Small School Students Switch Gears to Attend NAHS


Mary Grace Ray

Transition Period: Freshmen Jordan Brown and James Bloodworth adjust to the jarring size of the North Atlanta building.

Many students who attend North Atlanta have followed an established track of public schools throughout their educational careers, from elementary school, middle school and, last, high school.

Embedded within the APS school reality is the notion that the schools are big with hundreds if not thousands of students. So, for those who attended much smaller schools, transition to North Atlanta can be both exciting and jarring.

At North Atlanta, there are more than 1,900 students this year and each school year, that number grows. When freshmen Jordan Brown, James Bloodworth, and Cooper Hill transferred from their school with only 150 people in grades pre-k through eighth, it was a huge transition. The three attended Heritage, a private Christian school on Peachtree in Midtown. Suddenly, they found themselves faced with large class sizes and impressive sports opportunities. “It was so crazy when I came to school the first day,” said Brown. “I didn’t realize how big it was until I walked in, and then it hit me that I’m actually going to do this.”

In order to prepare themselves for the switch, the current freshmen attended the Warrior Welcome, an event held at North Atlanta where clubs and sports come together to tell the rising ninth graders what to expect when they first step into the 11-story building on the first day of school. However, one thing the Warrior Welcome don’t prepare incoming students for is North Atlanta’s packed stairwells. “I thought it was so crazy how busy it is here: I wasn’t used to having to push my way to class,” said Hill.

Their previous school may have had smaller classes and a less crowded stairwell, but, compared to smaller schools in the area, the opportunities NAHS provides are immeasurable. Even now, having to push their way to class, many of the big fish from a little pond feel that the big pond is a worthy upgrade.