The most common questions I get when helping people find a new home are about schools. Schools in the Triangle are a bit different than other places. We have a lot of options. Parents can choose the neighborhood school, a public magnet school, a public charter school or tuition funded private schools. Home schools are also popular in North Carolina, even outpacing private school growth. In order to choose the best school, it helps to understand the difference between the different options available.
A Charter School is paid for through public funding but operationally speaking behaves more like a private school. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have oversight from the Department of Public Education, it just means that their organizational structure is a little different.
Charter schools can be founded by parents in the community who see a need for a particular educational model, such as a Montessori Charter like Sterling Montessori in Morrisville. Or a charter can be founded by a for-profit corporation such as Cardinal Charter Academy in Cary.
What you need to know about charter schools:
Unlike a Charter School, A Magnet school is a traditional public school that follows the state mandated Common Core Curriculum. The mission of North Carolina Charter Schools is to reduce concentrations of poverty, create more diverse environments and increase academic success in schools with lower socioeconomic status. In order to accomplish that mission, in addition to the state curriculum, Magnet schools have a particular focus or learning style. For example, Kingswood Elementary is a Montessori Magnet. Combs Elementary (voted #1 Magnet School in America) is a Leadership school modeled on Steven Covey’s Seven Habits. Jeffreys Grove Elementary offers language immersion. And Enloe High is a GIfted and Talented/International Baccalaureate School. You can find a complete list of Wake County Magnet Schools here.
What you Need to Know About Magnet Schools
Most people who refer to traditional schools, mean the neighborhood public school that their home is zoned to. Since magnet schools are traditional public schools with a magnet designation, your neighborhood school might be a magnet school. Charter schools are never zoned to neighborhoods, though. All students in charter schools must apply to get in, even if they live next door. No matter which school you choose, the quality of the school is more dependent upon the leadership and their ability to hire and retain quality teachers than it is to any one model. Once you understand the differences in the school models, I always recommend the best way to choose is to visit the school, talk to the principal and teachers, observe students in their natural environment and read online reviews at places like Great Schools.
Looking for a home in a particular school zone? Use the graph below to find homes zoned to your school of choice!
|Abbots Creek||Green Hope||Pleasant Grove|
|Adams||Harris Creek||Pleasant Union|
|Alston Ridge||Herbert Akins||Powell|
|Bailywick Road||Highcroft||Reedy Creek|
|Baucom||Holly Ridge Road||Salem|
|Beaverdam||Holly Springs||Sanford Creek|
|Briarcliff||Jones Dairy||Swift Creek|
|Brier Creek||Joyner||Sycamore Creek|
|Cary||Laurel Park||Vandora Springs|
|Cedar Fork||Lead Mine||Wake Forest|
|Creech Road||Lockhart||Walnut Creek|
|Davis Drive||Lynn Road||Washington|
|Durant||Mills Park||West Lake|
|East Garner||Morrisville||White Oak|
|Farmington Woods||North Ridge||Wilburn|
|Forest Pines||Northwoods||Wildwood Forest|
|Fox Road||Oakview||Willow Springs|
|Apex||East Wake||North Garner|
|Daniels||Holly Ridge||Wake Forest|
|Davis Drive||Leesville Road||Wakefield|
|Durant Road||Lufkin Road||West Cary|
|East Cary||Martin||West Lake|
|East Garner||Mills Park||West Millbrook|
|East Millbrook||Moore Square||Zebulon|
Ellen is the founder of Harmony Realty, a socially conscious realty company. Ellen believes in empowering her clients through education and open communication. Ellen is a number-cruncher at heart and takes great pleasure in following and analyzing the trends of the housing industry. She loves communicating the big picture to her clients and helping them to understand how the market affects their sale or purchase. Her honest and down-to-earth approach allows her clients to make informed and intelligent decisions to get the most out of their offers and negotiations.