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 High Schools in the Columbia, SC Area

Best High Schools in Columbia, SC Area Best High Schools in Columbia, SC Area

Carolina School Hub provides school rankings and test data on the best high schools in Columbia, SC and its suburbs. See student growth information, assessment data and independent ratings on 36 high schools in the Columbia area including Spring Hill High School, Chapin High School, and Lexington High School. Here you'll find information on high schools in Columbia and some of its key suburbs including Columbia SC, Lexington SC, and Blythewood SC.

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

On this site, you'll find SAT data and/or other assessment information for the best high schools in Columbia and its suburbs - as well as in other major metro areas in the Carolinas. Use Carolina School Hub as your starting point for researching public high schools in North Carolina and South Carolina. Here you'll also find rankings of the best elementary schools in Columbia and the best middle schools in Columbia and its suburbs.



Ranking of Columbia Area's Best High Schools

Rank School Name City
School
Type
   
Grades
Served
1 Spring Hill High School Chapin, SC Regular 9-12
2 Chapin High School Chapin, SC Regular 9-12
3 Lexington High School Lexington, SC Regular 9-12
4 River Bluff High School Lexington, SC Regular 9-12
5 Dutch Fork High School Irmo, SC Regular 9-12
6 Spring Valley High School Columbia, SC Regular 9-12
7 SC Connections Academy Columbia, SC Charter K-12
8 A C Flora High School Columbia, SC Regular 9-12
9 Dreher High School Columbia, SC Regular 9-12
10 Blythewood High School Blythewood, SC Regular 9-12
11 B C Sr High School Cayce, SC Regular 9-12
12 SC Virtual Charter School Columbia, SC Charter K-12
13 Gilbert High School Gilbert, SC Regular 9-12
14 Lugoff Elgin High School Lugoff, SC Regular 9-12
15 Calhoun County High School St. Matthews, SC Regular 9-12
16 White Knoll High School Lexington, SC Regular 9-12
17 Richland One Charter Middle College Columbia, SC Charter 11-12
18 Gray Collegiate Academy West Columbia, SC Charter 9-12
19 Airport High School West Columbia, SC Regular 9-12
20 North Central High School Kershaw, SC Regular 9-12
21 Pelion High School Pelion, SC Regular 9-12
22 Irmo High School Columbia, SC Regular 9-12
23 Richland Northeast High School Columbia, SC Regular 9-12
24 SC Whitmore School Columbia, SC Charter 9-12
25 Camden High School Camden, SC Regular 9-12
26 Batesburg-Leesville High School Batesburg-Leesville, SC Regular 9-12
27 Midlands Middle College West Columbia, SC Charter 11-12
28 Saluda High School Saluda, SC Regular 9-12
29 Westwood High School Blythewood, SC Regular 9-12
30 Ridge View High School Columbia, SC Regular 9-12
31 Swansea High School Swansea, SC Regular 9-12
32 Odyssey Online Learning School Columbia, SC Charter 9-12
33 Keenan High School Columbia, SC Regular 9-12
34 Columbia High School Columbia, SC Regular 9-12
35 Lower Richland High School Hopkins, SC Regular 9-12
36 Fairfield Central High School Winnsboro, SC Regular 9-12

Rankings for the best high 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 test scores, student data and more.

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


High Schools on this page were drawn from the following counties:

Deciding on a High School

Deciding which Columbia area high school is best for your child requires consideration of a number of factors. Most area high schools offer a well-rounded curriculum, without an area of true specialization. Others may be more specialized in terms of their curriculum.

In addition, some high schools in Columbia and its South Carolina suburbs offer a wide range of sports and other extracurricular activities, while others offer a more limited set of opportunities. One size does not fit all when it comes to choosing a high school in the Columbia area.