We have nothing but positive things to say about GWA. Several family members have graduated from this college prep school, dating back to my graduation in 1982. My son recently graduated, and is finding himself far more prepared than his fellow college students.
Oh, and for some of the snarky comments on this board, I will plainly state our family is not one of the wealthier ones involved at GWA. And that is certainly one of the positives of the school--all families are involved! And it shows when you speak to the children, from pre K to graduating classes.
There as so many positive things about this school. A safe environment, very good programs (band, athletics, activities, camps), strong academic standards and a wonderful school spirit. I would love to give the school 5 stars....but...many (not all) of the elementary teachers and the elementary school administration are just awful. Many of these elementary teachers appear tired, burned out and uninspired. Students are quickly identified as troublemakers or bullies for the slightest reasons and the label stays with them for the entire school year. Some of the treatment of these students by these unmotivated educators is shameful and down right hurtful. The elementary school administration has a "circle the wagons" mentality when these issues are brought to their attention. This is an experience commonly shared and discussed by more than a few GWA parents. The physical education program for elementary students is non existent. Equally uninspired PE teachers make the kids walk or run the track (in their school uniforms!) nearly every class. These endless laps around the track constitute 90% of the elementary PE program. The kids hate it. So, despite some really positive aspects to this school, the elementary program is substandard and not a good value for the private school tuition that you pay to go here. Things improve significantly in both middle and high school, but I fear the long term damage to the school if the chronic issues plaguing the elementary program continue to send current and prospective students elsewhere.
I was constantly picked on . My older brother went and graduated from GWA as well as I did. Teachers always compared me to him. I have learning disabilities and am nothing like my brother. A teacher told me i wouldn't make it in the real world . GWA is great if you look like you could model in a magazine etc and have money to spend . I would not recommend this school to anyone because of the environment and the favoritism that was and is played here. I will not be sending my child here and put her through the miserable time I had attending this school .
My child was attending a pub. school in Gwinnett and was making all A's. However, she was not earning these grades. Also, her public school had over 2,000 students with 34 students in each class. The pub. school band had 2 classes with over 100 students each. The over crowding, disruptive students, and limited opportunities is why we left. George Walton provided much needed academic rigor. Band class has approx. 30 students and 2 top notch/dedicated teachers working with the kids. There are lots of opportunities for the kids to be part of the school and interact with others. At the public school it was if they were herding cattle. Middle schoolers have class trips, lots of labs/projects, partipate in swim team, and lots of band performances(including parades and football games). Social environment- No mean girls (observation from middle school daughter) Cons-If you have to change schools in the future, it will be difficult. Your kid will want to stay forever.
My first child started GWA 18 years ago and I have a current High School Junior. Educating my children at George Walton is the greatest decision I have ever made for them. They have grown into responsible young adults and the rigor of the school, although sometimes challenging, has well prepared them for college. I feel like this is the best investment I could have ever made for my childrens future. I highly recommend GWA and have found the faculty to be among the best in the state.
I am a graduate of George Walton Academy, and years later, I am still so thankful to have had the opportunity to attend this school. It has its faults like every school, but it is truly a place where students are challenged academically and where teachers and staff care about students and want to see them be successful in life. My life is better for having been there, and as I look around at others who graduated with me, I see where their education has taken them and know they would say the same. Also, the band program is incredible! I have never heard a better high school band. They have amazing directors who teach hard work and commitment, and they produce skilled musicians. They are definitely the best in the state and probably beyond that.
Having now had two children graduate from GWA, I can say that I cannot think of a better place to have raised my children. They have been challenged academically at each level of their education. They have been challenged to do their best and be a team player for the teams they have been a part of. And they have been encouraged to be good leaders and role models for the other students that surround them. My children have come away with the knowledge and the confidence that will take them anywhere they choose to go in their lives, and the encouragement of their teachers to go out and make good choices. One child graduating from college and one child beginning, both say they feel they were very well prepared for the challenges of college and life thereafter. Both have very strong friendships they made while attending GWA, and have a great rapport with the teachers. I am extremely happy with the educational choice I made for them years ago, and with the safe, secure environment in which they grew up.
GWA is everything I want for my children. With strong academics and a wide variety of athletic and extracurricular opportunities, they are being challenged to succeed and develop the skills necessary to be successful in college and beyond. The Class of 2014 graduated 89. These graduates received more than $5 million in scholarship offers. I am very impressed with the caliber of alumni and how they perform in college and in the work force. GWA is the best option around for a true college preparatory education and well-rounded school experience..
George Walton cater entirely to the highest bidder. If your family donates a building, the child can do drugs, disrupt classes, and have no consequences. The teachers are an elderly version of Mean Girls. The best teachers are let go and the ones who stay are only there based upon popularity. The damage that will be done to your child's self esteem is extreme in such a hateful environment.