Peachtree adds 2 grade levels, more programs

COVINGTON — Peachtree Academy's Covington location is expanding in several ways this year.

When the private school reopens to students in the fall for the 2011-12 school year, it will have two new grade levels, more program offerings and some additions to its campus.

Peachtree Academy, located at 14101 U.S. Highway 278 in Covington, is owned by Rockdale County Board of Commissioners member JaNice Van Ness. The school opened last school year and served about 70 students. It is the first private school in Covington that is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

This year, the school, which is based in Conyers with two campuses, already has enrolled 130 students in 3-year-old private prekindergarten through 11th grades at the Covington campus.

"We added 10th and 11th grades this year," said Wendy Hughes, an instructional coordinator at the school. "We had planned to add one grade each year — and that would have been 10th grade this year — but we have had so much demand."

Next year, the school plans to have its first graduating class — one year ahead of schedule. Hughes said that Peachtree Academy also has partnered with Georgia Perimeter College to have students participate in dual enrollment courses while enrolled in high school.

Also because of demand, the school hopes to add more extracurricular activities for students. Hughes said this may include film and video production and after-school guitar lessons. She said the variety of skills that the school's teachers have allowed the school to offer such activities.

The school also offers band, chorus, drama, piano, Chinese, Spanish, sign language, Bible study, spelling, math Olympics and other subjects to students during and after school hours.

After-school clubs and athletic programs will be offered to students for the first time this upcoming school year, Hughes said. Athletic events and clubs include soccer, tennis, golf, track, cross-country, volleyball, baseball and cheerleading.

Before- and after-school care and camps during school holidays and summer breaks also are available. Beginning June 2012, the school also will offer a summer school for middle and high school students.

The school also focuses on technology — each classroom uses interactive boards, and students also use computer labs and online learning programs.

This summer, construction crews are finishing up the school playground and they also will begin work on a courtyard area. Crews also have added three more classrooms and a renovated cafeteria in the two-level building that was vacated by 84 Lumber.

In the future, crews will add to other areas of the campus.

Although the school opened last year, it will hold its first official ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. Thursday at its Covington campus.

A few student spots are open in the elementary to high school levels at the Covington campus. More information is available by calling the school at 678-729-9111.

Peachtree Academy's main Conyers campus, which is located at 1801 Ellington Road in Conyers, serves elementary school students. And the Conyers west campus at 1760 Ebenezer Road houses early learners through kindergarten students.

Employment opportunities are available by calling the main Conyers campus at 770-860-8900.

More information about the school is located on its website, www.peachtreeacademy.com.