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
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. http://debbieknowles.yourkwagent.com
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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
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 - http://mtpleasantproperty.net/index.php?p=neighborhood.php
Daniel Island Real Estate - http://danielislandproperty.com/index.php?p=neighborhood.php
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
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.
Carolina One Real Estate
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.
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.
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: http://www.greatschools.net/modperl/go/SC
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!
I relocated here with my family from the DC area (Alexandria) over 10 years ago and never intend to leave.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (843) 460-4939 or visit my website to see some are available Mount Pleasant listings http://www.charlestonrealteam.com.
Take care and good luck,
Charleston Real Team
Keller-Williams Realty Charleston