Prediction: In-town, Atlanta Private School within 5 Years

Atlanta has a huge appetite for an in-town private school less expensive than Paideia.

An affordable in-town private school would create the following:

– traffic alleviation in from the suburbs
– greater community within the downtown/midtown/VaHi/Westside/Inman Park residents
– the ability for college graduate to stay in-town after having kids

What It Would Look Like:

– Focused on technology.
– Diverse.
– Easy access to MARTA.
– Affordable for a household income of $60k+. Example: $5k-10k/year/per student
– Partnership with other private schools (not locally) but nationally. Example: the Avenues.
– First decade of school’s opening would be pre k-5th grade.

The ideal location would be anywhere between Piedmont Road and Spring St. north of Five Points MARTA Station and south of 17th street. 

Atlanta is ripe for an affordable in-town private school. It’s the next step in bridging the cultural and transportation challenges facing our city. I predict it occurs within 5 years from this post.



6 Responses

  1. Just curious — I’m completely uninformed on this, since my daughter has finished law school (!). But I don’t see how “affordable” lines up with “some of the most desirable real estate in the Southeast”… I suspect the Children’s School on 10th Street meets most of your requirements, but it’s 2X your target price.

    For what it’s worth, Tech High School was within days of purchasing a property that fits in your geography before APS murdered the school. I can share the location privately, but probably shouldn’t post it publicly.

  2. Jon Birdsong says:


    Wow! Honored you stopped by and read/commented. Also, you must be very proud of your recent law grad.

    I completely forgot about the Children’s School! Good looks on reminding me.

    As for the numbers, yeah, I just whipped this post up pretty quickly and it’s definitely a somewhat quixotic, “perfect world” scenario. A more realistic private school where these numbers make sense would be over at off Edgewood Ave and Memorial Ave area.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  3. Laura says:

    I would love to see your idea cometo fruition! I live in Oakhurst and would support this idea!

  4. You won’t have to wait that long. The New School ( is slated to open on the east side of downtown in August 2014. We are creating a high school alternative for Intown families, at a price point that will open up independent education to a wide swath of families who are currently priced out of the market. Our focus: project based learning, entrepreneurship and internships, using the city as a prime resource to let kids explore their passions, and master teachers. Check us out on line. We’ll be having innovative workshops and events for young people and their families starting this fall. The New School: ReThinking Education.

  5. Unfortunately, without a MASSIVE philanthropist donor to get such a school off the ground and keep it afloat, it’s not really possible. Simple economics of facilities (even rented or very cheap), faculty, materials, etc., don’t allow for “affordable” to be anything less than about $8-9k/year/student, and that doesn’t cover it all. Hence the need for every private school parent’s dreaded term, “the annual fund”. Annual fund donations are tax deductible, which is fine, but that’s the money that covers the last 10-20% of actual operating costs.

    So, when Rivalry is a billion dollar business, it will bring much joy to see “The Birdsong School” come to midtown/downtown. :-)