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Everything You Need to Know about Asheville Schools

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As a parent of four young kids, I’ve found that figuring out the school situation is one of our most challenging and frustrating responsibilities. School websites are inconsistent and often difficult to navigate, and school ratings can be misleading. Hopefully, I can give you some insight into how Asheville schools work so you have an idea of what to expect.

The Asheville area is served by two public school systems – Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools. In addition to those, there are numerous public charter and private schools. (Public charter schools are free to attend; however, they are not a part of a larger school system and typically require a lottery for enrollment.) I’ll go over each system and then explain alternatives.

To see which public school is assigned to your Asheville/Buncombe County address (regardless of school system), use this interactive map.

Asheville City Schools

The Asheville City Schools system includes six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. Of those, one middle and one high school are magnet schools with specialized curriculum. (Magnet schools are part of the larger public school system and offer specialized curriculum based on student achievement, aptitude, interest, etc. instead of geographic location)

It’s important to note that Asheville City Schools offer school choice. In other words, parents may choose a school other than the one to which they are assigned. The school system then holds a lottery to determine final school assignment. You can read more about their process here.

Asheville City Elementary Schools
Asheville City Middle Schools
Asheville City High Schools

Buncombe County Schools

The Asheville City Schools system includes six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. Of those, one middle and one high school are magnet schools with specialized STEAM curriculum – Montford North Star Academy (grades 6-8) and School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville (grades 9-12). (Magnet schools are part of the larger public school system and offer specialized curriculum based on student achievement, aptitude, interest, etc. instead of geographic location.)

Buncombe County does not offer the same school choice that Asheville City Schools does. However, they do offer discretionary admission/release in certain circumstances. You can read about it and apply here. Students from outside Buncombe County may also enroll in BCS, however, tuition will be required to offset the cost.

Buncombe County Elementary Schools
Buncombe County Intermediate and Middle Schools
Buncombe County High Schools

Public Charter Schools

For parents who want to stick with a public school but who want a non-traditional learning environment for their kids, Asheville has a variety of public charter schools from which to choose. Enrollment in these schools is conditioned on an annual lottery. You may contact each individual school or visit their websites to get more info.

Private Schools

Finally, in addition Asheville’s public and charter schools, there are many private schools in Asheville and surrounding areas – some of which have a faith-based curriculum:

There you have it! If you have any questions about how schools work, or if you want to find homes located in a certain school boundary, get in touch with me! I’m happy to help.

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Lauren Dahl of Mosaic Realty in Asheville, North Carolina

Lauren Dahl, REALTOR®

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