We believe in lifelong learning in Southeastern North Carolina. Literally, from birth to death, growth opportunities are all around us. Whether formal, fun, frantic or fabulous, you’ll find an extensive menu of learning experiences here.
We’ve got swim classes for six-month-old babies and gymnastics for crawlers. We’ve got tot this and toddler that. We’ve got public schools, independent or private schools, charter schools, specialty schools, home schools and more. We have incredible and diverse higher education institutions. We have continuing education programs for everyone who wants them – no age limit. We have free or modestly priced lessons for people who want to try painting, photography, woodworking, gardening and a host of other activities. And we have our historic locale, the rivers, the sea, the wildlife and all the lessons they have to offer us… for free. The desire to learn begins at an early age and our public schools are the key.
New Hanover public schools
New Hanover County has the 12th largest public school system in the state and 311th largest in the United States with approximately 25,000 students in grades pre-K through 12. The system includes two pre-K schools, 25 elementary schools, nine middle schools and seven high schools. Over the years, the NHC school system has received numerous national and state awards and has been recognized for its academic programs and professional development.
Not part of the New Hanover County School System are two state-funded, tuition-free, public charter schools open to all North Carolina children. The Cape Fear Center for Inquiry in Wilmington (K-8) focuses on promoting a student’s abilities to think and create in personally meaningful ways through an inquiry-based, integrated curriculum. The Wilmington Preparatory Academy (K-8) is a year-round, official Core Knowledge School.
The curriculum is highly structured, based on the idea that new knowledge builds on what student’s already know, so they are offered a coherent sequence of specific knowledge that builds year by year.
Pender schools succeed
Increasingly, families with growing children have been attracted to Pender County primarily because of its innovative and proactive school system. The district has pioneered in using virtual world technology for staff development and video games in the classroom. The Pender County School District comprises eight elementary schools, four middle schools and four high schools throughout a rapidly growing county with a mix of suburban and rural communities. More than 8,000 students are enrolled in 16 schools.
Pender County residents recognize the importance of a school system that offers opportunities for all children. In November 2014, they overwhelmingly approved a $75 million school building bond that will provide the additional facilities that are required for the growing Pender County population.
Brunswick’s public schools
Twenty schools fall under the Brunswick County Schools umbrella encompassing pre-K through grade 12, all running on a traditional school calendar with a total enrollment around 12,200. The official breakdown is ten elementary, five middle and five high schools, although Waccamaw School has students in kindergarten through 8th grade, actually making it a combined elementary and middle school.
The system includes traditional curricula, alternative education programs and an Early College High School where students have the opportunity to graduate with both a high school diploma and an Associate degree in Art/Science in 4-5 years.