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Buy local...Peachtree Academy offers an alternative to public education
Higher learning: Left to right - Primary and Middle School Principal Sandra Russell, owner and Director of Admissions JaNice Van Ness and Early Childhood Development Director Christine DeLuca. - photo by Photo by Jessica Smith
Peachtree Academy
Address: 1801 Ellington Road and 1760 Ebenezer Road, Conyers
Phone: 770-860-8900, 770-922-6044
Web site:
It's that time of year again. Even though temperatures are hovering in the '90s, time to hang up the swimsuits and squirt guns and start getting to bed at a reasonable hour. For the students matriculating at Peachtree Academy, an innovative and dynamic learning environment awaits them.

Owner JaNice Van Ness began the school a decade ago after having owned another school franchise in Peachtree City.
"It wasn't as focused on education as I wanted," she said. "So I opened Peachtree Academy and that's why we have the developmental checklist that children should achieve."

Emphasizing a strong, academic college-preparatory curriculum in a safe, Christ-centered atmosphere for children in grades K-8, the school is fully SACS accredited. Beginning with the Accelerated Reader program, Peachtree Academy aims to instill a passion for literature and great books in children.

A vital elementary math program featuring Everyday Mathematics, pioneered by the University of Chicago, lays the foundation for the Middle School's agendas of algebra and geometry. Activity-based experiments encourage students to analyze, research and experiment as means to discovering the scientific process.

The rest of their curriculum is rounded out by social studies, combining a historical perspective and a community involvement component, as well as a Hands-On Spanish program. The children also compete in soccer, tennis, swimming, basketball, golf and pep squad. After-school enrichment also includes drama, chess and environmentalist clubs. A unique club at the school is the D.O.R.K.s, or the "Dedicated, Original, and Responsible Kids," which inspires a student to turn a so-called negative into a positive.

One of the newest additions to the Peachtree Academy leadership is Primary School Principal Sandra Russell, who previously worked with public school systems in Minnesota and in Newton County, where she was a teacher for several years.

Russell initially contacted Van Ness after hearing a new Peachtree Academy campus might open up near where Russell's parents lived.

"I realized our philosophies on education were identical. I realized this is where I actually belonged," Russell said.

"I was excited to be part of an educational community that truly works to challenge and engage the students without having all the emphasis on standardized testing" found in public schools, she said.

Russell said she is "thrilled" about the new school year. "We have a wonderful faculty in place. The parent support is unlike anything I've ever seen."

Another integral part of the school are the Early Childhood Development centers, which accepts children as early as six weeks through pre-school. The program's director, Christine DeLuca credits the attentive care and instruction received at these tender ages to preparing students to excel in the future.

For more information, call 770-860-8900.