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People move to Raleigh for many reasons, and schools are one of the top ones. North Carolina, as a whole, has a highly rated education system, and Raleigh competes with some of the best of the best.
With 477 schools in this Wake County city, choosing the right school for your kids might be a challenge. However, this guide should help steer you in a good direction and ensure you find the very best schools in Raleigh.
That makes for happy kids, happy parents, and a happy life.
How do you find the best schools in Raleigh?
Like many big cities, Raleigh has the best of both worlds: public schools and private schools. To find the best schools in Raleigh, it’s important to figure out whether a public or private school is in your child’s best interests first and foremost.
Some questions to consider are:
- What is the average high-school graduation rate?
- What are the math and reading proficiency scores?
- How do current and past students feel about the school?
With these questions in mind, let’s explore the schools in Raleigh a bit deeper.
How are public schools in Raleigh?
According to Public School Review, Raleigh’s public high schools are “in the top 20% of North Carolina public high schools.” While its graduation rate is a tad lower than the state average (85% for Raleigh vs. 86% for North Carolina), the city is known for having some of the best schools in North Carolina (e.g., Raleigh Charter High School).
About 58% of students are proficient in math in Raleigh, and 62% are proficient in reading. That is higher than the state average in both instances. (North Carolina’s math proficiency is 48%, and the reading proficiency is 51%.)
Whether you’re searching for a standard public school that offers your kids specific clubs and activities or a top-rated public school with a plethora of AP classes, you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for in Raleigh.
Top-rated public schools in Raleigh
These are some of the all-around best public schools in Raleigh, North Carolina:
Best Elementary Schools in Raleigh, NC:
Best Middle Schools in Raleigh, NC:
- Exploris Middle School
- Magellan Charter School
- Sterling Montessori Academy
- Triangle Math and Science Academy
Best High Schools in Raleigh, NC:
- North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (Durham, NC)
- Green Hope High School
- Raleigh Charter High School
- Enloe Magnet High School
What private schools are in Raleigh?
Below is a list of some of the best private schools in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Note: There are 371 private schools in Raleigh total.)
- Cary Academy (#1 best private high school in Raleigh, NC, serves K-12)
- St. Mary’s School (All-Girls School in Downtown Raleigh, NC)
- Ravenscroft School (#3 on the list of the best private high schools in Raleigh, NC, serves PK and K-12)
- Raleigh Christian Academy (Located in Suburban Raleigh, serves K-12)
- St. David’s School (#5 Raleigh private high school, serves PK and K-12)
Want more options? Check out these private schools:
What are suburban Raleigh schools like?
As you’ll find in many suburbs, the schools in the Raleigh suburbs are highly rated in many categories, from safety to clubs, activities, teachers, and classes. What makes them so great? Suburban Raleigh schools typically have fewer students per teacher, which can provide a better schooling experience.
The suburbs also tend to score well in college prep, which means that if your child is in high school, they’ll likely get the tools and advice they need early on to help them get ready for university life. (As a bonus, Raleigh has colleges in town. So, who knows? Maybe your kids will like it so much that they decide to go to school there.)
Of Apex, a Raleigh suburb, one person says, “Apex is wonderful town, especially for those with children. The schools are wonderful and provide many great opportunities.”
They also go on to add, “There is also a delightful downtown with lots to do including restaurants, a coffee shop, and most importantly, and ice cream place! It also also gorgeous here—the streets are lined with trees everywhere you go.”
What suburbs have particularly good school systems?
In a city as large as Raleigh, there’s no shortage of suburbs. Where can you find the best schools in the Raleigh, NC, suburbs? Take a look at Carrboro, Morrisville, and Chapel Hill.
We’ll begin with Carrboro (aka The Paris of Piedmont). Being right in the middle of North Carolina and about the same distance to the beach as it is to the mountains, it’s clear why so many residents enjoy living there. About 21,254 people live in this charming suburb, which gets an A+ for both family friendliness and public schools.
Moving onto Morrisville, we can’t help but mention this city’s close proximity to the Research Triangle (great for parents looking for a job in tech, government, etc.) and the international airport. Niche calls it the top place to move to in the state of North Carolina. The population is 27,582 people, many of which are families or young professionals. When it comes to being great for families and providing good education, Morrisville makes it to the top of the list.
Last but not least is Chapel Hill. This suburb is known as The Southern Part of Heaven and is a thriving college town. The schools, family friendliness, diversity, and nightlife all get As. The total population is roughly 61,912 people. One resident says, “Chapel Hill is full of friendly residents. There are great schools in the area to challenge students, good colleges for the future, and many different small businesses to love and support.”
Other Raleigh Guides
Looking for more information on the greater Raleigh area? Read our other guides to live in the City of Oaks.
- Up and Coming Neighborhoods in Raleigh
- Best Neighborhoods in Raleigh
- Guide to Moving to Raleigh
- Moving from New York to North Carolina
- Best Raleigh Neighborhoods for Families
Ready to make the move to Raleigh?
We hope this has helped you decide where to land in Raleigh. If you’re ready to make the move, give us a call. We have local movers in Raleigh, and offer long-distance moving services to Raleigh as well. We can even take care of last-minute moves in Raleigh if you’re pressed for time.