Columbus has plenty of options for early childhood development, and after school programs that encourage children to be active, explore their creative side, and set the foundation for academic success. Some accept children as young as six weeks and others accommodate children as old as 12. Many childcare facilities also offer flexible hours for military families.
The Basics Chattahochee Valley
The Basics Chattahoochee Valley is a regional initiative working to make sure every child gets a great start in life. The program offers five evidence-based parenting and caregiving principles that can benefit children from all backgrounds. The Basics Chattahoochee Valley campaign is working through a broad range of institutions to ensure that every parent, and caregiver, is fully supported by family, and friends, and use the Basics practices in everyday life.
Excellence in education starts early. Our Pre-K programs provide positive learning experiences focused on providing four-year-olds with skill development that will prepare them for kindergarten and academic success throughout their educational journey.
The Chattahoochee County School District is composed of two campuses and a disciplinary alternative education program serving approximately 900 students. The district was a recipient of a $3.1 million grant awarded through the Technical College System of Georgia to create the Chattahoochee Valley Academy, a charter program within Chattahoochee County High School that focuses on workforce and economic development.
Fort Benning’s five elementary schools (Dexter ES, McBride ES, Stowers ES, White ES and Wilson ES) and one middle school (Faith MS) offer quality education for children of military personnel living on post. Programs are designed to serve the unique needs of military families.
The Harris County School District offers students excellent educational resources through its four elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and a performance learning center. The district regularly ranks among the top-performing districts for their Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars program.
The Marion County School District continues to be recognized for excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts. The Board of Education and the district's administrators work closely with staff, parents and community members to deliver the educational excellence students deserve and the community expects.
The Muscogee County School District is recognized as one the best school districts in the Central Georgia Region, serving 32,000 students with 32 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, nine high schools, and four centers and programs, including the new Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts, and Jordan College & Career Academy. With over 92% of all school-age children in Muscogee County attending public schools, the district stands as the preferred local opportunity for education. Columbus High School recently tied for the title of best high school in Georgia (85th in the nation) by US News & World Report.
The Phenix City School District has 13 public schools that serve approximately 7,000 students in grades PK-12 with a higher than state average student-teacher ratio. Phenix City schools are innovative, interactive, and dedicated to preparing students for the future, and the careers of tomorrow.
Russell County School District offers three elementary schools that serve grades K-5, one primary school that serves grades K-2 and one intermediate school that serves grades 3-5 throughout the large, rural school district. There is one middle school (grades 6-8) and one high school (grades 9-12) located in the center of the county. The Russell County School District provides a strong, positive, and caring culture to ensure student success.
The Talbot County School District is unique because it has only one school (Pre-K through 12) located in Talbotton. This environment allows for smaller classes and focused resources. Various regional partnerships have had an outstanding impact within the district as indicated in the increased growth in student achievement.
Partners in Education
Partners-in-Education (PIE) is one of the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s flagship initiatives. PIE matches businesses, civic organizations, faith-based organizations, and military units with schools (elementary-high school) to help students build self-esteem, improve academic performance, heighten career awareness, and find the motivation to succeed. Currently, more than 315 partnerships exist among approximately 80 schools. In the 2018-2019 school year alone, more than 22,000 volunteer hours were donated in addition to $69,200 in financial and in-kind contributions.
In addition to our public schools, school-age children of Columbus and Phenix City have many private education options. From preschool to high school, there are educational environments tailored to particular religious or secular traditions. Some of our more popular private schools include Brookstone School, St. Luke School, Wynnbrook Christian School, St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School, Calvary Christian School, The Campus Academy, Hallie Turner Private School, Glenwood School, Phenix Christian School, Emanuel Preparatory School, Pinehurst Christian School and Grace Christian School.
Local homeschooling groups and co-ops can provide educational, recreational, and social opportunities. With about 3% of children in America currently being homeschooled, it’s an option that many families find more conducive to learning than traditional schools. The link attached has some resources that you may find useful: muscogeemoms.com/home-schooling-resources.
Greater Columbus is home to universities, colleges, and technical colleges. Within a driving radius of 60-miles, you’ll find institutions such as Columbus State University — nationally ranked as the #30 Top Public School, Mercer University School of Medicine, Columbus Technical College, Troy University at Phenix City and Fort Benning, Georgia Military College, and Chattahoochee Valley Community College.
Many of our higher education institutions, such as Columbus State University, and Columbus Technical College, offer Continuing & Professional Education programs that encompass personal, and professional development, life enrichment activities, and a wide range of online courses. Many courses earn continuing education units (CEUs), a nationally recognized method for measuring non-credit course work.
Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation (MEEF)
Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation (MEEF) of Columbus Knowing that much of the success of our community depends on the quality of our local schools, MEEF strives to enhance the quality of our educational system by focusing on the people who have the most direct impact on our students–the teachers. The Foundation has evolved into one of the leading advocates of excellence in public education in our region, working diligently to foster innovative and effective teachers through the Teacher of the Year program, and the teacher grant program.