We get a lot of questions about schools in Charleston, SC - especially from home buyers relocating to Charleston. When clients tell us they want to be in a good public school district, we give them some of the resources we've collected over the years. Most of these are school district websites along with various sites devoted to school rankings for the Charleston area and for the state.
The cities of Mt. Pleasant and Summerville have the highest ranked public schools in Charleston. Summerville is divided into several districts. But, if you look at the rankings, you'll see that Dorchester District 2 receives the highest marks.
When people find out they have two options for places to live in Charleston with such good public schools, they usually want to narrow their search even more. So, the main differences between these two areas are price and location. Mt. Pleasant is more expensive than Summerville, since most areas in Mt. Pleasant are about 10 minutes from the beaches and about 15-20 minutes from downtown Charleston. So, Mt. Pleasant has a much better location than Summerville. Also, Mt. Pleasant has more of an upscale feel to it. There is plenty to do in Mt. Pleasant - it has a nice outdoor shopping mall (Towne Center), along with a lot of restaurants and a movie theater.
If you're looking to spend less than $250K for a single family home, I would recommend looking in Summerville. The homes in Summerville are more affordable compared to some of the other Charleston areas. Summerville is about 40 to 45 minutes from downtown Charleston and a good hour's drive from the closest beach. Summerville has a small-town feel to it, but there are still quite a few restaurants and stores in the area. So, Summerville residents don't have to leave town for entertainment. But, if they want to go downtown Charleston or to the beach, it's just a short drive away.
James Island also has good schools - from their elementary schools up to their Charter high school. Also, Academic Magnet High School in North Charleston was ranked 7th in the country for public schools. Students have to apply to get into Academic Magnet, and it is quite competitive. But, the good news is that home buyers have plenty of options for good public schools in Charleston.
Charleston also has excellent private schools. Bishop England High School, Ashley Hall, and Porter-Gaud are just a handful of options for private schools in Charleston.
Home buyers will find a lot of good information available on schools, so it's important for buyers to not just rely on what we say - but to also look for themselves. If schools are a deciding factor in your home purchase, be sure to confirm any information that you get. Most buyers are pleased to see for themselves the many options available for schools in Charleston.
You'll find some of our resources on the Schools page of our website. Buyers can also view all Charleston homes for sale on the MLS using our website, including Mt.Pleasant, SC homes !