendersonville, N.C.

Scarlett on the Square

Gift Shop, facility RentalS annual eventS

Crawling with terrifying creatures, this spooky event takes place both above ground and (if you’re brave enough) 26 stories underground. Through Oct. 31,

A Short Drive Away



Day Out With Thomas, Georgia Veterans State Park

Get into the holiday spirit early at this annual event showcasing downtown Gainesville merchants. Nov. 17, 770-297-1141,


10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Closed Sunday

Enjoy millions of twinkling lights, holiday festivities and outlet shopping. Nov. 7-Feb. 28,

Holiday Tree Lighting, Hendersonville, N.C. Shop at local businesses, sing holiday songs, visit with Santa and enjoy carriage rides at the annual lighting of the tree during this annual celebration. Nov. 25, 828-233-3216,

Chattanooga Market, Chattanooga, TN This weekly open-air market features live music, food trucks, arts and crafts, and vendors selling produce, meats, cheese and more, at the First Tennessee Pavilion. Through Nov. 20, | Newcomer Magazine | 49


Arts@Tech E

stablished in 1992, the Ferst Center for the Arts provides a venue for presentations by students and renowned international artists in dance, concerts and theatrical performances. This year’s Arts@Tech programming at the 1,141-seat state-of-the-art theatre is breaking barriers of traditional art and creating a “new normal” that integrates art and technology. Performing at the Ferst Center in the heart of the Georgia Tech campus, the Arts@Tech season is shifting By Camille Moore gears to combine elements of art with technology in a diverse range of experiences including cultural works and programming. “The goal is to move art back to an everyday occurrence,” says Madison Cario, director of the Office of the Arts. Since coming on board in 2014, Cario has transformed and expanded the center’s creative experiences to focus on initiatives of science, art, engineering and technology. In the two years since the innovative rebranding of its programming as Arts@Tech, the Ferst Center has expanded its horizons. A students’ research work has highlighted a robot dance performance (above), and this year, visitors can watch an outdoor visual odyssey that combines original poetry and stunning artwork to create a multimedia experience. It’s just a sampling of the new directions. Visitors can expect less of a show and more of an experience, fully immersed in the environment after they walk through the doors. The programs offer an abundance of multi-layered work including art for every age and demographic. Open discussions, interactive shows, pre- and post-show workshops, improv comedy, and jazz from the Big Band Era are among the elements highlighted in the upcoming season. Showcases combine technology and multimedia using the center’s theatrical lighting and sound systems. The Ferst Center hosts more than an amalgamation of fascinating artistry, and audiences will leave with a new perspective of the relationship of art and technology. If the engaging programs aren’t enough, the Ferst Center has undergone a cosmetic facelift to remove two walls in the front lobby. The resulting open space is a creative outlet for artists to mingle and lounge in an exploratory space while working with virtual and augmented reality. The lobby is also available for rent and makes an ideal space for lectures, luncheons, meetings and receptions. “Atlanta is a world class destination,” says Cario. “Coming to the Ferst Center you will be surprised that it exists and surprised at the caliber of the artistry that graces the stage.” The Arts@Tech season is presented at the Ferst Center for the Arts, located at 349 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, on the Georgia Tech campus. For more information on shows, parking, facility rental and tickets prices, visit or call 404-894-2787.

50 | Newcomer Magazine |

PHOTOS: Georgia Tech

Performances Combine Art with Technology | Newcomer Magazine | 51

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Newcomer Magazine | October/November 2016  

Atlanta’s new resident relocation guide for businesses and families moving to Metro Atlanta.

Newcomer Magazine | October/November 2016  

Atlanta’s new resident relocation guide for businesses and families moving to Metro Atlanta.