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New Hanover County has 25 elementary schools, 7 middle schools and 5 high schools. The schools are organized in grades as k-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Recent enrollment was a little more than 22.900 students. County government is working hard to keep up with the rapid population growth with additional schools. The community understands that part of its steady growth is due to the quality of its public school system and has voted overwhelmingly in favor of bond referendums to add both new schools and technological enhancements throughout the district. The school district has benefited from a supportive community that turns out hundreds of volunteers to work with students who need extra help.
The office for New Hanover County Schools is located at 6410 Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington and can be reached at 910763-5431 and their website is www.nhcs.k12.nc.us.
The office for Brunswick County schools is located at 35 Referendum Dr., NE Bolivia, NC. The telephone number is 910 253-2900.
Pender County School’s office is at 925 Penderlea Hwy in Burgaw. The telephone number is 910 259-2187.
Both New Hanover and Pender school districts are beneficiaries of a large, active group called Communities in Schools of Cape Fear. CIS is common nation wide, but the CISCF group has been active in our area for more than 25 years. Its focus is on ensuring that students have access to the “Five Basics”. These are defined as follows:
A one-on-one relationship with a caring adult
A safe place to learn and grow
A healthy start and a healthy future
A marketable skill to use upon graduation
A chance to give back to peers and the community
There are a number of private schools in New Hanover and in the other counties. The largest is Cape Fear Academy, which is a secular school with a K-12 student enrollment of about 500. It has received a lot of attention due to having 100% of its graduates enter a four year college program. Its website is www.capefearacademy.org.
The Friends School of Wilmington is operated in the Quaker traditions of equality, h armony, simplicity, service and academic excellence. It provides pre-school classes through eighth grade. The website is www.fsow.org.
Myrtle Grove Christian School has an enrollment of 400 students and the school is supported by more than 50 local churches. It is a K-8 school and its website is www.mgcs.org.
Wilmington Christian Academy is one of the largest private schools in this part of the state. It was founded in 1969 as a ministry of Grace Baptist and its graduates go on to higher institutions across the nation. Its website is www.wilmingtonchristian.com
Wilmington Montessori School follows the Montessori method of teaching and learning and its website is www.wilmingtonmontessorischool.org.
The state of NC began a public- private initiative called Smart Start that focuses on early childhood preparation of students to begin school. Its varied components and objectives are intended to help the child enter school healthy and with a positive attitude toward being successful. Some of the programs help provide access to high quality and affordable child care, health care and family support services for children five and under. Smart Start in New Hanover county operates as the New Hanover County Partnership for Children (NHCPC). The website is www.newhanoverkids.org.
North Carolina is well known for its institutions of higher learning, especially the Raleigh Triangle area. The Cape Fear area also has an abundance of colleges because the vitality of its business growth requires a large number of employees with some college training and or technical skills that the state’s community colleges provide. The list of higher education institutions include: UNC-Wilmington, Cape Fear Community College, Mount Olive College, Brunswick Community College, Miller-Motte College and Shaw University