Moving to Charlotte with kids? You’re in for a treat. Not only is the Queen City famous for its outdoor activities, high quality of life, and weather, but also its great public and private schools (well, that and being the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame!).

In total, there are 855 schools in Charlotte, North Carolina. Whether your child is looking for sports opportunities and extracurricular activities or a leading education to help them get into the best colleges, there are many schools in Charlotte that could be a good fit. 

Below, we’ll share the best schools in Charlotte to get you started in your search. Hopefully, it helps you out and gives you some things to think about!

Downtown Charlotte at night

How do you find the best schools in Charlotte?

Before you can decide what the best schools in Charlotte are, the first thing to do is compare public vs. private schools. After all, in the city of Charlotte, you have both options. Typically, your home address affects which public school your kids can go to, though there might be other considerations for private schools. 

Either way, here are some questions that can help you decide on which school is right for your child: 

  • What percentage of seniors graduate every year? 
  • How are the reading and math proficiencies?
  • Have other families’ experiences there been positive? 

Now that you have a few things to think about, let’s talk a little more about the different school systems in Charlotte, NC. 

How are public schools in Charlotte?

The public schools in Charlotte are known for being high quality. Year after year, North Carolina’s high-school graduation rate tends to sit in the 80%-90% range. For instance, the 2020 graduating class had a graduation rate of 87.6%, and the 2021-2022 class had a graduation rate of roughly the same. 

How does that compare with Charlotte, NC? It varies by school. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) had a graduation rate of 83.6% for 2021-2022. Just under half (48%) of students are math-proficient in this school district, and 45% are proficient in reading, according to Niche

All in all, the public schools in Charlotte are highly rated. To help your child find the best school, consider your proximity to different schools. Then, do your research to see if the classes, activities, and sports are up to par with their interests and needs.

Top-rated public schools in Charlotte

Check out the list below for some of the best public schools in Charlotte, NC, and the surrounding cities:

Best Elementary Schools in Charlotte, NC:

Best Middle Schools in Charlotte, NC:

Best High Schools in Charlotte, NC: 

Students with their hands raised in class

What private schools are in Charlotte?

The Charlotte Metro area has roughly 675 private schools. Here are some of the best private schools in Charlotte, NC: 

…And if you need more ideas for private schools, try these: 

What are suburban Charlotte schools like?

Charlotte has a number of suburbs, and many are rated highly in general education, extracurricular activities, safety, and educators. One of the reasons the suburbs have such great school systems is because of a more one-on-one focus from teachers, attributed to a lower amount of students per teacher.

An example of a suburban school district in Charlotte is Cabarrus County Schools. One person says of this school district, “I like Cabarrus School because the teachers are awesome, caring and treat you with respect. The teacher’s dedicated there

tlme to make sure we understand what we were taught. They also do one on one with you to make sure you understand. The counselors are always ready and willing to help when it comes to decisions for college, scholarship and whatever we need.” 

What suburbs have particularly good school systems?

Research shows that Charlotte takes the trophy as the 17th most populated city in the United States. Understandably, the Charlotte Metro area contains many suburbs–with top-rated school systems to boot. If you’re looking for the best suburbs for schools, we recommend Marvin, Fort Mill, or Tega Cay. 

Kicking it off with Marvin, we can’t help but mention what’s so great about this suburb. It’s even been called the top “place to live in Union County,” with a population of only 6,672 people. As some residents might say, the education there is second to few, if any, cities in North Carolina, making it a great place to move to if you’re looking for the best schools in Charlotte. 

Next up is Fort Mill, a Charlotte suburb with 19,920 residents. The public schools in Fort Mill are highly rated, and you’ll have many schools to choose from for your kids there. Not to mention, the city is considered a great place to raise a family. 
As for Tega Cay, this suburb has 10,834 people living there. From housing to family-friendliness and public schools, it gets an A. Of Tega Cay, one person says, “This town is the definition of the suburbs. It is picture-perfect, and it often reminds me of the towns in movies. I have lived here for 5 years now. It is the safest place I’ve lived in. Crime is rare and petty. Everyone is very welcoming and nice. There is a sense of community here.

Homes in Charlotte NC

What are the best school districts in Charlotte?

Consider these school districts if you’re looking for the best of the best in the Charlotte Metro area:

Union County Public Schools

Rated well in terms of educators, diversity, and extracurricular activities, this school district is a wonderful option in Charlotte. Approximately 40,207 students attend this district. The math proficiency sits at 63%, while the reading proficiency is just under that (60%). 

Fort Mill School District 

This school district in the Charlotte Metro area is one of the best around, offering supportive teachers, great clubs and activities, and help getting ready for college. There are about 16,883 students, with a 74% math proficiency and 71% reading proficiency. 

Mooresville Graded School District

A leading school district in North Carolina, Mooresville is a wonderful option for families relocating to Charlotte. This school district, which has about 5,993 students, gets an A in nearly every category, from academics to diversity and college prep. The reading proficiency is 55%, and the math proficiency is 54%. 

Good luck with your school search

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