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Incoming Freshmen Information

We will be adding more content to this page very soon, for our incoming 9th grade students, the Class of 2023!  Click here to read FAQs below, as well as the informational flyer.

Lanier High School is one of 7 Academy schools in Gwinnett County Public Schools.  It is our goal to have Academies integrate the interests of our students with their academics, for a more relevant experience.

Our incoming 9th grade students will NOT be asked to select a specific Academy for their first year at Lanier.  We want all students to select elective classes that they prefer, without concern for the exact Academy fit, and they will officially select an Academy starting in 10th grade.  

One choice we are asking our incoming 9th graders to make is in regards to their preferred learning style: do you prefer more project-based and problem-based, or less? 

9th graders who prefer a more project/problem-based approach should elect to part of our Center for Design and Technology (CDAT) program, which will emphasize projects, collaboration and subject-integration.   For 9th graders, CDAT will not just be STEM, it will be a variety of topics.

For students who do not prefer project-based learning, the LHS9  environment will still incorporate some projects, but fewer than the CDAT classes. 

We want to create the best learning environment for you, and we believe our approach based on your preferred style of learning will make the most of your time at Lanier!

CDAT9 Option

LHS9 Option

  • CDAT9 students will integrate Math, Language Arts, Chemistry and Intro to Digital Technology.*, and take 3 other elective classes.

  • CDAT9 students take these 4 courses in a shared block of time, facilitating the collaborative environment.

  • Projects and collaboration will be common, currently 5-6 projects per year, and integrated between your teachers/subjects.

  • Any Academy lens, not just STEM for 9th grade.  Learn more about the Academies so you can make an informed decision for 10th grade.

  • *CDAT 9th graders will all REGISTER to take Introduction to Digital Tech, as it’s a great start to many tech pathways, and fun tech like Photoshop and video editing are great tools for any project!  Students will be given options to change to Engineering or Video Production after we start the school year, during the first few weeks.


  • Take Math, Language Arts, Chemistry classes, and choose 4 additional electives. 
  • Projects and collaboration will occur approximately once per semester.
  • Any Academy lens.  Learn more about the Academies so you can make an informed decision for 10th grade.



Why is Lanier High making this change?
Our incoming 9th grade students have so many changes and decisions to make, we felt that their Academy decision should be as well-informed as possible, and we will have them experience each one so they can make the best decision possible for their 10th grade year.

What is the difference between the two options?
See the table above, but the biggest difference is that CDAT9 will be much more project-based, and using alternative homeworks and assessments than LHS9.  CDAT is a respected project-based learning environment, and students who prefer more expression in their learning might benefit from this environment.

Is CDAT still STEM-focused?
For 9th graders, it will embrace all Academy themes, but 10th grade and above CDAT will remain a STEM focus. 

Do students have to stay in CDAT if they start in CDAT9?
Only if they choose.  CDAT9 will help students discover the best Academy for them for the long term.

Does my 9th grader have to take a technology class?
We do request our CDAT9 students sign up for "Intro to Digital Technology".  This class will help us teach students how to use their Google Apps for communication and collaboration, but also great presentation technologies like Photoshop and Premiere Pro, and even some tech like web page development.  For our CDAT9 students, we will offer the opportunity to take Video Production or Engineering, but we would like all students to register for Introduction to Digital Technology (IDT) for the initial registration, in order to simplify the registration process.