Home Buying in Pittsboro>Question Details

J.wilcher, Home Buyer in Chapel Hill, NC

What is the best school district in the Durham and Raleigh area?

Asked by J.wilcher, Chapel Hill, NC Sat Aug 17, 2013

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I'm often asked what are the best Triangle Area schools.

I wish there was one definitive answer but so much depends on your children and the way they learn. I recommend going for a school visit. I often go with parents on the visit to keep up with the schools. Children seem to pick up on what feels right for them so once you have satisfied yourself a school is what you want academically take your child to visit a couple of schools. You may be surprised what feels best to them.

This time of year a good move would to be to find out when the orientation is at the school you are considering. Just drop in and get a chance to see and talk with parents, students and teachers.

Below is a blog post I wrote about the best high schools and different criteria for judging that.

Buyers in Chapel Hill pay more for a home than Cary and pay higher taxes. .86 in Cary and 1.54 in the Chapel Hill/ Carrboro school district. Is it worth it?

That's hard to say because not everyone looks at the school rankings in the same way.
SAT Scores-
Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools have the highest SAT scores in the state. Property values are very high in Chapel Hill because of the schools.

GreatSchools.org -
Many of my clients use the ratings on GreatSchools.org to decide the best school for them. Out of 10 points, Chapel Hill High School is a 5 (#1 in SAT scores) and East Chapel Hill High is a 6 (#2 in SAT scores). Apex High is an 8 (7 in SAT scores) and Green Hope High in Cary is an 8 (#5 in state SAT scores) and Panther Creek High (9th in SAT's) in Cary is an 8.

US News and World Reports-_
Us News and World Reports ranks the best high schools in the country. Carrboro High is ranked #2 in the state and 189 nationally. It only has a 5 Great Schools score. Northwood High in Chatham County in ranked #6 in the state and 899 in the US and has a 6 Great Schools score.

If you are looking for an excellent high school in an area with reasonably priced homes, Apex High would be a good choice. Unfortunately, along with 13 other Wake County schools the enrollment is capped. That means that even if Apex High is your base school you can't go there and will have to choose from an overflow school. Here is a link to my post about Wake County capped schools. https://plus.google.com/u/0/105034569316157130695/posts/MTAG…

North Chatham County would be a good bet based on Northwood High's News and World ranking(6th in the State) and Margaret Pollard Middle's 8 on Great Schools.

One of my clients said it very well. "Your child will get a good education in any of the Triangle schools because parents are well educated and care. Find the neighborhood and area that fits your family and then visit and get involved with the schools."
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 18, 2013
Most would probably tell you Chapel Hill has the highest ranked school system. The schools in NE Chatham are alos highly regarded as are many of the schools in Cary.

Whenever I receive questions about school systems here in NC, I suggest the following site as it's got hard objective data on every school in the state and no OP-ED from parents. http://www.NCReportCard.org

Feel free to contact me directly if I can be of any further assistance.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 17, 2013
Are you looking specifically at Durham and/or Raleigh? Recently the N&O posted graduation rates at all the schools in the Triangle. This may have included graduating from middle school and I don't remember about elementary. One of the things I noticed about the Durham schools is that the ones that did well were specialty or magnet schools. Those schools had higher grad rates. One of the difficulties is that if your child goes to one of the better middle schools, they generally are not districted for the better high school. This may also be true for Raleigh.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 17, 2013
The Chapel Hill/Carrboro schools are generally considered the best in the greater Raleigh/Durham area. The schools in NE Chatham are also highly rated. I usually advise buyers to visit the schools in the areas they are considering to eveluate them by their own standards. Bear inmind that this year's schools might not be next year's schools, due to frequent redistricting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 17, 2013
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