When is the program?

Reach for Excellence takes place during the student’s sixth, seventh, and eighth grade years. It includes both weekend and summer sessions.

      • Sixth grade Saturday sessions (about every other week late August through late April, 16 Saturdays)
      • Summer session #1 (six weeks)
      • Seventh grade Saturday sessions (16 Saturdays)
      • Summer session #2 (six weeks)
      • Eighth grade Saturday sessions (16 Saturdays)
      • Summer session #3 (six weeks)

Summer sessions begin in mid-June, following the close of schools in Metro Atlanta.


Who is eligible?

In order to be eligible, students must

      • Be in the 5th grade
      • Commit to three years of rigorous academics and leadership enrichment
      • Demonstrate the potential to achieve academically and the determination to succeed in life
      • Come from families with limited opportunities and resources  (at or under $50K/household)

Admission is selective; about 36 students are accepted into each cohort of 6th graders.

What makes Reach for Excellence unique?

Reach for Excellence is a three-year, tuition-free enrichment program that prepares middle school students to compete for college prep programs. Certified teachers equip students with the tools they need to succeed in high school and stay on the path to college.

What are classes like?

Class sizes at Reach for Excellence are small, averaging 12 students per class. These smaller classes allow for more one-on-one instruction. Courses are supplemented by community service projects, curriculum-based field trips, and opportunities to study topics in greater detail, integrating academic skills with life experiences.

Where are the classes held?

Reach for Excellence is hosted by Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia.

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30319

Is Reach for Excellence a religious program?

No. Reach for Excellence was founded by the Society of Mary, the order of priests and brothers who also own Marist School. Reach for Excellence does not offer religious instruction and students of all faiths are welcome. However, students and their families must be comfortable in a Catholic environment.

What about transportation?

If a student does not have access to private transportation, the Reach for Excellence staff will work with each family to ensure that their child is able to get to and from the program. Arrangements may include riding MARTA, carpooling, or meeting one of our buses at a designated pickup location. With each new cohort, the Reach for Excellence leadership coordinates a custom route of pickup locations so that it can accommodate as many families as possible.

What does Reach for Excellence expect from the students’ families?

Reach for Excellence expects that the program is a priority for every family it serves. The program requires a three year commitment from students, as well as their parents or guardians. Parents and guardians are expected to attend summer registrations, as well as high school options meetings (8th grade). Reach for Excellence also expects parents to work with its staff to explore and evaluate high school options available to their children.

Does Reach for Excellence charge tuition?

No. Reach for Excellence is tuition-free. It is supported entirely by donated funds and grants.

What do students do for meals during the summer program?

Reach for Excellence provides breakfast and lunch during the summer program as well as lunch during the Saturday sessions.

What if my child plays sports or has other activities during the summer and on Saturdays?

The Reach for Excellence Attendance policy requires that all students attend 90% of classes during both the summer program and Saturday sessions. Applying students and families must decide if they will be willing to choose Reach for Excellence over other activities.