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

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

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Best High Schools in the Durham, NC Area

Best High Schools in Durham, NC Area Best High Schools in Durham, NC Area

Carolina School Hub provides school rankings and test data on the best high schools in Durham, NC and its suburbs. See student growth information, assessment data and independent ratings on 26 high schools in the Durham area including Woods Charter School, East Chapel Hill High School, and Chapel Hill High School. Here you'll find information on high schools in Durham and some of its key suburbs including Durham NC, Chapel Hill NC, and Hillsborough 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 Durham 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 Durham and the best middle schools in Durham and its suburbs.

Ranking of Durham Area's Best High Schools

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

High Schools in Durham 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 Durham 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 Durham 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 Durham area.