Coming from a 'high achieving' public school that poured on the homework, GACS certainly does not send home too much homework, comparatively speaking. Students learn subject matter during class time and homework is review or project related. My kids are not stressed and have plenty of time for extra curricular activity.
GACS has been overall impressive! The campus is outstanding & the academics serve both our gifted children and our child that needs a little extra help. Plenty of perks here, but not given, you have to work for it. The school is constantly upgrading. Your child spends more time in school than with you, think hard about what influences you would like them to experience.
Having been a parent of students attending GAC from K5 thru 12th grade I can see what a huge impact this school has had on our children. They have been well prepared spiritually, mentally and academically for college and the real world, having built their strong foundation at GAC.
Not knowing what their individual interests would be, we originally chose GAC because it offered a variety of great programs they could enjoy and excel at. They became involved in the academic, fine arts and athletic programs and we enjoyed meeting great families in each group.
Going into high school we had to determine early on what their college goals were and we worked with the GAC college counselor and their teachers to help them achieve their college goals. Academically we had one child who was a self starter and was able to navigate the classes and maintained a high gpa on their own. Our second child struggled academically and had tutors to help keep up with the rigors of the classes that the universities he wanted to attend required. Both were admitted to their top college choice.
There were struggles along the way but we feel they learned more from these struggles having so many great teachers & coaches who were there to support them and help them on their path.
They learned just as much about setting goals, working hard, failing and winning alongside their teammates to master valuable life skills on the fields just as much as they did in a classroom. The coaches they had made raising a teenager much easier for us due to them knowing our child and setting high standards and expectations for them. They were more concerned at their coach being disappointed in them which helped in keeping them on the right track. For 12+ years these fine GAC teachers & coaches helped us in raising our kids by instilling our shared Christian beliefs and values.
If you have any doubts as to how subpar the teachers at GACS are, just visit the Panera off of Sugarloaf Pkwy on any given weekday afternoon or night. It's full of tutors working with GACS students - not because they're trying to get ahead, but because they're just trying to learn what they weren't taught at school. Teacher credentials aren't published on the website or shared with parents because many of the teachers do not have degrees in the subject areas they're teaching. It's one thing to know the content, but it's another to know how to teach it. Folks, the school may focus on Christian values, which I'm all for, but the main reason you send your kids to school is for an education. Also, they teach students that all religions are equal, but they give Church of Christ followers a tuition discount. When my child asked me about that contradiction, I didn't know how to answer because it is hypocritical. Simply not worth the money. It may be one of the more affordable private schools, but it in NO WAY compares with Westminster, Woodward or even Wesleyan.
Whether or not GAC is the best private school in the Greater Atlanta area is open for debate but it is overwhelmingly the most inclusive, both racially and economically, and offers a more-than-adequate education. It is also one of the most affordable. Those reviewers critical of its annual fundraising drives may be unaware what that money is spent on. It partially subsidizes your tuition and also allows financially challenged families to send their children there. GAC has its faults like any institution -- one that comes to mind is an over-emphasis on sports -- but the proof is in the pudding. It has sent students to most of the top universities in the country, has outstanding fine arts and music programs winning national awards for band and other honors, offers incredible opportunities for local, domestic, and international missions and service, and is staffed by professors who care for the students. Are there a few teachers who might be considered "subpar"? Probably. Are their some outstanding teachers who could easily be teaching at university level? Absolutely. And many more of the latter than the former, despite some of the reviews I've read here. As with any school, your education is what you, the parent, and your student make it. It's evident that GAC can be a ladder to the finest learning institutions in the country but it's up to you to figure out how to leverage it.
We were recently told by the school that homework was a thing of the past, that studies have shown that there is enough time in school to learn the material. But this has not been borne out at all for my child.