In Georgia, you have more options than you may think…
Brick & Mortar Public Schools
Your child’s age is your first indicator of his or her eligibility for beginning school. Georgia law requires that students attend a public or private school or a home study program from their sixth to their 16th birthdays. Students may start kindergarten if they turn five on or before September 1. A child does not have to enroll in school at age five, but must enroll no later than his or her sixth birthday. see more >
Georgia school districts set the requirements for what documentation is required prior to enrolling a student in their district. To get that information, contact the district directly here.
Some legal documents are required for Georgia students to attend school:
- Social Security Number
- Certificate of Eye, Ear and Dental Exam [Form 3300]
Certificate of Immunization [Form 3231] (or proof that immunization is not required for the child). Click here to view the immunization requirements.
Paying some fees is a part of public education, though it is primarily a free education. Students are expected to supply their own basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, crayons, pens, etc. Each district has a list of approved expenditures for students.
Some typical items on that list include:
- Gate admissions
- Student publications
- Graduation fees (if participation is not required)
- Activity fees
Public Charter Schools
What are Charter Schools?
Charter Schools are tuition-free public schools operated by independent, non-profit governing bodies.
Parents, teachers, and community leaders sign a “charter” or contract with a school district or state agency to create a charter school and give students more educational options than their assigned school. Charter schools have flexibility over classroom hours, curriculum, and employment policies, but are subject to periodic reviews based on student performance. In Georgia, public charter school students are measured against the same academic standards as students in other public schools. Local boards of education monitor the academic and financial performance of charter schools, and, can revoke or refuse to renew a school’s charter.
Georgia Charter Schools
A list of the 115 active charter schools can be found at the Georgia Board of Education!
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about charters can be found at the Georgia Charter School Association or the Georgia Department of Education.
Charter schools define their own attendance zone within their contract. If you are interested in applying for your child, you must apply directly to the school. The application and selection process can be quite complicated. Make sure to contact the school early to determine the correct next steps to applying.
Virtual Public Schools
In Georgia, thousands of children attend school online in virtual classrooms with state certified teachers. Some virtual programs are open to in-district students only, while others have enrollment open to students across the state. A list of virtual classes provided by each of the participating schools can be found here.
Atlanta Virtual Academy
phone: (404) 802-2784
Cobb Virtual Academy
phone: (678) 581-6791
Forsyth ¡Achieve Virtual Academy
phone: (770) 781-3141
Fulton Virtual — Blended Learning
phone: (470) 254-6578
Georgia Connections Academy
phone: (678) 825-3258
Georgia Cyber Academy
phone: (866) 523-3162
Georgia Virtual School
phone: (404) 657-0574
Griffin-Spalding County Virtual Program
phone: (770) 229-3710
Gwinnett Online Campus
phone: (770) 326-8082
Henry County Online Academy
phone: (770) 957-7189
phone: (770) 954-3744
Thomas County Schools Virtual Program
phone: (229) 225-4380, ext. 134
Wilcox County Schools Online Education Program
phone: (229) 467-2141
What makes a school “private”?
Private schools charge tuition, and many have a religious mission. Some private schools offer families assistance to make tuition payments. Click below for the complete list of over 580 private schools across the state.
Private School Review offers free, detailed information on U.S. private schools combined with useful community data (e.g., housing costs) and maps of the surrounding areas.
*Information on non-public school admission requirements should be obtained from the school directly.
For families who currently want to consider private school options in Georgia, there are a few programs and organizations that provide vouchers and scholarships! For information on eligibility requirements and which schools participate in scholarship programs visit these organizations: GeorgiaTAP, Georgia GOAL, and Pay It Forward.
Educational Choice Programs
The State of Georgia has a tax-credit scholarship program, which was launched in 2008, to help public school students access to schools that benefit their individual learning needs.
The Georgia Individualized Education Account (IEA) Program, was launched in 2007, provides parents funds to pay for a variety of educational services for their children with special needs, including: private school tuition, tutoring, online education, curriculum, therapy, post-secondary educational institutions in Georgia, and other defined educational services.
For more information on policy change or to get involved in the school choice movement in Georgia visit EdChoice.
Private Virtual Schools
George Washington University Online High School is an online college preparatory academy for motivated students who are willing to be challenged to become the best students and persons they can be. Combining award-winning curriculum with small class sizes and intensive college counseling, students receive a flexible, individualized education attuned to their own needs and goals.
International Academy is a K12, Inc accredited, online private school for grades K–12. Students earn a U.S. high school diploma while using award-winning K¹² curriculum
They offer extensive, individualized academic and counseling support keep students on track. The flexibility allows students to explore their passions. Full-time and part-time options are available.
International Connections Academy is a fully-accredited, online, college preparatory private school serving K-12 students worldwide. The program combines a top-rated curriculum with talented teachers, cutting-edge technology, the flexibility to learn at home, and direct family involvement to ensure each student realizes his or her full potential.
The Keystone School offers flexible education programs for high school and middle school students. Whether your student wants to study full-time or just needs individual classes, they offer more than 170 courses from credit recovery to world languages and AP. Students can enroll at any time.
Prince Avenue Christian School offers an online study option for Georgia high school students. Whether your student needs individual classes or dual enrollment opportunities, they offer a selection of classes to fill your students needs. To view an application for online study visit here.
In Georgia, parents have the option to educate their children at home, an option known as homeschooling or home education. Parents in Georgia may choose to homeschool their own children in grades K–12. Parents desiring to homeschool their own children may do so by following these six easy steps.
Independent home school students must:
- In order to do so Georgia Department of Education states that effective July 1, 2012 parents must annually submit a Declaration of Intent by September 1 or with 30 days after a program is established. The Declaration of Intent must include the names and ages of the students, the address where the program is located, and the dates of the school year. You can send a hard copy of your Declaration of Intent here:
Georgia Dept of Education
205 Jesse Hill Jr. Dr., SE
Suite 2053 Twin Towers East
Atlanta, GA 30334
- The home study program shall provide a basic academic educational program which includes, but is not limited to, reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science, however, you may teach other content areas.
- Parents or guardians may teach only their own children in the home study program provided the teaching parent or guardian possesses at least a high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma (GED). Parents or guardians may also employ a tutor who holds at least a high school diploma or a GED to teach such children.
- Student attendance (at least 4.5 hours per day, 180 days per year)
- You must test your students at the end of third grade and every three years afterwards (example: grades 3, 6, 9, 12). The test must be a nationally standardized test (CRCT and EOCT are not nationally standardized test).
- The instructor shall write an annual progress assessment report in each required subject area for each student. These reports shall be retained for at least three years.
Dual enrollment courses are college credit courses. High school students enroll in college courses and earn postsecondary credit upon successful completion of the course. High school credit can also be awarded based on local school policy. Dual enrollment courses can be taught on the college campus, at the student’s high school, or online. The location of the course does not affect its status as a dual enrollment course. Home school students are also eligible for dual enrollment.
Georgia has two dual enrollment programs: Dual Credit and Move On When Ready. Dual Credit courses are offered on a high school campus or joint technical education district campus through an agreement or contract between a school district/charter school and a community college district governing board. Move On When Ready courses are offered on a college campus, high school campus or in a virtual environment. More information on Dual Credit and Move On When Ready can be found here.
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