Center Academy

Center Academy Logo

Basic Information

Address: 3499 South Cobb Drive Smyrna, GA 30080
County: Cobb
Phone Number: 770 333-1616

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Center Academy
Center Academy

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Additional Information

School Type: Private, Special Education
Founded: 1968
Ages/Grades: Grades 5-12
School Setting:

The structure of the classroom is a critical component of education. Center Academy’s unique classroom design allows for both group instruction and quiet, individualized study. Our classroom design and management have been refined over the course of four decades. With our small class size and extensive curriculum, we provide all students with a friendly, safe learning environment. Center Academy has specific and deliberate classroom expectations that ensure order, consistency, and motivation throughout the day.

School Size: 54 students
Classroom Size: 18
Student/Teacher Ratio: 9:1


Financial Aid:

GSNS, Center Academy Scholarship


The prescriptive learning program at Center Academy was developed by our team of psychologists, neuropsychologists, remedial clinicians, and educators. We are one of a very select group of United States schools to receive a $325,000 NIMH grant from the federal government to develop and measure our prescriptive learning program. Based on our assessment of each student, we develop an individualized program that incorporates appropriate academic levels and prescriptive modules which address processing deficits. Students may work on remedial materials to address difficulties with auditory processing, visual memory, visual motor speed, attention, or other processing avenues.

Support Services:

Our typical student teacher ratio is 10:1. Our classrooms have a qualified teacher and a teaching assistant. This class size is optimal to allow individualized attention to students' needs and still allow for quality interaction among students. We believe one should not limit a child's potential for growth. We approach each student with the confident attitude that he or she will grow and prosper in our program.

Camp Programs: Yes
After School Programs: Yes
Admissions Requirements:

The admissions process is designed to provide the best possible opportunity for an applicant and his or her family to understand Center Academy and its educational benefits. The process begins with a phone call to the school director. Parents and prospective students are encouraged to visit the school and meet in person with the director to determine if Center Academy is the place for them. Center Academy does not discriminate in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, academic, or other programs on the basis of race, religion, ethnic, or national background.

Mission Statement:

The mission of Center Academy is to provide students with a learning environment that facilitates the development of self-confidence, motivation, and academic skills, and gives students the opportunity to achieve success in life.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

We’re parents too! And as parents we know that when your child is hurting, you’re hurting. Whether your child’s frustration stems from negative school experiences or untapped potential, it hurts. We also know you have a dream for your child that includes happiness and a successful future. Sometimes our dreams get off track, but with love and support in a safe environment, your child can re-establish his or her learning ability and underlying goodness.

As your child’s teachers and mentors, we pledge to give you 100% of our effort and expertise. For us, that’s a reachable goal because we know that every child is capable of succeeding, and we believe that all children learn differently. We enjoy teaching children and adolescents. Our primary goal is helping your child grow and mature into a self-reliant adult.

School History:

Center Academy began in 1968 with the vision of its founder, Dr. Mack Hicks. Seeing the need for a specialized, full-day school for students who were falling through the cracks in traditional schools, Dr. Hicks established one of the first schools in the United States to focus on the needs of students with Attention Deficit Disorder and other neuropsychological processing difficulties.

With a team of professionals in the fields of neuro-psychology, education, and individualized remediation, Center Academy opened its first classrooms in the Science Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. The school focused on remediating learning disabilities and providing a small, focused, and positive learning environment for students who had experienced academic frustration, and for whom tutoring and other part-time programs were not successful.

In 1974, Center Academy opened a campus in London, England in response to requests by parents and professionals. In the US, the St. Petersburg Center Academy moved to larger sites as the school expanded to meet the needs of more students. It moved to its permanent location in Pinellas Park, FL in 1974, finding a peaceful, 10-acre setting with horses and room to grow. In 1976, Center Academy established a campus in Tampa, FL.

Initially, Center Academy worked with elementary students who were struggling with large schools, ineffective teaching methods, or one-size-fits-all approaches to learning. Over the years, the scope of Center Academy expanded to include other students, and in 1984, Center Academy began its high school program. The Pinellas Park and Tampa schools celebrated their first graduating class in 1987.

In 1988, Center Academy was awarded a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to develop and research the effectiveness of individualized remedial programs for students with a wide range of learning disabilities. While developing these programs, Center Academy provided free evaluations and remediation to over 200 students under the NIMH grant.

As Center Academy has expanded to locations around Florida, it has stayed true to its mission and kept its focus on addressing the unique needs of each student. Center Academy now has 13 schools in Florida, including 2 charter schools, located in Tampa and Bradenton. Its newest school in Smyrna, GA, opened in August of 2008.

Notes/School Information:

Center Academy is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Independent Private Schools Association. Students receive credit for each academic course completed. Graduating seniors receive a regular diploma recognized by the Florida and Georgia Departments of Education and accepted at all Colleges and Universities.

Our high school curriculum is aligned with Florida and Georgia State Standards, and credits earned are recognized throughout the country. We offer a 24 credit, standard diploma to our graduating students. Many of our high school students are dually enrolled in local colleges, earning college credit as well as high school credit.