Types of Public Schools in North Carolina

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.
  • Magnet School: a public school that provides unique or specialized curriculum. Magnet schools differ from regular public schools in that they offer specialized academic themes, such as math & science, the arts, foreign languages and so on. Magnet schools are usually open to students well outside of their immediate geographic location. Unlike charter schools, magnet schools are normally not completely independent, and receive their funding from the school system in the city or county in which they operate.
  • Alternative School: a school that serves students at any level, serves suspended or expelled students, serves students whose learning styles are better served in an alternative program, or a school that provides individualized programs outside of a standard classroom setting.
  • 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.

Best Elementary Schools in Charlotte NC & Suburbs

Are you looking for information on the top public elementary schools in the Charlotte area? Below you'll find rankings on some of the best Charlotte-area elementary schools including Irwin Academic Center, Providence Spring Elementary School, Polo Ridge Elementary School, and Rea View Elementary School. We also have data to help you compare such top traditional public elementary schools to the area's best charter schools including Metrolina Regional Scholars' Academy, Socrates Academy, Union Academy, and Pine Lake Preparatory School.

The list below is not meant be used as a definitive guide to which Charlotte-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.

Best Elementary Schools in Charlotte, NC Area

Top Elementary Schools in the Charlotte Area

Rank School Name City
School
Type
 
Grades
Served
1 Metrolina Regional Scholars' Academy Charlotte Charter K-8
2 Irwin Academic Center Charlotte Magnet K-5
3 Providence Spring Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
4 Polo Ridge Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
5 Rea View Elementary School Waxhaw Regular K-5
6 Weddington Elementary School Matthews Regular K-5
7 Elon Park Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
8 Hawk Ridge Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
9 Elizabeth Lane Elementary School Matthews Regular K-5
10 Socrates Academy Matthews Charter K-7
11 Bain Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
12 Marvin Elementary School Marvin Regular K-5
13 Rocky River Elementary School Mooresville Regular PK-3
14 Huntersville Elementary School Huntersville Regular K-5
15 Davidson Elementary School Davidson Regular K-5
16 New Salem Elementary School Marshville Regular K-5
17 Union Academy Monroe Charter K-12
18 McKee Road Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
19 Stallings Elementary School Stallings Regular K-5
20 Antioch Elementary School Matthews Regular K-5
21 Sandy Ridge Elementary School Waxhaw Regular K-5
22 Olde Providence Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
23 New Town Elementary School Waxhaw Regular K-5
24 Torrence Creek Elementary School Huntersville Regular K-5
25 Matthews Elementary School Matthews Regular K-5
26 Pine Lake Preparatory School Mooresville Charter K-12
27 Kensington Elementary School Waxhaw Regular K-5
28 Park View Elementary School Mooresville Regular PK-3
29 Rock Springs Elementary School Denver Regular K-5
30 Beverly Woods Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
31 Ballantyne Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
32 John M. Morehead STEM Academy Charlotte Magnet K-7
33 Dilworth Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
34 Cornelius Elementary School Cornelius Regular K-5
35 Community School of Davidson Davidson Charter K-10
36 Eastover Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
37 South Elementary School Mooresville Regular PK-3
38 Lincoln Charter School Denver Charter K-12
39 Park Road Montessori School Charlotte Magnet PK-6
40 Cox Mill Elementary School Concord Regular K-5
41 Robinson Elementary School Gastonia Regular PK-3
42 Woodland Heights Elementary School Mooresville Regular K-5
43 Lake Norman Charter School Huntersville Charter 5-13
44 Selwyn Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
45 Collinswood Language Academy Charlotte Magnet K-8
46 Carolina International School Harrisburg Charter K-10
47 Lake Norman Elementary School Mooresville Regular K-5
48 Shiloh Elementary School Monroe Regular K-5
49 Highland Creek Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
50 St James Elementary School Denver Regular K-5
51 Waddell Language Academy Charlotte Magnet K-8
52 Lakeshore Elementary School Mooresville Regular K-5
53 Sharon Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
54 J.V. Washam Elementary School Cornelius Regular K-5
55 Endhaven Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
56 Unionville Elementary School Monroe Regular K-5
57 Belmont Central Elementary School Belmont Regular 2-5
58 Wesley Chapel Elementary School Monroe Regular K-5
59 Myers Park Traditional Elementary School Charlotte Magnet K-5
60 Harrisburg Elementary School Harrisburg Regular K-5
61 Chantilly Montessori School Charlotte Magnet PK-6
62 Poplin Elementary School Indian Trail Regular K-5
63 Indian Trail Elementary School Indian Trail Regular K-5
64 Bess Elementary School Gastonia Regular K-5
65 Hemby Bridge Elementary School Indian Trail Regular K-5
66 Mooresville Intermediate School Mooresville Regular 4-6
67 East Mooresville Intermediate School Mooresville Regular 4-6
68 Barnette Elementary School Huntersville Regular K-5
69 Fairview Elementary School Monroe Regular K-5
70 Catawba Springs Elementary School Denver Regular K-5
71 W M Jenkins Elementary School Hickory Regular PK-5
72 Winget Park Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
73 Sun Valley Elementary School Monroe Regular K-5
74 Pumpkin Center Intermediate School Lincolnton Regular 3-5
75 Highland Mill Montessori Elementary School Charlotte Magnet PK-6
76 Waxhaw Elementary School Waxhaw Regular K-5
77 Cool Spring Elementary School Cleveland Regular K-5
78 Wingate Elementary School Wingate Regular PK-5
79 Bostian Elementary School China Grove Regular K-5
80 Sherrills Ford Elementary School Sherrills Ford Regular K-6
81 Millbridge Elementary School China Grove Regular PK-5
82 New Hope Elementary School Gastonia Regular K-5
83 Clyde Campbell Elementary School Hickory Regular K-6
84 Rocky River Elementary School Monroe Regular PK-5
85 Shuford Elementary School Conover Regular PK-5
86 Mountain View Elementary School Hickory Regular PK-6
87 Porter Ridge Elementary School Indian Trail Regular K-5
88 McAlpine Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
89 Faith Elementary School Faith Regular K-5
90 Western Union Elementary School Waxhaw Regular K-5
91 W R Odell Elementary School Concord Regular K-5
92 Shepherd Elementary School Mooresville Regular K-5
93 Queen's Grant Community School Mint Hill Charter K-12
94 Elizabeth Traditional Elementary Charlotte Magnet K-5
95 Charles H Tuttle Elementary School Maiden Regular K-6
96 Clear Creek Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
97 Coddle Creek Elementary School Mooresville Regular K-6
98 River Gate Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
99 Cherryville Elementary School Cherryville Regular PK-3
100 Charles E Boger Elementary School Kannapolis Regular K-5
101 Viewmont Elementary School Hickory Regular PK-5
102 Hawks Nest Intermediate School Gastonia Regular 4-5
103 Endy Elementary School Albemarle Regular K-6
104 Pitts School Road Elementary School Concord Regular K-5
105 Blackburn Elementary School Newton Regular K-6
106 Stanfield Elementary School Stanfield Regular PK-6
107 Sardis Elementary School Monroe Regular PK-5
108 Piedmont Community Charter School Gastonia Charter K-12
109 Childers Elementary School Lincolnton Regular PK-5
110 Crown Point Elementary School Matthews Regular K-5
111 Cotswold Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
112 S Ray Lowder Elementary School Lincolnton Regular K-3
113 Richfield Elementary School Richfield Regular K-5
114 Costner Elementary School Dallas Regular PK-5
115 Bethel Elementary School Midland Regular K-5
116 Smithfield Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
117 Blythe Elementary School Huntersville Regular K-5
118 Windsor Park Elementary School Charlotte Regular PK-5
119 Iron Station Elementary School Iron Station Regular PK-5
120 Mount Pleasant Elementary School Mt Pleasant Regular K-5
121 Aquadale Elementary School Norwood Regular K-5
122 Lansdowne Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
123 Sharon Elementary School Statesville Regular K-5
124 Cleveland Elementary School Cleveland Regular K-5
125 Idlewild Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
126 Banoak Elementary School Vale Regular K-6
127 Central Elementary School Statesville Regular K-5
128 Patriots Elementary School Concord Regular K-5
129 Mallard Creek Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
130 Enochville Elementary School China Grove Regular K-5
131 Startown Elementary School Newton Regular PK-6
132 Union Elementary School Vale Regular K-5
133 GE Massey Elementary School Lincolnton Regular PK-3
134 Celeste Henkel Elementary School Statesville Regular K-5
135 Oakboro Elementary School Oakboro Regular PK-6
136 A T Allen Elementary School Concord Regular K-5
137 Norwood Elementary School Norwood Regular PK-5
138 Balls Creek Elementary School Newton Regular PK-6
139 Love Memorial Elementary School Lincolnton Regular PK-5
140 Barringer Academic Center Charlotte Regular K-5
141 Maiden Elementary School Maiden Regular K-6
142 Blaine Beam Intermediate Cherryville Regular 4-5
143 Locust Elementary School Locust Regular K-6
144 Union Grove Elementary School Union Grove Regular K-5
145 Croft Community Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
146 Ridgecrest Elementary School Locust Regular K-6
147 Mountain Island Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
148 McAdenville Elementary School McAdenville Regular K-5
149 Snow Creek Elementary School Hickory Regular K-6
150 Lebanon Road Elementary School Charlotte Regular PK-5
151 Pineville Elementary School Pineville Regular K-5
152 Millingport Elementary School Albemarle Regular PK-5
153 Rankin Elementary School Mount Holly Regular PK-5
154 Gardner Park Elementary School Gastonia Regular PK-5
155 Chapel Grove Elementary School Gastonia Regular PK-5
156 Weddington Hills Elementary School Concord Regular K-5
157 Carl A Furr Elementary School Concord Regular K-5
158 American Renaissance School Statesville Charter K-8
159 Prospect Elementary School Monroe Regular K-5
160 Mt Ulla Elementary School Mount Ulla Regular K-5
161 Oakwood Elementary School Hickory Regular PK-5
162 Forest Park Elementary School Kannapolis Regular K-4
163 Long Creek Elementary School Huntersville Regular PK-5
164 North Brook Elementary School Vale Regular K-5
165 Oaklawn Language Academy Charlotte Magnet K-8
166 Rockwell Elementary School Rockwell Regular PK-5
167 Central Elementary School Albemarle Regular PK-5
168 Badin Elementary School Badin Regular PK-5
169 Tryon Elementary School Bessemer City Regular PK-5
170 Morgan Elementary School Gold Hill Regular PK-5
171 Webb A Murray Elementary School Hickory Regular PK-6
172 Lowell Elementary School Lowell Regular K-5
173 Berryhill School Charlotte Regular K-8
174 Granite Quarry Elementary School Salisbury Regular PK-5
175 R Brown McAllister Elementary School Concord Regular K-5
176 Thornton Elementary School Newton Regular PK-5
177 Shive Elementary School Rockwell Regular PK-5
178 Piney Grove Elementary School Charlotte Regular PK-5
179 Union Elementary School Wingate Regular PK-5
180 Oxford Elementary School Claremont Regular PK-6
181 Berewick Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
182 Lyle Creek Elementary School Conover Regular K-6
183 Troutman Elementary School Troutman Regular K-5
184 River Oaks Academy Charlotte Regular K-5
185 Brookside Elementary School Gastonia Regular PK-5
186 Coltrane-Webb Elementary School Concord Magnet PK-5
187 Devonshire Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
188 Rock Rest Elementary School Monroe Regular PK-5
189 Pinewood Elementary School Mount Holly Regular PK-5
190 Fred L Wilson Elementary School Kannapolis Regular PK-4
191 Catawba Heights Elementary School Belmont Regular PK-5
192 Pinewood Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
193 Marshville Elementary School Marshville Regular PK-5
194 Kiser Elementary School Stanley Regular 3-5
195 Claremont Elementary School Claremont Regular PK-6
196 Kiser Intermediate School Lincolnton Regular 4-5
197 KIPP Charlotte Charlotte Charter 5-8
198 Beverly Hills Elementary School Concord Regular K-5
199 Battleground Elementary School Lincolnton Regular K-3
200 Reedy Creek Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
201 Jackson Park Elementary School Kannapolis Regular K-4
202 Woodrow Wilson Elementary School Kannapolis Regular PK-4
203 North Belmont Elementary School Belmont Regular PK-5
204 Sugar Creek Charter School Charlotte Charter K-8
205 First Ward Arts Elementary School Charlotte Magnet K-5
206 Overton Elementary School Salisbury Regular K-5
207 Paw Creek Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
208 Catawba Elementary School Catawba Regular PK-6
209 South Newton Elementary School Newton Regular PK-5
210 Harmony Elementary School Harmony Regular K-5
211 Southwest Elementary School Hickory Regular PK-5
212 Joseph W Grier Academy Charlotte Regular K-5
213 Greenway Park Elementary School Charlotte Regular PK-5
214 Newell Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
215 University Park Creative Arts Charlotte Magnet K-5
216 Benton Heights Elementary School Monroe Regular PK-5
217 University Meadows Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
218 Nathaniel Alexander Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
219 Cloverleaf Elementary School Statesville Regular K-5
220 H H Beam Elementary School Gastonia Regular PK-5
221 Woodleaf Elementary School Woodleaf Regular PK-5
222 Steele Creek Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
223 Lake Wylie Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
224 Lingerfeldt Elementary School Gastonia Regular PK-5
225 Oakdale Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
226 Rocky River Elementary School Concord Regular K-5
227 Success Charter School Statesville Charter K-8
228 Scotts Elementary School Statesville Regular K-5
229 Shady Brook Elementary School Kannapolis Regular K-4
230 Huntingtowne Farms Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
231 Montclaire Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
232 Dole Elementary School Salisbury Regular PK-5
233 Hickory Grove Elementary School Charlotte Regular PK-5
234 Community Charter School Charlotte Charter K-5
235 Pleasant Ridge Elementary School Gastonia Regular PK-5
236 Stoney Creek Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
237 Knollwood Elementary School Salisbury Regular K-5
238 Hornets Nest Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
239 Marie G Davis Military & Global Leadership Academy Charlotte Magnet K-12
240 Winecoff Elementary School Concord Regular K-5
241 China Grove Elementary School China Grove Regular PK-5
242 Hurley Elementary School Salisbury Regular K-5
243 Landis Elementary School Landis Regular PK-5
244 Whitewater Academy Charlotte Regular K-5
245 Sedgefield Elementary School Charlotte Regular PK-5
246 Forest Heights Elementary School Gastonia Regular PK-5
247 Kannapolis Intermediate School Kannapolis Regular 5-6
248 Ashley Park PreK-8 School Charlotte Regular PK-8
249 Billingsville Elementary School Charlotte Regular PK-5
250 Carr Elementary School Dallas Regular PK-5
251 East Albemarle Elementary School Albemarle Regular K-5
252 J H Gunn Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
253 David Cox Road Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
254 Isenberg Elementary School Salisbury Regular PK-5
255 N B Mills Elementary School Statesville Regular PK-5
256 Sherwood Elementary School Gastonia Regular PK-5
257 Highland Renaissance Academy Charlotte Regular PK-5
258 Bessemer City Central Elementary School Bessemer City Regular 3-5
259 Tuckaseegee Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
260 W M Irvin Elementary School Concord Regular PK-5
261 Third Creek Elementary School Statesville Regular K-5
262 Hidden Valley Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
263 Allenbrook Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
264 Winding Springs Elementary School Charlotte Regular PK-5
265 Wolf Meadow Elementary School Concord Regular K-5
266 Royal Oaks Elementary School Kannapolis Regular K-5
267 Winterfield Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
268 Sterling Elementary School Pineville Regular K-5
269 Walter Bickett Elementary School Monroe Regular PK-5
270 Saint Stephens Elementary School Conover Regular K-6
271 Rama Road Elementary School Charlotte Regular PK-5
272 Longview Elementary School Hickory Regular PK-5
273 Albemarle Road Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
274 Westerly Hills Academy Charlotte Regular K-8
275 Woodhill Elementary School Gastonia Regular PK-5
276 Merry Oaks Elementary School Charlotte Regular PK-5
277 Statesville Road Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
278 Rhyne Elementary School Gastonia Regular PK-5
279 Shamrock Gardens Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
280 Koontz Elementary School Salisbury Regular K-5
281 Thomasboro Academy Charlotte Regular K-8
282 Nations Ford Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
283 Sadler Elementary School Gastonia Regular PK-5
284 Walter G Byers School Charlotte Regular K-8
285 North Rowan Elementary School Spencer Regular PK-5
286 East Elementary School Monroe Regular PK-5
287 East Iredell Elementary School Statesville Regular K-5
288 Briarwood Elementary School Charlotte Regular K-5
289 Highland Charter Public School Gastonia Charter K-5
290 Druid Hills Academy Charlotte Regular PK-8
291 Bruns Academy Charlotte Regular K-8
292 Reid Park Academy Charlotte Regular K-8

Rankings of the best elementary schools in the Charlotte area were developed by CarolinaSchoolHub.

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

Choosing an Elementary School in the Charlotte Area

When comparing regular Charlotte-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 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 Carolina.



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