Admissions FAQs

In what grades are students admitted?

Pace begins with Pre-First, our academic kindergarten, and continues through 12th grade. Pace has three natural entry points: grades Pre-First, six and nine. In Pre-First, we add 60 new students; in the sixth grade, we add 25-30; and in the ninth grade, we add an additional 25-30 new students. In the other grades, admission opportunities are based on attrition.

What is the school’s enrollment?

We have 1,115 students in grades Pre-First through 12. In the Lower School, there are approximately 60 students in each grade; in the Middle School, there are about 90 students per grade; and in the Upper School, there are approximately 115 students in each grade.

What is the average class size?

The Lower School’s average class size is 20 students with two full-time teachers. In the Middle School, there are approximately 17 students in any given classroom. In the Upper School, as course offerings expand, this number decreases to about 12 students per class.

Is Pace affiliated with a specific religion?

Pace Academy was founded in 1958 by an interfaith group of community leaders. Although we are not affiliated with a specific church or religion, we adhere to Judeo-Christian values and place a major emphasis on character development.

What does diversity mean at Pace?

Pace's strong commitment to both family and community engagement stems from our founding in 1958, when an interfaith group of community leaders envisioned an educational environment open to fresh ideas where parents partner with educators.

At Pace, we believe that a diverse and inclusive learning environment is key to quality education and that cultural fluency and compassion are hallmarks of a 21st-century leader. Beyond ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, the Pace student body embraces diversity of interests. Our students do not define themselves by singular attributes; rather, we encourage them to explore and cultivate a multitude of activities through which they can interact, relate and connect with students of many backgrounds.

Students of color make up 27% of our student body, and 26% of our faculty members are people of color. Pace’s diversity programming includes: faculty workshops; a Diversity Speakers Series; partnerships with local schools and community agencies; an eighth-grade Civil Rights trip; the Isdell Center for Global Leadership with study abroad opportunities for students in all divisions; and Step Up to Bullying, a comprehensive bullying program in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League. Our diversity initiatives are supported by curricular offerings and student organizations.

What is included in tuition?

Tuition costs at Pace include lunch, fees, school pictures, school accident insurance, science and computer lab fees, school publications and academic extracurricular field trips (with one or two exceptions). In grades Pre-First through five, books are included in tuition; in grades six through 12, books are additional. Other items such as school supplies, art and photography fees, and PE uniforms are extra and are purchased separately by the student.

Does Pace offer financial aid and scholarships?

Each year, Pace awards over $3 million in need-based grants to nearly 15% of our students, providing access and opportunity to the brightest and most remarkable young people across metro Atlanta. A separate application is required. Financial assistance is awarded to qualifying students in Pre-First through 12th grade.

Do you provide transportation to/from school and/or after-school activities?

We do not provide transportation to or from school. We do provide transportation to and from our satellite athletic facility for practices and games. All of our coaches are licensed to drive Pace mini buses, and we also have staff members licensed to drive two full-sized buses.

When does the school day begin and end?

Pre-First begins at 8:05 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. First grade begins at 8:05 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. Second through fifth grades begin at 8:05 a.m. and end at 3:10 p.m.

Middle School begins at 8:15 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. (with a before-school extra-help session from 7:45-8:10 a.m.).

Upper School begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. (with an after-school extra-help session from 3 p.m.-3:20 p.m.).

How old does my child have to be to apply to Pre-First?

Students applying to Pre-First grade must be 5 years old by September 1.

How are summer birthdays taken into consideration for Pre-First?

Our admission decision is based on a child’s readiness, not his/her birthday. Applicants with summer birthdays on the young end are considered, but those we believe would benefit from the gift of a year are eligible for a “Wait-a-Year” decision. Those applicants would then reapply for Pre-First the following admissions season. Our Pre-First students' birthdays range from August (5 years, 0 months) to the previous May (6 years, 3 months).

My child isn’t old enough to apply. Can I still come to visit?

In scheduling tours, Pace gives priority to families interested in applying for the upcoming school year. However, you are welcome to contact our office if you would like to attend a tour a year prior to your admissions year. Also, we recommend that parents looking early attend our annual Open House.

Can my child shadow a current student? If so, how do I sign him/her up for a shadow visit?

We offer shadow visits for students applying for grades six through 12. For children applying to the Lower School, the best time to see the school is during their observation. For Middle and Upper School applicants, a shadow visit is a great way for students to get to know Pace. We will match your child with a current Pace student and he/she will spend half a school day going to class, meeting new friends and tasting one of our delicious lunches.

Middle School School Shadow Visits: Submit Request Form
Fé Patriciu

Upper School Shadow Visits: Submit Request Form
Mac McCallum

Which campus visits do you recommend my child attend? I am concerned about my child missing too much school.

We offer numerous opportunities for prospective Middle and Upper School applicants to visit Pace. Our Open House takes place on a Saturday afternoon, and campus tours and shadow visits happen during the school day. We completely understand that the amount of potential missed school can be overwhelming. We welcome applicants to visit multiple times, but if missed school is a concern, we recommend the shadow visit over a tour.

Can I attend other events on campus?

Absolutely. We recommend that prospective families consider attending athletics, arts and other events throughout the year. A calendar of school events can be found here.

Do you offer an after-school program?

Yes. For Lower School students, we offer various after-school programs, as well as regular after-school care. Please click here for additional details.

When should I schedule the JATP testing for my child? Is it true that if I wait until later in the year (when he/she is older), he/she will perform better?

We recommend scheduling the JATP (for Lower School applicants) at your earliest convenience. Because the norms of the tests used in JATP compare children within a narrow age range, there is no advantage to scheduling the testing later in the admissions season.

How should I prepare my child for his/her Lower School observation?

Pace recommends that parents explain to their children that they will be visiting a classroom and working with a teacher, much like their school day. Explain to the children that they should listen carefully, give their best effort and have fun.

How should I prepare my child for the SSAT? What test date should he/she sign up for, and do you accept more than one score?

We do not recommend tutoring specifically for the test. SSAT offers a practice booklet that helps familiarize students with the test format, and we recommend that students use this resource. There are many test dates and sites available; consult the SSAT website for more information. The February 2020 test is the last test that we can accept for consideration of admission for the fall of 2020, and we do accept multiple scores if available.

What should my child expect in a Middle or Upper School interview?

Middle School applicants attend group interviews with five students and one faculty member comprising a group. They have brief one-on-one conversations with the faculty interviewer, write two short essays and participate in a group activity. Upper School students interview one-on-one with a faculty member (ideally one with a shared interest). These interviews consist of a 30-minute conversation and a 15-minute writing sample.

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