Georgia, a small nation rich in history and culture, is situated in the Caucasus, where Europe and the Middle East converge. It is also the home of Georgian, one of the more intriguing languages spoken worldwide.
The higher education sector in Georgia takes pleasure in turning out well-rounded, highly skilled graduates who have benefited from an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Some Georgian institutions have connections to prestigious international universities, allowing students to start developing a genuinely global network while they are studying.
While discovering ‘Georgia’s Top 5 Successful Schools to Watch in 2023,’ The Education View came across Springwood School. It is a school with a mission to help students grow intellectually, physically and spiritually. To learn more about the School, we interviewed Dr Kim Baylis, Head of the School.
Dive in to know how Springwood School can make a difference in the lives of children.
Can you tell us a little bit about your school’s history and mission?
The Chattahoochee Valley Educational Foundation was founded in October 1967; in 1970, CVEF founded Springwood School. Springwood was intended to be a private school alternative at a time when few such examples existed in the area.
While not a faith-based school per se, the School was founded on ‘Christian principles.’ The School began operation with a single classroom building and an opening enrollment of 161 students in grades 1-9. In each of the following three years, another grade was added. In 1971, the School added a gymnasium/classroom building, and growth continued with a high school building in 1973 and the first graduating class of 22 students.
The following year, Springwood added a kindergarten program and building. An athletic stadium followed in 1981. In 1985 a child development program was added, as well as the Fine Arts Center, which provided more opportunities for students in the areas of drama, art and music. A primary school building was built in 1993, with a capacity of 120 children. In 1998 the Child Development Center opened with a capacity of 180 students.
How does your school stand out from other schools in Georgia?
Our School is an accredited, independent day and international boarding school that provides students with a rigorous college and career prep curriculum and an extensive selection of athletic teams, performing and visual arts, community service opportunities and co-curricular activities.
Our vibrant student body is made up of domestic students and international students from 11 different countries this year. Twenty-five percent of our high school students are international.
There is a 9:1 student-teacher ratio. Springwood School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at Springwood School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies and athletic and other school-administered programs.
Can you describe the academic programs and courses offered at your school?
Our students are provided with rigorous traditional courses in addition to those offered at the honors, advanced placement (AP), and dual enrolment levels. Additional online AP courses are available to students.
Classes incorporate sound learning principles, including varied instructional methods and assessment practices, with the goal of fulfilling the mission of nurturing and engaging students in mind, body and spirit.
World Language classes are offered to students in grades 2 to 12.
What kind of unique opportunities are available for students at your school?
Interim Experience: Three days of travel, job shadowing (for seniors to intern in professions of their choice), community service and field trips during March instead of attending traditional classes.
Wildcat Workday: Annual school-wide day of service when students and faculty work throughout the community.
Upper grades are encouraged to interact with students in the lower grades throughout the school year. Projects such as can food drives, red ribbon week activities, collection of items to fill shoeboxes for children around the world, and participation in theatrical performances all provide unique opportunities in shaping leaders.
How does your school prepare students for real-world challenges?
Springwood School emphasizes elements of collaboration and collegiality that include honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, responsibility, citizenship, self-discipline, and respect for others.
Can you talk about the faculty at your school and their qualifications and expertise?
The Springwood School faculty is committed to knowing students well. These relationships help teachers to guide and challenge students expertly. Teachers set high standards to encourage and support students to help them reach their goals. Over 40 percent of the faculty have advanced degrees, and all faculty participate in monthly professional training.
How does your school foster a culture of innovation among its students?
Springwood focuses on inspiring the mind, training the body, and nourishing the spirit by seeking to develop the wholeness of every student through academic excellence in a Christ-centered culture so that they are fully equipped to impact the world.
What kind of facilities and resources does your school provide for its students?
Springwood School’s campus spans over 40 acres and consists of seven buildings. Football/soccer fields, baseball and softball fields, gymnasiums, playgrounds, outdoor learning spaces, and a stage for theatre performances provide a variety of activities for various interest levels. Technology such as desktops, tablets and laptops, junior high technology classes, computer labs are facilitated to students. Chromebooks are for all high school students. Chromebooks for all elementary students and iPads to be integrated into the library/media centre.