A popular misconception among homeowners and agents in Charleston is that downtown had limited options when it comes to education, families are constantly being steered away from the peninsula because of the “bad school” myth. The truth is there are many more options for schools for downtown Charleston residents, the following is a list of private schools and there are even more options for public school due to the fact that downtown public schools are mostly “failing”,The federal government requires South Carolina to offer public school transfer options and supplementary instruction to children trapped in a school ranked as failing. To learn more click here to visit the Charleston County School District Website.
The best public schools in the area are Buist Magnet (downtown), Ashley River School of the Arts (west ashley) and Saint Andrews School of Math and Science (west ashley/close in). The other good ones are: Harborview Elementary and the new magnet high school in North Charleston. I have heard that there are good ones in Mt. Pleasant and Summerville also, but this blog post is directed towards residents of Downtown Charleston.
About CCSD’s Portfolio of Options
The research is clear. School districts across the country offering choices have greater parent involvement, more engaged learners, and a higher quality of education.
Charleston County School District (CCSD) offers dynamic choices for students and parents, including neighborhood schools, specialized programs ranging from pre-kindergarten to alternative and special needs; district-wide magnet programs, and charter schools. Of the remaining schools, several offer partial magnet or constituent magnet options that extend their reach. Due to the success and high demand of many of these schools, CCSD is currently expanding these options throughout the county.
The private schools
Charleston Catholic School: $ (downtown) “Each child is challenged to discover his/her own academic excellence through creativity, inquiry and critical thinking. The opportunity to integrate imagination and discovery is offered in the Fine Arts programs. Physical education and a strong extracurricular athletic department help to contribute to the child’s total development.”
O’Quinn School (James Island) $$ “We believe that the preschool/kindergarten years of a child’s development are crucial years in education, motor skills, and brain development. These set the stage for long term intellectual growth and educational curiosity. Our curriculum is designed to develop each child to his/ her highest potential through age appropriate activities and pace; establishing an appropriate environment, assessing the objectives for each child, encouraging parent involvement, and providing for the professional development of our teachers.”
Charleston Day School $$ (downtown) “The mission of Charleston Day School is to foster scholarship, integrity, respect and responsibility in our students.”
Porter Gaud School $$$ (west ashley) “Porter-Gaud is an Episcopal, coeducational, independent, college preparatory day school. We acknowledge the sovereignty of God, recognize the worth of the individual, and seek to cultivate a school community that endows its citizens with a foundation of moral and ethical character and intellect. Porter-Gaud fosters a challenging academic environment that honors excellence in teaching and learning, respects differences, expects honesty, and applauds achievement.
Ashley Hall School $$$ (downtown) “Miss McBee opened the doors of Ashley Hall believing that our society needed educated women who were independent, ethically responsible, and prepared to meet the challenges of society with confidence. She chose the use of a classical education to prepare young women for an ever changing cultural landscape. Much of what Miss McBee believed to be of value in 1909, still holds true today.”
First Baptist School $ (downtown)”First Baptist is a K3-12 Independent school in downtown Charleston, and is best known for three things: our nurturing Christian environment; our affordable rates; and our highly successful students”
Mason Prep $$ (downtown)”Mason Preparatory School is committed to the education of the whole child in preparation for secondary education, to the development of the child into a productive citizen, and to the cultivation of respect, integrity, and personal responsibility within a nurturing environment.”
Bishop England High School $$ (Daniel Island) “This is where I went to high school, back when it was downtown, this is the only school with no mission statement or description on their website, it was a good school, very catholic with a strong emphasis on academics”
Blessed Sacrament School $ (west ashley)”The mission of Blessed Sacrament School is to provide a high quality academic program in a genuinely Catholic environment that affords students the opportunity to develop morally, spirtually, aesthetically, emotionally, and intellectually.”
Addlestone Hebrew Academy $ (west ashley)”Addlestone Hebrew Academy is a community day school that provides an exceptional education in secular and Judaic studies. Our students achieve standards of academic excellence in a dynamic environment that embodies that richness of Jewish life. Our school provides conditions in which children are motivated to learn. Our class sizes are small and our excellent teachers provide the individual attention which is critical to the development of children.”
Charlestowne Montessori $ (west ashley) “Charles Towne Montessori School was founded in 1972 and is the oldest and largest Montessori School in the Charleston area. They specialize in grades Pre-kindergarten through 6th.”
Palmetto Montessori $ (downtown) “ Palmetto Montessori is committed to educating the children through the Montessori method. Using this method we intend to cultivate independence, self-confidence and a sense of responsibility …”
Trinity Montessori $ (west ashley) “We are a small, nurturing educational community for 85 students serving ages 18 months through 14 years. Our goal at Trinity is to provide the highest quality Montessori education possible. We strive to provide a learning experience that promotes academic success and develops a strong sense of individual responsibility and community. Trinity Montessori is a non-profit, independent school located West of the Ashley in Charleston, South Carolina”
Oak Grove Montessori School (west ashley) “Just across the bridge from downtown, programs for children k-4th.
Montessori Fountainhead School $ (downtown) “Located in a historic building in the heart of downtown Charleston, SC, the Montessori Fountainhead School provides outstanding, traditional Montessori education with small, intimate class sizes. We offer a dedicated Primary program for children aged 2.5 to 6 years. For information on Montessori Fountainhead Elementary (children aged 6 to 12), please click here to visit the elementary website.
Montessori School of Johns Island $ (Johns Island) This is a wonderful small school with a large campus and a big garden! “
I know I am missing some, so if I left out a school please comment and I will add it on! Thanks