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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Best Elementary Schools in the Durham, NC Area

BBest Elementary Schools in the Durham, NC Area Best Elementary Schools in the Durham, NC Area Are you looking for information on the top public elementary schools in the Durham area? Below you'll find rankings on some of the best Durham-area elementary schools including Glenwood Elementary, Chapel Hill School, Morris Grove Elementary School, Mangum Elementary School, and Seawell Elementary School. We also have data to help you compare such top traditional public elementary schools to the area's best charter schools including Woods Charter School, Orange Charter School, The Expedition School, and Chatham Charter School.

The list below is not meant be used as a definitive guide to which Durham-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 Durham Area

Rank School Name City
School
Type
   
Grades
Served
1 Glenwood Elementary, Chapel Hill School Chapel Hill, NC Regular K-5
2 Woods Charter School Chapel Hill, NC Charter K-12
3 Morris Grove Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC Regular PK-5
4 Mangum Elementary School Bahama, NC Regular K-5
5 Orange Charter School Hillsborough, NC Charter K-8
6 Seawell Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC Regular PK-5
7 Helena Elementary School Timberlake, NC Regular K-5
8 Scroggs Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC Regular PK-5
9 Rashkis Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC Regular PK-5
10 Voyager Academy Durham, NC Charter K-12
11 Ephesus Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC Regular PK-5
12 Woodland Elementary School Semora, NC Regular K-5
13 The Expedition School Hillsborough, NC Charter K-7
14 Perry W Harrison Elementary School Pittsboro, NC Regular PK-5
15 Stories Creek Elementary School Roxboro, NC Regular K-5
16 Estes Hills Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC Regular PK-5
17 Carrboro Elementary School Carrboro, NC Regular PK-5
18 McDougle Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC Regular PK-5
19 Morehead Montessori Magnet School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
20 Central Park School For Children Durham, NC Charter K-7
21 Hillsborough Elementary School Hillsborough, NC Regular PK-5
22 Cameron Park Elementary School Hillsborough, NC Regular PK-5
23 Chatham Charter School Siler City, NC Charter K-12
24 Pearsontown Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
25 Pittsboro Elementary School Pittsboro, NC Regular PK-4
26 Oak Lane Elementary School Hurdle Mills, NC Regular K-5
27 Creekside Elementary, Durham School Durham, NC Regular K-5
28 Kestrel Heights School Durham, NC Charter K-12
29 J S Waters School Goldston, NC Regular K-8
30 Easley Elementary School Durham, NC Regular K-5
31 Bethel Hill Charter School Roxboro, NC Charter K-6
32 Northside Elementary, Chapel Hill School Chapel Hill, NC Regular PK-5
33 Bennett School Bennett, NC Regular PK-8
34 Forest View Elementary School Durham, NC Regular K-5
35 North End Elementary School Roxboro, NC Regular K-5
36 Willow Oak Montessori School Chapel Hill, NC Charter 1-5
37 Pathways Elementary School Hillsborough, NC Regular PK-5
38 George Watts Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
39 FPG Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC Regular PK-5
40 Grady Brown Elementary School Hillsborough, NC Regular PK-5
41 Little River Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-6
42 New Hope Elementary, Chapel Hill School Chapel Hill, NC Regular PK-5
43 Maureen Joy Charter School Durham, NC Charter K-8
44 Silk Hope School Siler City, NC Regular PK-8
45 Bonlee School Bonlee, NC Regular K-8
46 North Chatham Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC Regular PK-5
47 Efland Cheeks Elementary School Efland, NC Regular PK-5
48 Southwest Elementary, Durham School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
49 Hillandale Elementary, Durham School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
50 R N Harris Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
51 Research Triangle Charter School Durham, NC Charter K-8
52 Hope Valley Elementary School Durham, NC Regular K-5
53 Parkwood Elementary, Durham School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
54 Burton Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
55 Moncure School Moncure, NC Regular PK-8
56 Spring Valley Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
57 Horton Middle School Pittsboro, NC Regular 5-8
58 Oak Grove Elementary, Durham School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
59 Club Boulevard Elementary School Durham, NC Regular K-5
60 Central Elementary, Hillsborough School Hillsborough, NC Regular PK-5
61 Sandy Ridge Elementary, Durham School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
62 Holt Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
63 South Elementary, Roxboro School Roxboro, NC Regular PK-5
64 E K Powe Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
65 Siler City Elementary School Siler City, NC Regular PK-5
66 Bethesda Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
67 Reaching All Minds Academy Durham, NC Charter K-4
68 Virginia Cross Elementary School Siler City, NC Regular PK-5
69 The Institute for the Development Young Leaders Durham, NC Charter K-7
70 North Elementary, Roxboro School Roxboro, NC Regular K-5
71 Carter Community Charter School Durham, NC Charter K-8
72 Fayetteville Street Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
73 Y E Smith Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
74 Global Scholars Academy Durham, NC Charter K-8
75 Glenn Elementary School Durham, NC Regular K-5
76 Healthy Start Academy Durham, NC Charter K-8
77 Eno Valley Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
78 Lakewood Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
79 W G Pearson Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
80 Merrick-Moore Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
81 Eastway Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
82 C C Spaulding Elementary School Durham, NC Regular PK-5
Rank School Name City
1 Glenwood Elementary, Chapel Hill School Chapel Hill, NC
2 Woods Charter School Chapel Hill, NC
3 Morris Grove Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC
4 Mangum Elementary School Bahama, NC
5 Orange Charter School Hillsborough, NC
6 Seawell Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC
7 Helena Elementary School Timberlake, NC
8 Scroggs Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC
9 Rashkis Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC
10 Voyager Academy Durham, NC
11 Ephesus Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC
12 Woodland Elementary School Semora, NC
13 The Expedition School Hillsborough, NC
14 Perry W Harrison Elementary School Pittsboro, NC
15 Stories Creek Elementary School Roxboro, NC
16 Estes Hills Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC
17 Carrboro Elementary School Carrboro, NC
18 McDougle Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC
19 Morehead Montessori Magnet School Durham, NC
20 Central Park School For Children Durham, NC
21 Hillsborough Elementary School Hillsborough, NC
22 Cameron Park Elementary School Hillsborough, NC
23 Chatham Charter School Siler City, NC
24 Pearsontown Elementary School Durham, NC
25 Pittsboro Elementary School Pittsboro, NC
26 Oak Lane Elementary School Hurdle Mills, NC
27 Creekside Elementary, Durham School Durham, NC
28 Kestrel Heights School Durham, NC
29 J S Waters School Goldston, NC
30 Easley Elementary School Durham, NC
31 Bethel Hill Charter School Roxboro, NC
32 Northside Elementary, Chapel Hill School Chapel Hill, NC
33 Bennett School Bennett, NC
34 Forest View Elementary School Durham, NC
35 North End Elementary School Roxboro, NC
36 Willow Oak Montessori School Chapel Hill, NC
37 Pathways Elementary School Hillsborough, NC
38 George Watts Elementary School Durham, NC
39 FPG Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC
40 Grady Brown Elementary School Hillsborough, NC
41 Little River Elementary School Durham, NC
42 New Hope Elementary, Chapel Hill School Chapel Hill, NC
43 Maureen Joy Charter School Durham, NC
44 Silk Hope School Siler City, NC
45 Bonlee School Bonlee, NC
46 North Chatham Elementary School Chapel Hill, NC
47 Efland Cheeks Elementary School Efland, NC
48 Southwest Elementary, Durham School Durham, NC
49 Hillandale Elementary, Durham School Durham, NC
50 R N Harris Elementary School Durham, NC
51 Research Triangle Charter School Durham, NC
52 Hope Valley Elementary School Durham, NC
53 Parkwood Elementary, Durham School Durham, NC
54 Burton Elementary School Durham, NC
55 Moncure School Moncure, NC
56 Spring Valley Elementary School Durham, NC
57 Horton Middle School Pittsboro, NC
58 Oak Grove Elementary, Durham School Durham, NC
59 Club Boulevard Elementary School Durham, NC
60 Central Elementary, Hillsborough School Hillsborough, NC
61 Sandy Ridge Elementary, Durham School Durham, NC
62 Holt Elementary School Durham, NC
63 South Elementary, Roxboro School Roxboro, NC
64 E K Powe Elementary School Durham, NC
65 Siler City Elementary School Siler City, NC
66 Bethesda Elementary School Durham, NC
67 Reaching All Minds Academy Durham, NC
68 Virginia Cross Elementary School Siler City, NC
69 The Institute for the Development Young Leaders Durham, NC
70 North Elementary, Roxboro School Roxboro, NC
71 Carter Community Charter School Durham, NC
72 Fayetteville Street Elementary School Durham, NC
73 Y E Smith Elementary School Durham, NC
74 Global Scholars Academy Durham, NC
75 Glenn Elementary School Durham, NC
76 Healthy Start Academy Durham, NC
77 Eno Valley Elementary School Durham, NC
78 Lakewood Elementary School Durham, NC
79 W G Pearson Elementary School Durham, NC
80 Merrick-Moore Elementary School Durham, NC
81 Eastway Elementary School Durham, NC
82 C C Spaulding Elementary School Durham, NC

Rankings for the best elementary schools in the Durham 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 Durham NC Area - Click any of the pushpins below to see more details on each school


Choosing an Elementary School in the Durham Area

When comparing regular Durham-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 Durham Area

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