Wilmington, NC - School Information

There are many public and private school options available in our area. Most schools operate on a traditional school year calendar, however we do offer some year round, charter and magnet schools. We highly encourage you to visit the schools. Ask questions. View the work by current students. Each school is unique in its mission and vision. Below is some information that may help you in your process of determining the best fit for your family.

Traditional Schools

The following links will offer information as well as our State report card for each facility. http://www.nhcs.k12.nc.us/ and http://www.ncreportcards.org/src/ (Wilmington is in New Hanover County and our surrounding counties are Pender and Brunswick).

Year-Round Schools

Local “Year-round” schools are publicly funded schools that are not on the traditional school schedule. Instead, they start the school year in July and then follow an “in school for 9 weeks … on break for 3 weeks” plan. Many feel this offers children a true “break” from studies inbetween sessions. Others enjoy the opportunities to vacation during off-season times when schools on the traditional schedules are not on break. Here’s how it works: There are two year-round schools in New Hanover County serving Kindergarten through 5th grades. (You must live in New Hanover County to attend one of these year-round schools, and you must first register your child at his district school.)

1. Codington Elementary (4321 Carolina Beach Road) is available to families living on the south side of the county.

2. Eaton Elementary (6701 Gordon Road) serves children on the north side.

Class spaces are filled through a lottery. If you are considering one of these schools, visit www.nhcs.net/forms for an application. Drop off or fax the completed application to the school. The school will hold a lottery drawing to accept the number of new students for which they need to fill empty seats in the classrooms. (The schools make every effort to keep siblings together; however, if only one of your elementary-age children is selected the first year, siblings are almost always guaranteed enrollment the following school year.) To learn what these schools can offer your children, visit www.nhcs.net/eaton and/or www.nhcs.net/codington schedule a tour. Pender County has a year-round option as well.

3. Penderlea (Willard, NC) is open to residents of Pender County whose children are in Kindergarten through 8th grades. Visit www.pendercountyschools.net to request an application. Acceptance is determined by the Pender Board of Education based on space available when an application is received. You may learn more about Penderlea at the school’s website http://pespcs.sharpschool.com.

Magnet Schools

New Hanover County Magnet Schools are tuition-free public schools that provide an “enhanced” approach to learning for Kindergartners to 5th graders. Although a Magnet School’s curriculum includes traditional subjects that follow the NC Standard Course of Study, each school emphasizes a particular educational focus.

1. Gregory School of Science, Mathematics, & Technology
(1106 Ann Street) offers an interactive and nurturing learning environment through science, math and technology.

2. Rachel Freeman School of Engineering
(2601 Princess Place Drive) strives to encourage team work, communication, and creative thinking in a community of “student engineers.”

3. Snipes Academy of Arts & Design
(2150 Chestnut Street) provides the integration of the arts in all educational areas.

How to apply:
Rachel Freeman School and Snipes Academy are district schools. Children who live in these districts may register and attend one of these schools automatically. If there are seats available, the spots will be filled by lottery applicants. Children may attend Gregory School through lottery only.

To apply for acceptance through lottery, register your child in his NHC district school first. Any child in grades K-5 may apply for Magnet School enrollment by completing a lottery application from www.nhcs.net/forms. (You may apply to more than one Magnet School but must complete a separate application for each school.) Hand-deliver, fax or mail the completed application(s) to the NHCS Student Support Services Department or directly to the Magnet School(s). From applications received, a lottery is held to fill the student seats available each year.

Which school fits my child’s needs?
If you are considering a Magnet School for your child(ren), enjoy a school tour! Talk with staff members about the unique environment of each school, meet with families who already attend, and determine where your child might gain the most during his elementary education years.

Charter Schools

There are several Charter Schools in the Port City area. Charter Schools are also tuition-free schools that follow the state common core curriculum and standardized testing. The difference is these schools may provide smaller class sizes and innovative structures for student achievement. One other difference is that any child in the state of North Carolina may apply to any Charter School within the state. In other words, a family is not tied to the district in which they live. (Please visit www.ncpublicschools.org/charterschools for a complete list of NC Charter Schools.)

1. Cape Fear Center for Inquiry (CFCI)
(2525 Wonder Way, Wilmington) follows a traditional school calendar and offers creative freedom for students (grades K–8) who are self-starters, encouraging children to think outside the box. https://cfci.net

2. Charter Day School/Roger Bacon Academy
(7055 Bacon’s Way, Leland) is a premier, performance-driven, year-round school (grades K–8). In order to develop well-rounded students, the school provides extra-curricular activities such as football, cheerleading, and archery. http://charterdayschool.net

3. Wilmington Preparatory Academy
(4905 S College Road) offers a stimulating learning environment with a focus on mastering reading, writing and math to encourage life-long learning (grades K-8). www.wilmingtonace.org/wilmington_prep.html

Want to know more about these individual approaches to learning?
Contact the schools to set up tours or visit during an Open House or Parent Meeting. Ask if your child can “shadow” another student in his grade for a day to get a feel for the school. Talk to other families about their experiences with the schools. Determine if your child would do well in an inquiry-based environment or with a book-based curriculum. Selection is chosen through lottery and depends on available spaces in each class on an annual basis.

Private Schools

Cape Fear Academy – capefearacademy.org
Wilmington Christian Academy – www.wilmingtonchristian.com
Friends School of Wilmington – www.fsow.org
St. Mary Catholic School – www.thestmaryschool.org
Myrtle Grove Christian School – www.mgcs.org

As a parent, I know first-hand how important finding the right school is to a parent and a child. I’m proud to say that our area has a lot of great schools and programs to offer. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Look forward to working with you.