Providing year-round sports, activities and special events, the Alpharetta Recreation and Parks Department is nationally accredited and recognized for its outstanding programs for children, adults, and seniors. In addition, the department manages and operates one of the finest equestrian facilities in the southeast at Wills Park. The Greenway system along Big Creek provides a safe and environmentally pleasing pathway for users to enjoy quiet leisure time.
Alpharetta's public schools consistently win awards and recognition for the high quality of education they provide: both high schools were named among the top 13 in the state of Georgia, and one was recently named a state School of Excellence. While the average SAT score for Fulton County's Senior Class of 1996 was 1003, slightly below the national average of 1013, this statistic needs to be weighted by the fact that in Fulton County, fully 84% of students take the SAT while nationwide, a much smaller percentage, only 41%, take this exam. In fact, when only the top students in the school system are compared (the top tenth of the class according to high school rank), Fulton County seniors scored an impressive 1231, well above the national average (for top tenth of class) of 1197.
The elementary and middle schools are similarly noteworthy, boasting high test scores and academic achievement: two were recently named Merit Pay schools by the state, helping Fulton County achieve more winners than any other district in the state. For more information on the Fulton County public school system, see its Internet site at (www.fulton.k12.ga.us) or call (404) 768-3600.
The City is also proud of its Environmental Education Center, open five days a week, which operates as a community service providing information on environmental topics. The center arranges special programs for groups and features a library with hundreds of valuable resource materials and a wide range of free brochures. To become a part of the important volunteer force that keeps Alpharetta at the forefront of environmental services, call (770) 410-5835. Community members participate in projects such as water quality monitoring, roadside cleanup, removing illegal signs, telephone book recycling, collection and recycling of batteries, plant rescue, composting and grasscycling.
Alpharettans also have access to higher education, ranging from the Alpharetta campus of DeVry University and Keller Graduate School of Management to the numerous colleges and universities in the Metro Atlanta area. A campus of Georgia State University (http://www.gsu.edu) is now open in Alpharetta. World famous Georgia Tech, located just north of downtown Atlanta, ranks among the top engineering schools in the country.