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About TCS

 


Our Mission

Building a sense of self for students with special learning needs through academic and experiential programming, The Cottage School prepares individuals for fulfillment of their true potential as confident, productive, and independent adults.


 

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The 2014-2015 school year marks The Cottage School’s 30th anniversary serving middle and high school students with mild learning differences. In 1985, TCS consisted of a one-room tutoring center in which the school’s innovative, one-of-a-kind educational program for unique learners was born. Today, the school’s 23 acres along the Chattahoochee River Corridor is home to an expansive campus that includes both indoor and outdoor classrooms, wooded trails for mountain biking and cross-country programs, a state of the art media center, computer labs, and an athletic and arts facility affectionately known as “The Cougar Center”.

Founded in 1985 by educators Joe and Jacque Digieso, The Cottage School Educational Resource Center, Inc. (TCS) provides an innovative educational program for middle and high school students with learning differences, ADHD, and/or social/emotional issues associated with their unique learning styles. TCS is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), and the Georgia Accreditation Commission (GAC). The school provides a comprehensive academic college preparatory curriculum as well as experiential classes including carpentry, drama, forensics, horticulture, computer literacy, chorus, studio art and culinary skills. Students participate in community service projects, clubs, and various activities that broaden their knowledge base and assist them in unlocking their talents, interests, and direction in life. One-to-ten faculty-student ratios and small class sizes accommodate various learning styles and allow for highly individualized instruction. The curriculum is carefully designed to meet State of Georgia high school graduation standards, as well as HOPE scholarship requirements and seniors must prepare an approved post-secondary plan as part of graduation requirements.

Among the school’s unique learning techniques is a time management system, similar to the daily planners utilized by many adults. Students receive assignments in two-week blocks, enabling them to engage in short-term planning, with rewards for completing tasks on a timely basis. An instant “task feedback system” rewards students for completing assignments on time through the payment of a mock “salary” which they manage through a checking and savings account. Students learn that wages can increase for a job well done, and they learn the value of saving to pay for privileges such as off-campus activities or trips. Every other week, students participate in “levels,” a model of the corporate staff meeting, in which students can apply for promotions, give or receive feedback from peers and teachers, and discuss issues of interest. Dress code and respectful ethics build awareness and appreciation for appropriate attire and behavior.

The Cottage School’s athletic program is an integral part of the students’ educational experience. The program strives to provide opportunities to develop a positive competitive spirit, learn self-discipline, and foster teamwork and sportsmanship. TCS is a member of the Atlanta Athletic Conference and the Georgia Independent Schools Association (GISA). It competes within The Atlanta Athletic Conference for all sports and is a dual competitor with GISA in Cross Country and Track and Field, Region 4AA.

The Cottage School serves a diverse enrollment of approximately 170 Middle and High School students from across Metro Atlanta. Its dedicated staff of 50 includes 40 professional educators, of whom 80 percent possess advanced degrees.

In addition to the traditional day school program, The Cottage School offers a wide range of educational opportunities, including:

Summer High School for Credit: customized academic instruction for current students or students from area schools requiring specific courses for full or half Carnegie Credit units
Middle School Enrichment: prepares students for the upcoming school year
After School Success: Homework reinforcement, study skills, test taking, and organizational skills
After School Program (ASP): Monday – Friday 3:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Supervised homework and study hour, including computer lab, indoor board/educational games, outdoor physical activity, campus speakers/presentations, co-curricular activities; home sports events

For information on the above programs, visit our Admissions section or  contact The Cottage School at 770/641-8688.