Charleston Area School Information & Guide

Charleston County School District 

Charleston County School District (CCSD) is the second largest school district in South Carolina, servicing more than 49,000 students in 140 different schools. The school district, which spans from North Mt. Pleasant to Johns Island, offers several specialty programs including International Baccalaureate (IB), charter schools, academic magnets, creative arts magnets, science and technology magnets, coastal environmental magnets, global leadership institutes, and Montessori schools.  Overall, the school district boasts an “excellent” absolute achievement rating, a “good” growth rating, and a graduation rate of 84%. More than 60% of CCSD teachers have advanced educational degrees, and specialized instruction is provided for Gifted and Talented students, struggling readers, and students who speak English as a second language (ESOL). Families zoned for Charleston County Schools are able to apply to various magnet schools so long as the parent is able to provide partial transportation.

Mt. Pleasant

Families are attracted to Mt. Pleasant because of its A-rated schools, safe community, and array of recreational activities. Residents in the northern region of Mt. Pleasant attend Laurel Hill Primary, Pinckney Elementary, and Cario Middle School, all three which are located in the Park West development. Laurel Hill serves approximately 1,000 students in kindergarten through second grade and has an absolute rating of excellent. This award-winning school is only one of 39 schools in the U.S. that has a kinesthetic classroom, which encourages kids to pedal, bounce, and employ multi-sensory techniques while learning. Charles Pinckney Elementary serves approximately 1,300 students in grades 3 - 5 and also has an excellent absolute rating. The school has its own orchestra and several extra-curricular clubs including chess, basketball, tennis, chorus, and ecology. With more than 1,200 students, Cario Middle School instructs students in grades 6-8 and offers numerous clubs such as math, mock trial, chorus, band, horticultural, and National Honor Society. A neighborhood school network, these schools serve residents in Park West, Dunes West, Charleston National, Carolina Park, Rivertowne Country Club, Horlbeck Creek, and Darrell Creek.

Children who live near the Isle of Palms Connector in neighborhoods such as Hamlin Plantation, Long Point, Snee Farm, Brickyard, and Chadbury Village attend Jennie Moore School of Creative Arts and Laing Middle School. A partial magnet, Jennie Moore Elementary infuses creative arts in all areas of academia. With a focus on drama, dance, music, technology, and art, the newly constructed school aims to foster intellectual, outside-of-the-box thinking skills. Laing Middle School of Science and Technology is also a partial magnet and a newly constructed facility. With an emphasis on technology literacy, students use Ipads in lieu of textbooks and are able to take thought-provoking classes such as robotics and marine science. The school recently ranked as one of the nation’s top Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programs. Families living outside the school zones may apply for entry into these top rated schools.

Two other elementary schools that feed into Laing Middle School of Science and Technology include Mamie Whitesides and Sullivan’s Island Elementary School. Located off Rifle Range Road, Mamie Whitesides serves neighborhoods like Shellpoint, Seaside Farms, Back Bay Village, and Scotts Creek. The school has received an “excellent” absolute rating for consecutive years and serves approximately 700 students.

Residents of Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island are zoned for Sullivan's Island Elementary, a partial magnet school that focuses on math, science and coastal environment. Located next to the underground Edgar Allen Poe Library, Sullivan’s Island Elementary boasts views of the Atlantic Ocean and is within walking distance to the public beach access. As such, students gain hands-on experience with coastal environment and local marine life. The school only houses 500 students, so out of area prospective students must apply for admittance.

The Old Village in Mt. Pleasant, Shemwood, and Cooper Estates are all zoned for Mt. Pleasant Academy, a neighborhood school that overlooks the Charleston Harbor. Reminiscent of a brick Georgian home, the school is widely known for its innovative teaching strategies, modular playground, and academic progress. Like other Mt. Pleasant elementary schools, Mt. Pleasant Academy consecutively receives an absolute excellent rating.  

Another top rated “excellent” school, James B. Edwards Elementary School of Global Leadership instructs approximately 670 students and services neighborhoods such as I'on, Hobcaw Creek, Wakendaw Lakes, and Braemore. As a partial magnet, students living outside of the school zone may apply for entry. The thematic commonality across all subjects is to develop proactive leaders who respect each other and the world around them. The school, which has received numerous state and national accolades, partners with local businesses such as East Cooper Medical Center and South Carolina Credit Union to demonstrate best business practices and models to students.  

Belle Hall Plantation has its own neighborhood school, Belle Hall Elementary, which instructs approximately 750 students and holds an “excellent” absolute rating. The school skillfully accommodates learners of all levels, including those with special needs and those who meet requirements for the Gifted and Talented program. More than 80% of teachers have a master’s degree and several are nationally board certified.

East Cooper Montessori Charter School, which serves students K - 8th grade, is centrally located on Rifle Range Road. Also an “excellent” rated school, this school employs the Montessori approach to learning, which focuses less on memorization and applied theories and more on inquiry-based, imaginative studies. In this environment, students are encouraged to collaborate with each other and progress academically at their own speed.   

Students who attend Sullivan’s Island Elementary, James B. Edwards, and Belle Hall Elementary all promote to Moultrie Middle School, another “excellent” rated and Palmetto Gold school. Moultrie Middle has a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) emphasis, but it is also widely applauded for its fine arts program, which includes band, chorus, orchestra, drama, and art. Other extracurricular clubs include quest, archery, mock trial, chess, math, yearbook, and Beta. The school serves approximately 900 students.

For high school, all students in Mt. Pleasant attend nationally-ranked Wando High School located in North Mt. Pleasant near Park West or the new Lucy Beckham High School, located off Mathis Ferry Road, south of the Isle of Palms Connector. Residents are also able to attend charter high schools in Charleston County including Academic Magnet, Allegro School of Music, School of the Arts, Military Magnet Academy, and Garrett Academy of Technology. Some of the aforementioned schools require specific qualifications prior to admittance.

Private school options in Mt. Pleasant include Palmetto Christian Academy, Coastal Christian Preparatory School, Christ Our King - Stella Maris School, and Trident Academy, a transitional-style school that uses Orton Gillingham instructional method to assist children with language disabilities like dyslexia.

Learn more about Mount Pleasant area schools:

• Belle Hall Elementary School

• Charles Pinckney Elementary School

• Christ Our King - Stella Maris School

• Coastal Christian Preparatory School

• East Cooper Montessori Charter School

• James B. Edwards Elementary School

• Jennie Moore Elementary School for the Creative Arts

• Laing Middle School of Science and Technology

• Laurel Hill Primary School

• Mamie P. Whitesides Elementary School

• Moultrie Middle School

• Mount Pleasant Academy

• Palmetto Christian Academy

• Sullivan's Island Elementary School

• Thomas C. Cario Middle School

• Trident Academy

• Wando High School

Downtown Charleston

With the revitalization of downtown neighborhoods and the campaign to improve existing schools and provide more charter and magnet options, many families are choosing to reside in the heart of downtown Charleston. Residents living in Charleston’s Historic District, Harleston Village, Ansonborough, Cannonborough-Elliottborough, Morris Square, Radcliffborough, French Quarter, and South of Broad are all zoned for Memminger Elementary School of Global Studies. Sanders Clyde Creative Arts Elementary School services much of the Eastside neighborhoods,  Mazyck-Wraggborough and North of Morrison,  while most of Wagener Terrace and Hampton Park Terrace are zoned for James Simons School, an elementary and middle school focusing on Montessori. All downtown elementary schools are zoned for Simmons-Pinckney Middle School and Burke High School. Though all the aforementioned schools have an average or below average rating, the school district is taking great measures to improve the quality of education and implement remedial reading and math programs to assist children academically.

Honoring the concept of school choice, parents have the option of sending their children to nearby magnet or charter schools such as Buist Academy, Carolina Voyager School, Charleston Charter School of Math and Science, or Charleston Progressive School. A county wide magnet, Buist Academy is an academically rigorous institution that challenges students to think independently and critically in all subjects. In partnership with the International Baccalaureate Organization, the K-8 school serves just over 400 students. Students must meet academic requirements and test scores prior to admittance. Both the elementary and middle school divisions at Buist Academy receive excellent absolute ratings, and the school is continuously a recipient of  the Palmetto Gold Award. The Carolina Voyager School, which will soon service students K - 8 grade, is a charter school that focuses on learning through technology and exploration. With less than 200 students, teachers are able to individualize instruction and present interactive, project-based classrooms.  As the name implies, the Charleston Charter School of Math and Science (CCSMS), which serves middle and high school students, is an academically demanding institution with a strong emphasis on math and science. Located on historic King Street, CCSMS enrolls approximately 520 students and prides itself on being autonomous from the bureaucratic restrictions of the Charleston County School Board. The Charleston Progressive School, founded by two retired CCSD teachers and business owners, is a K - 8 school that incorporates multi-age classrooms and thematic teaching approaches. Located on Meeting Street, the school has less than 500 students and focuses on fitness and leadership mastery.

Private schools in downtown Charleston include the historic Charleston Day School, Ashley Hall, Charleston Catholic School, Mason Preparatory School, and First Baptist School. Meeting Street Academy, while not associated with the Charleston County School District, is considered an Independent school. Charleston Day School was founded in 1937 on the pillars of scholarship, integrity, respect, and responsibility. With less than 300 students, the average teacher / student ration is 7:1 at this elite educational institution. More than 70% of the faculty hold advanced degrees, and the majority of graduated students excel academically in high school and attend top universities. Founded in 1909, Ashley Hall is an all-girls private school whose core mission is to mold intelligent, independent, confident women who are ethically responsible and well-versed on societal expectations. Both religious private institutions, the Charleston Catholic School follows the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church while First Baptist School is a covenant Christian school. Both schools educate children from kindergarten to 12th grade and follow a classical approach to academia. Meeting Street Academy serves children aged three through 5th grade. Their mission is to provide a first-class, college preparatory education for families who care deeply about education but cannot afford traditional private schools.

Learn more about these Downtown Charleston schools:

• Ashley Hall

• Buist Academy for Advanced Studies

• Burke High School

• Carolina Voyager

• The Charleston Catholic School

• Charleston Charter School of Math & Science

• Charleston Day School

• Charleston Progressive Academy

• First Baptist School of Charleston

• James Simons School - A Montessori Focus

• Meeting Street Academy

• Memminger Elementary School

• Sanders-Clyde Creative Arts School

• Simmons-Pinckney Middle School

James Island

James Island is family-friendly community that is close to downtown Charleston, Folly Beach, and West Ashley, making for a short commute to nearby businesses and industries. Neighborhoods such as Lighthouse Point, Seaside Plantation, Oak Island, Sol Legare, Ocean Neighbors, Westfield Place and Riverfront are all zoned for James Island Elementary School, a neighborhood school with approximately 570 students that emphasizes Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). Children residing in the communities of Battery Point, Bayfront, Harbor Creek, Lawton Bluff, Woodward Pointe, and the Country Club of Charleston attend Harbor View Elementary School, a school with approximately 650 students that aims to produce inquisitive students and model citizens. Stiles Point Elementary School also enrolls around 650 students in grades K-5 and services neighborhoods such as Bayview Farms, Eaglewood Retreat, Fort Johnson Estates, Fort Lamar, Harbor Woods, and Stiles Point Plantation. All three of these James Island elementary schools boast an “excellent” absolute rating and a “good” or “excellent” growth rating. Most students attending these schools are promoted to James Island Middle School, an “average” rated school with approximately 350 students that fosters learning in a nurturing environment.

Children residing in the neighborhoods of Island Shores, Laurel Park, Stono Terrace, Riverland Park, Riverland Terrace, and Woodland Shores all attend Murray-LaSaine Elementary School, a partial magnet school that offers two different learning environments:  traditional-style classrooms and Montessori method classrooms. A relatively small school with less than 350 students and an absolute rating of “average,” the building itself was recently renovated and now boasts bright classrooms, new technologies, and, of course, enthusiastic teachers. Murray-LaSaine students, along with some students zoned for Stiles Point Elementary, are promoted to Fort Johnson Middle School, an A-rated school with less than 475 students.

After middle school, James Island students are set to attend James Island Charter High School, a top-rated school that consistently exceeds district and state performance scores. The school offers an International Baccalaureate Program and is fully accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). James Island teenagers also have the option of attending one of Charleston’s magnet high school institutions such as the Academic Magnet, Charleston Charter School for Math and Science, Charleston County School of the Arts, or Garrett Academy of Technology.

Residents of James Island have several private school options as well. With instruction based on a Biblical worldview, James Island Christian School teaches children from preschool to 8th grade using a multi-age model. Tuition for this school ranges from $6,500 to $7,700. The Nativity School is another private school on James Island and is a Catholic school serving grades pre-K through 8th.

Learn more about these area schools:

• Fort Johnson Middle School

• Harbor View Elementary School

• James Island Charter High School

• James Island Christian School

• James Island Elementary School

• James Island Middle School

• Murray Lasaine Elementary School

• Nativity School

• Stiles Point Elementary School


West Ashley

With its picturesque topography, quaint neighborhoods, affordable housing options, and close proximity to downtown, West Ashley is the ideal location for suburban savvy families. Neighborhoods like Ashley Harbor, Huntington Woods, and South Windermere are automatically zoned for desirable Orange Grove Elementary Charter School, a charter school that accepts out-of-area students based on a priority lottery system. The excellent rated school serves more than 1,000 students in grades K - 8 and is the recipient of numerous accolades including U.S. Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, Palmetto Gold Award, Palmetto’s Finest, S.C. Environmental School of the Year, and Exemplary Writing School Hall of Fame. Neighborhoods such as Avondale, Byrnes Down, Moreland, Windermere, and The Crescent are all zoned for St. Andrews Math and Science Elementary School, a partial magnet that focuses on math and science. Currently, the school enrolls slightly more than 800 students and earns an absolute rating of excellent. Employing a hands-on, inquiry-based style of learning, St. Andrew’s seamlessly incorporates math and science concepts into all core academic subjects as well as special areas such as art and music. Similar to Orange Grove, admittance to this high-achieving school is through a combination of lottery results, test scores, and writing samples. With an enrollment of 830 students and an “excellent” absolute rating, Drayton Hall Elementary is a neighborhood school that serves Shadow Moss, Schieveling Plantation, Hunt Club, and Drayton on the Ashley. Drayton Hall Elementary enjoys an enthusiastic faculty with 60% of its teachers possessing advanced degrees as well National Board Certification. The West Ashley neighborhood Pierpont is zoned for Springfield Elementary, a Title 1 School committed to providing early intervention via specialty coaches in reading and math. A Positive Behavior Intervention Support School, Springfield Elementary currently has around 630 students and an absolute rating of “good.” Another neighborhood and Title 1 school, Oakland Elementary, services West Ashley communities such as Croghan Landing, Carolina Bay, Boltons Landing, and Battery Haig on Stono. An “average” rated school, Oakland Elementary was recently awarded the Palmetto Gold and Palmetto Silver in recognition of its positive efforts to close the achievement gap.

For middle school, West Ashley students attend either Orange Grove Charter School or C.E. Williams Middle School, a partial magnet for creative and scientific arts. With approximately 625 students, this school desires to engage students in the process of learning, not just teaching. Qualifying students may apply to the West Ashley Advanced Studies Magnet School, an academically rigorous school that offers both honors classes and high school credit courses.

Serving the entire region, West Ashley High School is the fruition of the mergence of St. Andrews High School and Middleton High School. Comprised of 1,800 students, the “excellent/good” rated high school offers numerous A.P. and dual enrollment classes as well as specialty majors, which include marketing, business, sports management, nail technology, mechatronics, pre-engineering, and web design.

Private school options in West Ashley include Porter-Gaud, an iconic Charleston fixture, established in 1867 with the simple intent to educate the whole child -- spiritually, academically, and culturally.  An independent, Episcopal school, Porter-Gaud teaches children from first to 12th grade. With a 10:1 teacher-student ratio in the Lower School, elementary students are taught two world languages, participate in hands-on scientific lab experiments, and exposed to various facets of fine arts. The student-centered learning approach is a hallmark of the school and graduates often attend top tier universities. Other private options include Trinity Montessori School (K-5), Charleston Christian School (K-8), Addlestone Hebrew Academy (K-8), The Cooper SchoolCharles Towne Montessori, Oak Grove Montessori Blessed Sacrament Catholic School and Palmetto Scholars Academy.

Learn more about these West Ashley area schools:

• Addlestone Hebrew Academy

• Ashley River Creative Arts

• Blessed Sacrament Catholic School

• C.E. Williams Middle School for Creative and Scientific Arts

• The Charleston Christian School

• Charles Towne Montessori

• The Cooper School

• Drayton Hall Elementary School

• Montessori Community School

• Oakland Elementary School

• Orange Grove Elementary Charter School

• Palmetto Scholars Academy

• Porter-Gaud

• Springfield Elementary School

• St. Andrews Math and Science Elementary School

• Stono Park Elementary School

• Trinity Montessori School

• West Ashley Advanced Studies Magnet

• West Ashley High School

North Charleston

North Charleston is a growing urban region with many neighborhood schools and specialty schools. Some North Charleston neighborhoods like Cedar Grove, Coosaw Creek, Indigo Fields, Taylor Plantation, Charleston Park, Palmetto Plantation, Archdale, and Whitehall are under the jurisdiction of Dorchester County School District Two. These neighborhoods are zoned for either Eagle Nest Elementary or Oakbrook Elementary, River Oaks Middle School, and Fort Dorchester High School.

North Charleston homes in Reverie on the Ashley and Wando Woods are zoned for Burns Elementary (at risk / average), Northwoods Middle School (below average), and North Charleston High School (at risk). The community of Plantation Isle and nearby homes also attend Burns Elementary but then proceed to Jerry Zucker Middle School of Science (below average) and North Charleston High School. Children residing in the neighborhoods of Brookdale, Lambs, or Summerfield attend Hunley Park Elementary School (average) or Lambs Elementary (average), Morningside Middle School (average), and North Charleston High School. Morningside Middle School is a Title 1 single gender school with separate facilities, programs, and instructional approaches for boys and girls. Morningside ARMS Boys’ Academy and Morningside EXCEL Girls’ Academy are both partial magnet schools. The neighborhoods of Evanston Estates is zoned for Goodwin Elementary School (average), Jerry Zucker Middle School of Science, and Stall High School (below average).

Charter school and magnet program options include North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary, Prestige Preparatory Academy, Greg Mathis Charter High School, Military Magnet Academy, Charleston County School of the Arts and Garrett Academy of Technology.

There are several private schools located in North Charleston: Cathedral Academy, Northside Christian School and Saint John Catholic School.

Learn more about these North Charleston area schools:

• Cathedral Academy

• Charleston County School of the Arts

• Eagle Nest Elementary School

• Edmund A. Burns Elementary School

• Fort Dorchester High School

• Garrett Academy of Technology

• Goodwin Elementary School

• Greg Mathis Charter High School

• Hunley Park Elementary School

• Jerry Zucker Middle School of Science

• Lambs Elementary School

• Military Magnet Academy

• Morningside Middle School

• North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary School

• North Charleston High School

• Northside Christian School

• Northwoods Middle School

• Oakbrook Elementary School

• Prestige Prepatory Academy

• River Oaks Middle School

• Saint John Catholic School

• Stall High School

Johns Island / Kiawah Island / Seabrook Island

Charleston County’s southern region stretches to Johns Island, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island. This rapidly growing region is zoned for Haut Gap Middle School and St. John’s High School. With an absolute rating of “good,” Haut Gap Middle is a partial magnet school that focuses on advanced academic studies. Located off Bohicket Road, Haut Gap enrolls approximately 500 students and prides itself on developing students who are independent, curious thinkers. With less than 300 students, St. John’s High School has an overall average rating and offers specialization programs such as Hospitality and Tourism Academy, Advanced Placement Academy, and Project Lead the Way Engineering Computer Science.

Learn more about these Johns Island area schools:

• Haut Gap Middle School

St. John’s High School

Ravenel / Hollywood

Charleston County’s southernmost region stretches all the way to Hollywood, South Carolina, a relatively rural area comprised of ranch style homes, equestrian estates, and riverfront homes. Intracoastal homes in The Bluffs at Wide Awake Plantation attend E.B. Ellington Elementary and Baptist Hill Middle High School. An average / at-risk rated school located off Old Jacksonboro Road in Ravenel, Ellington Elementary serves less than 400 students in grades K - 5 and offers an advanced studies program at the C.C. Blaney Center for academically gifted students. Located in Hollywood, Baptist Hill serves approximately 460 students in grades 6-12.

Currently rated as below average, Baptist Hill Middle High School offers single gender education classes and free after school academy programs. High School students at Baptist Hill may participate in the pre-engineering track by focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The school also offers numerous Advanced Placement courses, competitive varsity sports teams, a barbering academy, and Junior ROTC. With the immaculate Stono Ferry golf community nearby, the Baptist Hill golf team has the privilege to practice and play at the picturesque course.  Residents of the Plantation at Stono Ferry, Poplar Grove, and Royal Harbor also attend these schools.

Learn more about these Ravenel/Hollywood area schools:

• Baptist Hill Middle High School

• E.B. Ellington Elementary

Berkeley County School District

Berkeley County School District provides public education to residents on Daniel Island, Wando, Hanahan, Cross, Huger, St. Stephen, Pineville, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, Ladson, and parts of north Summerville. Unlike Charleston County, Berkeley County Schools offer a fully immersed, self-contained Gifted and Talented Program for qualified students. Rather than being pulled from class a few times a week for a separate instruction, students enrolled in the Gifted and Talented Program in Berkeley County Schools enjoy the faster pace, critical-inquiry style learning for all subjects. The school district also employs reading remediation coaches, special education teachers, guidance counselors, and school psychologists to assist students with specific learning or behavioral needs. Most recently, the school district implemented a technology initiative wherein all children in grades 3 - 8 will be issued a Google Chromebook for academic use during the school year.

Daniel Island / Wando / Cainhoy

Though governed through the City of Charleston, Daniel Island School is a part of Berkeley County School District. With approximately 1,000 students in grades K - 8, the neighborhood school solely serves Daniel Island and St. Thomas Island families. Described as a modern Mayberry, the community truly has a small town feel and ambiance. In fact, the majority of children who attend Daniel Island School bike or walk to school each day. The school consistently earns an absolute rating of excellent and is widely recognized for its Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) program.

Located off Clements Ferry Road, Philip Simmons Elementary and Middle School in Wando is a new facility that serves students in Beresford Creek Landing, Beresford Hall, Cainhoy Landing, The Retreat at Beresford, Beresford Commons, Nelliefield Plantation, The Peninsula, and Cainhoy Crossing. The school, which is named after the Charlestonian blacksmith famous for his iron gates, is a state-of-the-art facility that offers numerous specialty programs including Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM).  Children residing in Huger homes attend Cainhoy Elementary School and then proceed to Philip Simmons for middle school.

After the completion of eighth grade, students at Daniel Island School and Philip Simmons Middle School progress to Philip Simmons High School, a brand new 215,000 square foot facility located off Clements Ferry Road. The school serves approximately 1,200 students and offers five academic academies: Arts and Humanities, Business and Hospitality, Science Technology and Math (STEM), Health Science and 9th Grade Academy. Bishop England High School is a private Catholic high school option for those seeking a faith-based schooling for their teens.

Learn more about these area schools:

• Bishop England High School

• Daniel Island School

• Philip Simmons Elementary

• Philip Simmons Middle School

• Philip Simmons High School


A small town that is on track for tremendous growth, Hanahan is located between 526 and Interstate-26 between North Charleston and Daniel Island. With the revitalization of Park Circle and the well-built, affordable houses within neighborhoods such as Tanner Plantation and Old Dominion Hills, Hanahan is quickly becoming a desirable location for retirees, families, and single adults. Children residing in Hanahan attend Hanahan Elementary School, a National Blue Ribbon School and Exemplary High Performing School. As an alternative, students may request admission to Howe Hall AIMS (Art Infused Magnet School). Located in Goose Creek, Howe Hall AIMS is not only a National Blue Ribbon and Palmetto Gold school, but it is also the recipient of numerous art-related accolades, including the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award. The primary objective of this magnet school is to simultaneously infuse academics and arts in an effort to develop lifelong, creative learners.  School acceptance is based on a lottery style system and is open to all students in Berkeley County.

After elementary school, students progress to Hanahan Middle School, an excellent rated school that serves approximately 870 students. Upon completion of 8th grade, students move to Hanahan High School, also an excellent rated school with a population of just more than 1,000 students. Hanahan High School offers numerous academic and social clubs, Advanced Placement and dual enrollment classes, and wide variety of varsity sports options. 

Private school options include the Divine Redeemer School, a Catholic school serving grades K - 8th. 

Learn more about these area schools:

• Divine Redeemer School

• Hanahan Elementary School

• Howe Hall AIMS

• Hanahan Middle School

• Hanahan High School

Goose Creek/Ladson

Located in the southern part of Berkeley County, Goose Creek is well known for its military muscle. Charleston’s
Naval Weapon Station (Joint Base Charleston), the South Carolina Army National Guard, the Marine Corps Reserve Center, and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic (SPAWAR) are all located in Goose Creek. Consequently, the area is attractive to military families and others who seek a mix of rural and urban lifestyle. In fact, Business Week tapped Goose Creek as the best place to raise children in South Carolina. Neighborhoods including Brickhope Greens, Brickhope Plantation, Carnes Crossing, Cokers Crossing, Laurel Hill, Liberty Hill Plantation, and Sophia Landing all attend Goose Creek Primary School, Boulder Bluff Elementary School, Sedgefield Middle School, and Goose Creek High School. The prestigious golf community of Crowfield Plantation is zoned for College Park Elementary School, College Park Middle School, and Stratford High School. Moreover, residents of the Ladson area, which includes College Park neighborhoods, also attend the aforementioned schools. 

Nearby private school options include Northwood Academy, a private Christian school located in Carnes Crossing in Goose Creek. The school, which was established in 1978, teaches students K - 12 and is accredited through the South Carolina Independent School Association.

Learn more about these area schools:

• Boulder Bluff Elementary School

• College Park Elementary School

• Goose Creek High School

• Goose Creek Primary School

• Northwood Academy

• Sedgefield Middle School

• Stratford High School

Moncks Corner

Established in 1728, the quaint town of Moncks Corner has an old-fashioned feel and new-lifestyle appeal. More and more families are moving to the quiet countryside, which is only 30 minutes from downtown Charleston. Though not as heavily populated in comparison to other Charleston regions like Mt. Pleasant or Summerville, Moncks Corner has several elementary schools including Whitesville Elementary, H.E. Bonner Elementary, and Berkeley Elementary School. For middle school, students progress to either Berkeley Middle School or Macedonia Middle School. Upon completion of 8th grade, students transfer to Berkeley High School. As an alternative, students may attend specialty high schools such as Berkeley Alternative or Berkeley Middle College High School, both of which service grades 9-12.

Learn more about the Moncks Corner area schools:

• Berkeley Alternative

• Berkeley Elementary School

• Berkeley High School

• Berkeley Middle College High School 

• Berkeley Middle School

• H.E. Bonner Elementary

• Macedonia Middle School

• Whitesville Elementary


Though most of Summerville is zoned for Dorchester District Two, the region north of I-26 is under the jurisdiction of the Berkeley County School District. This area includes the stretch of land off Highway 17 between Exit 199 and Goose Creek. Here, the new energy-efficient community of Nexton is zoned for Nexton Elementary School, Cane Bay Middle School, and Cane Bay High School. Across the street from Nexton, the community of Sangaree is zoned for Sangaree Elementary School, Sangaree Middle School, and Cane Bay High School. Designed by Daniel Island developers, the new community of Carnes Crossroads as well as the picturesque neighborhood Cane Bay Plantation are both zoned for Cane Bay Elementary School, Cane Bay Middle School, and Cane Bay High School. Nexton and Cane Bay schools are both relatively new and feature newer technologies and state-of-the-art classrooms. Cane Bay High School has an absolute rating of excellent and a growth rating of excellent. Students are pleased to participate in unique after school clubs and organizations including DECA, Robotics, Rocketry, Kitty Hawk Air Society, Aviation Club, Future Farmers of America, Mock Trial, Photography, and many others. The school offers numerous Advanced Placement and dual enrollments courses and has many well-coached athletic teams.

Learn more about Summerville area schools:

• Cane Bay Elementary School

• Cane Bay High School

• Cane Bay Middle School

• Nexton Elementary School

• Sangaree Elementary School

• Sangaree Middle School

The smaller, rural regions of Berkeley County include Cross, Pineville, and St. Stephen. These areas are home to Cross High School, Timberland High School, and St. Stephen High School, respectively.

Dorchester County School District Two

Dorchester County School District Two encompasses almost the entire Summerville region. Formerly the largest high school in the state of South Carolina, an attribute that now belongs to Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant, Summerville High School was first separated with the opening of Fort Dorchester High School and then again with construction of Ashley Ridge High School. Remarkably, all three high schools compete at the highest level both academically and athletically. Furthermore, all three high schools boast some of the state’s highest graduation rates and produce a large percentage of college-bound students. 

Summerville High School, well known for its legendary football coach John McKissick, breeds both athletes and scholars, often as a single, multi-dimensional student. A Division Five school, Summerville High School consistently has highly competitive football, basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, and volleyball teams. Academically, the school offers specialty paths such as Advanced Placement Programs, STEM Pathway, Health and Biomedical Science Academy, Navy JROTC, and Career and Technology Education. Neighborhood communities such as White Gables, Branch Creek, Country Club Estates, Tea Farm, The Summit, Daniel Orchards, Pine Forest, The Ponds, Myers Hill, and the Historic District all feed into Summerville High School. Students residing in these communities attend either Dubose Middle School or Alston Middle School, both of which are established institutions that offer a wide array of academic and fine art programs. As an alternative, the Rollings Middle School of Arts is a magnet school that emphasizes creative, artistic thinking and music movement. Because the school is focused on arts and music and because it follows a rigorous academic curriculum, students must apply and audition for admittance.  For elementary school, these areas typically attend Knightsville Elementary, Flowertown Elementary, or Alston-Bailey Elementary.

In 1993, Fort Dorchester High School was opened to relieve some of the overcrowding at Summerville High School and to accommodate the residential growth off Dorchester Road.  Located in the Oakbrook area, Ft. Dorchester serves students in neighborhoods like Kings Grant, Westcott Country Club, and Archdale. Also a Division Five school, Fort Dorchester has both fantastic sports and revered academics. The school offers an International Baccalaureate program, dual enrollment courses through EPCI College of Technology and Trident Technical College, Advanced Placement courses, JROTC, a Freshmen Academy, a National Science and Math Initiative Study. Preceding Fort Dorchester, students in this area of Summerville attend Oakbrook Middle School and either Fort Dorchester Elementary, Oakbrook Elementary, Eagle Nest Elementary, or Joseph Pye Elementary School. Qualifying students may also audition to attend Rollings Middle School of the Arts.

The newest high school in the district is Ashley Ridge High School, a state-of-the-art school that earns “excellent” ratings. The school offers a range of programs including Advanced Placement courses, Air Force JROTC, dual enrollment classes through EPCI College of Technology, CATE, and Early College Programs. Additionally, the school has a host of varsity athletic sports including swim team, soccer, softball, baseball, volleyball, wrestling, tennis, golf, cross country, track and field, basketball and football. Prior to high school, Ashley Ridge students attend either Gregg Middle School or Oakbrook Middle School. Elementary schools in this area include top rated Beech Hill, Oakbrook Elementary, and Spann Elementary School. Neighborhoods zoned for this region include Fieldview, Ashborough, Legend Oaks, Mateeba Estates, Walnut Farms, and Bridges of Summerville.

Learn more about these Summerville area schools:

• Alston-Bailey Elementary School

• Alston Middle School

• Ashley Ridge High School

• Dubose Middle School

• Eagle Nest Elementary

• Flowertown Elementary School

• Fort Dorchester Elementary School

• Fort Dorchester High School

• Gregg Middle School

• Joseph Pye Elementary School

• Knightsville Elementary School

• Oakbrook Elementary School

• Oakbrook Middle School

• Rollings Middle School of the Arts

• Summerville High School


Colleges & Universities

Many ambitious high school and college graduates relocate to the Charleston area to complete or advance their academic focus. Located in the heart of downtown Charleston, the College of Charleston is a liberal arts and sciences university that was founded in 1770. The historic buildings paradoxically represent its modern academic capabilities. With a wide array of majors and graduate studies, the College of Charleston is a well-respected university. Currently, the school enrolls approximately 10,000 students.

Another historic and purely Charleston institution is The Citadel, a military college established in 1842. The school continuously receives accolades from U.S. News and World Report. Most recently, it was ranked the #1 Public College in the South, the #1 Best Value in the South, and the #1 Best Public College for Veterans in the South! From an academic standpoint, the school ranked #13 in the nation for undergraduate engineering programs. The school prides itself on focused discipline, personal training and fitness, and rigorous academic studies. Approximately 2,500 students make up the Citadel’s Corp of Cadets and an additional 1,000 graduates and civilians are enrolled in graduate school or evening classes. An eclectic mix of personalities from all over the world, the Corp of Cadets graduate with a deep-seeded bond that transcends their college years. The lifelong cadet camaraderie is just one reason the Citadel is revered and respected.

The Medical University of South Carolina is located in downtown Charleston and offers graduate studies in general medicine, dentistry, dermatology, health professions, pediatrics, nursing, and pharmacy. The school frequently receives accolades for its advancements in medical research and diagnosis, and students are able to complete their residency or fellowship in the same location as their studies.

Charleston Southern University, located in North Charleston, is a faith-based, liberal arts university with approximately 3,200 students. Associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the school offers a wide array of majors as well as spiritual growth encounters and mission opportunities. CSU has more than 45 majors and numerous clubs, civic organizations, recreational sports, and elite athletic programs.

A few miles from CSU is the associate school Trident Technical College. An affordable option, TTC allow students to take core classes such as English, math, and sciences and then transfer to a larger university or college. The school offers many technical degree programs and academic divisions including aeronautical, business technology, nursing, film and media, health sciences, and a culinary institute.  

Learn more about these area colleges:

• College of Charleston

• The Citadel

• Medical University of South Carolina

• Charleston Southern University

• Trident Technical College

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