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 High Schools in the Raleigh, NC Area

Best High Schools in Raleigh, NC Area Best High Schools in Raleigh, NC Area

Carolina School Hub provides school rankings and test data on the best high schools in Raleigh, NC and its suburbs. See student growth information, assessment data and independent ratings on 52 high schools in the Raleigh area including Raleigh Charter High School, Wake STEM Early College High School, and Green Hope High School. Here you'll find information on high schools in Raleigh and some of its key suburbs including Raleigh NC, Rocky Mount NC, and Cary NC.

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 Raleigh 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 Raleigh and the best middle schools in Raleigh and its suburbs.



Ranking of Raleigh Area's Best High Schools

Rank School Name City
School
Type
   
Grades
Served
1 Raleigh Charter High School Raleigh, NC Charter 9-12
2 Wake STEM Early College High School Raleigh, NC Regular 9-13
3 Green Hope High School Cary, NC Regular 9-12
4 Johnston County Early College Academy Smithfield, NC Regular 9-13
5 Panther Creek High School Cary, NC Regular 9-12
6 Longleaf School of the Arts Raleigh, NC Charter 9-12
7 Franklin Academy Wake Forest, NC Charter K-12
8 William G Enloe High School Raleigh, NC Regular 9-12
9 Wake Early College of Health and Science Raleigh, NC Regular 9-13
10 Apex High School Apex, NC Regular 9-12
11 Wake Young Women's Leadership Academy Raleigh, NC Regular 6-12
12 Johnston County Middle College Smithfield, NC Regular 10-12
13 East Wake Academy Zebulon, NC Charter K-12
14 Needham Broughton High School Raleigh, NC Regular 9-12
15 Holly Springs High School Holly Springs, NC Regular 9-12
16 Leesville Road High School Raleigh, NC Regular 9-12
17 Middle Creek High School Apex, NC Regular 9-12
18 Millbrook High School Raleigh, NC Regular 9-12
19 Wakefield High School Raleigh, NC Regular 9-12
20 NRM Early College High School Rocky Mount, NC Regular 9-13
21 Cary High School Cary, NC Regular 9-12
22 Athens Drive High School Raleigh, NC Regular 9-12
23 Sanderson High School Raleigh, NC Regular 9-12
24 Wake Forest High School Wake Forest, NC Regular 9-12
25 Cleveland High School Clayton, NC Regular 9-12
26 Heritage High School Wake Forest, NC Regular 9-12
27 Corinth Holders High School Wendell, NC Regular 9-12
28 Southern Wake Academy Holly Springs, NC Charter 6-12
29 Wake Young Men's Leadership Academy Raleigh, NC Regular 6-12
30 Fuquay-Varina High School Fuquay-Varina, NC Regular 9-12
31 Franklin County Early College Louisburg, NC Regular 9-13
32 Vernon Malone College and Career Academy Raleigh, NC Regular 9-13
33 West Johnston High School Benson, NC Regular 9-12
34 Clayton High School Clayton, NC Regular 9-12
35 Neuse Charter School Smithfield, NC Charter K-12
36 Garner High School Garner, NC Regular 9-12
37 Franklinton High School Franklinton, NC Regular 9-12
38 Southern Nash High School Bailey, NC Regular 9-12
39 Bunn High School Bunn, NC Regular 9-12
40 South Johnston High School Four Oaks, NC Regular 9-12
41 Rolesville High School Rolesville, NC Regular 9-12
42 North Johnston High School Kenly, NC Regular 9-12
43 Princeton High School Princeton, NC Regular 6-12
44 Louisburg High School Louisburg, NC Regular 9-12
45 Northern Nash High School Rocky Mount, NC Regular 9-12
46 Rocky Mount Prep Rocky Mount, NC Charter K-12
47 Rocky Mount High School Rocky Mount, NC Regular 9-12
48 Smithfield-Selma High School Smithfield, NC Regular 9-12
49 Nash Central High School Rocky Mount, NC Regular 9-12
50 Knightdale High School Knightdale, NC Regular 9-12
51 Southeast Raleigh High School Raleigh, NC Regular 9-12
52 Phillips High School Raleigh, NC Regular 9-12
Rank School Name City
1 Raleigh Charter High School Raleigh, NC
2 Wake STEM Early College High School Raleigh, NC
3 Green Hope High School Cary, NC
4 Johnston County Early College Academy Smithfield, NC
5 Panther Creek High School Cary, NC
6 Longleaf School of the Arts Raleigh, NC
7 Franklin Academy Wake Forest, NC
8 William G Enloe High School Raleigh, NC
9 Wake Early College of Health and Science Raleigh, NC
10 Apex High School Apex, NC
11 Wake Young Women's Leadership Academy Raleigh, NC
12 Johnston County Middle College Smithfield, NC
13 East Wake Academy Zebulon, NC
14 Needham Broughton High School Raleigh, NC
15 Holly Springs High School Holly Springs, NC
16 Leesville Road High School Raleigh, NC
17 Middle Creek High School Apex, NC
18 Millbrook High School Raleigh, NC
19 Wakefield High School Raleigh, NC
20 NRM Early College High School Rocky Mount, NC
21 Cary High School Cary, NC
22 Athens Drive High School Raleigh, NC
23 Sanderson High School Raleigh, NC
24 Wake Forest High School Wake Forest, NC
25 Cleveland High School Clayton, NC
26 Heritage High School Wake Forest, NC
27 Corinth Holders High School Wendell, NC
28 Southern Wake Academy Holly Springs, NC
29 Wake Young Men's Leadership Academy Raleigh, NC
30 Fuquay-Varina High School Fuquay-Varina, NC
31 Franklin County Early College Louisburg, NC
32 Vernon Malone College and Career Academy Raleigh, NC
33 West Johnston High School Benson, NC
34 Clayton High School Clayton, NC
35 Neuse Charter School Smithfield, NC
36 Garner High School Garner, NC
37 Franklinton High School Franklinton, NC
38 Southern Nash High School Bailey, NC
39 Bunn High School Bunn, NC
40 South Johnston High School Four Oaks, NC
41 Rolesville High School Rolesville, NC
42 North Johnston High School Kenly, NC
43 Princeton High School Princeton, NC
44 Louisburg High School Louisburg, NC
45 Northern Nash High School Rocky Mount, NC
46 Rocky Mount Prep Rocky Mount, NC
47 Rocky Mount High School Rocky Mount, NC
48 Smithfield-Selma High School Smithfield, NC
49 Nash Central High School Rocky Mount, NC
50 Knightdale High School Knightdale, NC
51 Southeast Raleigh High School Raleigh, NC
52 Phillips High School Raleigh, NC

Rankings for the best high schools in the Raleigh 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 Raleigh NC 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 Raleigh 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 Raleigh and its North 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 Raleigh area.