About School Choice


    What is School Choice?

    Each school-aged child in Charleston County is assigned to a neighborhood school based on grade level and home address. In addition, CCSD offers specialized programs, magnets, and charter schools to which students can apply.


    Which schools in Charleston County are choice schools? Visit our Choice Schools page for a list of CCSD’s choice


    Who can apply for a choice school?

    All students residing in Charleston County are eligible to apply. Out-of-county residents are required to pay tuition. Residency verification is due August 1, 2020.


    What is a Neighborhood School?

    This is a school where students are assigned to attend because they live in the school’s attendance area or attendance zone. A student’s neighborhood school is also referred to as their “home school.” (Use our GIS Lookup Tool to check your attendance zone.)


    What is a Countywide Admissions Magnet?

    This is a school that has a specific focus. All students in Charleston County are eligible to apply; however, there are specific criteria that must be met for admission. All of the students at a countywide admissions magnet school are magnet students.


    What is a Countywide Magnet (non-admissions criteria)?

    This is a school that has a specific focus or theme. All students in Charleston County are eligible to apply.


    What is a Constituent District Magnet? (updated 12/19/19)

    The school has a focus or theme. Most constituent district magnets have defined attendance zones. Additional seats are allocated to students living outside the attendance zone but within the constituent district.

    Transportation is provided to all students attending Constituent District Magnets and living within that Constituent District.


    What is a Montessori School?


    A Montessori school practices a very specific educational model. The Montessori model was developed in Italy in the early 1900’s. It is a child-centered educational approach in which students work with specially designed materials, and it facilitates the student organizing his/her thinking and applying knowledge to real-world experiences. Visit our Montessori page to learn more about the benefits of the Montessori model and which schools in Charleston County participate in this instructional model.


    9.  What are charter schools?

    According to the South Carolina Department of Education and the South Carolina Charter Schools Act of 1996, a charter school is defined as a public, nonreligious, non home-based, nonprofit corporation forming a school that operates by sponsorship of a public school district, the South Carolina Public Charter School District, or a public or independent institution of higher learning, but is accountable to the board of trustees, or in the case of technical colleges, the area commission, of the sponsor which grants its charter. All students residing in Charleston County are eligible to apply to a charter school. All students residing in Charleston County are eligible to apply. The following charter schools participate in the CCSD application process: Allegro Charter School of Music, Carolina Voyager Charter, Greg Mathis Charter High School, Orange Grove Charter, East Cooper Montessori Charter, and James Island Charter High School.