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Academics the focus at Eastminster School
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With a strong priority on academics and preparation for college, the Eastminster School, a private K-8 school that began in 2004, prides itself on offering local parents a different option for their child's education.

"There's a clear sense that what we expect parents to want from us is a focus on the child's academic work," said Headmaster Dr. Darren Pascavage. "We don't think we're better than anybody else. We just think what we do is what we do and we're pretty good at it."

Pascavage said he even encourages parents to look at other schools as well. ‘They'll sort of look at us sideways and say ‘Why would you want us to go look at other schools?' Because when you go to other schools, you'll see what we mean by our approach being different."

"We enjoy a wonderful public school system," said Sarah Christopher, director of admissions. "But as your population grows, you have people moving from all sorts of other educational environments, such as the New England area, New York, Chicago - their expectation is a little different."

Eastminster is a place that students, parents and staff truly want to attend and that desire shows, said Christopher. "When you walk into this building, there's literally a feeling that you get."

For one thing, a college counselor works with every student and the school tracks individual student longitudinal test scores.

"A parent of a kindergartner, they may not be thinking of college prep, but as a school we are," said Pascavage. "We realize for the students to be successful in the AP courses they'll need to take in high school to have their choice of colleges that the work we do in kindergarten is important. At the same time, we want students to have as well-rounded an experience as they can."

The school also offers a variety of activities for students to explore their interests such as bands, clubs and no-cut sports teams as well. Some of the courses offered include Spanish for all lower school students and all middle school students take Spanish, Latin and Mandarin Chinese.

In such an environment, the students place high expectations on themselves, said Pascavage. As a result, the administrators rarely see discipline problems.
"To some this may seem like adults saying to kids this is how we expect you to be. We do expect it and the kids expect it of each other. You can hear through their deliberations on the (student-run honor) council how much it matters that their classmates are honest, that they're trustworthy, that they do their best. When those things don't happen, they're genuinely disappointed."

The new school year starts on Aug. 31. Currently there are about 150 students enrolled from seven counties over the state and the school is still accepting applications.

Next year, Eastminster will take another big step with the opening of its high school as the current eighth graders matriculate to ninth graders.

Even though the school is young, it has already mapped out its direction for the next 30 years. As funds become available, the school hopes to build out its campus over its 50 acre plot that will accommodate 1,100 students.

For more information, call 770-785-6780 or visit the school at 2450 Lenox Road, in Conyers, off of Ga. Highway 138.