Explanation of Types of Public Schools in North Carolina

Note: All of the school types below are public schools, in that they are funded primarily through public tax dollars.

  • Regular School: a public school that students are assigned to attend because they live in the school's attendance area or attendance zone. Such schools are sometimes called “zoned schools,” “neighborhood schools” or “ZIP code schools,” and are normally only open for enrollment to students from a predetermined set of neighborhoods or ZIP codes. Regular schools are by far the most common type of school in the Charlotte area.
  • Charter School: a tuition-free, public school created on the basis of a license or “charter” made with the State Board of Education. Charter schools typically have greater freedom than traditional public schools in personnel policies, curriculum and teaching philosophy. In return, they must make a commitment to meet state standards of accountability. Charter schools are also normally open to students from counties and towns outside of where they are located. Enrollment decisions at charter schools are often lottery-based, with special consideration given to siblings of currently enrolled students.

Student Growth Index Explained

The Student Growth Index of a school is meant to measure how well the school has been growing student learning over time (i.e., years). North Carolina's public schools receive web-based reporting through the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS). EVAAS is meant to offer an objective way to measure student progress and the value schools add to students' educational attainment. EVAAS is a statistical analysis of North Carolina state assessment data, and the system provides NC schools with growth data to consider, in addition to achievement data.

If a school has a Student Growth Index of between -2.0 and 2.0, the school is deemed to have "met growth", (i.e., met its average projected growth target). A school with a Student Growth Index of less than -2.0 is considered to have "not met growth". Finally, a school with an index of greater than 2.0 is deemed to have "exceeded growth".

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Columbia Area Public Schools
Best Elementary Schools in Columbia Area
Best Middle Schools in Columbia Area
Best High Schools in Columbia Area
Columbia Area Charter Schools



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Best Elementary Schools in the Columbia, SC Area

BBest Elementary Schools in the Columbia, SC Area Best Elementary Schools in the Columbia, SC Area Are you looking for information on the top public elementary schools in the Columbia area? Below you'll find rankings on some of the best Columbia-area elementary schools including Midway Elementary School, Brockman Elementary School, Ballentine Elementary School, and Lake Murray Elementary School. We also have data to help you compare such top traditional public elementary schools to the area's best charter schools including SC Connections Academy, SC Virtual Charter School, Carolina School for Inquiry, and SC Calvert Academy.

The list below is not meant be used as a definitive guide to which Columbia-area elementary school would be best for any individual child. For schools that are close to one another in rankings, differences in available data are in most cases very small.



Top Elementary Schools in the Columbia Area

Rank School Name City
School
Type
   
Grades
Served
1 Muller Road Middle School Blythewood, SC Regular K-8
2 E L Wright Middle School Columbia, SC Regular K-8
3 Midway Elementary School Lexington, SC Regular K-5
4 Brockman Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
5 Ballentine Elementary School Irmo, SC Regular K-5
6 Lake Murray Elementary School Chapin, SC Regular K-4
7 New Providence Elementary School Lexington, SC Regular K-5
8 Lake Murray Elementary School Lexington, SC Regular PK-5
9 Rosewood Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular K-5
10 Lake Carolina Elementary Upper Campus Blythewood, SC Regular 3-5
11 Round Top Elementary School Blythewood, SC Regular PK-5
12 Chapin Intermediate School Chapin, SC Regular 5-6
13 Rocky Creek Elementary School Lexington, SC Regular PK-5
14 River Springs Elementary School Irmo, SC Regular PK-5
15 Satchel Ford Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular K-5
16 Meadow Glen Elementary School Lexington, SC Regular K-5
17 Pleasant Hill Elementary School Lexington, SC Regular K-5
18 Oak Pointe Elementary School Irmo, SC Regular PK-5
19 Brennen Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular K-5
20 Oak Grove Elementary School Lexington, SC Regular PK-5
21 Chapin Elementary School Chapin, SC Regular PK-4
22 Bethel-Hanberry Elementary School Blythewood, SC Regular PK-5
23 Summit Parkway Middle School Columbia, SC Regular K-8
24 Irmo Elementary School Irmo, SC Regular PK-5
25 Harbison West Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
26 Bookman Road Elementary School Elgin, SC Regular PK-5
27 Saxe Gotha Elementary School Lexington, SC Regular PK-5
28 Deerfield Elementary School Lexington, SC Regular PK-5
29 Langford Elementary School Blythewood, SC Regular PK-5
30 Springdale Elementary School West Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
31 Carolina Springs Elementary School Lexington, SC Regular PK-5
32 Nursery Road Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
33 Lexington Elementary School Lexington, SC Regular PK-5
34 Polo Road Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
35 Catawba Trail Elementary School Elgin, SC Regular PK-5
36 Lugoff Elementary School Lugoff, SC Regular K-5
37 Mount Pisgah Elementary School Kershaw, SC Regular PK-5
38 Gilbert Elementary School Gilbert, SC Regular 3-5
39 Dobys Mill Elementary School Lugoff, SC Regular PK-5
40 White Knoll Elementary School West Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
41 South Kilbourne Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
42 Fairfield Magnet for Math and Science Winnsboro, SC Regular PK-6
43 Camden Elementary of the Creative Arts Camden, SC Regular K-5
44 Hollywood Elementary School Saluda, SC Regular PK-5
45 North Springs Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
46 Wateree Elementary School Lugoff, SC Regular PK-5
47 L B Nelson Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
48 Rice Creek Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
49 Pineview Elementary School West Columbia, SC Regular K-5
50 H E Corley Elementary School Irmo, SC Regular PK-5
51 Pontiac Elementary School Elgin, SC Regular PK-5
52 Blaney Elementary School Elgin, SC Regular K-5
53 Baron Dekalb Elementary School Camden, SC Regular PK-5
54 Geiger Elementary School Ridgeway, SC Regular PK-6
55 B C No 1 Elementary School West Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
56 Bethune Elementary School Bethune, SC Regular K-5
57 Batesburg-Leesville Elementary School Batesburg-Leesville, SC Regular 3-5
58 Leaphart Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
59 Seven Oaks Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
60 Sandy Run School Swansea, SC Regular PK-8
61 St Matthews K-8 School St. Matthews, SC Regular PK-8
62 Dutch Fork Elementary School Irmo, SC Regular PK-5
63 Herbert A Wood Elementary School West Columbia, SC Regular 2-5
64 Meadowfield Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
65 A C Moore Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
66 Sandlapper Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
67 Pine Tree Hill Elementary School Camden, SC Regular PK-5
68 Mill Creek Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
69 Killian Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
70 Saluda River Academy for the Arts West Columbia, SC Regular K-5
71 SC Virtual Charter School Columbia, SC Charter K-12
72 Bridge Creek Elementary School Elgin, SC Regular PK-5
73 Red Bank Elementary School Lexington, SC Regular PK-5
74 SC Connections Academy Columbia, SC Charter K-12
75 Rhame Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
76 E.E Taylor Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
77 Congaree Elementary School West Columbia, SC Regular 2-5
78 Carolina School for Inquiry Columbia, SC Charter PK-6
79 Pelion Elementary School Pelion, SC Regular PK-5
80 Kelly Miller Elementary School Winnsboro, SC Regular PK-6
81 Forest Lake Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
82 Windsor Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
83 Horrell Hill Elementary School Hopkins, SC Regular PK-5
84 Caughman Road Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
85 Midway Elementary School Cassatt, SC Regular PK-5
86 Arden Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
87 Forts Pond Elementary School Pelion, SC Regular PK-5
88 Jackson Elementary School Camden, SC Regular PK-5
89 Saluda Elementary School Saluda, SC Regular 3-5
90 L W Conder Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
91 Gadsden Elementary School Gadsden, SC Regular PK-5
92 A J Lewis Greenview Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
93 Logan Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
94 Annie Burnside Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
95 Sandel Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
96 Bradley Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
97 Burton Pack Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
98 Webber Elementary School Eastover, SC Regular PK-5
99 Forest Heights Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
100 J P Thomas Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
101 Carver-Lyon Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
102 Joseph Keels Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
103 Midlands STEM Institute Winnsboro, SC Charter K-7
104 Pine Grove Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
105 Hopkins Elementary School Hopkins, SC Regular PK-5
106 SC Calvert Academy Columbia, SC Charter K-8
107 C A Taylor Elementary School Cayce, SC Regular 3-5
108 Frances F Mack Intermediate School Gaston, SC Regular 5-6
109 Fairfield Elementary School Winnsboro, SC Regular PK-6
110 McCrorey-Liston School of Technology Blair, SC Regular PK-6
111 Watkins-Nance Elementary School Columbia, SC Regular PK-5
112 Sandhills Elementary School Swansea, SC Regular 3-4
113 Kelly Mill Middle School Blythewood, SC Regular 2-8
Rank School Name City
1 Muller Road Middle School Blythewood, SC
2 E L Wright Middle School Columbia, SC
3 Midway Elementary School Lexington, SC
4 Brockman Elementary School Columbia, SC
5 Ballentine Elementary School Irmo, SC
6 Lake Murray Elementary School Chapin, SC
7 New Providence Elementary School Lexington, SC
8 Lake Murray Elementary School Lexington, SC
9 Rosewood Elementary School Columbia, SC
10 Lake Carolina Elementary Upper Campus Blythewood, SC
11 Round Top Elementary School Blythewood, SC
12 Chapin Intermediate School Chapin, SC
13 Rocky Creek Elementary School Lexington, SC
14 River Springs Elementary School Irmo, SC
15 Satchel Ford Elementary School Columbia, SC
16 Meadow Glen Elementary School Lexington, SC
17 Pleasant Hill Elementary School Lexington, SC
18 Oak Pointe Elementary School Irmo, SC
19 Brennen Elementary School Columbia, SC
20 Oak Grove Elementary School Lexington, SC
21 Chapin Elementary School Chapin, SC
22 Bethel-Hanberry Elementary School Blythewood, SC
23 Summit Parkway Middle School Columbia, SC
24 Irmo Elementary School Irmo, SC
25 Harbison West Elementary School Columbia, SC
26 Bookman Road Elementary School Elgin, SC
27 Saxe Gotha Elementary School Lexington, SC
28 Deerfield Elementary School Lexington, SC
29 Langford Elementary School Blythewood, SC
30 Springdale Elementary School West Columbia, SC
31 Carolina Springs Elementary School Lexington, SC
32 Nursery Road Elementary School Columbia, SC
33 Lexington Elementary School Lexington, SC
34 Polo Road Elementary School Columbia, SC
35 Catawba Trail Elementary School Elgin, SC
36 Lugoff Elementary School Lugoff, SC
37 Mount Pisgah Elementary School Kershaw, SC
38 Gilbert Elementary School Gilbert, SC
39 Dobys Mill Elementary School Lugoff, SC
40 White Knoll Elementary School West Columbia, SC
41 South Kilbourne Elementary School Columbia, SC
42 Fairfield Magnet for Math and Science Winnsboro, SC
43 Camden Elementary of the Creative Arts Camden, SC
44 Hollywood Elementary School Saluda, SC
45 North Springs Elementary School Columbia, SC
46 Wateree Elementary School Lugoff, SC
47 L B Nelson Elementary School Columbia, SC
48 Rice Creek Elementary School Columbia, SC
49 Pineview Elementary School West Columbia, SC
50 H E Corley Elementary School Irmo, SC
51 Pontiac Elementary School Elgin, SC
52 Blaney Elementary School Elgin, SC
53 Baron Dekalb Elementary School Camden, SC
54 Geiger Elementary School Ridgeway, SC
55 B C No 1 Elementary School West Columbia, SC
56 Bethune Elementary School Bethune, SC
57 Batesburg-Leesville Elementary School Batesburg-Leesville, SC
58 Leaphart Elementary School Columbia, SC
59 Seven Oaks Elementary School Columbia, SC
60 Sandy Run School Swansea, SC
61 St Matthews K-8 School St. Matthews, SC
62 Dutch Fork Elementary School Irmo, SC
63 Herbert A Wood Elementary School West Columbia, SC
64 Meadowfield Elementary School Columbia, SC
65 A C Moore Elementary School Columbia, SC
66 Sandlapper Elementary School Columbia, SC
67 Pine Tree Hill Elementary School Camden, SC
68 Mill Creek Elementary School Columbia, SC
69 Killian Elementary School Columbia, SC
70 Saluda River Academy for the Arts West Columbia, SC
71 SC Virtual Charter School Columbia, SC
72 Bridge Creek Elementary School Elgin, SC
73 Red Bank Elementary School Lexington, SC
74 SC Connections Academy Columbia, SC
75 Rhame Elementary School Columbia, SC
76 E.E Taylor Elementary School Columbia, SC
77 Congaree Elementary School West Columbia, SC
78 Carolina School for Inquiry Columbia, SC
79 Pelion Elementary School Pelion, SC
80 Kelly Miller Elementary School Winnsboro, SC
81 Forest Lake Elementary School Columbia, SC
82 Windsor Elementary School Columbia, SC
83 Horrell Hill Elementary School Hopkins, SC
84 Caughman Road Elementary School Columbia, SC
85 Midway Elementary School Cassatt, SC
86 Arden Elementary School Columbia, SC
87 Forts Pond Elementary School Pelion, SC
88 Jackson Elementary School Camden, SC
89 Saluda Elementary School Saluda, SC
90 L W Conder Elementary School Columbia, SC
91 Gadsden Elementary School Gadsden, SC
92 A J Lewis Greenview Elementary School Columbia, SC
93 Logan Elementary School Columbia, SC
94 Annie Burnside Elementary School Columbia, SC
95 Sandel Elementary School Columbia, SC
96 Bradley Elementary School Columbia, SC
97 Burton Pack Elementary School Columbia, SC
98 Webber Elementary School Eastover, SC
99 Forest Heights Elementary School Columbia, SC
100 J P Thomas Elementary School Columbia, SC
101 Carver-Lyon Elementary School Columbia, SC
102 Joseph Keels Elementary School Columbia, SC
103 Midlands STEM Institute Winnsboro, SC
104 Pine Grove Elementary School Columbia, SC
105 Hopkins Elementary School Hopkins, SC
106 SC Calvert Academy Columbia, SC
107 C A Taylor Elementary School Cayce, SC
108 Frances F Mack Intermediate School Gaston, SC
109 Fairfield Elementary School Winnsboro, SC
110 McCrorey-Liston School of Technology Blair, SC
111 Watkins-Nance Elementary School Columbia, SC
112 Sandhills Elementary School Swansea, SC
113 Kelly Mill Middle School Blythewood, SC

Rankings for the best elementary schools in the Columbia area were created independently by Carolina School Hub. The test data for this site was derived from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and South Carolina Department of Education.

You can click on a specific school name above for more information on elementary school test scores, student data and more.

Elementary Schools in Columbia SC Area - Click any of the pushpins below to see more details on each school


Choosing an Elementary School in the Columbia Area

When comparing regular Columbia-area elementary schools to charter and magnet schools, one should keep in mind the differences between charter schools, magnet schools and traditional public schools.

Magnet schools are in most cases alternative public schools that offer a specialized curriculum. At the highest level, North and South Carolina magnet schools and traditional elementary schools tend to be managed by the same entity - the county school superintendent's office. Magnet schools normally can accept students from anywhere in the county in which they are located, and often limit the acceptance pool through a lottery system.

Charter schools, on the other hand, are each independently managed. They tend to accept students not only from the county in which they're located, but surrounding counties as well. Like magnets, charters tend to use a lottery-based acceptance method.

Regular elementary schools are sometimes called "zoned schools," "neighborhood schools" or "zip code schools." This is because they accept students from a limited geographical area - such as a town or a specific set of subdivisions. Regular schools do not tend to use a lottery system. Regular elementary schools are the most common kinds of schools in North and South Carolina.

Which Elementary Schools are Covered in the Columbia Area

We hope you find the ratings and other information on elementary schools in the Columbia area to be useful. Elementary Schools on this page were drawn from the following counties: