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The Walker School in Atlanta [Expert Review 2023]

The Walker School in Atlanta [Expert Review 2023]

The thing that differentiates The Walker School from other independent schools in the area is that there is a nice healthy intersection of academic challenge and balance of wellness and the whole child experience. Director of Admissions, Katherine Harrison, thinks of Walker as a family school.

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Linda K. Talton, Founding President of School First in NYC, recently interviewed The Walker School’s Director of Admissions, Katherine Harrison, to gain more insight into what Walker offers students, and the details of their admissions process.

Read on to learn all you need to know about what makes The Walker School so special, and stay tuned to Ivy Tutor Network’s blog so you can get the scoop on other Atlanta schools Linda will be writing about soon!

A Brief History of The Walker School

The thing that differentiates The Walker School from other independent schools in the area is that there is a nice healthy intersection of academic challenge and balance of wellness and the whole child experience. Director of Admissions, Katherine Harrison, thinks of Walker as a family school.

Currently their greatest competition are magnet schools in the area, but Katherine argues that these schools are unable to cater to the individual needs of all students and Walker has the freedom, like other independent schools, to do just this. She also shared that these past 2 years have been challenging not only academically, but also socially and emotionally for students as a result of the pandemic, and Walker has the resources and curriculum in place to rise to the occasion and support their students.

The students and their families are known well by the administrators and teachers, which leads to not only academic success but also to them becoming well rounded citizens of the world. At Walker students are making real world connections, learning from a lens of blending thoughtfulness and tradition. There is a three language requirement, which really sets them apart from other schools. As a result, students are inclined to choose experiences in other countries as graduates, or at the very least to be flexible in their thinking around learning opportunities.

Students are encouraged to “stretch all of their rubber bands”- to try every way of doing things, using different approaches.

Walker is also proud of their diversity, with 42% of students identifying as people of color.

Walker seniors achieve 100 percent acceptance to top four-year colleges and universities.

The Walker School Campus

Walker has 950 students and 2 campuses, located in Marietta.

The Primary Campus houses Early Learners (3 years old) through kindergarten and the Main Campus houses grades 1 through 12.

Where is The Walker School located?

One of the things that I took away from our conversation, and this came up a lot, is that location matters in the Atlanta area when it comes to schools and commuting.

The Walker School is located at 700 Cobb Pkwy N, Marietta, GA 30062, just off the I-75, along the 45 bus line. Walker offers a two-way bus service with multiple pick-up and drop-off locations throughout Atlanta including Smyrna, Sandy Springs, Roswell, and Acworth, and considers requests to add additional pick-up locations, as well.

Walker School National, State, and Local Rankings

In 2023, The Walker School was ranked nationally as the 205th Best Private K-12 School out of of 2,594. Walker ranked 363rd out of 4,323 of the nation’s Best Private High Schools. Additionally, Walker ranked 409th out of 4,159 for Best College Prep Private Schools; 922 of 8,786 for Best High Schools for STEM, and 950 out of 7,010 for Most Diverse Private Schools.

In Georgia, Walker is the 8th Best Private High School out of 186 and the 8th Best Private K-12 School out of 155. Walker also ranked 10th Best College Prep Private High School out of 179, 24th Best High School for STEM out of 256, 35th Most Diverse Private High School out of 292, and 151st Best High School for Athletes out of 717.

In the Atlanta Area, Walker ranks as the 8th best Private High School out of 104 and the 8th Best Private K-12 School out of 82. Walker also ranked as the 9th Best College Prep Private High School of 101, the 21st Best High School for STEM out of 160, the 28th Most Diverse Private High School out of 159, and the 84th Best High School for Athletes out of 346.

*These rankings were found on The Walker School’s page at Niche.com.

Walker School Programs

Teachers at Walker use an inquiry-based approach. College preparatory curriculum is centered, and students have the freedom to explore subjects they find personally interesting.

I was excited to learn that Walker has created the New Avenues Dyslexia Program for students grades 1 through 5. These students are supported by their Orton-Gilligham certified teachers. This is such an important resource for families, particularly when they enroll their children in the school at kindergarten and younger and do not yet have a sense of what their learning challenges might be.

Along with a robust arts education and athletics programming, The Walker School offers the following academic programs in each of its schools.

Primary School Programs

Zoo Phonics and Fundations programs are used for phonemic awareness, which prepare students for Orton-Gillingham instruction. For Math, young learners are set up for success in Pre-K and Kindergarten Math in Focus/ Singapore Math, by learning one-to-one correspondence, grouping, and regrouping.

Early learners are immersed in lab-based science exploration, Spanish, T.E.C. (Technology, Engineering, and Creativity), library time, art, music, and physical education.

Additionally, a Primary School Counselor supports young students, teachers, and parents in navigating students’ overall growth, learning, and development.

Lower School Programs

At Walker’s Lower School, young learners begin on their path to becoming strong scholars. The New Avenues Dyslexia Program becomes fully immersive in grades 1-5. In addition to excellent programming in pedagogies such as Orton-Gillingham, Singapore Math, and Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, programming is well rounded with arts, music, library time, and fun extended day activities.

Middle School Programs

In addition to core curriculum courses in English, Math, and Science, Middle School students are educated in World Languages (French, German, Latin and Spanish), Computer Science, Drama, Choir, Band, and Technology (Computer Science, Digital Media, Introduction to Engineering, Robotics).

Academic learning is rounded out by fun extracurricular activities, like podcast production, sports, and acting in Shakespearean plays. Walker even has an Aerospace Club!

Upper School Progams

Walker’s distinctive college preparatory curriculum is personalized based on students’ talents, strengths, and interests.

In addition to core curriculum subjects, students are offered:

  • 26 College Board Advanced Placement Courses
  • Post-AP classes in all academic departments
  • Advanced courses in subjects such as Humanities, Drama, Psychology, Critical Thinking, Robotics, Cyber Security, Graphic Design, Film and Video
  • Internships in areas such as Epidemiology, Public Health

Walker School Admission Requirements

Walker uses Ravenna for their application process. They are test optional, and all students applying will have a campus visit. Applicants 2nd grade and up will have a shadow visit. There are no parent interviews at Walker. Admission decisions for Early Learners and Pre-k are made on a rolling basis, but all other grades follow the AAAIS notification and reply date guidelines.

Walker School SAT scores

Average SAT scores at Walker are 1300 (660 Math, 640 Reading).

Walker School ACT scores

Average ACT scores at Walker are 30 ( 29 Math, 31 Reading, 31 English, 29 Science).

Walker School Acceptance Rate

Walker accepts 65% of applying students.

How hard is it to get into The Walker School?

Walker's acceptance rate of 65% is lower than the national average private school acceptance rate of 81%, making it more difficult to get into compared to many private schools nationally.

Walker School Tuition

Walker Schools 2023-2024 Tuition & Fees are:

Early Learners:

Half-Day $12,710.00

Full-Day $15,930.00

Pre-K:

Half-Day $15,930.00

Full-Day $19,890.00

Kindergarten $22,970

Lower School $25,750.00

Middle School $29,210.00

Upper School $29,210.00

New Avenues Dyslexia Program $33,930.00

Additional expenses may include books and supplies (for grades 6-12), fine arts trips, international travel, and extra athletic apparel (not including uniforms).

Walker School Scholarships

Walker does not provide merit-based scholarships to students.

Financial Aid is available for Pre-K - Grade 12 students. The maximum financial aid granted for Pre-K - Grade 5 is 50% of yearly tuition. The maximum financial aid granted for Grade 6-12 is 90% of yearly tuition.

The deadlines to submit financial aid applications for the 2023-2024 school year are February 15, 2023, returning students and March 15, 2023 for new applicants.

Walker School Admission Process

The Walker School has some important dates coming up, as well as grade-level specific admission requirements. If your family plans to apply to Walker, get ready to mark your calendars and read up on all of these important admission details!

Important Admission Dates

October 1, 2023: Applications Open

February 15, 2024: Application Deadline

March 30, 2024: Admission Decisions communicated

April 11, 2024: Enrollment Decisions from families

Early Learners and Pre-K

  1. Schedule a campus visit using Ravenna, or contact Walker’s Admission Office
  2. Complete Walker’s online application and submit an $85 non-refundable application fee.
  3. Register your child for an observation visit through your Ravenna account. Observation visits begin in January.
  4. If applicable, submit the confidential teacher evaluation form to your current school. The completed form will be returned by the school directly to Walker.
  5. Track the progress of your application through Ravenna.
  6. Admission decisions will be announced by March 30, 2024, but may be communicated on a rolling basis prior to this date.

Early Learners must have turned 3 years old by August 1.

Pre-Kindergarteners must have turned 4 years old by September 1.

Kindergarten

  1. Schedule a campus visit using Ravenna, or contact Walker’s Admission Office.
  2. Complete Walker’s online application and submit an $85 non-refundable application fee.
  3. Register your child for an observation visit through your Ravenna account. Observation visits begin in January.
  4. If applicable, submit the confidential teacher evaluation form to your current school. The completed form will be returned by the school directly to Walker.
  5. Have your child’s pediatrician send a current immunization form if your child was immunized outside the state of Georgia. Current immunization records are due the first day of the school year.
  6. Track the progress of your application through Ravenna.
  7. Admission decisions will be announced by March 30, 2024, but may be communicated on a rolling basis prior to this date.

Kindergarteners must have turned 5 years old by September 1.

New Avenues Dyslexia Program

  1. Schedule a campus visit using Ravenna, or contact Walker’s Admission Office.
  2. Complete Walker’s online application and submit an $85 non-refundable application fee.
  3. Sign the transcript release form in your online account, requesting your current school to send Walker School your child’s transcripts.
  4. Contact Walker’s Admissions Office for the New Avenues Dyslexia Program Parent Statement Form and the Teacher Evaluation Form. The Teacher Evaluation Form will be used instead of the form provided in your Ravenna account.
  5. Provide Walker’s Admissions Office with a copy of your child’s psychoeducational evaluation report (from within the last three years).
  6. Once the application, transcript, Parent Statement and Teacher Evaluation Forms, and psychoeducational evaluation report are received, Walker’s Admissions Office will contact you to schedule an assessment. Walker’s Admission Committee will provide feedback for you shortly after this visit.
  7. Admission decisions will be announced by March 30, 2024, but may be communicated on a rolling basis prior to this date.

Grade 1

  1. Schedule a campus visit using Ravenna, or contact Walker’s Admission Office.
  2. Complete Walker’s online application and submit an $85 non-refundable application fee.
  3. Register your child for an observation visit through your Ravenna account. Observation visits begin in January.
  4. Have your child’s pediatrician send a current immunization form if your child was immunized outside the state of Georgia. Current immunization records are due the first day of the school year.
  5. In January, submit the confidential teacher evaluation forms to your child’s current teachers. Send the transcript release form to your current school. Completed forms will be returned directly to Walker.
  6. Track the progress of your application through your Ravenna account.
  7. Admission decisions will be announced by March 30, 2024, but may be communicated on a rolling basis prior to this date.

Grades 2-5

  1. Schedule a campus visit using Ravenna, or contact Walker’s Admission Office.
  2. Shadow visits are available to students in Grades 2-5 to spend a day in a classroom. Register for a shadow visit through Ravenna.
  3. Complete Walker’s online application and submit an $85 non-refundable application fee.
  4. Have your child’s pediatrician send a current immunization form if your child was immunized outside the state of Georgia. Current immunization records are due the first day of the school year.
  5. In January, submit the confidential teacher evaluation forms to your child’s current teachers. Send the transcript release form to your current school. Completed forms will be returned directly to Walker.
  6. Track the progress of your application through your Ravenna account.
  7. Admission decisions will be announced by March 30, 2024, but may be communicated on a rolling basis prior to this date.

Grades 6-12

  1. Schedule a campus visit using Ravenna, or contact Walker’s Admission Office.
  2. Shadow visits are available to students in Grades 6-12 to spend a day in a classroom. Register for a shadow visit through Ravenna.
  3. Complete Walker’s online application and submit an $85 non-refundable application fee.
  4. In January, submit the English and Math confidential teacher evaluation forms to your child’s current teachers. Send the transcript release form to your current school. Completed forms will be returned directly to Walker. Transcripts must include standardized testing. If none is available, sign up for SSAT testing. Remember: you can contact Ivy Tutors Network for an SSAT tutor! Students submitting standardized testing from current school instead of SSAT testing will be asked for a brief writing sample. Walker’s Admission Office will provide a writing prompt.
  5. Walker’s Admissions Office will contact you to schedule an in person or remote interview with your child.
  6. Track the progress of your application through your Ravenna account.
  7. Admission decisions will be announced by March 30, 2024, but may be communicated on a rolling basis prior to this date.

International Students

  1. International students living in the U.S. with a parent may follow the same admission process as domestic students.
  2. Complete Walker’s online application and submit an $150 non-refundable application fee.
  3. In addition to regular admission requirements, complete the International Student Supplement in your Ravenna account.
  4. The Walker School does not offer English as a Second Language courses. Non-english speaking international students must have strong English reading, writing, and speaking skills to be considered. International students may submit results from the TOEFL or SSAT. All documentation, transcripts, and evaluations must be received in English.
  5. Interviews will be held on Google Meet.
  6. Student I-20s will be provided once enrollment contract and deposit is received by Walker. International students must provide a current, valid passport.
  7. Track the progress of your application through your Ravenna account.
  8. Admission decisions will be announced by March 30, 2024, but may be communicated on a rolling basis prior to this date.

How to get into Walker School in 5 easy steps

Are you ready to apply to Walker? It’s a good idea to start preparing now. Take these 5 easy steps and you will be well on your way to a smooth admissions process. Take a look at Ivy Tutors Networks services to support applying students with SSAT preparation, and more.

  1. If you do not have a Ravenna account, sign up for one.
  2. The Walker School strongly recommends in-person visits to the campus. Schedule a campus visit as soon as possible!
  3. In addition to the required forms and transcripts, SSAT scores are required. Contact Ivy Tutors to find an SSAT tutor in Atlanta for your child so that they will be ready for the SSAT!
  4. Talk to your child about observation visits and evaluations (for Early Learners, Pre-K, Kindergarten, and New Avenues), or Shadow Visits (for Grades 2-12). Ask them how they feel about visiting The Walker School, listen to them, and offer them any encouragement and support they may need in considering the possibility of attending a new school.
  5. Make sure to complete and submit your application by February 15, 2024!

Good luck!

At School First, Linda K. Talton applies her expertise in school placement counseling to match students from Kindergarten through College with schools best suited to meet their unique academic, social, and emotional needs.

Katherine Harrison has been DoA at Walker for 13 years, but has worked there for many years before taking on this role in a number of different positions. In addition to her role as Director of Admission, Katherine has had the pleasure of coaching volleyball and teaching Spanish at Walker, where 90 percent of the administrators also teach there.

Ivy Tutors Network offers a wide array of academic support in the Atlanta area, NYC, and throughout the US. For almost 20 years, we’ve been helping students increase their confidence and find joy in learning through personalized and small group programs of tutoring, test preparation, school support, college and high school admissions advising, and early childhood education, in-person and through online instruction. We also offer remote school support, homeschool support, we work in schools, and we partner with companies across the US to provide personalized education services to their lucky employees!







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