Schools in Charleston>Question Details

Megan, Other/Just Looking in Arlington, VA

We are considering a relocation to the charleston area, and we need good schools and a family neighborhood.

Asked by Megan, Arlington, VA Mon Jan 7, 2008

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In answering your question, Megan, my primary purpose is NOT to sell you on my real estate services.

The key is what you mean by "good" schools. Typically, folks cite standardized test scores which bring us to list communities like Summerville, Hanahan, Mount Pleasant . But, these are aggregate scores and do not, for example, take into consideration the pool of students which they are getting to begin with. Simply stated how much DIFFERENCE do specific schools really make in improving, enhancing, and advancing students cognitive abilities? If students are, on average, already good readers, etc before entering schools then, compared to those schools whose students do not come from such privileged backgrounds, the schools will appear to be "better." Committed and experienced teachers, not test scores, are the measure. This is the true litmus test for great schools--and a school that can best serve the needs of your individual child may be different from mine, because my child is different from yours.

There is also the question of whether you are interested in various charter schools or private schools, which bring us to other considerations, which I won't detail here.

What I recommend is that you look at several potential neighborhoods based on a variety of factors (e.g., median housing price, location, appreciation rates and prospects for appreciation, commercial and recreational amenities--and reputations of schools). Once you narrow down neighborhoods (Summerville, for example, has many neighborhoods and various schools), then you can begin to investigate some of the specific schools, which should not simply be looking at test scores; connect with educators/parents in those schools. Some real estate agents can help you do this.

Before entering real estate, I taught for 25 years in South Carolina and have written extensively about education. It is really critical to look at the micro-level (what is best for YOUR child/children) rather than at the macro-level. Some schools, for example, have tremendous music and art programs. If you select a school district based on aggregate test scores (which do not at all include the arts in their measure), then have you really matched your child with the right school? My point, of course, can be extended to other areas as well.

Thinking strategically about the right school for your child is just as important as thinking in detail about the right house/neighborhood for your residence. One size does not fit all! As an Accredited Buyer Representative and South Carolina Realtor, my primary job is not to sell a home to a customer but to help clients find the best home to match their specific needs--including the educational needs of their children!

James Sears, PhD
CSA Real Estate Services
Sears and Partners, LLC
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2008
Hi Megan. I agree. Great area to live and work in. I am the Relocation Specialist for our office in Summerville, SC. If you decide on this great town, I'll be more than happy to provide you with lots of relocation information, maps, articles of interest. etc. I would also be happy to put you in touch with some of my relocation clients so you can talk to some people directly. My website has many links you may find useful. Feel free to check them out. You are not required to register! Good luck, if I can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Lisa Thompson
Realty Executives
Summerville, SC
843/270-2221 (cell)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2008

This post is old and if you are already here in Charleston... Congrats!! If not, I am a Realtor here and I could help. I live in Park West in Mt. Pleasant and my children go to Charles Pinckney Elementary. I love the school and my kids love the school. I could tell you more about it if you call or email me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 4, 2009
This should be helpful,

Cut and Paste This Link into your browser

Pick Location and School and view results


Very Respectfully,

Andrew Huisman


0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2009
Hi Megan,

I relocated to Charleston almost 3 years ago and my daughters and I just love it here. It is going to be in the 70's today with lots of sunshine - can't get better than that for December 27th! (no snow!)

What type of employmet will you be seeking? Depending on where you'll be driving to work will influence the area to concentrate on for your home search. The traffic is not a huge issue other than pockets of slow downs during the height of morning/evening drive time. But with school age children I'm sure you'd like to strike a balance with distance between work and home.

There are many options in the greater Charleston area for ensuring your children are in schools that meet your needs.

I can help you to identify key areas to narrow down your search.

Search the MLS freely on my site, as well as find links to local information:
Feel free to contact me directly
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 27, 2008
Hi Megan,
I would recommend, depending on your price-point, looking at Mt. Pleasant and/or Daniel Island. These two areas have great schools and are very family friendly. If you want to learn more about the areas. I have comprehensive reviews written on each neighborhood.
Mt. Pleasant Real Estate -
Daniel Island Real Estate -
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 16, 2008
There are several neighborhoods that are in good school districts in the area. What price range are you looking in? James Island and Mt. Pleasant are two areas of town that you might want to consider. If you don't mind being about 30 minutes from downtown Charleston, Summerville is a very quaint community with great schools in the Dorchester 2 school district. Also the price of homes is a little less than the Charleston area so you can buy more home for your money. Please let me know if I can help. I have 2 children that are in the public school system - one in elementary school and one in middle school. Pam
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 12, 2008
I would be happy to help you find a safe neighborhood in Charleston. Good schools are really important for a lot of people, and I make it a priority to be very well informed about them. Please get in touch with me at 843-475-3527. Thanks James
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 8, 2008
Just wanted to check and see if you still have questions regarding the Charleston, SC area...
I'd love to talk with you about your needs and wants regarding schools and neighborhoods.
I've helped many families find their perfect community and home. As a mother I understand the importance of your question.

My best,
Laura Sargent
Carolina One Real Estate
cell: 843-509-2375
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 14, 2008
You should check out Summerville, SC. It is a quaint community with a town center and excellent schools. It is only 25 minutes away from downtown Charleston. Some of the nicer neighborhoods are Ashborough, Tea Farm, Gasden Manor, The Summit, and Pine Forest.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 12, 2008
Visit this site and click on the schools link to see the school stats:

There are several great pockets of excellence in our area. Many people that I have worked with over the years choose Dorchester II, Westview or Mount Pleasant, but school quality is a subjective subject and is really something that you should determine through research. If you'd like us to mail you a free Lowcountry Schools Guide, please call me at 843-343-4141.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 26, 2008
You will quickly regret moving into the Northern part of Mount Pleasant. Traffic and location make you feel like you live too far out from the town and other activities. People usually mention Park West and Dunes West because there is alot on the market to pick from (hint hint) and the developers did invest alot of money into family atmosphere (amenities, etc.) that you and your neighbors get to reimburse through yearly Home Owners Association Dues. Talk to an agent that is not going to sell you on the quick buy - but the long term buy. If you are moving to the coast there is a reason, beaches. Do not stray too far from that thought. Good Luck!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 16, 2008
Some people believe that Mt. Pleasant has the best schools in the Charleston area. There are a lot of great neighborhoods to choose from. Dunes West has a wide range of prices and it is safe, attractive, and has great facilities like pools, walking trails, etc... I live on James Island in Seaside Plantation and I think that it is a great place to live for families. Good Luck!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 10, 2008
Since it is now June and you asked your question in January I hope you still need the info I have to offer. I have lived in Charleston for 30 years and for the last 10 in Huntington Woods, an established West of the Ashley neighborhood. We have great trees, one entrance, lots of quiet and great neighbors. Families with kids and long time resident grandmas and grandpas live here. The nearby public elementary schools are award winning Orange Grove Academic Magnet and Ashley River School of the Arts. Very close to I-26, I-526 and shopping. I just bought my 3rd house in this neighborhood and so I have one to sell. 4BR, 2.5 BA, brand new kitchen, solid maple floors. It is not MLS listed yet but will be soon. I hope you are still considering moving to a family neighborhood in Charleston.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 11, 2008
I live in Parish Place subdivision. You can walk to two of the best schools in Mt. Pleasant and Charleston James B. Edwards elementary and Moultrie Middle school. I have a three bedroom plus bonus room home in an old established neighborhood in the best location possible in Mt Pleasant, Sc. I am asking $315,000 and is very reasonable for this adorable, family oriented home , great for entertaining and safe. daa7105
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2008
Don't overlook Goose Creek in Berkeley Co. It's a great community. I used to live there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2008
Hi Megan,

Very important questions. Everyone wants good schools and a family neighborhood. When you choose those two needs it also helps when it comes time to sell.

The two areas that jump out at me are the Mount Pleasant and Dorchester two districts. Charleston county has some very good charter schools that you may want to consider also. Some do not require a certain zone to live.

Good Luck and you will not regret the move.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2008

You are considering a great place to live! Everyone that I talk to that comes here, loves it here.

There are so many parts of Charleston to consider that offer great living for families. Some big questions to keep in mind are:

1. What is your price range?
2. How big of a home do you need?
3. Is proximity to the beach or downtown an issue for consideration?
4. Do you need an extra large yard?

With that being said, schools in SC as a whole do tend to rank poorly on the national average as far as test scores go but of course there are some good ones! The best thing you can do is to check out a website like this one:

Typically, the Dorchester II school district (Summerville Area) ranks highest in the area among public school test scores. Mount Pleasant and some James Island schools also have been historically higher in that area as well.

How old are your kids? Some areas have better high schools and some have better elementary schools...

I'd be glad to help you out in your search anyway I could. We could send you a relocation kit with some information about the area and a guide to it's schools.

Drop me a line anytime!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2008
We are a full service real estate firm in Mount Pleasant South Carolina. We have great communities, great schools, and great recreational systems for families. We are 5 minutes from the beach and only minutes from downtown Charleston.

I relocated here with my family from the DC area (Alexandria) over 10 years ago and never intend to leave.

Please email me at or call at (843) 460-4939 or visit my website to see some are available Mount Pleasant listings

Take care and good luck,


Jim Grady
Charleston Real Team
Keller-Williams Realty Charleston
(843) 460-4939
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2008
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